Title

Culture's impact on consumer complaining responses to embarrassing service failure

Document Type

Journal article

Source Publication

Journal of Business Research

Publication Date

3-1-2013

Volume

66

Issue

3

First Page

298

Last Page

305

Publisher

Elsevier Inc.

Keywords

Culture, Face concern, Service embarrassment, Service failures

Abstract

Prior cultural research generally agrees that Asian consumers (collectivists), who emphasize social harmony, are less likely to complain but more likely to switch and to spread negative word-of-mouth than Western consumers (individualists) in service failures. Drawing from the face concern and embarrassment literature, this paper argues that collectivists are not necessarily less likely to complain than individualists. In fact, the impact of culture on consumer complaining responses will be contingent on the degree of embarrassment involved in the service failure. Results from a cross-cultural experiment indicate that only in a non-embarrassing failure will collectivists less likely complain than individualists. In an embarrassing failure, however, collectivists will more likely complain, as well as switch and spread negative word-of-mouth. These results not only yield interesting insights into cross-cultural consumer behaviors, but also provide rich managerial implications.

DOI

10.1016/j.jbusres.2011.08.009

Print ISSN

01482963

E-ISSN

18737978

Funding Information

The author is grateful for the funding support (DR 11A8) provided by Lingnan University. {DR 11A8}

Publisher Statement

Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. Access to external full text or publisher's version may require subscription.

Full-text Version

Publisher’s Version

Recommended Citation

Wan, L. C. (2013). Culture's impact on consumer complaining responses to embarrassing service failure. Journal of Business Research, 66(3), 298-305. doi: 10.1016/j.jbusres.2011.08.009

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