Cross-Cultural Difference in Reactions to Facework During Services Failures

Negotiation and Conflict Management Research 2011, 4, 4: 352-380

29 Pages Posted: 1 Jun 2012

See all articles by Ray Friedman

Ray Friedman

Vanderbilt University - Organizational Behavior

Mara Olekalns

University of Melbourne - Melbourne Business School

Se Hyung Oh

Vanderbilt University

Date Written: 2011

Abstract

When companies have service failures, they need to not only fix the actual problem but also to communicate with customers in ways that do not damage the relationship. This study examines whether people with different cultural orientations react differently to the communications that attack or support community-related face (positive face) versus autonomy-related face (negative face). We predicted, and found, that Westerners (Americans) react more strongly than Asians (Koreans and Indians) to autonomy-related facework. We also predicted, and found, that the emotional impact of community-related face was stronger for Asians than for Westerners, and that the emotional impact of autonomy-related face was stronger for Westerners than Asians. Theoretical and practical implications for managing service failures across cultures are discussed.

Keywords: face, culture, dispute resolution, service failures

Suggested Citation

Friedman, Raymond A. and Olekalns, Mara and Oh, Se Hyung, Cross-Cultural Difference in Reactions to Facework During Services Failures (2011). Negotiation and Conflict Management Research 2011, 4, 4: 352-380. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2071356

Raymond A. Friedman (Contact Author)

Vanderbilt University - Organizational Behavior ( email )

401 21st Avenue South
Nashville, TN 37203
United States
615-322-3992 (Phone)
615-343-7177 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://mba.vanderbilt.edu/faculty/rfriedman.cfm

Mara Olekalns

University of Melbourne - Melbourne Business School ( email )

200 Leicester Street
Carlton, Victoria 3053 3186
Australia
+61 3 9349 8146 (Phone)
+61 3 9349 8133 (Fax)

Se Hyung Oh

Vanderbilt University ( email )

2301 Vanderbilt Place
Nashville, TN 37240
United States

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