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How to solve product‐harm crises in retailing?: Empirical insights from service recovery and negative publicity research

  • Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to present the current empirical research examining communication, compensation and logistics as elements of product crises management in retailing. Design/methodology/approach – The advantages and disadvantages of these three elements of crises response strategies are juxtaposed drawing on relevant empirical research. For each element of crises response the major findings of research are summarized and shown how it relates to crisis management. Needs for further research that would be necessary to solidify recommendations to retail managers are derived. Findings – The investigation finds that both communicative and compensatory response elements as well as the retailer's logistics can positively influence evaluations of customers directly and indirectly affected by product problems thus enhancing brand equity. This in turn will serve to increase consumers' trust in the retailer that could win him new customers and generally benefit his reputation. Research limitations/implications – Most of the discussed research rests on the assumption of a given (extraneous) crisis response strategy of the manufacturer. Potential problems concerning the co‐ordination or implementation of manufacturer and retailer strategies remain open to question. Additionally, further research should examine which strategies are appropriate to which crisis situation. Practical implications – Materially, over‐compensating customers often has a detrimental effect on solving the crisis. The impact of different compensation types on crisis resolution mostly depends on their respective signalling capabilities, the product problem constituting the crisis and consumer attributions. The use and the effects of a communicative crisis response largely depend on moderating factors such as the retailer's reputation or the existence of strong retail brands and consumer expectations. Elements of logistics seem to support the effects of communication and compensation on crisis resolution but are hardly capable of solving a product‐harm crisis. Originality/value – The role of retailers in product‐harm crisis management has been widely neglected in research although such crises are predominant. This paper outlines the current empirical work on how different crises response elements may contribute to solving a product‐harm crisis for retailers. It derives relevant avenues for further research as well as useful insights to practitioners considering to using such response elements in their own crisis management strategy.

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Author:Guido GrunwaldORCiD
Title (English):How to solve product‐harm crises in retailing?: Empirical insights from service recovery and negative publicity research
Parent Title (English):International journal of retail and distribution management
Document Type:Article
Year of Completion:2009
electronic ID:Zur Anzeige in scinos
Release Date:2019/01/28
First Page:915
Last Page:932
Faculties:Fakultät MKT / Institut für Duale Studiengänge
DDC classes:300 Sozialwissenschaften / 330 Wirtschaft
Review Status:Veröffentlichte Fassung/Verlagsversion