"Preventing illegitimate complaining By fitting neutralization techniques with stages of moral development "
Considering some customers complain without solid reasons, this research aims to investigate how to prevent customers from complaining illegitimately. It does so by combining Sykes and Matza their neutralization theory with Kohlberg his moral development theory. The combination of neutralization techniques and stages of moral development is expected to prevent illegitimate customer complaining behavior, if there is a fit between the technique used and the stage in which an individual resides. For this research, the denial of victim technique is combined with the social-contract legalistic stage, and the claim of normalcy technique is combined with the law and order orientation stage. The fit is tested via an experiment in which participants saw warnings matching the neutralization techniques. The stage of moral development is measured using Kohlberg his famous Heinz dilemma. The results are interpreted using chi-square analyses. The results show that 14.4% of all participants decided not to complain illegitimately upon seeing one out of two warnings. However, the results also show that there is no connection between the denial of victim technique and the social-contract legalistic orientation stage, nor between the claim of normalcy technique and the law and order orientation stage.
Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen