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Title: Toward an integrated process model of consumer grudgeholding: does gender make any difference?
Other Titles: Grudgeholding
Authors: Ghanam, Boushra
Advisors: Baldwin, L
Al-Karaghouli, W
Keywords: Appraisal theory;Consumer grudgeholding model of Aron (2001);A cognitive-emotive process model of consumer grudgeholding;Gender in the context of grudgeholding;Emotional response
Issue Date: 2016
Publisher: Brunel University London
Abstract: As consumers or customers, when we go into a shop and buy a product or, these days, when we buy something online, we expect not only the product itself to be fit for purpose but we also expect that we, the customers, get good customer service. If we get good or excellent customer service, we leave the shop feeling satisfied and positive in some way. How do shops, online or otherwise, or any other organisations, such as banks, hospitals or universities help to ensure that their employees deliver the appropriate customer service? It is still the main challenge. Thus, there are instances when a customer does not get the service that they deserve, or believe that they deserve. A happy, satisfied customer may perhaps tell others and thus encourage others to buy or go to that particular shop or organisation thus benefiting the business (new customers, who will spend money). However, there is evidence that an angry, upset dissatisfied customer will almost certainly tell five, or perhaps more, people of their bad experience. This is, clearly, bad for the business in question. No wonder, then, that businesses want, and need, to ensure that they have happy, satisfied customers and not dissatisfied or grudgeholders. Given the importance of customer satisfaction to businesses/organisations, the literature in this area demonstrates that there is still much to further understand about not only customer satisfaction but, importantly, customer dissatisfaction. Dissatisfaction can be short and easily forgotten and it might be argued that this might not negatively affect a business/organisation too much in terms of future business. However, if a customer experiences or believes that they have suffered a great deal of negative emotions such as anger, fear, disappointment, betrayal and/or disgust, as well as perhaps telling many people, potential future customers about their bad experience they may well, also, take more direct action in the form of either making a formal complaint to the business/organisation, or perhaps retaliating in some way either immediately or at the nearest opportunity. Such a customer may hold a grudge against the business/organisation which is not only bad for the customer for their mental health (holding a grudge is negative) but is also bad for the business/organisation, too. Unfortunately, despite vital advances in dissatisfaction and complaining behaviour research, the psychological cognitive-emotive process underlying consumers’ coping behaviour have been neglected in the literature, as major work on this issue did not take into account the different negative emotions responsible for grudge and their impact on the grudgeholding coping responses. Dealing with those customers who are more than dissatisfied is time consuming for a business/organisation. Time is money. It is therefore important that, if businesses/organisations are to better understand their customers’ feeling and thinking to be able to predict their behaviours in order to make them happy returners instead of angry revengers. Therefore, it is essential to understand the experiences of grudgeholding customers through a process model and to look closely at issues related to grudgeholding, including the wide range of retaliatory behaviours. These might well vary according to factors such as the cost of the product (dissatisfaction might be greater for a goods or service costing a lot of money compared to something costing very little) but it may also vary according to individual characteristics of the customers themselves. Gender also plays its part, perhaps, that is, men and women may possibly think, feel and behave differently when it comes to holding grudge or retaliating as always controversial disputes exist in terms of gender differences. For example, females complain and spread the word more aligning with their communal stereotypical nature, and males like bargains and shop to win according to their agentic stereotypical nature. There is a need to further explore the consumer grudgeholding behaviour and why emotion is an important factor when talking about grudgeholding, the behaviours undertaken by those who hold a grudge and the impact of grudges on businesses/organisations if businesses/organisations are to better deal with their customers. Therefore, a cognitive-emotive process model is developed based mainly on cognitive appraisal theory to better understand consumers grudgeholding through deeper insight on their cognitions and emotions. The model is designed due to the lack of attention to the role of emotion in the dissatisfying marketplace experience. The model presents cognitive appraisal as the key element in the evaluation of grudgeholding consumer stress and aggression. Stressful appraisal outcomes are posited to elicit emotive reactions that, in combination with cognitive appraisal, impact the type of coping strategy used by the grudgeholder. Two coping strategies (problem focused and emotion focused) are recognized and discussed. Key propositions are presented to answer some questions about consumer grudgeholding behaviours such as (causes of grudge, product or service involved, the cost, the emotions generated, the coping behaviours like complaining and word-of-mouth, the corrective actions, the current emotions, the purchase intentions and future behaviours). To achieve the aims of this study, the research described in this thesis adopts the positivist research, quantitative research approach. According to the exploratory nature of this research, self-administered questionnaires are used for data generation. Closed and open-ended questions (specifically propping questions) were both used in the research as a way of motivating the respondent’s memory to retrieve a previous experience and recall actions and behaviours. Using both closed and open-ended questions provides the research with expected and unexpected answers. The research used non-probability sampling; namely, convenience sampling consisted of 786 responses to undergraduates and postgraduates British students whose age groups range from 18 to 39.The survey data were subsequently edited, coded and entered in SPSS 20 for analysis. The ultimate contribution of this study stems from explaining the consumer grudgeholding phenomenon by designing a cognitive-emotive process model that takes the role of consumer’s emotion into account. The findings revealed that emotion made a critical difference, especially anger. Gender gap was relatively small between the young British males and females. Angry females shared their negative experiences with others more than angry males. Besides, females shop to love and males shop to win.
Description: This thesis was submitted for the award of Doctor of Philosophy and was awarded by Brunel University London
Appears in Collections:Business and Management
Brunel Business School Theses

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