How Organizational Complaint Handling Drives Customer Loyalty : An Analysis of the Mechanistic and the Organic Approach

Homburg, Christian ; Fürst, Andreas

W083_How Organizational Complaint Handling Drives Customer Loyality.pdf - Published

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URN: urn:nbn:de:bsz:180-madoc-424935
Document Type: Working paper
Year of publication: 2005
The title of a journal, publication series: Reihe: Wissenschaftliche Arbeitspapiere / Institut für Marktorientierte Unternehmensführung
Volume: W083
Place of publication: Mannheim
Publishing house: Inst. für Marktorientierte Unternehmensführung, Univ. Mannheim
Publication language: English
Institution: Business School > Business-to-Business Marketing, Sales & Pricing (Homburg 1998-)
Subject: 330 Economics
Abstract: This paper addresses the question how an organization’s complaint management affects customer justice evaluations and, in turn, customer satisfaction and loyalty. In delineating an organization’s complaint management, we draw a distinction between two fundamental approaches, the mechanistic approach (based on establishing guidelines) and the organic approach (based on creating a favorable internal environment). The empirical analysis is based on a dyadic data set containing managerial assessments of companies’ complaint management and complaining customers’ assessments with respect to perceived justice, satisfaction, and loyalty. Findings indicate that while both the mechanistic and the organic approach significantly influence complaining customers’ assessments, the mechanistic approach has a stronger total impact. Moreover, the study provides evidence for a primarily complementary relationship between the two approaches. Another key facet of the study relates to moderating influences of the type of business (B2B vs. B2C) and type of industry (service vs. manufacturing). The results show that the beneficial effects of the mechanistic approach are stronger in B2C (as opposed to B2B) settings and for service firms (as opposed to manufacturing firms).

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