Electronic Theses and Dissertations




Subhash Jha



Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Business Administration

Committee Chair

George D. Deitz

Committee Member

Joann Peck

Committee Member

Daniel Sherrell

Committee Member

Alan Bush


While prior research has shown that haptic stimuli may influence many aspects of consumer behavior, the role of haptic cues in service context has not been explored. In two essays, this dissertation fills this void and finds that a simple haptic cue can positively influence perceptions and behavior in servicescape. Essay 1 examines the importance of haptic cues in shaping service quality perceptions. Through four studies - in the context of a bank, an airline, a restaurant and a health club - it extends understanding by examining the impact of different types of cues (e.g., hardness, weight, and texture) on the processes driving consumer response Findings suggest that for individuals high in need-for-touch (NFT) individuals, a high quality haptic cue transfers to a high quality inference regarding the service quality. However, for lower NFT individuals, a haptic cue influences service quality through an affective transfer mechanism. In addition, essay 1 shows that the timing of haptic cue introduction during the service encounter influences the relationship between cue type and service quality perceptions. Specifically, it demonstrates that a haptic cue experienced at the end of service delivery is the most influential. In Essay 2, the dissertation examines the effect of haptic cues on product choice in service contexts. With two studies, it shows that soft haptic cues affect the selection of more vice products than that of virtue products. In contrast, rough haptic cues result in the selection of more virtue products than that of vice products. In addition, results reveal that present-oriented consumers are favorably influenced by soft haptic cues, whereas future-oriented are not. As a result, present-oriented consumers choose more vice products than future-oriented consumers after experiencing soft haptic sensation. Overall, this dissertation contributes to the literature on services marketing and haptics


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

Dissertation or thesis originally submitted to the local University of Memphis Electronic Theses & dissertation (ETD) Repository.