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Consumer control in service recovery: beyond decisional control

Herm Joosten (Institute for Management Research, Nijmegen School of Management, Radboud University, Nijmegen, The Netherlands)
Josée Bloemer (Institute for Management Research, Nijmegen School of Management, Radboud University, Nijmegen, The Netherlands)
Bas Hillebrand (Institute for Management Research, Nijmegen School of Management, Radboud University, Nijmegen, The Netherlands)

Journal of Service Management

ISSN: 1757-5818

Article publication date: 19 June 2017

Abstract

Purpose

Focusing on decisional control of the outcome provides only a partial picture of how firms may handle customer complaints and ignores many (alternative) opportunities to recover the relationship with the customer when service delivery fails. The purpose of this paper is to introduce other types of control and explore their effects.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper conducts a field study using survey instruments to collect data from real consumers, which are subsequently analyzed with structural equations modeling.

Findings

The main conclusion of this study is that there is more to control than having a choice. Different types of control have differential main effects: behavioral control affects distributive justice, cognitive control affects procedural justice and decisional control affects interactional justice (which in turn affect satisfaction and loyalty).

Research limitations/implications

Service recovery research should include behavioral, cognitive and decisional control of the service recovery as aspects of the firm’s organizational response to customer complaints. The effects of these customer control types on satisfaction and loyalty are mediated by dimensions of justice.

Practical implications

Firms should offer complaining customers information to interpret and appraise the failure (cognitive control), opportunities to personally take action and influence the recovery (behavioral control), and choices in the recovery process and outcome (decisional control).

Originality/value

This study is the first to offer a comprehensive investigation of the subtle interrelationships between types of control and dimensions of justice in a service recovery context.

Keywords

Citation

Joosten, H., Bloemer, J. and Hillebrand, B. (2017), "Consumer control in service recovery: beyond decisional control", Journal of Service Management, Vol. 28 No. 3, pp. 499-519. https://doi.org/10.1108/JOSM-07-2016-0192

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited