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

Lisa C. WAN

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)Researchpeer-review

48 Citations (Scopus)

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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)298-305
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Business Research
Volume66
Issue number3
Early online date13 Sep 2011
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2013

Fingerprint

Service failure
Negative word-of-mouth
Cross-cultural consumer behavior
Asia
Harmony
Experiment

Keywords

  • Culture
  • Face concern
  • Service embarrassment
  • Service failures

Cite this

@article{8fef45611c5c434ca8c35e1c77881419,
title = "Culture's impact on consumer complaining responses to embarrassing service failure",
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.",
keywords = "Culture, Face concern, Service embarrassment, Service failures",
author = "WAN, {Lisa C.}",
year = "2013",
month = "3",
doi = "10.1016/j.jbusres.2011.08.009",
language = "English",
volume = "66",
pages = "298--305",
journal = "Journal of Business Research",
issn = "0148-2963",
publisher = "Elsevier Inc.",
number = "3",

}

Culture's impact on consumer complaining responses to embarrassing service failure. / WAN, Lisa C.

In: Journal of Business Research, Vol. 66, No. 3, 03.2013, p. 298-305.

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)Researchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Culture's impact on consumer complaining responses to embarrassing service failure

AU - WAN, Lisa C.

PY - 2013/3

Y1 - 2013/3

N2 - 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.

AB - 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.

KW - Culture

KW - Face concern

KW - Service embarrassment

KW - Service failures

UR - http://commons.ln.edu.hk/sw_master/6563

UR - https://www.scopus.com/inward/record.uri?eid=2-s2.0-84872382259&doi=10.1016%2fj.jbusres.2011.08.009&partnerID=40&md5=4a91e5f9c67b2f2b9f960ff2ed580370

U2 - 10.1016/j.jbusres.2011.08.009

DO - 10.1016/j.jbusres.2011.08.009

M3 - Journal Article (refereed)

VL - 66

SP - 298

EP - 305

JO - Journal of Business Research

JF - Journal of Business Research

SN - 0148-2963

IS - 3

ER -