The Role of Cultural Tightness-Looseness in the Ethics of Service Recovery

Connie Li, Henry Fock, Anna S. Mattila

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


This research was intended to examine the moderating role of cultural tightness-looseness orientation (i.e., how strongly or weakly people pursue standardized social norms) in influencing consumers' postrecovery behaviors at an individual level. Results of two studies demonstrated that the differential level of tightness-looseness orientation of consumers to societal norms influences their perceptions of service recovery efforts, which in turn affects their postrecovery complaint behaviors. Specifically, study 1 showed that overcompensation for service failure reduced postrecovery complaint tendency among "loose" consumers but not among "tight" consumers. Study 2 revealed that while either tangible compensation or an apology might ameliorate the dissatisfaction from the failure and alleviate complaint intention among loose consumers, tight consumers seek an apology rather than tangible compensation when a service failure occurs. These findings affirmed the vital role of tightness-looseness orientation of consumers in their responses to service failures and recovery efforts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3-16
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Global Marketing
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Business and International Management
  • Marketing


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