Skip to content
Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter January 15, 2020

How Culture Moderates the Effects of Justice in Service Recovery

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


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.


1 Hofstede Cultural Dimensions


Masculinity/FeminityLong term orientationIndividualism/ CollectivismPower distanceUncertainty Avoidance
Arab countries53388068
China, Mainland118
Costa Rica21153586
East Africa41276452
Germany FR6631673565
Great Britain6625893535
Hong Kong5796256829
New Zealand5830792249
South Africa63654949
South Korea3975186085
West Africa4616207754
World Avg5045435564
  1. Source: (Hofstede 2010). Geert Hofstede. National cultural dimensions.

Appendix 2: Hayes’s PROCESS [2] template


Albrecht, A. K., T. Schaefers, G. Walsh, and S. E. Beatty. 2019. “The Effect of Compensation Size on Recovery Satisfaction after Group Service Failures: The Role of Group versus Individual Service Recovery.” Journal of Service Research 22 (1): 60–74.10.1177/1094670518802059Search in Google Scholar

Amankwah-Amoah, J. 2016. “An Integrative Process Model of Organizational Failure.” Journal of Business Research 69 (9): 3388–97.10.1016/j.jbusres.2016.02.005Search in Google Scholar

Austin, W. 1979. “Justice, Freedom, and Self-interest in Intergroup Conflict.” The Social Psychology of Intergroup Relations. Brooks/Cole, Monterey, California.Search in Google Scholar

Austin, W., and E. Walster. 1974. “Participants’ Reactions to “Equity with the World”.” Journal of Experimental Social Psychology 10 (6): 528–48.10.1016/0022-1031(74)90077-8Search in Google Scholar

Barclay, L. J., D. P. Skarlicki, and S. D. Pugh. 2005. “Exploring the Role of Emotions in Injustice Perceptions and Retaliation.” Journal of Applied Psychology 90 (4): 629–43.10.1037/0021-9010.90.4.629Search in Google Scholar

Bechwati, N. N., and M. Morrin. 2003. “Outraged Consumers: Getting Even at the Expense of Getting a Good Deal.” Journal of Consumer Psychology 13 (4): 440–53.10.1207/S15327663JCP1304_11Search in Google Scholar

Bhandari, M. S., Y. Tsarenko, and M. J. Polonsky. 2007. “A Proposed Multi-dimensional Approach to Evaluating Service Recovery.” Journal of Services Marketing 21 (3): 174–85.10.1108/08876040710746534Search in Google Scholar

Bies, R. J., and J. S. Moag. 1986. “Interactional Communication Criteria of Fairness.” Research in Organizational Behavior 9: 289–319.Search in Google Scholar

Bies, R. J. 1987. “The Predicament of Injustice: The Management of Moral Outrage.” In Research in Organizational Behavior, vol. 9, edited by L. L. Cummings and B. M. Staw, 289–319. Greenwich, CT: JAI Press.Search in Google Scholar

Bies, R. J., and D. L. Shapiro. 1987. “Interactional Fairness Judgments: The Influence of Causal Accounts.” Social Justice Research 1 (2): 199–218.10.1007/BF01048016Search in Google Scholar

Bonifield, C., and C. A. Cole. 2008. “Better Him than Me: Social Comparison Theory and Service Recovery.” Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science 36 (4): 565–77.10.1007/s11747-008-0109-xSearch in Google Scholar

Bougoure, U. S., R. Russell-Bennett, S. Fazal-E-Hasan, and G. Mortimer. 2016. “The Impact of Service Failure on Brand Credibility.” Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services 31: 62–71.10.1016/j.jretconser.2016.03.006Search in Google Scholar

Casidy, R., and H. Shin. 2015. “The Effects of Harm Directions and Service Recovery Strategies on Customer Forgiveness and Negative Word-of-mouth Intentions.” Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services 27: 103–12.10.1016/j.jretconser.2015.07.012Search in Google Scholar

Chebat, J. C., M. Davidow, and I. Codjovi. 2005. “Silent Voices: Why Some Dissatisfied Consumers Fail to Complain.” Journal of Service Research 7 (4): 328–42.10.1177/1094670504273965Search in Google Scholar

Chebat, J. C., O. Erradey, C. Gélinas-Chebat, and Y. Roth. 2015. “A Sensory Approach to Brand Confusion.” Journal of Brand Strategy 5 (1): 101–15.Search in Google Scholar

Chebat, J. C., L. Kerzazi, and H. Zourrig. 2010. “Impact of Culture on Dissatisfied Customers: An Empirical Study.” City, Culture and Society 1 (1): 37–44.10.1016/j.ccs.2010.04.004Search in Google Scholar

Chebat, J. C., and W. Slusarczyk. 2005. “How Emotions Mediate the Effects of Perceived Justice on Loyalty in Service Recovery Situations: An Empirical Study.” Journal of Business Research 58 (5): 664–73.10.1016/j.jbusres.2003.09.005Search in Google Scholar

Choi, I., R. E. Nisbett, and A. Norenzayan. 1999. “Causal Attribution across Cultures: Variation and Universality.” Psychological Bulletin 125 (1): 47–63.10.1037/0033-2909.125.1.47Search in Google Scholar

Deutsch, M. 1975. “Equity, Equality, and Need: What Determines Which Value Will Be Used as the Basis of Distributive Justice?” Journal of Social Issues 31 (3): 137–49.10.1111/j.1540-4560.1975.tb01000.xSearch in Google Scholar

Deutsch, M. 1985. Distributive Justice: A Social-Psychological Perspective, vol. 437. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.Search in Google Scholar

East, R., J. Singh, M. Wright, and M. Vanhuele. 2016. Consumer Behavior. Applications in Marketing. Sage.Search in Google Scholar

Evanschitzky, H., O. Emrich, V. Sangtani, A. L. Ackfeldt, K. E. Reynolds, and M. J. Arnold. 2014. “Hedonic Shopping Motivations in Collectivistic and Individualistic Consumer Cultures.” International Journal of Research in Marketing 31 (3): 335–38.10.1016/j.ijresmar.2014.03.001Search in Google Scholar

Fornell, C., and B. Wernerfelt. 1987. “Defensive Marketing Strategy by Customer Complaint Management: A Theoretical Analysis.” Journal of Marketing Research 24 (4): 337–46.10.1177/002224378702400401Search in Google Scholar

Gelbrich, K., and H. Roschk. 2011. “A Meta-analysis of Organizational Complaint Handling and Customer Responses.” Journal of Service Research 14 (1): 24–43.10.1177/1094670510387914Search in Google Scholar

Gilliland, S. W. 1993. “The Perceived Fairness of Selection Systems: An Organizational Justice Perspective.” Academy of Management Review 18 (4): 694–734.10.2307/258595Search in Google Scholar

Greenberg, J. 1990. “Organizational Justice: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow.” Journal of Management 16 (2): 399–432.10.1177/014920639001600208Search in Google Scholar

Greenberg, J. 2001. “Studying Organizational Justice Cross-culturally: Fundamental Challenges.” International Journal of Conflict Management 12 (4): 365–75.10.1108/eb022864Search in Google Scholar

Grégoire, Y., and R. J. Fisher. 2006. “The Effects of Relationship Quality on Customer Retaliation.” Marketing Letters 17 (1): 31–46.10.1007/s11002-006-3796-4Search in Google Scholar

Grégoire, Y., and R. J. Fisher. 2008. “Customer Betrayal and Retaliation: When Your Best Customers Become your Worst Enemies.” Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science 36 (2): 247–61.10.1007/s11747-007-0054-0Search in Google Scholar

Grégoire, Y., T. M. Tripp, and R. Legoux. 2009. “When Customer Love Turns into Lasting Hate: The Effects of Relationship Strength and Time on Customer Revenge and Avoidance.” Journal of Marketing 73 (6): 18–32.10.1509/jmkg.73.6.18Search in Google Scholar

Haj-Salem, N., and J. C. Chebat. 2014. “The Double-edged Sword: The Positive and Negative Effects of Switching Costs on Customer EXIT and Revenge.” Journal of Business Research 67 (6): 1106–13.10.1016/j.jbusres.2013.05.050Search in Google Scholar

Hofstede, G. 1980. “Motivation, Leadership, and Organization: Do American Theories Apply Abroad?” Organizational Dynamics 9 (1): 42–63.10.1016/0090-2616(80)90013-3Search in Google Scholar

Hofstede, G. 2010. “Geert Hofstede.” National Cultural Dimensions.Search in Google Scholar

Hofstede, G., and M. H. Bond. 1984. “Hofstede’s Culture Dimensions: An Independent Validation Using Rokeach’s Value Survey.” Journal of Cross-cultural Psychology 15 (4): 417–33.10.1177/0022002184015004003Search in Google Scholar

Hui, M. K., and K. Au. 2001. “Justice Perceptions of Complaint-handling: A Cross-cultural Comparison between PRC and Canadian Customers.” Journal of Business Research 52 (2): 161–73.10.1016/S0148-2963(99)00068-5Search in Google Scholar

Irwin, Harry. 1996. Communicating with Asia, Understanding People and Customs. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: Allan and Unwin.Search in Google Scholar

Isenberg, D., 2011. Entrepreneurs and the Cult of Failure.Search in Google Scholar

Joireman, J., Y. Grégoire, B. Devezer, and T. M. Tripp. 2013. “When Do Customers Offer Firms a “Second chance” following a Double Deviation? The Impact of Inferred Firm Motives on Customer Revenge and Reconciliation.” Journal of Retailing 89 (3): 315–37.10.1016/j.jretai.2013.03.002Search in Google Scholar

Jung, N. Y., and Y. K. Seock. 2017. “Effect of Service Recovery on Customers’ Perceived Justice, Satisfaction, and Word-of-mouth Intentions on Online Shopping Websites.” Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services 37: 23–30.10.1016/j.jretconser.2017.01.012Search in Google Scholar

Kau, A. K., and E. Wan-Yiun Loh. 2006. “The Effects of Service Recovery on Consumer Satisfaction: A Comparison between Complainants and Non-complainants.” Journal of Services Marketing 20 (2): 101–11.10.1108/08876040610657039Search in Google Scholar

Kim, B. J., V. Singh, and R. S. Winer. 2017. “The Pareto Rule for Frequently Purchased Packaged Goods: An Empirical Generalization.” Marketing Letters 28 (4): 491–507.10.1007/s11002-017-9442-5Search in Google Scholar

Leventhal, G. S. 1980. “What Should Be Done with Equity Theory? New Approaches to the Study of Fairness in Social Relationships.” In Social exchange: Advances in theory and research, edited by K. J. Gergen, M. S. Greenberg, and R. H. Willis, pp. 27–55. New York: Plenum.10.1007/978-1-4613-3087-5_2Search in Google Scholar

Lind, E. A., and T. Tyler. 1988. The Social Psychology of Procedural Justice. New York: Plenum.10.1007/978-1-4899-2115-4Search in Google Scholar

Liu, B. S. C., O. Furrer, and D. Sudharshan. 2001. “The Relationships between Culture and Behavioral Intentions Toward Services.” Journal of Service Research 4 (2): 118–29.10.1177/109467050142004Search in Google Scholar

Mattila, A. S. 1999. “The Role of Culture and Purchase Motivation in Service Encounter Evaluations.” Journal of Services Marketing 13 (4/5): 376–89.10.1108/08876049910282655Search in Google Scholar

Mattila, A. S., and D. Cranage. 2005. “The Impact of Choice on Fairness in the Context of Service Recovery.” Journal of Services Marketing 19 (5): 271–79.10.1108/08876040510609899Search in Google Scholar

Mattila, A. S., and P. G. Patterson. 2004. “The Impact of Culture on Consumers’ Perceptions of Service Recovery Efforts.” Journal of Retailing 80 (3): 196–206.10.1016/j.jretai.2004.08.001Search in Google Scholar

Mattila, A. S., and P. G. Patterson. 2004b. “Service Recovery and Fairness Perceptions in Collectivist and Individualist Contexts.” Journal of Service Research 6 (4): 336–46.10.1177/1094670503262947Search in Google Scholar

Menon, T., M. W. Morris, C. Y. Chiu, and Y. Y. Hong. 1999. “Culture and the Construal of Agency: Attribution to Individual versus Group Dispositions.” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 76 (5): 701–17.10.4324/9780203496398-21Search in Google Scholar

Miller, J. L., C. W. Craighead, and K. R. Karwan. 2000. “Service Recovery: A Framework and Empirical Investigation.” Journal of Operations Management 18 (4): 387–400.10.1016/S0272-6963(00)00032-2Search in Google Scholar

Oliver, R. L. 1993. “Cognitive, affective, and Attribute Bases of the Satisfaction Response.” Journal of Consumer Research 20(3): 418–30.10.1086/209358Search in Google Scholar

Pacheco, N. A., M. Geuens, and C. Pizzutti. 2018. “Whom Do Customers Blame for a Service Failure? Effects of Thought Speed on Causal Locus Attribution.” Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services 40: 60–65.10.1016/j.jretconser.2017.09.006Search in Google Scholar

Patterson, P. G., and A. S. Mattila. 2008. “An Examination of the Impact of Cultural Orientation and Familiarity in Service Encounter Evaluations.” International Journal of Service Industry Management 19 (5): 662–81.10.1108/09564230810903514Search in Google Scholar

Roschk, H., and K. Gelbrich. 2017. “Compensation Revisited: A Social Resource Theory Perspective on Offering a Monetary Resource after a Service Failure.” Journal of Service Research 20 (4): 393–408.10.1177/1094670517716333Search in Google Scholar

Rosenberg, L. J., and J. A. Czepiel. 1984. “A Marketing Approach for Customer Retention.” Journal of Consumer Marketing 1 (2): 45–51.10.1108/eb008094Search in Google Scholar

Roy, S. K., V. Shekhar, W. M. Lassar, and T. Chen. 2018. “Customer Engagement Behaviors: The Role of Service convenience, Fairness and Quality.” Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services 44: 293–304.10.1016/j.jretconser.2018.07.018Search in Google Scholar

Safdar, S., W. Friedlmeier, D. Matsumoto, S. H. Yoo, C. T. Kwantes, H. Kakai, and E. Shigemasu. 2009. “Variations of Emotional Display Rules within and Across Cultures: A Comparison between Canada, USA, and Japan.” Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science/Revue Canadienne Des Sciences Du Comportement 41 (1): 1–10.10.1037/a0014387Search in Google Scholar

Schoefer, K., A. Wäppling, N. Heirati, and M. Blut. 2019. “The Moderating Effect of Cultural Value Orientations on Behavioral Responses to Dissatisfactory Service Experiences.” Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services 48: 247–56.10.1016/j.jretconser.2019.02.009Search in Google Scholar

Smith, A. K., R. N. Bolton, and J. Wagner. 1999. “A Model of Customer Satisfaction with Service Encounters Involving Failure and Recovery.” Journal of Marketing Research 36 (3): 356–72.10.1177/002224379903600305Search in Google Scholar

Smith, C. A., and P. C. Ellsworth. 1985. “Patterns of Cognitive Appraisal in Emotion.” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 48 (4): 813–38.10.1037/0022-3514.48.4.813Search in Google Scholar

Sprecher, S. 2018. “Inequity Leads to Distress and a Reduction in Satisfaction: Evidence from a Priming Experiment.” Journal of Family Issues 39 (1): 230–44.10.1177/0192513X16637098Search in Google Scholar

Tatikonda, L. U. 2013. “The Hidden Costs of Customer Dissatisfaction.” Management Accounting Quarterly 14 (3): 34–43.Search in Google Scholar

Tax, S. S., S. W. Brown, and M. Chandrashekaran. 1998. “Customer Evaluations of Service Complaint Experiences: Implications for Relationship Marketing.” Journal of Marketing 62 (2): 60–76.10.1177/002224299806200205Search in Google Scholar

Weun, S., S. E. Beatty, and M. A. Jones. 2004. “The Impact of Service Failure Severity on Service Recovery Evaluations Andpost-recovery Relationships.” Journal of Services Marketing 18 (2): 133–46.10.1108/08876040410528737Search in Google Scholar

Yuki, M. 2003. “Intergroup Comparison versus Intragroup Relationships: A Cross-Cultural Examination of Social Identity Theory in North American and East Asian Cultural Contexts.” Social Psychology Quarterly 66 (2): 166–83.10.2307/1519846Search in Google Scholar

Yoo, B., N. Donthu, & T. Lenartowicz. 2011. “Measuring Hofstede’s Five Dimensions of Cultural Values at the Individual Level: Development and Validation of CVSCALE.” Journal of International Consumer Marketing 23 (3-4): 193–210.Search in Google Scholar

Published Online: 2020-01-15

© 2020 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston

Downloaded on 23.3.2023 from
Scroll Up Arrow