The effect of causal attribution on a service failure model

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Giuliana Isabella
Martin Hernani-Merino
Jose Afonso Mazzon
Enver Tarazona
Daniel Kuster


Service recovery has been extensively studied and is a relevant issue for markets in which consumers repurchase products or services. There are two normative aspects of service recovery: how a company should act after a service failure and the consequences of the service failure regarding the company-customer relationship. This study presents a service failure model that combines these two aspects, investigating how causal attribution affects the customer’s perception regarding repurchase when a solution is provided after a service failure. A survey was conducted with users of a telecommunications service provider in Brazil,
exploring two situations: a) the customer accidentally caused a service failure, and b) the company caused a service failure. The item response theory (IRT) was used, adopting PLS-SEM. Trust level and switching barriers were highlighted as important factors to keep repurchasing intentions positive. Customers trust more in the company when the failure is attributed to the organization, and it solves the problem, which induces a higher repurchase intention than when the failure is attributed to the customer.


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ISABELLA, G.; HERNANI-MERINO, M. .; MAZZON, J. A. .; TARAZONA, E. .; KUSTER, D. . The effect of causal attribution on a service failure model . RAE - Revista de Administracao de Empresas , [S. l.], v. 62, n. 6, p. e2020–0139, 2022. DOI: 10.1590/S0034-759020220601. Disponível em: Acesso em: 29 nov. 2023.


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