Note: A new approach to the modeling of spatially dependent and heterogeneous geographical regions

Sunghoon Kim, Wayne S. DeSarbo, Won Chang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


We propose a new spatial modeling approach to calibrate the potential impact of spatial dependency and heterogeneity on the underlying drivers of customer service and/or satisfaction measurement. The newly proposed procedure derives regionally varying coefficients, provides more flexible fitting, improves calibration fit and predictive validation, and can potentially result in augmented managerial implications compared to existing procedures by utilizing a hierarchical Bayes framework with geographical boundary effects. Using synthetic datasets, we illustrate how the proposed model outperforms four relevant benchmark models including ordinary linear regression, a Spatially Dependent Segmentation model (Govind, Rabikar, and Mittal 2018), classic Geographically Weighted Regression, and Bayesian Geographically Weighted Regression. The improved performance is most prominent when there exist significant differences between geographic boundaries and/or irregular patterns of observation locations. In our automobile customer satisfaction application study, the proposed approach also demonstrates favorable performance compared to these benchmark models. We find a dramatically heterogeneous pattern regarding two covariates in the Mountain U.S. geographic division: dealership service is more important in urban areas (e.g., Phoenix, Salt Lake City and Denver) than in rural areas, but vice-versa concerning vehicle quality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)792-803
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Research in Marketing
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2021
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Marketing


  • Bayes Hierarchical Model
  • Customer Service/ Satisfaction
  • Geographically Varying Coefficients
  • Marketing Research
  • Spatial Heterogeneity


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