Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Marketing (Business Administration)

First Advisor

Richard G. Netemeyer


I conducted two field studies (one in the banking industry, n = 692, and one in the new home industry, n = 339) that examined service recovery's influence on complainant perceptions of perceived justice (i.e., distributive, procedural, and interactional justice), satisfaction (i.e., transaction-specific satisfaction and overall firm satisfaction), and intentions (i.e., word-of-mouth intent and purchase intent). The studies assessed these perceptions over multiple time periods (i.e., post failure, post service recovery, and two weeks subsequent to service recovery) to better capture the perceptions as they form over time. The dissertation uses an equity theory framework in a service recovery context, where the model tests the direct influence that justice may have on both transaction-specific and overall satisfaction with a failing firm. The model then posits that satisfaction perceptions directly influence one's propensity to recommend a firm, as well as repurchase in the future. The model asserts that perceived justice best explains positive word-of-mouth and purchase intentions indirectly through satisfaction. Across the two studies, the model explained 38 to 45 percent of the variance in transaction-specific satisfaction; 40 to 44 percent of the variance in overall firm satisfaction; 34 to 38 percent of the variance in word-of-mouth; and 32 to 36 percent of the variance in purchase intent. The results support the assertion that distributive justice is more influential in forming transaction-specific perceptions, while procedural justice is more influential in forming overall perceptions (Lind and Tyler 1988; McFarlin and Sweeney 1992). The results also suggest that consumers may view product and service failures differently. Specifically, consumers who experience product failures may be most concerned about distributive justice (compared with procedural and interactional justice). Consumers experiencing service failures, alternatively, seem to not only expect distributive justice, but also expect higher levels (relative to those experiencing product failures) of procedural and interactional justice. Lastly, the data here suggest that transaction-specific satisfaction is the best route to positive word-of-mouth recommendations, while overall firm satisfaction is the best route to future purchase intentions.