Title

Religious Affiliation: Buffering Negative Reactions to Service Failures

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2022

Keywords

Religion, Customer satisfaction, Service failure

Abstract

Purpose: This research aims to examine the buffering effect of a firm's religious association on customer reactions to a service failure.

Design/methodology/approach: Two scenario-driven studies containing religious and non-religious reasons for a store closing were conducted.

Findings: The results from Study 1 suggest that a religious affiliation safeguards against negative reactions to failures related to store policies (see Hoffman et al., 2003). Customers are more likely to forgive transgressing firms when service failures are associated with religion, regardless of attitudes toward the religious group. A follow up study supports the first, even when no specific religion was identified in the scenario, the service failure involved a firm that closed weekly, and a non-student sample was used.

Research limitations/implications: While the results provide support for the buffering effects of a religious affiliation against a particular type of service failure – temporary service interruptions due to the observance of religious holidays and celebrations, future research should test the robustness of this effect on technology failures and rude treatment by employees.

Originality/value: This paper is the first, to the authors' knowledge, to test the effect of a firm's religious affiliation on customer perceptions of frontline service encounters in general and service failures in particular.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

https://doi.org/10.1108/JSM-05-2012-0094

Citation / Publisher Attribution

Journal of Services Marketing, v. 28, issue 1, p. 1-9

Was this content written or created while at USF?

Yes

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