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Social learning effects of complaint handling on social media: Self-construal as a moderator

Hsuan-Hsuan Ku, Rong-An Shang and Yi-Fan Fu

Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, 2021, vol. 59, issue C

Abstract: With the proliferation of social media, firms are increasingly faced with the need to respond publicly to reduce the negative effects of customer complaints. Based on social learning theory, this study examines how complaint handling efforts and comments by others may affect the responses exhibited by individuals who demonstrated either independent or interdependent self-construal. A quasi-experimental design with a sample of 247 student participants was conducted. The results show that although unsuccessful complaint handling was likely to erode perceived trust, such effects were confined to individuals with independent self-construal. Furthermore, observers with interdependent self-construal evoked more positive perception if others disconfirmed the complainants’ experiences rather than approved with negative posts; this effect was not evident for the independents.

Keywords: Complaint handling; Service recovery; Social learning theory; Self-construal; Social media (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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DOI: 10.1016/j.jretconser.2020.102343

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