With a growing number of available communication channels and the increasing role of other information sources, organizations are urged to rethink their service strategies. Most theories are limited to a one-dimensional focus on source or channel choice and do not fit into today's networked communication landscape. The goal of this paper is to provide insight into the similarities, differences, and interdependencies of source and channel choices. Using structural equation modeling, a conceptual model is quantitatively tested among 1218 representatives of small and medium-sized businesses. Indications for source-channel interdependency were found in the effects of source and relationship characteristics on channel choices. Our data indicate key differences for the impact of prior experiences, relationship characteristics and social influences. Moreover, differences exist not only between sources and channels in general but also between various types of channel choices and various types of source choices, which seems to divert from existing theories.
- Business-government service interactions
- Channel choice
- Information seeking
- Source choice
- Structural equation modeling