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How consumers react differently toward humanoid vs. nonhumanoid robots after service failures: a moderated chain mediation model

Mengwei Zhang (Department of Psychology and Behavioral Sciences, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China) (Innovation Center of Yangtze River Delta, Zhejiang University, Jiaxing, China)
Jinsheng Cui (Department of Psychology and Behavioral Sciences, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China)
Jianan Zhong (Department of Psychology and Behavioral Sciences, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China) (Innovation Center of Yangtze River Delta, Zhejiang University, Jiaxing, China)

International Journal of Emerging Markets

ISSN: 1746-8809

Article publication date: 1 March 2023

807

Abstract

Purpose

With the increasing use of robots in service scenarios in hospitality industries, service failure frequently occurs during the service process, and consumers may react differently toward humanoid vs. nonhumanoid robots due to different performance expectancies. This study focuses on consumers' reactions to service failures by humanoid vs. nonhumanoid robots and the different impacts on brand forgiveness and revisit intentions through performance expectancy for different genders.

Design/methodology/approach

The study used a sample of 280 participants to test the moderated chain mediation model. The participants were instructed to report their performance expectancies for humanoid/nonhumanoid robots and imagine a hotel check-in scenario in which a service failure occurs. Brand forgiveness, brand revisit intention and other demographic information were assessed.

Findings

The results show that consumers have higher performance expectancy for nonhumanoid robots. This performance expectancy generates brand forgiveness and revisit intentions for male consumers but does not affect female consumers' forgiveness and revisit behaviors.

Originality/value

This study contributes to the literature by taking a long-term perspective to investigate the outcomes after service failure, providing evidence for pending questions in previous studies and enriching studies of gender differences. Additionally, this study provides practical implications to consider the use of anthropomorphism in robots, advocate for functional confidence in robots and target consumers across genders.

Keywords

Citation

Zhang, M., Cui, J. and Zhong, J. (2023), "How consumers react differently toward humanoid vs. nonhumanoid robots after service failures: a moderated chain mediation model", International Journal of Emerging Markets, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJOEM-06-2022-1023

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2023, Emerald Publishing Limited

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