Customer positivity and participation in services: An empirical test in a health care context

Andrew S. Gallan, Cheryl Burke Jarvis, Stephen W. Brown, M J Bitner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

197 Scopus citations


Many service interactions require customers to actively participate, yet customers often do not participate at levels that optimize their outcomes, particularly in health care. To gain insight into how customers shape a service experience with highly uncertain outcomes, we construct a model on the broaden-and-build theory of positive emotions. The model is used to empirically assess how situation-specific emotions and customer participation during a health care service experience affect perceptions of the service provider. The model is tested using data from 190 medical clinic customers. Consistent with theory, results reveal that as customers' relative affect levels become more positive, levels of participation increase as well. In turn, higher levels of positivity and participation improve customer perceptions of the quality of the service provider and satisfaction with the co-produced service experience. Implications of this research focus managers on designing services to help clients manage their emotions in ways that facilitate positivity and participation and thus improve service perceptions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)338-356
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of the Academy of Marketing Science
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2013


  • Broaden-and-build theory of positive emotions
  • Customer participation
  • Customer satisfaction
  • Professional services
  • Service quality
  • Value co-creation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Marketing


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