The Battle for Customer Relationship: Toward the Operationalization of the Investment Model

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date


Publication Title

Proceedings of the International Conference on Contemporary Marketing Issues


Purpose: This study examines why customers commit to and maintain relationships with offerings (i.e., automobiles or cars and apartment rentals) by operationalizing the Investment Model (IM) in a highly competitive domain.

Design/Methodology/Approach: Data were collected through surveys administered to 221 customers. We used partial least squares – structural equation modeling (PLS-SEM) to empirically evaluate our commitment and relationship maintenance model.

Findings: We find support for the Investment Model and show how useful it is in predicting customer commitment towards relationship maintenance in the car and apartment rental domains. Among the variables of IM we found quality of alternatives as the most significant and important predictor of customer commitment. While our result shows satisfaction to be the second most significant predictor for customer commitment, investment size did not exert any influence on commitment.

Originality/Value: This study contributes toward theory development and the identification of variables showing how customers attach greater importance and when making a commitment towards relationship maintenance. Managerial implications of the findings, limitations and future research directions are provided