The impact of Chinese value - customer Ren orientation on harmony, business relationship, service quality and loyalty

  • Bernard LEE

    Student thesis: PhD Thesis


    This thesis presents an empirical study of the effects of Customer Ren Orientation on Harmony, Business Relationship, Service Quality and Loyalty in the context of Chinese culture. Ren is a deeply embedded Chinese value in Chinese society. Actually, using Ren to deal with conflicts in various situations in the Chinese community is common. Nowadays, Chinese culture of Ren seems to emerge as a genuine gap that needs to be further investigated for the following reasons. Ren tends to affect business relationships between customers and service providers and consumers’ evaluations of these relationships. Clearly, the research gap is not about having a new model for cultural values but about understanding the identified Chinese cultural value of Ren that affects business practice. This study attempts to attain two objectives. The first objective is to construct a scale for Customer Ren Orientation as a tool for measuring the concept of Customer Ren Orientation because it is not available in the business-to-customer context. The second objective of the study is to develop a conceptual model of Customer Ren Orientation that conceptually correlates Customer Ren Orientation with Harmony, Business Relationship, Service Quality and Loyalty. This model comprises five constructs. The independent variable of Customer Ren Orientation and four dependent variables are used in the study. In other words, Customer Ren Orientation serves as an antecedent of Harmony, Business Relationship and Service Quality. This study starts with a review of the previous literature on the concept of Ren with a specific emphasis on Chinese literature related to the research topic, followed by the discussion of the conceptual model of Customer Ren Orientation and other related constructs such as Harmony, Business Relationship, Service Quality and Loyalty. In addition, a two-stage research design was adopted to gather relevant data using qualitative research and quantitative research. A two-stage research design was used. In the first stage, qualitative research included focus group discussions and expert opinions. In the second stage, quantitative research included the following activities: quasi-experimental design, sampling, questionnaire design, data collection and scale development. A total of 384 respondents successfully completed the interview. The reliability and the validity of the measurement scales used in this research are considered reasonably good quality. The data fit the business model of Customer Ren Orientation well. GFI, CFI, SRMR, RMSEA and normed chi-square (X²/df) showed that the data fit reasonably well with the hypothesised model. The results of the data analysis indicate that all proposed eight hypotheses were supported. In this study, both AMOS and SmartPLS were adopted, and the latter is to deal with the interaction effect and the quadratic effect that cannot be dealt with by AMOS. Finally, this study makes the following important contributions: firstly, there is a strong triangular relationship among Customer Ren Orientation, Harmony and Business Relationship. In other words, without Harmony and Business Relationship, the effect of Customer Ren Orientation on Loyalty will be greatly reduced. Secondly, Harmony has a quadratic effect on Service Quality, and Harmony is a nonlinear form has a direct effect on Service Quality. Thirdly, there is an interaction effect of Customer Ren Orientation and Business Relationship on Service Quality. That is the relationship between Business Relationship and Service Quality which is moderated by Customer Ren Orientation. Lastly, a Customer Ren Orientation scale and a business model of Customer Ren Orientation have been developed on the basis of extant literature review and empirical research.
    Date of Award8 Nov 2016
    Original languageEnglish
    Awarding Institution
    • Univerisity of Nottingham
    SupervisorChristine Ennew (Supervisor), Thomas Man (Supervisor), Oliver Hon Ming Yau (Supervisor) & Yi Wang (Supervisor)


    • Chinese value
    • customer Ren orientation
    • Harmony
    • Business relationship
    • Service quality and loyalty

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