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  • Subject area(s): Marketing
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  • Published on: 14th September 2019
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Studies provide a similar definition of customer citizenship behavior, by describing it as discretionary and voluntary behaviors of individuals or customers not deemed as necessary for production of goods and services, rather, enable service delivery for the organization. Extensive studies on customer citizenship behavior highlight that consumers' citizenship behavior plays an important role in reduced marketing costs and enhancing effectiveness of marketing promotions. As such, a much of literature and studies have focused on customer citizenship behavior by focusing on an offline context, with minimal focus on consumption in virtual communities.

Section A: Intrinsic motivation and social identity perspective

2.1 Self-determination theory

Leavell's and Haan's (2014) undertook a study that investigated the effects of intrinsic motivation in theory of planned behavior. They suggest that intrinsic motivation is a critical foundation of self-determination theory, which warrants the need for future studies to highlight the association between self-determination theory and theory of planned behavior. Developing strong brands by encouraging positive customer experiences and establishing high levels of customer loyalty is a relatively considerable and critical route towards accumulation of sustainable competitive advantage over the long-term. Studies note that organizations are increasingly urging their employees to internalize brand identity and translate the values of the organization into their roles, duties, behaviors and attitudes as brand ambassadors. In addition, organizations anticipate that employees are the pioneers of a brand as they are within primary contact areas with customers and other stakeholders.

Literature suggests that the self-determination theory emerged as a theoretical paradigm that was founded on the articulation of interactions between a number of constructs namely self-efficacy, intrinsic motivation, autonomy, locus of causality, persistence, and fulfillment of psychological needs. Ryan and Deci (2000) note that the theory of motivation should focus on the effects of fulfillment of a goal and its influence on the value associated with the specific goal. As such, the self-development theory is primarily related to the motivations of human beings in achieving autonomy. Furthermore, autonomy arises in the event that individuals freely engage in behavior that may be deemed as self determined. Factors that mainly influence the perceptions of autonomy within decision-making contexts are described as constructs of controlling and informational events. These constructs are considered to be within the opposite ends of a spectrum.

Informational events are considered as those that the individual feels able to engage. In addition, self-fulfillment is experienced when engaging in such events. On the other hand, controlling events are considered those that the individual is coerced or compelled to engage. The self-determination theory is derived from psychological discourse and practice and has gained prominence in marketing contexts. In addition, the self-determination theory is considered as primarily focused on describing motivation. A significant portion of non-marketing research on self-determination theory has been particularly centered on managerial aspects aimed at addressing intrinsic motivation amongst employees. Such research remains critical to marketing management discourse.

Essentially, the explanatory importance of the self-determination theory has been focused on understanding consumer response in terms of compliance to public policies and regulations. The conduct of consumers as a reaction to public policies may provide critical insight into the reaction of consumers in developing comprehensive marketing strategies. In addition, the intrinsic motivation of human beings in achieving specific goals may provide a basis for understanding the desire amongst marketers in developing brand equity. In focusing on the self-determination, theory from a motivational paradigm is essentially a collection of three other theoretical models namely: organismic integration theory, cognitive evaluation theory and the causality orientations theory. Moreover, the interaction of these theoretical models and schools of thought provides different perspectives on human behavior and psychological needs.

Social-Identity Theory

The concept of identity emanates from the social identity theory which posts that self concept is made up by personal identity comprising of idiosyncratic traits such as interest, abilities, scoail identity and group classifications. Identification is considered as a perception based construct and implies identity matching and identity fit. Individuals usually move beyond self-identity with the aim of accruing a social identity through classification of self into distinctive social categories such as organizational memberships, and sports clubs. Identification usually takes place when a consumer becomes intertwined psychologically with the traits of a specific group. Furthermore, social identity theory provides a basis for the ensuing construct of customer brand identification and the role in outcomes such as customer loyalty to a given brand.

Brand Loyalty

Considerable evidence from research highlights that customer loyalty to a brand is a predictor for eventual consumer purchase behavior and may contribute to long-term profitability. Literature highlights the importance of customer relationship management on the profitability of organizations over the lifetime of an organization. Essentially, the construct of brand loyalty has been viewed from three primary perspectives namely: attitudinal, behavioral and composite loyalty. The behavioral perspective suggests that repetitive actions of consumers are representative of the loyalty of consumers towards the specific brand. In addition, the behavioral approach provides a relatively realistic perspective on the nature of interaction of a brand with its customers when compared to its competitors. However, the behavioral approach has been termed as ineffective in distinguishing between spurious and true loyalty.

Attitudinal loyalty is accruable from commitment, stated preferences  and the purchase intentions of a consumer, thereby emphasizing the importance of the psychological aspect of brand loyalty. Additionally, the attitudinal perspective of brand loyalty provides a means of comparing brand loyalty from repetitive purchases by consumers, given it focuses on the declarations made by consumers as opposed to the actual purchases, which are not accurate reflections of real consumer behavior. Moreover, the composite approach views loyalty as an inherently biased behavior related to purchase and is because of a predetermined psychological process. This perspective suggests that the evaluation of loyalty by consumers to a specific brands demands consistent consideration of purchase behavior and attitudes.

In order to develop an effective construct of brand loyalty, researchers have particularly focused on the importance of service quality, brand trust and perceived value. The perceived value and service quality have been termed as critical variables in evaluative judgment amongst consumers and primarily based on the actual experiences of consumers. The level of success of brand strategy has been linked to the prevailing brand loyalty amongst consumers. Furthermore, brand trust has also been termed as an equally important relational variable, which consumers use to attribute trust to a given brand based on their respective experiences with the specific brand. As such, the evaluation of purchase factors by consumers is largely reliant on the nature of the transaction and the prevailing construct of brand loyalty development is suggestive that brand loyalty is reliant on consumer experiences.

Customer Citizenship Behavior (CCB) and brand loyalty

The construct of customer brand identification (CBI) provides a critical insight into brand loyalty and customer citizenship behavior (CCB).

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