PhD position at QMU, Edinburgh: Characteristics and motivations of persistent complainers

Characteristics and motivations of persistent complainers [BUR16-02]

The literature on consumer complaint behaviour (CCB) is dominated by attempts to explain why and what circumstances consumers choose to voice their complaints. Hirschman (1971) famously described potential consumer responses to sub-standard service delivery as a choice between ‘exit’, ‘voice’, and ‘loyalty’. Another strand of consumer complaint research is concerned with assessing consumer satisfaction with service recovery processes once consumers have chosen to voice a complaint. In this literature, the guiding theoretical framework has been Lind and Tyler’s (1988) theory of procedural justice.

To date, however, there has been little attention paid to what happens after failed service recovery efforts, particularly in relation to consumer decision-making about whether or not to refer a complaint to a third party independent complaint handler, such as an ombudsman. The literature has also neglected to explore why some consumers persist with their complaints through several stages of an ombudsman’s complaints process, while others do not. This proposed research would investigate this under explored aspect of consumer complaint behaviour: why do only some dissatisfied consumers refer their complaint for external adjudication? And why are some consumers more persistent in pursuing these concerns?

For further information please contact Chris Gill, Details of the bursary competition and terms are available here:

Chris Gill
Senior Lecturer in Administrative Justice &
Programme Leader, MSc Dispute Resolution
Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh
Tel: +44 (0) 7747 000 278
T: @chrisoagill

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