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Perceived equity is a key psychological reaction to the value that a service company provides. Yet equity research has focused on a customer’s satisfaction with relatively well-defined service episodes or transactions. The authors argue and show that equity plays a very different role in affecting customer loyalty as one moves from transaction-specific to cumulative evaluations. Whereas equity is an important driver of transaction-specific satisfaction, equity is more of a post-satisfaction evaluation when modeling cumulative satisfaction. The research also demonstrates the superiority of cumulative evaluations toward explaining service loyalty and providing a balanced view of loyalty drivers. The results have important implications for how equity, satisfaction, and loyalty are modeled and managed in a service context.


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© Sage. Final version published as: Lervik-Olsen, L., & Johnson, M. D. (2003). Service equity, satisfaction, and loyalty: From transaction-specific to cumulative evaluations. Journal of Service Research, 5(3), 184-195. doi: 10.1177/1094670502238914 Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.