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Article
Publication date: 1 December 2006

Katherine E. Harris, Lois A. Mohr and Kenneth L. Bernhardt

The purpose of this paper is to examine the differences in consumers' attributions of blame for service failures and its affect on their expectations for recovery in both…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the differences in consumers' attributions of blame for service failures and its affect on their expectations for recovery in both online and offline settings.

Design/methodology/approach

A sample of non‐student adults participated in a 2 (service type) by 2 (shopping medium) experimental design testing the affects of on‐ and offline shopping on consumers' attributions of blame for a service failure. Specifically, regression is employed to test the effects of on/offline medium on blame and expected service failure recovery in both the airline and banking industries.

Findings

Empirical support is found for the hypotheses that online subjects blame themselves more for service failures, and, in turn, expect less of a recovery than offline consumers. The on/offline medium is shown to have a mediated effect on expected service failure recovery through blame in the airline data. In the bank data, on/offline medium has a significant affect on blame, and blame has a significant affect on expected service failure recovery, though on/offline medium does not show a mediated affect on expected service failure recovery.

Practical implications

Because online customers tend to blame themselves more for service failures, managers may be able to offer less of service failure recovery online than offline. Furthermore, online customers may be more willing to recover for themselves, thereby saving the firm money and placing customers more in control of their service experience.

Originality/value

This study allows for the possibility of consumers' blaming themselves for service failures and, to our knowledge, this is the first study to examine how attribution for service failure affects expected service failure recovery in both on‐ and offline settings. Managers should find our results useful in developing service failure recovery strategies.

Details

Journal of Services Marketing, vol. 20 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0887-6045

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 25 March 2022

Shalini Nataraj-Hansen and Kelly Richards

Victims of online fraud face a high level of blame from their families, friends, professionals, the broader community and often from themselves. Victims are commonly…

Abstract

Purpose

Victims of online fraud face a high level of blame from their families, friends, professionals, the broader community and often from themselves. Victims are commonly perceived as stupid, gullible and undeserving of justice. The reasons for this are under-researched, and there are currently no satisfactory explanations of why victim-blaming occurs so frequently in cases of online fraud. This paper aims to propose a potential theoretical explanation for the high level of blame experienced by online fraud victims.

Design/methodology/approach

Lerner’s Belief in a Just World (BJW) theory is posited as a helpful theoretical explanation for the high level of blame directed towards victims of online fraud.

Findings

This paper argues that Lerner’s BJW theory is a helpful framework for understanding the blame faced by victims of online fraud because it posits that behavioural responsibility (a trait commonly ascribed to online fraud victims) is central to perceived blameworthiness; and that compensation for a crime determines the level of blame directed towards victims. As victims of online fraud are exceptionally unlikely to receive any type of compensation (whether monetary or otherwise), BJW may help explain the blame directed towards victims.

Originality/value

Prior scholarship predominantly understands the blame faced by online fraud victims through the lens of Nils Christie’s (1986) “ideal victim” thesis. This paper presents an advance over this existing understanding by illustrating how BJW provides a more detailed explanation for victim blame in online fraud.

Details

Journal of Financial Crime, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1359-0790

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 22 October 2020

Theofanis Exadaktylos

Political parties frequently engage in exclusionary narratives resulting in a game of blame-shifting. While this is understandably part of political life, claiming…

Abstract

Political parties frequently engage in exclusionary narratives resulting in a game of blame-shifting. While this is understandably part of political life, claiming responsibility is decreasing and blame attribution is increasing in times of crisis as political actors seek to minimise political cost and rally supporters. Crises also create fertile ground for polarisation as affected citizens look for quick solutions and are driven to the extremes of the political spectrum. That effect has been demonstrated in Greece (Capelos & Exadaktylos, 2017; Vasilopoulou et al., 2014): political parties in the first years of the Greek financial crisis (2009–2012) engaged in an endless game of blame-shifting and exclusion, which was replicated within opinion pieces within mainstream press. This resulted in the polarisation of society with new political cleavages emerging, most notably on the pro/antiausterity divide. Within the context of this divide populist rhetoric assisted exclusion as the two sides tried to demarcate boundaries, identify allies and enemies and reinforce a ‘Them’ vs ‘Us’ dichotomy to consolidate their identities.

This chapter assesses how embedded this divide has become in setting up the electoral campaigns for the 2019 General Election between the two main contenders, Syriza and New Democracy in the way they projected their political narrative in the public sphere. Using substantive content analysis of framing, this chapter collected opinion pieces written from the day the election was announced (26 May) to day after the result (8 July) in two newspapers: New Democracy–leaning Kathimerini and Syriza-leaning Avgi. This chapter identified the blame frames of the two sides and assessed polarisation by coding for the tone of references using an exclusivity index as developed by Vasilopoulou et al. (2014). The findings suggest that both newspapers engaged in a race of blame, bringing the political debate to the forefront and ensuring that polarisation was transferred into the public sphere, consolidating the ‘them’ vs ‘us’ divide.

Details

The Emerald Handbook of Digital Media in Greece
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83982-401-2

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 25 May 2017

Nicholas J. Chagnon

This chapter draws on feminist theorizing on rape culture and victim blaming, and proposes a concept, racialized victim blaming, as a useful tool for understanding…

Abstract

Purpose

This chapter draws on feminist theorizing on rape culture and victim blaming, and proposes a concept, racialized victim blaming, as a useful tool for understanding discourse on state violence.

Methodology/approach

The concept of racialized victim blaming is applied to historically analyze the genesis of the carceral state, and deconstruct public debates on police shootings and immigration crises.

Findings

This chapter argues that racialized victim blaming is used as a discursive tool to legitimize and mystify state violence projects. Officials and the media use racialized logics and narratives to blame the victims of state violence for their own suffering, justifying continued or increased state violence.

Originality/value

The concept of victim blaming is most often associated with violence against women. Here I demonstrate that victim blaming is also a useful tool for understanding state violence, particularly when attention is given to the place of racializing narratives.

Details

Race, Ethnicity and Law
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-604-4

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 26 October 2016

Robert M. Cornell and Rick C. Warne

We investigate the social and legal blame that investors assign to auditors following unfavorable outcomes using the precision of accounting guidance described as…

Abstract

We investigate the social and legal blame that investors assign to auditors following unfavorable outcomes using the precision of accounting guidance described as principles-based (i.e., less-precise) or rules-based (i.e., more precise), and why investors assign blame at differing levels. We also examine how the precision of accounting guidance is related to perceptions of auditors’ ethical characteristics. We posit that blame assigned to auditors differs based on auditors’ perceived decision-making control. Results indicate a significant association between the precision of accounting guidance and social blame, and a positive association between social blame and legal blame under standards described as less-precise. Investors are also more likely to make negative evaluations of the auditor’s ethical characteristics under less-precise accounting following an unfavorable outcome, which helps explain the association between social and legal blame. Our findings suggest that auditors could face additional blame as a result of a trend toward less-precise accounting guidance, with investors being more likely to question the auditors’ ethical characteristics following unfavorable outcomes.

Details

Advances in Accounting Behavioral Research
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-977-0

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 27 September 2021

Frank Germann, Ronald L. Hess and Margaret G. Meloy

Prior research has documented that product failures can be among a firm's worst nightmares. In this research, we examine if retailers are also held accountable by…

Abstract

Prior research has documented that product failures can be among a firm's worst nightmares. In this research, we examine if retailers are also held accountable by consumers when products that they sold, but did not manufacture, fail. In two studies, we show that consumers not only blame multiple parties when product failures occur – including the retailer – but also that manufacturer brand equity and retailer store image serve as important contextual cues in the blame assignment process. Specifically, building on congruity theory, we show that retailers are especially susceptible to being held responsible for failure if the equity of the failed product and the retailer store image are incongruent. Our findings also indicate that value-oriented retailers are particularly vulnerable to being blamed when high-equity products fail. Our findings suggest measuring attribution of blame between the manufacturer and retailer involved in a product failure event – instead of only the manufacturer as has been the norm in extant research – facilitates our understanding of consumer responses when product failures occur.

Details

Marketing Accountability for Marketing and Non-marketing Outcomes
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83867-563-9

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 19 February 2018

Jukka Pellinen, Toni Mättö, Kari Sippola and Antti Rautiainen

The purpose of this paper is to investigate how the complexity of the network governance setting affects accountability practices. The authors pay particular attention to…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate how the complexity of the network governance setting affects accountability practices. The authors pay particular attention to the organizational characteristics that may enable a common understanding of multiple accountability relationships, or lead to problems in reconciling competing forms of accountability, thereby appearing as blame game-type behavior.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors conducted a case study with 31 semi-structured interviews in a Finnish health care organization (FHC) that offers basic public health care services. The organization represents a co-operative arrangement with the main city and three smaller municipalities. The FHC has faced difficulties in balancing budget constraints with the provision of statutory care to citizens. This case is analyzed with the help of theories relating to accountability, the blame game, and dialogue.

Findings

The authors found that in the FHC operating under austerity constraints, attempts to reconcile financial, professional, and democratic accountability were made but, instead of dialogue and consensus, the different stakeholder groups resorted to defensive tactics in order to protect their resources, position, or sense of professional obligation. The authors suggest that in a context of network governance, accompanied by an increasing emphasis on financial accountability, organizational practices are susceptible to conflicting accountabilities and behavior characterized in this paper as a blame game.

Originality/value

The study contributes to the empirical studies on accountability in the new public governance context by analyzing the complex accountability relations between stakeholder groups with different agendas. The authors suggest organizational characteristics that may exacerbate conflicts between different stakeholder groups and prevent constructive dialogue. Furthermore, the study analyzes the composition of democratic accountability within the studied organization.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 31 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 22 September 2017

Sandra Costa and Pedro Neves

Using insights from attributions, planned behavior, and fairness theories, this study examines the effect of blame attributions of psychological contract breach on…

Abstract

Purpose

Using insights from attributions, planned behavior, and fairness theories, this study examines the effect of blame attributions of psychological contract breach on employees’ attitudes (affective organizational commitment) and behaviors (organizational citizenship behavior (OCB)). The purpose of this paper is to understand whether employees’ reactions depend on the attributions they make concerning who is responsible for the breach.

Design/methodology/approach

Cross-lagged design in which data were collected from 220 employees and their supervisors in a public company at two times. Moderated mediation was tested using the bootstrapping analysis outlined by Hayes (2012).

Findings

The results supported the authors’ predictions: employees’ blame attributions to the organization have a negative impact on OCBs (as rated by supervisors in time 2) through decreased affective organizational commitment, but blame attributions to the economic context act as a buffer to the relationship between blame attributions to organization and affective organizational commitment, with consequences for OCBs.

Research limitations/implications

Attributions can also be made to concrete persons (i.e. supervisor, coworker, self) rather than to just the organization or context.

Practical implications

When hiring, recruiters should provide accurate and realistic promises to the candidates. When facing hard times, managers should provide additional information to employees and adjust their expectations to the current situation of the firm.

Originality/value

This study makes a unique contribution to the literature by questioning the “single story” perspective about reactions to psychological contract breach, in which it is assumed that employees always respond negatively to such event.

Details

Journal of Managerial Psychology, vol. 32 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0268-3946

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 December 2002

Hester Coan

Examines the ways in which reporters from differing fields of work in a high‐risk environment (the Aviation Safety Reporting System in the USA) strive through narrative to…

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Abstract

Examines the ways in which reporters from differing fields of work in a high‐risk environment (the Aviation Safety Reporting System in the USA) strive through narrative to present and maintain a coherent sense of self through face‐work involving blame acceptance or avoidance. Proposes not to locate specific and final locations for blame, but to instead recognize risk as an underlying factor in a discourse about error and blame in an increasingly global society. In the case examined discourses of blame varied in different worlds of work. Concludes that the approach taken of mapping blame options within different work worlds within a larger context can provide a foundation for ongoing risk assessment through the tracking of shifting blame options over time or the ways in which options are interwoven between work worlds. Maintains that this study may aid in the development of new approaches to risk.

Details

Corporate Communications: An International Journal, vol. 7 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1356-3289

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 24 October 2017

Akanksha Bedi and Aaron C.H. Schat

This study aims to examine the relations between service employee blame attributions in response to customer incivility and revenge desires and revenge behavior toward…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to examine the relations between service employee blame attributions in response to customer incivility and revenge desires and revenge behavior toward customers, and whether employee empathy moderated these relations.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors used survey data based on the critical incident method provided by a sample of 431 customer service employees.

Findings

The results suggested that blaming a customer was positively associated with desire for revenge and revenge behaviors against the uncivil customer. In addition, the authors found that blame was less strongly associated with desire for revenge when employees empathized with customers. Finally, the results show that an employee who desired revenge against the uncivil customer and who empathized with the customer was more – not less – likely to engage in revenge.

Practical implications

The authors found that when employees experience mistreatment from customers, it increases the likelihood that they will blame the offending customer and behave in ways that are contrary to their organization’s interests. The results suggest several points of intervention for organizations to more effectively respond to customer mistreatment.

Originality/value

In this study, the authors make one of the first attempts to investigate the relationships between service employee attributions of blame when they experience customer incivility, desire for revenge and customer-directed revenge behaviors. The authors also examined whether empathy moderates the relations between blame attribution, desires for revenge and revenge behavior.

Details

Journal of Services Marketing, vol. 31 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0887-6045

Keywords

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