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Tamer Asaad

Diplômé DBA - 2015

Titre de thèse

Antecedents of channel choice in business-to-business professional services : a focus on the insurance sector.


Chirag Patel
The number of companies in the professional service sector making use of two or more channels of distribution to market their products is increasing steadily. This strategy has become the dominant channel design; nonetheless, research in the area of channel choice in professional services is quite limited. This study contributes to this topic by examining antecedents of channel choice in services, with a focus on the insurance sector in Saudi Arabia. The study adopts a quantitative research method and a value-based framework to examine the survey responses of 84 corporate customers in Saudi Arabia who provided information regarding their channel choice decisions when purchasing insurance. The study examines the impact of three key explanatory variables (i.e. product class knowledge, perceived transaction risk, and task complexity) in relation to perceived broker channel value, and the latter in relation to broker channel choice. Research findings provide evidence that product class knowledge and perceived transaction risk influence perceived broker channel value, and that increased perceived broker channel value leads to greater intentions of broker channel usage. From a business standpoint, the results of this study reassert the importance of gaining knowledge on what drives consumers in their choice of channels. This will allow insurance managers to better align their products and services to serve the needs of different customer segments, and in the process, minimizing channel conflict often present in multichannel developing markets. Results also stresss the need for insurance brokers, and particularly brokers in developing insurance markets, to focus on value creation beyond the traditional “supplier” role involving quotations soliciting and pricing negotiations. Moreover, insurance companies must acknowledge that insurance brokers provide a crucial function in the client-insurer relationship development. As a result, continuous support and collaboration between brokers and insurance companies needs to continue for both to thrive and excel in competitive, highly evolving insurance markets.