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The differential treatment of women during service recovery: How perceived social power affects consumers’ postfailure compensation

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  • Hill Cummings, Krista
  • Seitchik, Allison E.

Abstract

Female consumers often experience marketplace discrimination in service encounters. Researchers have examined women’s differential treatment in many settings, but they have yet to study how women are treated during service-recovery encounters. We found evidence that male providers discriminated against female consumers during the service-recovery process in three experiments. Specifically, male providers offered less compensation to female consumers who complained after a failure than to male consumers who experienced the same failure. Further, we found that perceptions of consumer social power may explain this effect. We offer suggestions for how firms can identify internal marketplace gender discrimination, as well as how they can prevent and treat this significant problem. We also suggest that managers create anticipatory protocols and scripts and engage employees in both bias and interpersonal accuracy training.

Suggested Citation

  • Hill Cummings, Krista & Seitchik, Allison E., 2020. "The differential treatment of women during service recovery: How perceived social power affects consumers’ postfailure compensation," Business Horizons, Elsevier, vol. 63(5), pages 647-658.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:bushor:v:63:y:2020:i:5:p:647-658
    DOI: 10.1016/j.bushor.2020.06.002
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    References listed on IDEAS

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