After a service failure, citizens expect a recovery strategy that restores perceived justice and places a reasonable value on their loss. Offering monetary compensation is a strategy commonly used in private settings, but less so in public settings. Results of our experiments showed that compensation leads to similar positive effects in public and private settings confirming earlier private setting research that applied justice theory. Explicitly promising compensation prior to a service encounter had no effect. However, promising compensation and not offering it led to decreased citizens’ evaluations, which confirms expectancy disconfirmation theory. Preprint of this paper with Thomassen, Leliveld and Ahaus on Researchgate. Soon out in Public Administration.
In this new paper in the Journal of Service Management I develop a research agenda for studying public service failure alongside private service failure. The paper ‘When public services fail: a research agenda on public service failure’ shows that service failures in a public and a private context are different. There are different failure types and different standards of failure. Public management literature mainly studies collective and political reactions to service failure, whereas the private service management literature tends to focus on individual reactions. Finally, attention for service recovery was found to be very limited in the public services literature.