© 2015

Staying the Consumption Course

Exploring the Individual Lock-in Process in Service Relationships


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages I-XVII
  2. Benjamin Krischan Schulte
    Pages 1-6
  3. Benjamin Krischan Schulte
    Pages 93-134
  4. Benjamin Krischan Schulte
    Pages 135-141
  5. Back Matter
    Pages 143-228

About this book


Benjamin Krischan Schulte develops a process-model of consumer lock-in in service relationships by connecting three areas of research: path dependence, consumer behavior and service relationship marketing. He defines consumer lock-in as a situation of a potentially unaware inability to switch from or exit a consumption process due to entrenchment with increasing barriers on the individual and/or social level. Switching barriers are elaborated as consumer lock-in mechanisms. The resulting process model is outlined and empirically examined in an explorative panel study of a service relationship process in higher education. The author´s findings support the presence of consumer lock-in in services as an idiosyncratic process of gradual entrapment. The phenomenon has relevance for researchers and practitioners in complex service relationships, where lock-in was found to be a likely occurrence but difficult to grasp.


  • Theoretical Foundation: Path Dependence, Consumer Behavior and Service Relationship Research
  • Model of the Consumer Lock-in Process
  • Longitudinal Study with Service Consumers in a Higher Education Service

Target Groups

  • Researchers, teachers and students of business with a focus on consumer behavior and relationship-marketing, particularly the process in complex service relationships
  • Executives and consultants in services companies with the core areas strategy, CRM, and customer retention

The Author

Benjamin Krischan Schulte obtained a Doctoral Degree in Business from Freie Universität Berlin in 2014.


Consumer behavior Consumer lock-in Explorative panel study Path dependance Service relationships

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Wirtschaftswissenschaften - PfadkollegFreie Universität BerlinBerlinGermany

About the authors

Benjamin Krischan Schulte obtained a Doctoral Degree in Business from Freie Universität Berlin in 2014.

Bibliographic information

Industry Sectors
Chemical Manufacturing
Finance, Business & Banking
Consumer Packaged Goods
Oil, Gas & Geosciences