Prior research suggests that perceived performance of a product or a service is directly linked to postpurchase satisfaction. We argue that this causal relationship might be a measurement artifact and/or insufficient modeling of the satisfaction process rather than an accurate assessment of how consumers form satisfaction judgments. To test our hypotheses, a 2 x 2 x 2 (Performance x Expectations x Needs) factorial design was used with 2 types of perceived performance measures (value-laden and objective). The findings demonstrate that the observed direct link from perceived performance to overall satisfaction diminishes when more objective perceived performance indicators replace the commonly used value-laden measures. Furthermore, desire-congruency was found to contribute independently to satisfaction over and above a disconfirmation-of-expectations standard. In fact, desire-congruency was found to be a better predictor of satisfaction than disconfirmation-of-expectations. Finally, our results suggest that the direct performance-satisfaction link becomes insignificant when the modeling of the satisfaction process is improved. Taken together, these findings support the view that the frequently observed high correlations between perceived performance and satisfaction might be a reflection of the type of measures used and/or insufficient capturing of the evaluative process leading to satisfaction, rather than support for a direct causal link.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Applied Psychology