12 Oct THE PREVALENCE OF ANGER IN SERVICE CONSUMPTION SETTINGS
Week 8 Case Analysis
- Due Friday by 11:59pm
Address all questions
- You must give quality answers that show mastery of the case and questions asked using clear logic and supporting facts. Also, the answers must directly answer the questions in the case.
- Case analyses test the understanding of key elements of research methodology, therefore they must be thoroughly addressed.
- You must use citations with references to document information obtained from sources. The key elements of research methodology, business analytics, and concepts are found in the sources listed in this syllabus (it is your duty to search for them, read, analyze, evaluate, summarize, paraphrase in your answers, and cite the authors who wrote the articles, books, term papers, memoirs, studies, etc. What it means is that you will have not less than 5 references from the listed sources.
- Grammatically correct paper, no typos, and must have obviously been proofread for logic.
- Questions must be typed out as headings, with follow up answers in paragraph format, and a summary or conclusion at the end of all answers as in the outline (Sample provided in Course Resources).
- Case analysis must be in APA format.
CASE CHAPTER 17: QUALITATIVE DATA ANALYSIS
THE PREVALENCE OF ANGER IN SERVICE CONSUMPTION SETTINGS
Jack O’Brien is a PhD student at the University of Edinburgh. Jack is working on a PhD thesis
on the role of negative emotions, and more specifically the emotion anger, in service consumption
settings. Jack’s dissertation aims to supply service providers with knowledge to prevent anger and to
adequately deal with customers experiencing anger, both on a strategic and operational level. On a
strategic level, his dissertation will support service firms with respect to decision-making and services
marketing management. On an operational level, it will first and foremost offer service providers
information for avoiding customer anger and dealing with angry customers.
To emphasize the practical relevance of his work, Jack and his supervisor have agreed to
undertake an exploratory, qualitative study into the prevalence of customer anger. Jack has carried
out this study last month. Recently, he has been writing up a first draft of this research project.
The Prevalence of Anger in Services – FIRST DRAFT – Jack O’Brien
Customers may experience a wide range of emotions in response to a service encounter.
Previous research has mentioned joy, satisfaction, dissatisfaction, disappointment, anger, contempt,
fear, shame, and regret, to name only a few (Nyer, 1999; Westbrook, 1987; Zeelenberg and Pieters,
1999; 2004). One of these emotions, anger, has profound effects on customers’ behavioral responses
to failed service encounters, such as switching and negative word-of-mouth communication (Bougie,
Zeelenberg, and Pieters, 2003; Grégoire and Fisher, 2008 ; Grégoire, Laufer, and Tripp, 2010, Nyer,
1999; Taylor, 1994). In turn, switching and negative word-of-mouth communication (directly or
indirectly) affect the profitability of service firms. Hence, the basic emotion research finding that anger
is also a common emotion – experienced by most of us anywhere from several times a day to several
times a week (Averill, 1982) – suggests that anger may have a strong impact on the profitability and
performance of service firms.
However, the afore-mentioned findings on the prevalence of anger do not necessarily apply
to service consumption settings. For instance, Averill shows that the most common target of anger is
a loved one or a friend: “anger at others, such as strangers and those whom we dislike is not usual”
(1982, p. 169). Averill provides a number of possible reasons for this finding, such as increased chances
that a provocation will occur, a stronger motivation to get loved ones to change their ways, the more
cumulative and distressing nature of provocations committed by loved ones, the tendency to give
strangers the benefit of the doubt, and the tendency to avoid those who we dislike. It is therefore
unclear whether anger is frequently experienced in service settings.
This study aims to fill this gap in our knowledge by investigating whether anger is commonly
experienced in response to failed service encounters. The results of this study provide increased
insights into the prevalence of anger in services and thus into the effects of customer anger on the
profitability and performance of service firms.
Procedure. The critical incident technique (CIT) was used as a method. Flanagan (1954) defines the CIT
as ‘a set of procedures for collecting direct observations of human behavior in such a way as to
facilitate their potential usefulness in solving practical problems and developing broad psychological
principles’. It involves several steps, including the collection, analysis, and interpretation of data.
Critical incidents were collected by research assistants, who were carefully trained to gather the data.
They were encouraged to accumulate data from 100 participants using convenience sampling. In order
to obtain a sample representative of customers of service organizations, they were instructed to
collect data from a wide variety of people. Participants were asked to record their critical incidents on
a standardized form.
Participants. One hundred and eighteen persons were approached to participate in this study.
Fourteen persons indicated that they were either unwilling or unable to participate and four
questionnaires were eliminated because of incompleteness. Eventually, 60 men and 40 women,
ranging in age from 16 to 95, with a median age of 27, stayed in the sample: 3% of them had less than
a high school education, whereas 25% had at least a bachelor’s degree.
Questionnaire. The first question asked participants to indicate which of 29 different services they had
purchased during the previous six-month period. This question was asked to reduce participants’
uncertainty regarding what was meant by services and to check whether participants had purchased
services during the last six months (cf., Keaveney, 1995). Then, participants were asked to recall the
last negative experience with a service provider and to bring back as much of the actual experience as
they possibly could. They were asked to describe this experience in an open-ended format. Next,
participants were asked to indicate if they experienced any emotions as a result of the negative
experience with the service provider. Then they were asked which emotions they experienced as a
result of the service failure by means of open-ended questions. The open-ended questions were “It is
possible that you experienced several emotions at that moment. Which emotion did you feel the
Subsequently, a closed-ended question was asked about the intensity of the reported
emotion. The question “How intense did you experience this emotion?” was answered on a five-point
scale with end-points labeled not intense at all (1) and very intense (5). Finally, participants were asked
whether they had experienced any other emotions because of this event, and if they had, which
emotions (open-ended question) and to what extent (closed-ended question).
Data categorization. A classification based on the results of a taxonomic study of the vocabulary of
emotions by Storm and Storm (1987) was used to categorize the results of this study. This particular
taxonomy was chosen because Storm and Storm used a rigorous system to classify a large number of
emotion terms into an adequate and comprehensive number of categories and subcategories: first,
they used a sorting task and hierarchical clustering to identify a preliminary set of categories; then
they expanded the words to be classified into these categories by asking various groups of participants
to supply words related to feelings; and finally, four expert judges sorted the larger collection of words
into categories. The result was a taxonomy that contains 525 different emotion terms distributed
among seven categories and twenty subcategories. The categories include three negative emotion
categories, two positive emotion categories, and two categories referring to cognitive states or
physical conditions. Subcategories include shame, sadness, pain, anxiety, fear, anger, hostility, disgust,
love, liking, contentment, happiness, pride, sleepy, apathetic, contemplative, arousal, interest,
surprise, and understanding.
Negative service experiences. The participants of this study reported a wide variety of negative service
experiences. Reported service failures fell in the categories of personal transportation (by airplane,
taxi, or train), banking and insurance, entertainment, hospitality, and restaurants, (virtual) stores,
hospitals, physicians, and dentists, repair and utility services,(local) government and the police,
education, telecommunication companies, health clubs, contracting firms, hairdressers, real-estate
agents, driving schools and travel agencies. On average, the negative events that participants reported
had happened 9.5 weeks before.
Experienced emotions. The aim of this study was to investigate whether anger is commonly
experienced in response to failed service encounters. The participants of this study experienced a
broad range of negative emotions in response to a failed service encounter. The emotion terms
customers provided were classified into seven categories: anger, sadness, hatred, anxiety, disgust,
fear, and pain. Other terms that were mentioned were classified into four additional categories
provided by the classification of Storm and Storm (1987): general negative terms, positive terms with
interpersonal reference, terms related to passivity, and terms related to activity. Finally, two additional
categories, appraisals, and a category labeled ‘other terms’ were included to classify terms that did
not tie in with the classification scheme of Storm and Storm.
On average, the participants provided 1.78 emotion terms: 5 participants experienced four
emotions; 10 participants experienced three emotions; 43 participants experienced two emotions;
and 42 participants experienced one emotion. Table 1 provides an overview of the results of this study.
Negative terms related to anger were mentioned most often. Anger terms were mentioned
95 times, corresponding to 53.37% of all items. Eighty-two percent of the participants mentioned a
negative term related to anger (either as the most intensely experienced emotion or as the second-,
third-, or fourth-strongest emotion). Sixty-nine percent of the participants mentioned a negative term
related to anger as the most intense emotion. The specified anger terms include ‘Angry’, ‘Rage’,
‘Irritated’, ‘Annoyed’, ‘Frustrated’, ‘Fed up’, ‘Indignant’, and ‘Grumpy’.
The second largest category is appraisals; cognitions associated with the perceived
antecedents of emotions. Participants mentioned three different appraisals, ‘powerless’, ‘unfair’, and
‘responsible’. Note that prior research associates the appraisal ‘unfair’ with anger, whereas
‘powerless’ is associated with both anger and sadness (Ruth et al., 2002; Shaver et al., 1987).
The third largest cluster is ‘Negative terms related to Sadness’. Sadness terms were mentioned
24 times by 21 participants. This category includes the emotion terms ‘Sad’, ‘Rejected’, ‘Disappointed’,
‘Despair’, ‘Dejected’, and ‘Useless’.
Other categories are considerably smaller than the afore-mentioned categories. Besides the
afore-mentioned appraisals, eight further ‘emotion’ terms that the participants of this study provided
did not fit the taxonomy of Storm and Storm (1987). As customers employed a rather broad definition
of emotion, the emotion terms they provided included mood states, action tendencies, and opinions
about the event and/or the service provider. These terms were categorized as ‘Other terms’.
Multiple emotions. Fifty-eight participants mentioned more than one term: however, only 17 of them
experienced multiple emotions. Anger and sadness were experienced most often in combination (14
times), followed by anger and fear (2 times) and fear and sadness (1 time).
Intensity of emotions. On a five-point scale, ranging from not intense at all (1) to very intense (5), the
mean rating of the strongest emotion was 3.97. Moreover, the large majority of the responses (84%)
fell above the midpoint of the scale. This suggests that the participants of this study did not report
incidents that they considered trivial or inconsequential.
Table 1: Customers’ Emotions in Response to Failed Service Encounters
2nd strongest emotion
3rd strongest emotion
4th strongest emotion
Negative terms related to Anger Anger 30 8 2 – Rage 13 8 1 – Irritated 15 2 1 – Annoyed 3 2 – – Frustrated 1 1 – – Fed up 2 – – – Indignant 5 – – – Grumpy – 1 – –
Appraisals Powerless 13 5 2 2 Unfair 2 1 – – Responsible – 1 – –
Negative terms related to Sadness Sadness 1 1 1 – Disappointed 3 9 1 1 Rejected – 1 – – Despair 2 1 1 – Dejected – – 1 – Useless – – 1 –
Terms related to Activity Excited – 1 – – Surprise 1 2 – – Amazement 1 – – – Disbelief 1 3 1 – Perplexed 1 – – –
Negative terms related to Hatred Hatred – 1 – – Aggression 1 – 1 1 Distrust – – 1 –
General negative terms Rotten 1 – – –
Negative terms related to Anxiety Upset 1 – – –
Terms related to Passivity Indifference 1 – – –
Positive terms with interpersonal reference Acceptance – 1 – – Pity – 2 – –
Negative terms related to Disgust Disrespect – 1 – –
Negative terms related to Fear Fear – 1 – –
Negative terms related to Pain Pain – 1 – –
Others Terms Claustrophobic 1 – – – Ridiculous 1 – – – Felt like crying – 1 – – Unreasonable – 1 1 – Dull – 1 – – Stress – 1 – – Discriminated – – – 1
Note. The numbers in the second, third, fourth, and fifth column refer to how many times a specific emotion term was mentioned as respectively the strongest, second-strongest, third-strongest, or fourth-strongest emotion. A dash indicates that this emotion was not mentioned (as for instance the strongest emotion).
The results of this study demonstrate that consumers experience a broad range of negative
emotions in response to a failed service encounter. Anger was by far the most frequently experienced
emotion; 82% of the participants experienced anger in response to the most recently experienced
failed service encounter. This suggests that anger is a common emotion in response to failed service
encounters. Because the results of this study provide additional support for the contention that
customer anger has a powerful impact on the profitability and performance of service firms, this study
calls for more research on the nature of customer anger.
Averill, James R. (1982) Anger and Aggression: An Essay on Emotion. New York: Springer
Bougie, R., R. Pieters, and M. Zeelenberg (2003), Angry Customers Don't Come Back, They Get Back:
The Experience and Behavioral Implications of Anger and Dissatisfaction in Services. Journal of
the Academy of Marketing Science, 31, 377-393.
Flanagan, J. C. (1954), The Critical Incident Technique. Psychological Bulletin, 51, 327-358.
Keaveney, Susan M. (1995), “Customer Switching Behavior in Service Industries: An Exploratory
Study,” Journal of Marketing, 59 (April), 71-82.
Grégoire, Y. and R. Fisher (2008) Customer Betrayal and Retaliation: When Your Best Customers
Become Your Worst Enemies, Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 2008, 36, 247-
Grégoire Y., D. Laufer, and T. Tripp (2010), A Comprehensive Model of Customer Direct and Indirect
Revenge: Understanding the Effects of Perceived Greed and Customer Power, Journal of the
Academy of Marketing Science, 738-758.
Nyer, P. U. (1999). The Effects of Satisfaction and Consumption Emotion on Actual Purchasing
Behavior. Journal of Consumer Satisfaction, Dissatisfaction and Complaining Behavior, 11, 62-
Ruth, Julie A., Frédéric F. Brunel, and Cele C. Otnes (2002), “Linking Thoughts to Feelings: Investigating
Cognitive Appraisals and Consumption Emotions in a Mixed Emotions Context,” Journal of the
Academy of Marketing Science, 30, (1) 44-58.
Shaver, P., J. Schwartz, D. Kirson, and C. O’Connor (1987). Emotion Knowledge: Further Exploration of
the Prototype Approach. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 52, 1061-1086.
Storm, Christine and Tom Storm (1987), “A Taxonomic Study of the Vocabulary of Emotions,” Journal
of Personality and Social Psychology, 53, (4) 805-816.
Taylor, Shirley (1994), “Waiting for Service: The Relationship Between Delays and Evaluations of
Service,” Journal of Marketing, 58 (April), 56-69.
Westbrook, R. A. (1987). Product/Consumption-Based Affective Responses and Postpurchase
Processes. Journal of Marketing Research, 24, 258-270.
Zeelenberg, M. and R. Pieters (1999). Comparing Service Delivery to What Might Have Been:
Behavioral Responses to Regret and Disappointment. Journal of Service Research, 2,
Zeelenberg, M. and R. Pieters (2004). Beyond Valence in Customer Dissatisfaction: Behavioral
Responses to Regret and Disappointment in Failed Services. Journal of Business Research, 57,
1. Why are the data that Jack has gathered qualitative in nature? 2. Jack has gathered qualitative data via a questionnaire. Describe three other techniques
and/or sources to gather qualitative data. 3. Sampling for qualitative research is as important as sampling for quantitative research.
Purposive sampling is one technique that is often employed in qualitative investigation (see Chapter 13). Describe purposive sampling.
4. How do you feel about the sampling technique that Jack has used (convenience sampling)? Would you have preferred purposive sampling? Why (not)?
5. Describe the three steps in qualitative data analysis (data reduction, data display, and the drawing of conclusions) on the basis of Jack’s study.
6. Jack has not paid any attention to the reliability and validity of his results in the first draft of his study. a. Are reliability and validity altogether important in qualitative research? b. Discuss reliability and validity in qualitative research. c. Describe how Jack could have paid attention to the reliability and validity of his findings.
7. Please categorize the following three responses into Jack’s classification system.
It is possible that you experienced several emotions at that moment. Which emotion did you feel the strongest? I was angry How intense did you experience this emotion? Not intense at all 1 2 3 4 5 Very intense Did you experience any other emotions because of this event. If you did, which emotions and to what extent?
Not intense at all Very intense Disappointment 1 2 3 4 5
1 2 3 4 5 1 2 3 4 5
It is possible that you experienced several emotions at that moment. Which emotion did you feel the strongest? I was blind with rage How intense did you experience this emotion? Not intense at all 1 2 3 4 5 Very intense Did you experience any other emotions because of this event. If you did, which emotions and to what extent?
Not intense at all Very intense It was NOT fair 1 2 3 4 5
Fed up with these people!!! 1 2 3 4 5 1 2 3 4 5
It is possible that you experienced several emotions at that moment. Which emotion did you feel the strongest? Unhappy How intense did you experience this emotion? Not intense at all 1 2 3 4 5 Very intense Did you experience any other emotions because of this event. If you did, which emotions and to what extent?
Not intense at all Very intense There was nothing I could do 1 2 3 4 5
1 2 3 4 5 1 2 3 4 5
- Negative terms related to Disgust
- Negative terms related to Pain
- Averill, James R. (1982) Anger and Aggression: An Essay on Emotion. New York: Springer Verlag.
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