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The entitlement/forgiveness conflict of self-relevant and self-neutral relationships during service failure and recovery

Jeremy S. Wolter, Todd J. Bacile, Jeffery S. Smith and Michael Giebelhausen

Journal of Business Research, 2019, vol. 104, issue C, 233-246

Abstract: The current research examines the difference between strong self-relevant (SR) customer-brand relationships (as represented by brand identification and self-brand connection) and strong self-neutral (SN) brand relationships (as represented by quality, satisfaction, and trust) in the context of service failure and recovery. Whereas strong SR relationships foster a sense of entitlement in customers after service failure, strong SN relationships foster forgiveness. As a result, SR relationships increase recovery expectations and subsequent complaint behavior whereas SN relationships decrease complaint behavior. Study 1 examines these effects using complaint behavior for airlines. Study 2 confirms these effects on survey data from hotel customers and Study 3 then explores the phenomenon more deeply in a controlled situation using scenario-based surveys. Viewed holistically, the results help further understanding of how a brand's deep, customer relationships can either become a thorn in the company's side or provide forbearance.

Keywords: Consumer-brand identification; Self-brand connection; Customer entitlement; Customer forgiveness; Service failure (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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DOI: 10.1016/j.jbusres.2019.07.008

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