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How Culture Moderates the Effects of Justice in Service Recovery

  • Elise Chebat , Yefim Roth ORCID logo EMAIL logo and Jean Charles Chebat

Abstract

This article strives to clarify the importance and the effects of cultural differences on consumer satisfaction after a service failure in an individualistic society (Canada) vs. a collectivistic society (Japan). We focus on young, educated consumers to analyze if the contrasts shown in the extant literature between these two cultures are still relevant in the case of young consumers of both cultures when confronted with a service failure and service recovery. We used 150 questionnaires from Japan and Canada, the design of which reflects our theoretical model. Respondents were asked to recall one of their own negative service experience and the service recovery that may have followed. Our statistical analysis is based on Hayes’s PROCESS that allows to test complex moderated and mediated relations. We find that Anger mediates the relation between failure severity and consumer behavioral responses (EXIT and NWOM) similarly for both Japanese and Canadian consumers. Importantly, compensation, involving procedural and distributive justice (i. e. time – speedy service recovery and money) both reduced consumer anger, more so for individualistic consumers. Surprisingly, interactional justice (e. g. courteousness, politeness, and signs of respect) had no impact on neither individualistic nor collectivistic consumers. Our findings suggest that service providers should first fix the negative emotional reactions as a result of service failure. They may reduce this emotional reaction offering monetary compensation to both Individualistic and Collectivistic consumers. Younger collectivistic consumers are not more sensitive to signs of respect and politeness than individualistic consumers, which may show that the younger generation of Japanese consumers is getting closer to the individualistic culture.

Appendix

1 Hofstede Cultural Dimensions

Dimensions

Hofstede
Masculinity/FeminityLong term orientationIndividualism/ CollectivismPower distanceUncertainty Avoidance
Arab countries53388068
Argentina56464986
Australia6131903651
Austria79551170
Belgium54756594
Brazil4965386976
Canada5223803948
Chile28236386
China, Mainland118
Colombia64136780
Costa Rica21153586
Denmark16741823
East Africa41276452
Equador6387867
Finland26633359
France43716886
Germany FR6631673565
Great Britain6625893535
Greece573560112
Guatemala37695101
Hong Kong5796256829
India5661487740
Indonesia46147848
Iran43415859
Ireland68702835
Israel47541381
Italy70765075
Jamaica68394513
Japan9580465492
Malaysia502610436
Mexico69308182
Netherlands1444803853
New Zealand5830792249
Norway8693150
Pakistan50145570
Panama44119586
Peru42166487
Philipines6419329444
Poland32
Portugal312763104
Salvador40196694
Singapore484820748
South Africa63654949
South Korea3975186085
Spain42515786
Sweden533713129
Switzerland70683458
Taiwan4587175869
Thailand3456206464
Turkey45376685
Uruguay383661100
USA6229914046
Venezuela73128176
West Africa4616207754
Yugoslavia21277688
World Avg5045435564
  1. Source: (Hofstede 2010). Geert Hofstede. National cultural dimensions.

Appendix 2: Hayes’s PROCESS [2] template

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Published Online: 2020-01-15

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