Extant literature on queuing has identified service queues as social systems where social justice is an important factor for service evaluation. First-order justice, defined as a first-come first-served (FCFS) process, has been found to be a necessary condition of social justice and positive evaluation. Second-order justice, defined as equal waiting time, has been found to be an additional factor which comes into play only when first-order justice is met. This paper aims to show that in the emerging market situation, the above definitions of justice and the order mentioned above does not work.
Instead of equal wait, the study has focused on equitable wait, i.e. waiting duration is in sync with the service needs. Three experiments have been performed to establish the hypotheses suggested.
FCFS is found not to be the necessary condition as it was in the extant literature and can be relaxed sometimes to get higher service evaluation by ensuring justice from the equitable wait. The study also portrays the interaction effects of the two types of social justice on service evaluation. Moreover, the impact of justice from equitable wait on service evaluations is found to be moderated by perceived personal connect of the service provider and the consumer, perceived importance of system and process and perceived ability of the service provider of capacity improvement and mediated by perceived control of service provider on providing the justice of equitable wait.
The study contributes toward the understanding of social justice in service queues. It also contributes to the literature of attribution theory and consumer betrayal.
The study provides suggestions to retail managers in emerging markets to choose queue management strategies depending on the size of the retail shops and consumers’ expectations from them.
The study introduces the concept of justice from the equitable wait, which is original in the queuing literature to the best of the author’s knowledge. The study also finds a new order of justice in the emerging market scenario.
The author likes to thank the reviewers and the editor-in-chief for their valuable comments which has improved the paper significantly. The author is also grateful to Dr Debayan Ganguli from Indian Institute of Science Bangalore for his valuable comments. The research was not funded by any research grant.
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