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Three dimensions of service recovery: examining relationship and impact

Maneesh Kumar (Department of Logistics and Operations Management, Cardiff University, Cardiff, United Kingdom.)
Niraj Kumar (Sheffield University Management School, The University of Sheffield, Sheffield, United Kingdom.)

Supply Chain Management

ISSN: 1359-8546

Article publication date: 14 March 2016




The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the interrelationship between process recovery, employee recovery and customer recovery in a financial services call centre. The authors also investigate how process recovery affects customer recovery via employees – the bridge between organisation and customers.


A case study–based approach is adopted in this study, and data triangulation is achieved through multiple data collection methods including semi-structured interviews, employees’ survey and company reports. Justice theory is the theoretical lens considered to understand the “service recovery (SR)” phenomenon.


This paper helps in understanding the relationship of process and employee recovery with customer recovery. Findings suggest that SR could be used for complaint management as well as in understanding and addressing the gaps in internal operations and employee skill sets. Factors such as training, operating systems, empowerment, incentives, and feedback were identified as critical in providing effective SR. Process improvement is necessary to control complaints by conducting root cause analysis and learning from failure.

Research limitations/implications

Findings are limited to a case company in financial services sector and thus limit its generalisability to other context. Questionnaire distributed to employees only included important dimensions of SR, which would be further developed in future research.


This paper explores the specific reverse exchange strategies, termed in this paper as SR, and analyses the different factors responsible for better performance in the exchange process. The paper highlights how the imbalance in the process and employee recovery dimensions can impact on customer recovery. Closing the customer complaint loop by using the SR perspective may help organisation to not only deal with complaints in a better way but also prevent such complaints in the future.



Kumar, M. and Kumar, N. (2016), "Three dimensions of service recovery: examining relationship and impact", Supply Chain Management, Vol. 21 No. 2, pp. 273-286.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2016, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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