Self-service technology versus human interaction : a study of how customers respond differently to human and machine in credence based service encounters
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- Master of Science 
Self-service technologies (SST) have been introduced extensively and promoted to replace traditional service encounters with human interaction (HI) in the last years. Advances in digital technologies and artificial intelligence are changing the world. Despite the great impact on consumers’ everyday life, we know remarkably little about the interaction between technology and consumers. Although researchers in the past years have added valuable findings to the field of SST, some questions still remain unclear, and there are a number of contradictory conclusions. This study aims to extend the present research of SST, by examining how customers respond differently when they interact with a machine instead of a human during a credence based service encounter. Drawing from theories of person sensitivity bias, service quality, attribution, satisfaction and behavioral intentions, we find that humans are evaluated more positively than machines after a successful service encounter, and less positively if the service encounter is unsuccessful. The research provides a thorough review of research in SST and HI in service encounters, service quality, attribution theory, cognitive and affective satisfaction, and behavioral intentions. Based on the literature review we develop 7 hypotheses that we tested using a 2x2 factorial design. The empirical testing was carried out using four different scenarios with 240 respondents, in the age range from 24 to 69. The data collected in the survey is analyzed and validated to identify the relationship between the different constructs. Theoretical and managerial implications from the results are given as well as suggestions for future research.
Masteroppgave(MSc) in Master of Science in Strategic Marketing Management - Handelshøyskolen BI, 2017