Taeshik Gong


Relatively little studies have investigated employee recovery from internal service failure, especially from the employees’ perspective. When handling customer complaints, employees must not only deal with legitimate customer demands after a service failure, such as providing an apology, rectifying the problem, and offering compensation, but they must also manage illegitimate dysfunctional customers, who may yell, threaten, and even physically harm the employee. These negative experiences can have strong effects, and employees can exhibit higher levels of stress such as burnout and emotional labor, which have been linked to dissatisfaction, tension and anxiety, reduced performance and effectiveness, and a greater propensity to leave the firm, ultimately leading to negative financial consequences for the firm. These conditions result in internal service failure and create the need to recover employees - in other words, internal service recovery. However, little research has examined this issue so far. The purpose of the current study, therefore, is to investigate the relationship between internal service recovery and employee outcomes. A pre-test, post-test between-subjects experimental design was developed. Participants were 166 part-time students who were working full-time. The average age of the participants was 36.74 years, and 57.50% of them were female. The average length of employment was 13 years. Participants were randomly assigned to one of four groups of approximately equal size. Three of the groups were subjected to an experimental situation involving an internal service failure, while one group was not exposed to failure, thereby acting as a control group. This study contributes to the service marketing literature in several ways. First, the study extends service failure and/or recovery research by examining recovery in an employee context. Second, this study attempts to measure internal service recovery and to empirically demonstrate its relationship to employee outcomes. Third, this investigation emphasizes the managerial importance of internal service recovery. For example, understanding the nature of the relationships between internal service recovery and its consequences can improve the effectiveness and efficiency of managers" resource allocation decisions.

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