n Management Dynamics : Journal of the Southern African Institute for Management Scientists - The influence of perceived value on mobile instant messenger users’ loyalty : a mediation analysis

Volume 27 Number 4
  • ISSN : 1019-567X


Mobile instant messenger (MIM) applications are among the most popular applications used by smartphone users. Given the keen competition, the building of loyalty among its customers is pivotal for MIM service providers to safeguard its long-term success, as users have many alternative MIMs from which to choose, and switching costs are low. Against this background, this study investigates the relationship between MIM perceived value and user loyalty by identifying mediators based on commitment-trust theory and status quo bias theory, leading to four mediators – two from each theory. Data were collected from 411 students who use WhatsApp to test the mediation hypotheses. The results showed that trust and commitment mediate the value-loyalty relationship in parallel, but not in serial. The results also showed that MIM use-habit, but not also inertia, mediates the influence of perceived value on user loyalty. The data also did not support a mediation effect based on habit and inertia as mediators in serial. Lastly, the four tested mediators fully mediate the influence of perceived value on MIM user loyalty. An additional finding is that MIM functional value perceptions contribute the most to the constructing of value perceptions by MIM users, followed by emotional value perceptions, then by monetary value perceptions.

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