It is important for marketers to understand the dynamics that occur in customer service encounters in order to create sustainable relationships with consumers. Nonconscious mimicry, the automatic tendency to imitate the behaviours or actions of another person, is one of the many ways to achieve sustainable relationships in services marketing. There is a significant body of existing research offering insight into nonconscious mimicry and its significance to consumer behaviour and relationship marketing. However, extant research assumes all commercial interactions adopt similar social intentions when entering into a social exchange. This thesis extends current managerial leadership theory into the novel setting of nonconscious mimicry to explain the critical role of social intentions in relationship building within services marketing settings.
This thesis not only seeks to conceptualise nonconscious mimicry in a broader framework, further it empirically examines the moderating impact of social intentions on nonconscious mimicry and product choice behaviour. The findings of this body of research indicate that social intentions play a critical role influencing the relationship between nonconscious mimicry and product consumption, purchase intentions, and product liking in service encounters.
The outcomes from this research contribute to marketing theory by: (1) proposing an original conceptual framework of nonconscious mimicry, (2) proposing a novel moderating variable – social intentions – influencing the relationship between nonconscious mimicry and product choice behaviour, (3) and providing empirical support for social intentions as a key moderating variable. The findings also present important implications for marketing practitioners to improve product liking, consumption, and purchase intentions within the marketing of services.