The More the Merrier: Imagined Social Presence and Service Failure

Yi He, California State University, East Bay, USA
Qimei Chen, University of Hawaii, USA
Dana Alden, University of Hawaii, USA
This research examines the effect of social presence on service evaluation during a service failure. Significant main effect of social presence occurs, in which service evaluation increases when a social audience is present than when it is not. This research also tests two rival theories that accounts for social presence effects. The results demonstrate that when the service failure is externally-attributed, the affective process proposed by the Distraction-Conflict theory better accounts for the social presence effects. When the service failure is internally-attributed, the cognitive process suggested by the Evaluation-Apprehension theory drives the social presence effect on service evaluation.
[ to cite ]:
Yi He, Qimei Chen, and Dana Alden (2010) ,"The More the Merrier: Imagined Social Presence and Service Failure ", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 37, eds. Margaret C. Campbell, Jeff Inman, and Rik Pieters, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 447-448 .