The role of self-service technologies in restoring justice

Anna S. Mattila, Wonae Cho, Heejung Ro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


As an increasing number of customers choose to interact with service firms via technology, there is an urgent need to understand whether consumers react differently to technology-based failures/recovery efforts than human failures/recovery efforts. Using resource exchange theory as a framework, the present investigation examined the role of failure mode (SST vs. face-to-face encounter) and recovery mode on customers' fairness perceptions. Results from Study 1 suggest that compensation offered by a front-line employee might be more effective in restoring justice with traditional failures (match condition) than with SST failures (mismatch condition). Findings from Study 2 further support the matching hypothesis in terms of distributive justice. On the other hand, human touch seems more effective in restoring interactional fairness than on-line recovery. The follow-up study extends the matching hypothesis to satisfaction with problem handling and repurchase intent. Managerial implications of these findings are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)348-355
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Business Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Marketing


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