Title

When will customers care about service failures that happened to strangers? The role of personal similarity and regulatory focus and its implication on service evaluation

Document Type

Journal article

Source Publication

International Journal of Hospitality Management

Publication Date

1-1-2011

Volume

30

Issue

1

First Page

213

Last Page

220

Keywords

Attribution, Personal similarity, Regulatory focus, Service failures

Abstract

This paper examines an interesting research question: how does a service failure that happen to a stranger customer influence an observing customer's service evaluation? Drawing on the defensive attribution theory and regulatory focus theory, we argue that an observing customer will attribute more (vs. less) blame to the company if the customer involved in the undesirable incident is personally similar (vs. not similar) to him/her. These attributions, in turn, will influence the observing customers to form a negative evaluation on service quality of the company. More importantly, a prevention-focused tendency will intensify the negative impact of personal similarity on service evaluation. Results from two experiments confirmed the hypotheses.

DOI

10.1016/j.ijhm.2010.07.004

Print ISSN

02784319

Funding Information

Financial support from the Lingnan University of Hong Kong in the form of an Academic Programmes Research Grant (DB 10A7).

Publisher Statement

Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. Access to external full text or publisher's version may require subscription.

Full-text Version

Publisher’s Version

Recommended Citation

Wan, L. C., Chan, E. K. Y., & Su, L. (2011). When will customers care about service failures that happened to strangers? The role of personal similarity and regulatory focus and its implication on service evaluation. International Journal of Hospitality Management, 30(1), 213-220. doi:10.1016/j.ijhm.2010.07.004

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