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Service-Channel Fit Conceptualization and Instrument Development

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Electronically mediated self-service technologies in the banking industry have impacted the way banks service consumers. Despite a large body of research on electronic banking channels, no study has been undertaken to empirically explore the fit between electronic banking channels and banking services. To address this gap, we developed and validated a service-channel fit conceptualization and an associated survey instrument. We applied a mixed methods approach and initially investigated industry experts’ perceptions regarding the concept of ‘service-channel fit’ (SCF). The findings demonstrated that the concept was highly valued by bank managers. Next, we developed an instrument to measure the perceived service-channel fit of electronic banking channels. The instrument was developed using expert rounds and two pretests involving approximately 300 consumers in New Zealand. Drawing on IS alignment literature, we created a parallel instrument allowing us to calculate SCF across three unique fit dimensions, including service complexity-channel fit, service importance-channel fit, and service routineness-channel fit. To explore the nomological validity of the SCF construct, we linked SCF to customers’ intention to use a specific channel for a particular banking task. We tested our model with data from 340 consumers in New Zealand using Internet banking applications for two different banking tasks. The results of our study have theoretical and practical implications for how clients should be serviced through electronically mediated banking channels.
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RESEARCH PAPER
Service-Channel Fit Conceptualization and Instrument
Development
A Mixed Methods Study in the Context of Electronic Banking
Hartmut Hoehle Thomas Kude Sid Huff Karl Popp
Received: 26 August 2015 / Accepted: 21 September 2015 / Published online: 27 January 2016
Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden 2016
Abstract Electronically mediated self-service tech-
nologies in the banking industry have impacted the way
banks service consumers. Despite a large body of
research on electronic banking channels, no study has
been undertaken to empirically explore the fit between
electronic banking channels and banking services. To
address this gap, we developed and validated a service-
channel fit conceptualization and an associated survey
instrument. We applied a mixed methods approach and
initially investigated industry experts’ perceptions
regarding the concept of ‘service-channel fit’ (SCF). The
findings demonstrated that the concept was highly valued
by bank managers. Next, we developed an instrument to
measure the perceived service-channel fit of electronic
banking channels. The instrument was developed using
expert rounds and two pretests involving approximately
300 consumers in New Zealand. Drawing on IS align-
ment literature, we created a parallel instrument allowing
us to calculate SCF across three unique fit dimensions,
including service complexity-channel fit, service impor-
tance-channel fit, and service routineness-channel fit. To
explore the nomological validity of the SCF construct, we
linked SCF to customers’ intention to use a specific
channel for a particular banking task. We tested our
model with data from 340 consumers in New Zealand
using Internet banking applications for two different
banking tasks. The results of our study have theoretical
and practical implications for how clients should be
serviced through electronically mediated banking
channels.
Keywords Electronic banking Service-channel fit
Technology adoption Technology acceptance Mixed
methods
1 Introduction
Since the early 1970s, the proliferation of self-service
technologies within the financial services industry has
significantly influenced the way banks service clients. In
particular, ATMs, telephone banking, Internet banking, and
mobile banking have emerged as efficient means for selling
products and servicing customers (Katuri and Lam 2003).
For the consumer, these electronic banking channels
eliminate the need to visit a branch, and offer convenient
access to various banking services. Banks also benefit from
self-service technologies as they can reduce costs associ-
ated with the traditional branch network.
Accepted after one revision by Prof. Dr. Bichler.
Electronic supplementary material The online version of this
article (doi:10.1007/s12599-015-0415-z) contains supplementary
material, which is available to authorized users.
Dr. H. Hoehle (&)
Sam M. Walton College of Business, University of Arkansas,
Fayetteville, AR 72701, USA
e-mail: hartmut@hartmuthoehle.com
Dr. T. Kude
Business School, University of Mannheim, 68131 Mannheim,
Germany
e-mail: kude@uni-mannheim.de
Dr. S. Huff
School of Information Management, Victoria University of
Wellington, Wellington 6140, New Zealand
e-mail: Sidhuff99@gmail.com
Dr. K. Popp
SAP SE, Dietmar-Hopp-Allee 16, 69190 Walldorf, Germany
e-mail: karl.michael.popp@sap.com
123
Bus Inf Syst Eng 59(2):97–110 (2017)
DOI 10.1007/s12599-015-0415-z
Content courtesy of Springer Nature, terms of use apply. Rights reserved.

Supplementary resource (1)

... While improved infrastructure is critical, efficient selfservice channels must maintain the customer's profitability and retention ( Xue, Hitt & Harker, 2007 ). A lot of technology transitions and changing service channels require finding the ideal fit for (SCF), i.e., service channel fit ( Hoehle, Kude, Huff & Popp, 2017 ). A short survey is done in addition to the literature review. ...
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