How Culture Influences Consumer Complaining Responses? the Role of Face Concern in Embarrassing Service Failure

Prior cultural research generally agrees that Asian consumers (collectivists), who emphasize social harmony, are less likely to complain but more likely to switch and to spread negative word-of-mouth than Western consumers (individualists) in service failures. Drawing from the face concern and embarrassment literature, this paper argues that collectivists are not necessarily less likely to complain than individualists. In fact, the impact of culture on consumer complaining responses will be contingent on the degree of embarrassment involved in the service failure. Results from a cross-cultural experiment indicate that only in a non-embarrassing failure would collectivists be less likely to complain, more likely to switch, and to spread negative word-of-mouth than individualists. In an embarrassing failure, however, collectivists are actually more likely to complain, switch, and spread negative word-of-mouth. These results not only yield interesting insights into cross-cultural consumer behaviors, but also provide rich managerial implications.



Citation:

Lisa C. Wan (2011) ,"How Culture Influences Consumer Complaining Responses? the Role of Face Concern in Embarrassing Service Failure", in AP - Asia-Pacific Advances in Consumer Research Volume 9, eds. Zhihong Yi, Jing Jian Xiao, and June Cotte and Linda Price, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 37-37.

Authors

Lisa C. Wan, Lingnan University



Volume

AP - Asia-Pacific Advances in Consumer Research Volume 9 | 2011



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