What drives illegitimate complaining behavior? A research study on the drivers of complaining illegitimately.

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2018-06-28
Language
en
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Complaint handling is the order of the day for practitioners and as complaints are not always legitimate, businesses seem to overspend in complaint handling. Hence, important practical insights can be gathered by investigating the drivers of complaining illegitimately. This issue also contributes theoretically because academic research on the drivers of illegitimate complaining behavior is lacking. Therefore, the current study investigates the following research question: What are drivers of illegitimate complaining behavior? Specifically, using an online survey, it investigates various theories which could shed light on the drivers of illegitimate complaining. Each theory results in a hypothesis which is further researched empirically to find out whether the assumptions hold in reality. A regression analysis revealed the following drivers of illegitimate complaining behavior: opportunism, a personal-based conflict framing style, a task-based conflict framing style and financial greed of which a task-based conflict framing style inhibits rather than reinforces illegitimate complaining. The drivers point respectively at the ‘when’, ‘how’ and ‘why’ of illegitimate complaining behavior: the findings suggest customers complain illegitimately when an opportunity to do so occurs (opportunism), by pressurizing the firm (personal-based conflict framing style) instead of being solution-oriented (task-based conflict framing style), because they want to earn money (financial greed).
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Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen
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