Investigating the role of customers' perceptions of employee effort and justice in service recovery: a cross-cultural perspective

Mirella Yani-de-Soriano, Paul Hanel, Rosario Vazquez Carrasco, Jesus Cambra-Fierro, Alan Wilson, Edgar Centeno

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)
15 Downloads (Pure)


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is, first, to identify the relationship, if any, between customers’ perceptions of justice (functional element) and employee effort (symbolic element) and their effects on satisfaction and loyalty in the context of service recovery and, second, to determine the impact of cross-cultural differences on these relationships. Design/methodology/approach: Survey data from actual customers were gathered in three countries (n = 414) and analyzed using structural equation modeling to test the proposed hypotheses. Findings: The results demonstrate the role of the constructs of perceived employee effort and perceived justice in influencing post-recovery satisfaction and loyalty across cultures. While perceived justice is valued across cultures, customers from feminine (masculine) cultures require more (less) employee effort to influence post-recovery satisfaction positively. Customers from low (high) uncertainty cultures are more (less) willing to give the provider another chance after a service recovery. Research limitations/implications: The study shows that both functional and symbolic elements of service recovery are important determinants of customer satisfaction and loyalty and that their influence can be significant in a cross-cultural context. Practical implications: International service managers must consider the nature of cultural differences in their markets to develop and implement tailored recovery strategies that can result in satisfied customers. Originality/value: This study is the first to integrate the functional and symbolic elements of service recovery, their impact on customers’ behavioral responses and the influence of cultural variations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)708-732
Number of pages24
JournalEuropean Journal of Marketing
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 8 Apr 2019


  • service recovery
  • employee effort
  • customer satisfaction
  • customer loyalty
  • perceived justice


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