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This research examines the relative importance that customers place on product reliability, or things-gone-wrong, and customization, or things-gone-right, across a range of industrial settings. We integrate an evolutionary theory of technology with a dynamic theory of competition to predict that: (1) when technological intensity is relatively low or high, customers place greater value on customization and (2) when technological intensity is more intermediate, product reliability and customization are more equally important. The predictions are tested and supported using data from the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) survey.


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© Elsevier. Final version published as: Johnson, M. D., & Ettlie, J. E. (2001). Technology, customization, and reliability. Journal of Quality Management, 6(2), 193-210. doi: 10.1016/S1084-8568(01)00037-2
Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.