The Role of Cultural Tightness-Looseness in the Ethics of Service Recovery

Connie Li, Henry FOCK*, Anna S. Mattila

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

    9 Citations (Scopus)


    This research was intended to examine the moderating role of cultural tightness-looseness orientation (i.e., how strongly or weakly people pursue standardized social norms) in influencing consumers' postrecovery behaviors at an individual level. Results of two studies demonstrated that the differential level of tightness-looseness orientation of consumers to societal norms influences their perceptions of service recovery efforts, which in turn affects their postrecovery complaint behaviors. Specifically, study 1 showed that overcompensation for service failure reduced postrecovery complaint tendency among "loose" consumers but not among "tight" consumers. Study 2 revealed that while either tangible compensation or an apology might ameliorate the dissatisfaction from the failure and alleviate complaint intention among loose consumers, tight consumers seek an apology rather than tangible compensation when a service failure occurs. These findings affirmed the vital role of tightness-looseness orientation of consumers in their responses to service failures and recovery efforts.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)3-16
    Number of pages14
    JournalJournal of Global Marketing
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Jan 2012

    Scopus Subject Areas

    • Business and International Management
    • Marketing

    User-Defined Keywords

    • Attainability
    • ethical service recovery
    • tightness-looseness orientation


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