Understanding the negative emotions, consumer complaint behaviour responses and social dynamics occurring during dissatisfactory incidents in restaurants

Koussaifi, Hiba (2018) Understanding the negative emotions, consumer complaint behaviour responses and social dynamics occurring during dissatisfactory incidents in restaurants. Doctoral thesis, Northumbria University.

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This thesis investigates how the social dynamics that naturally occur during dissatisfactory incidents in restaurants influence the consumer complaint behaviour process. It further explores what negative emotions consumers experience, how they respond to such dissatisfactory incidents and what stimulates these emotions and responses.

Consumer complaint behaviour (CCB) in services is a complex and dynamic process and not a static phenomenon. The emotions and responses are the result of the ongoing evaluations consumers undertake and the continuous human interactions occurring. Although the literature acknowledges the influence of service providers on the CCB responses and negative emotions, little is known about how other customers impact the CCB process.

Furthermore, much of the existing research on CCB has been undertaken using purely quantitative approaches that tend to focus on hypothetical scenarios and the measurement of behavioural intentions. This has meant a failing to understand the actual behaviour of the participant, to explore dissatisfying incidents holistically and within their contextual natural settings and to capture the social dynamics and interactions.

This thesis has addressed these limitations and assumed a social constructionist paradigm and followed an interpretivist approach. The methodology draws upon the principles of critical incident technique and is multi-method over two phases: qualitative research diaries followed by semistructured interviews. A total of 20 semi-structured interviews were conducted with Lebanese consumers who shared their subjective accounts of the dissatisfactory incidents they recently experienced in restaurants. The data from the interviews was analysed using template analysis.

The findings show that the CCB process within a restaurant context has a social dimension. The continuous human interactions between the consumer, service provider and other customers throughout the dining occasion influence the service failure, cognitive appraisal, negative emotions and CCB responses both directly and indirectly. Furthermore, negative emotions such as feeling fed up and disgust are experienced following a restaurant dissatisfactory incident. The findings also demonstrate that some CCB responses have different variants depending on the context, for example exit and negative word of mouth. Additionally, the findings identified what stimulates both the negative emotions and CCB responses.

This study advances the understanding of CCB within services and restaurants in particular by explaining the impact of social dynamics on the CCB process. It presents a model that acknowledges this social aspect and demonstrates its influences. Furthermore it identifies a broad range of negative emotions and CCB responses specific to restaurant dissatisfactory incidents and elaborates on what stimulates them. This study draws attention to the importance of studying CCB in services using an interpretivist approach, as it will result in an in-depth understanding of the phenomenon.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: C800 Psychology
N100 Business studies
Department: University Services > Graduate School > Doctor of Philosophy
Faculties > Business and Law > Newcastle Business School
Depositing User: Becky Skoyles
Date Deposited: 11 Oct 2018 13:57
Last Modified: 31 Jul 2021 21:48
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/36276

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