The roles of price, performance, and expectations in determining satisfaction in service exchanges

Glenn B. Voss, A. Parasuraman, Dhruv Grewal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

403 Scopus citations


In this article, the authors examine the roles that price, performance, and expectations play in determining satisfaction in a discrete service exchange. The authors maintain that the price fluctuations common to the many service industries that implement demand-oriented pricing, combined with the inherent heterogeneity of service performance, likely result in price-performance combinations that vary widely. Furthermore, the authors propose that the level of price-performance consistency in a service exchange moderates the relationship between performance expectations and subsequent performance and satisfaction judgments. When price and performance are consistent, expectations have an assimilation effect on performance and satisfaction judgments; when price and performance are inconsistent, expectations have no effect on performance and satisfaction judgments. To examine these issues, the authors develop a contingency model that they estimate using data from a multimedia experimental design. The results generally support the contingency framework and provide empirical support for normative guidelines that call for creating realistic performance expectations and offering money-back service guarantees.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)46-61
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Marketing
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1998
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Marketing


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