The Role of Ambivalent Identification on Service Recovery: A Study of the Hotel Industry

Joseph Lok Man Lee*, Noel Yee Man Siu, Tracy Junfeng Zhang, Stephanie Wai-Lam Tsui

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review


Service failure is common and inevitable due to the unique characteristics of services. It is essential for service organizations to carefully handle service failure and employ effective recovery strategies to maintain and improve customer satisfaction, especially when consumers experience mixed emotions towards the organization. However, most service failure and recovery literature focuses on how ambivalent identification works at the organizational level. Thus, this study extends the application of the social identity theory beyond organizational perception and focuses specifically on the consumer context, shedding light on its role in recovery justice and satisfaction. It explores the impact of failure severity and degree of correction on recovery justice, with ambivalent identification serving as the moderator in the hotel industry context. Findings from an intercept survey method indicate that the negative relationship between severity of failure and recovery justice weakens as ambivalent identification increases, while ambivalent identification strengthens the positive relationship between degree of correction and recovery justice. Moreover, ambivalent identification diminishes the positive impact of recovery justice on post-recovery satisfaction. This study provides the theoretical and practical implications related to service recovery for hotel management.
Original languageEnglish
JournalCornell Hospitality Quarterly
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 19 Jun 2024

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management

User-Defined Keywords

  • ambivalent identification
  • degree of correction
  • post-recovery satisfaction
  • recovery justice
  • severity of failure


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