Dr. Balaji Krishnan published in the Journal of Business Research

For release:  February 22, 2018

Dr. Balaji Krishnan, professor of Marketing and director of Graduate Programs, was recently published in the Journal of Business Research for his paper entitled, "Are cynical customers satisfied differently? Role of negative inferred motive and customer participation in service recovery." Dr. Krishnan coauthored this paper with Subhash Jha, current FCBE doctoral student; Dr. Aditi Sarkar Sengupta, former FCBE visiting scholar and assistant professor of Marketing and Strategy at IBS Hyderabad; and Dr. M.S. Balaji, associate professor of Marketing at Nottingham University Business School Ningbo China.

Their study examines the role of consumer cynicism in service recovery, specifically the process through which cynicism influences customer satisfaction. Their study also investigates the role of customer participation in the recovery process when alleviating outcomes among cynical customers. Across one pilot study and two experiments, the authors demonstrate that cynicism negatively moderates the effects of perceived justice on satisfaction. Additionally, the authors demonstrate the mediating role of negative inferred motive in the relationship between perceived justice and customer satisfaction. Highly cynical customers were found to less favorably evaluate customer satisfaction than less cynical customers, as they infer recovery efforts to be motivated by firms' self-interest rather than customers' interest. The authors also demonstrate that increasing customer participation in service recovery through joint recovery can overcome adverse outcomes and increase customer satisfaction among highly cynical customers. These findings offer important insights for service managers in designing effective service recovery strategies for cynical customers.