Relationship Marketing Activities, Commitment, and Membership Behaviors in Professional Associations

  • Gruen T
  • Summers J
  • Acito F
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Abstract

The authors conceptualize and empirically examine professional associations' relationship-building efforts (core services performance, rewards for contributions, dissemination of organizational knowledge, member interdependence enhancement activities, and reliance on external membership requirements) that are theorized to enhance their membership's commitment to the relationship as well as the membership's relationship behaviors. Three components of commitment--affective, continuance, and normative--are theorized to mediate differentially the correlation between the associations' relationship-building efforts and their members' relationship behaviors (membership retention, exchange-based participation, and cooperatively based coproduction). Confirmatory factor analysis validates the commitment measures, and structural equations analysis indicates that normative and affective commitment partially mediate the effects of selected relationship-building efforts on coproduction and member participation. Core services performance was the only construct in the model found to affect member retention.

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Authors

  • Thomas W. Gruen

  • John O. Summers

  • Frank Acito

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