Organizational Learning Curves for Customer Dissatisfaction: Heterogeneity Across Airlines
In the extensive literature on learning curves, scholars have ignored outcome measures of organizational performance evaluated by customers. We explore whether customer dissatisfaction follows a learning-curve pattern. Do organizations learn to reduce customer dissatisfaction? Customer dissatisfaction occurs when customers' ex ante expectations about a product or service exceed ex post perceptions about the product or service. Because customers can increase expectations over time, customer dissatisfaction may not decline even when the product or service improves. Consequently, it is an open question whether customer dissatisfaction follows a learning-curve pattern. Drawing from the literatures on learning curves and organizational learning, we hypothesize that customer dissatisfaction follows a U-shaped function of operating experience (Hypothesis 1), that focused airlines learn faster to reduce customer dissatisfaction than full-service airlines (Hypothesis 2), and that organizational learning curves for customer dissatisfaction are heterogeneous across airlines (Hypothesis 3). We test these hypotheses with quarterly data covering 1987 to 1998 on consumer complaints against the 10 largest U.S. airlines. We find strong support for Hypothesis 1 and Hypothesis 3. Hypothesis 2 is not supported in the sense that the average focused airline did not learn faster than the average full-service airline. However, we do find that the best focused airline learns faster than the best full-service airline. We explore this result by extending a knowledge-based view of managing productivity learning curves in factories to complaint learning curves in airlines.
Volume (Year): 52 (2006)
Issue (Month): 3 (March)
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: 7240 Parkway Drive, Suite 300, Hanover, MD 21076 USA|
Web page: http://www.informs.org/
More information through EDIRC
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Michael A. Lapré & Amit Shankar Mukherjee & Luk N. Van Wassenhove, 2000. "Behind the Learning Curve: Linking Learning Activities to Waste Reduction," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 46(5), pages 597-611, May.
- Paul S. Adler & Kim B. Clark, 1991. "Behind the Learning Curve: A Sketch of the Learning Process," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 37(3), pages 267-281, March.
- Gary P. Pisano & Richard M.J. Bohmer & Amy C. Edmondson, 2001. "Organizational Differences in Rates of Learning: Evidence from the Adoption of Minimally Invasive Cardiac Surgery," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 47(6), pages 752-768, June.
- Joel A. C. Baum & Paul Ingram, 1998. "Survival-Enhancing Learning in the Manhattan Hotel Industry, 1898--1980," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 44(7), pages 996-1016, July.
- Michael A. Lapré & Luk N. Van Wassenhove, 2001. "Creating and Transferring Knowledge for Productivity Improvement in Factories," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 47(10), pages 1311-1325, October.
- Paul Ingram & Tal Simons, 2002. "The Transfer of Experience in Groups of Organizations: Implications for Performance and Competition," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 48(12), pages 1517-1533, December.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:52:y:2006:i:3:p:352-366. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Mirko Janc)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.