The purpose of this paper is to examine the threshold effect of group size on customer's complaining intention under group service failures.
Based on two main laboratory experiments, through two 10×2 scenario simulation experiments, the authors examine the role of group size in customer's complaining intention.
Results show that: (1) the relationship between group size and customer's complaining intention follows an inverted “U” type trend; (2) evaluation apprehension mediates the relationship between group size and customer's complaining intention; (3) relational distance can change threshold values and (4) relational distance moderates the relationship between group size and customer's complaining intention.
Managers should judge the threshold of group size through experience so as to have a preliminary understanding of customer evaluation concerns and complaint intention. In the face of service failure groups smaller than the threshold range, managers should divided the group into several small groups. For service failure groups larger than the threshold range, the opinion leaders in the group should be given more attention, so as to control the whole group.
This paper is helpful to deeply understand the key role of group size in the process of customer complaints, and also provides decision-making basis for service enterprises to deal with group customer complaints.
There has been little research about the threshold effect of group size on customer's complaining intention. The previous studies on customer's complaining intention focus on its influences on group size, and draw a single common conclusion that the customer's intention to complain will increase with the growing number of groups increases. However, few studies are explored on the threshold of group size. Therefore, this paper will focus on the threshold effect of group size on customer's complaining intention to fill the gap.
This paper has been firstly published in Chinese on Journal of Marketing Science (营销科学学报), and has been allowed to publish again in English on Journal of Contemporary Marketing Science. This work was supported by Natural Science Project funded by Hainan Province of China (719QN199), National Science Foundation of China (71962006; 71602104; 71602102), and Social Science Project funded by Hainan Province of China (HNSKJD19-11; HNSKJD19-15).
Xu, X., Wang, L. and Wang, L. (2020), "Social facilitation or social loafing – threshold effect of group size on customer's complaint intention", Journal of Contemporary Marketing Science, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/JCMARS-12-2019-0049Download as .RIS
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