Exploring Consumers' Conflict Styles: Grudges and Forgiveness Following Marketer Failure

Michael B. Beverland, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Australia
Emily Chung, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Australia
Steven M. Kates, Simon Fraser University, Canada
To date, research has not extensively examined consumer conflict styles following a transgression of commercial relationship norms by firms. We examine instances of service failure between consumers and long-time service providers using critical incident interviews with 30 informants. The findings indicate that the decision to perpetuate grudges or forgive service providers following a transgression is moderated by consumers’ self- vs. other-orientation, emotional intelligence, and attachment style. The findings provide a new perspective on grudge holding and highlight the dark side associated with strong emotional bonds between consumers and service providers.
[ to cite ]:
Michael B. Beverland, Emily Chung, and Steven M. Kates (2009) ,"Exploring Consumers' Conflict Styles: Grudges and Forgiveness Following Marketer Failure", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 36, eds. Ann L. McGill and Sharon Shavitt, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 438-443.