Purpose: This study examines how the locus of agency of brands' artificial intelligence (AI)–powered voice assistants (VAs) could lead to brand loyalty through perceived control, flow and consumer happiness under the moderating influences of brand image and voice congruity. Design/methodology/approach: This study conducted a 2 (locus of agency: high vs. low) by 2 (brand image-voice congruity: congruent vs. incongruent) between-subjects experimental design. MANOVA, ANOVA and structural equation modeling (SEM) were conducted to test the hypothesized model. Findings: ANOVA results revealed that human-centric (vs. machine-centric) agency led to higher perceived control. The interaction effect was significant, indicating the importance of congruency between brand image and VAs' voices. SEM results confirmed that perceived control predicted brand loyalty fully mediated by flow experience and consumer happiness. Originality/value: This study provides evidence that the positive technology paradigm could carve out a new path in existing literature on AI-powered devices by showing the potential of a smart device as a tool for improving consumer–brand relationships and enriching consumers' well-being.
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- AI-powered voice assistants
- Consumer happiness
- Locus of agency
- Positive technology paradigm