Title: 'We' want apology! Tailoring service recovery and self-construal to earn customer forgiveness

Authors: Eugene Cheng-Xi Aw; Stephanie Hui-Wen Chuah; Mohamad Fazli Sabri; Han-Xi Chong

Addresses: UCSI Graduate Business School, UCSI University, Malaysia ' School of Hospitality, Tourism and Events, Taylor's University, Subang Jaya, Malaysia; Centre for Research and Innovation in Tourism (CRiT), Taylor's University, Subang Jaya, Malaysia ' Faculty of Human Ecology, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Malaysia ' Faculty of Human Ecology, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Malaysia

Abstract: The purpose of this study is to examine the impacts of service recovery strategies and self-construal on customer forgiveness. A 2-service recovery (manipulated: apology vs. economic) × 2-self-construal (median: independent vs. interdependent) between-subject experiment was conducted with 164 subjects. Results showed: 1) when apology is given, customers with interdependent self-construal are more likely to forgive compared to customers with independent self-construal; 2) forgiveness negatively influences negative-word-of-mouth. This study provides insight to the literature by indicating that service recovery strategies need to be compatible with customers' self-construal in order to earn forgiveness following a service failure.

Keywords: service recovery; service failure; forgiveness; self-construal; negative word-of-mouth; hotel.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSEM.2022.126216

International Journal of Services, Economics and Management, 2022 Vol.13 No.3, pp.225 - 242

Received: 08 Oct 2020
Accepted: 05 Sep 2021

Published online: 17 Oct 2022 *

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