انتظارات مدیریت شکایت: تجزیه و تحلیل نردبان سازی آنلاین کوچک در مقابل شرکت های بزرگ
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|21191||2009||15 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||12502 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Industrial Marketing Management, Volume 38, Issue 6, August–September 2009, Pages 584–598
This study explores complaint management expectations in business relationships, particularly the qualities and behaviours that affect buying companies as part of the complaint handling encounter with a supplier. An exploratory empirical study uses a hard laddering approach which also allows us to compare the expectations of large and small companies to understand size-effects. The research indicates that complaining companies perceive disruptions of their supplier relationships in the context of the business network within which they are embedded, especially vis-à-vis the benefits associated with long-term supplier ties. However, these network concerns are more pronounced for large companies. Issues of effective complaint management in business-to-business settings therefore need to be addressed not just as isolated managerial activities with limited benefits for the parties involved, but should be seen as being part of a wider activity set of strategic networking activities with an impact on whole business systems. Thus, the findings enrich the existing limited stock of knowledge on the context of complaint management in business relationships and networks.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
The exploratory analysis and findings enrich the existing limited stock of knowledge on conflict management, and more specifically on complaint management in business relationships by developing a deeper understanding of the supplier attributes (i.e. characteristics and behaviours) that complaining customer companies desire, and specifically identify the underlying business logic (i.e. buying company's values) on which these complaint management expectations are based. However, in line with most qualitative research, the findings are specific to the situation and industry in which our study was deployed. Thus, any generalizations beyond the realm of the research design of this study remains tentative. Within these constraints, our study shows that while structurally the means–end constructs of large and small firms in our sample of the manufacturing industry are very similar, there are also considerable differences in the content of their expected complaint resolution attributes and the motives for these expectations. However, our analyses use the unit of analysis of one respondent per company. Future research needs to look at the impact of organizational interactions on complaint behaviour expectations, e.g. analogously to a buying centre a ‘complaint centre’ may exist. The analysis shows that companies relate issues of complaint resolution by their key suppliers to the context of the overall business network in which they are embedded. However, this tendency is more pronounced for large in comparison to small companies. As such, the complaint management activities of supplying companies, which are often disruptive to close business relationships, provide the context of potentially impacting on other business relationships, even indirect ones involving down-stream customers. Thus, providing a solution to a complaint situation (i.e. exhibiting the required complaint management attributes) is not enough, based on a twofold complication. Firstly, the analysis highlights the importance of being able to clearly and quickly analyze and address the problem causing the complaint, but also to do this in a manner that is in line with and appropriate for close business relationships. The importance of Empathy, Manners, Honesty, and Openness in the analysis shows the soft aspects of effective complaint management that arguably cannot be part of a rules-based approach (Homburg & Fürst, 2005). Thus, a Solution is not just about remedying the situation (outcome) but includes the way in which it is done (process). This finding backs the importance of front-line managers for the complaint management process (Perrien et al., 1995). While this result is intuitive, the second aspect provides an innovative perspective for further research: The expectations of especially large business buyers are concerned with the effect of any complaint management characteristics within a buyer–seller relationship, and especially within a network of companies, that is a value-creating system (Parolini, 1999). Complaint management attributes need to signify the essence of these business relationships, specifically the underlying motivation for continuing a collaborative business setting between two companies. Thus, the limited perspective in the extant literature on inter-firm relationships, focusing mostly on complaint attributes per se and not their motivation, needs to be re-evaluated ( Davidow, 2003). Analogous to findings about different recovery expectation models operating in a business-to-consumer context ( Ringberg et al., 2007), small companies seem to operate within a more limited, dyadic utilitarian set of expectations, while larger companies employ a network utilitarian model. Nevertheless, effective complaint management processes represent an important boundary-spanning activity as part of the inter-firm interactions in business relationships ( Walter, 1999). While in itself this only represents an interaction episode (made up of individual actions), it impacts (via the expectations of the actors) on sequence and relationship aspects ( Holmlund, 2004 and Schurr, 2007). Further research therefore needs to link complaint management expectations and recovery activities on the one hand to relationship change on the other ( Schurr et al., 2008). This necessarily needs to take into consideration complaints voiced by the selling company ( Blois, 2008). Issues of effective complaint management need to address not just isolated managerial activities with limited benefits for the parties involved, but should focus on being part of a wider activity set of strategic networking activities which potentially impact on whole business systems (Ford et al., 2003 and Ritter, 1999). Furthermore, understanding key characteristics of complaining companies, such as their size, provides contingency information about differences in expectations. Complaint management effectiveness consequently relates to a wider perspective, not just the satisfaction levels of the direct complainant (Hansen et al., 1996b). Complaint management and performance thus becomes an activity with relevance to the overall business network. This result represents a key contribution of the present research which provides a wider network context for the literature on complaint management. A Solution in this context is therefore not merely a simple solution to the problem at hand (i.e. the reason for a complaint), but a solution to the ongoing question of how business relationships can be continued, enhanced, and developed within the interaction patterns of dependence and collaboration within a complex system of network relationships ( Ford et al., 2003). Such a network perspective also includes the reverse understanding of how suppliers complain to their customers in close business relationships. One unexpected finding from our study was the difference in approach between large and small firms. The existence of different expectation models based on relational characteristics (in our case based on the firm size of the customer company) needs to be researched in more detail, e.g. regarding different cultural models operating in different settings (Ringberg et al., 2007). A further noteworthy finding relates to the unimportance of Trust: although posited to play a key part in building close and successful business relationships (Andersen and Kumar, 2006, Huemer, 2004, Morgan and Hunt, 1994, Svensson, 2004 and Young, 2006), it did not even make the cut-off for inclusion in our analysis. While identified as a construct of meaning in our data, Trust did not feature as an important complaint resolution attribute, for either small or large companies (in fact, small companies did not mention trust or trustworthiness at all). We can only offer some suggestions for this astonishing finding which should instigate further research. For example, it may be that relationships in the manufacturing industry are not normally related to trust. If other relational norms dominated, e.g. reliance or dependence (Heide and George, 1988, Luo, 2002, Mouzas et al., 2007 and Tellefsen and Thomas, 2005), trust may only play a subordinate role in the expectations within this industry. Although there is no evidence that this is the case in the manufacturing industry, it has been shown to be the case in other sectors, e.g. the construction industry (Saad, Jones, & James, 2002). Another possible explanation may be that the underlying characteristics which drive business relationships are different, depending on whether a critical interaction is perceived as positive or negative for the relationship. This means that business relationships are governed by two different sets of drivers, not by differing degrees of one overall set. Whilst positive interactions may bring business characteristics such as trust, commitment, or long-term orientation to the fore, negative interactions could manifest themselves via different constructs. Thus, complaint management resolution expectations may be directed towards such characteristics, not those usually associated with fostering business relationships. We showed in our research that laddering studies provide a richly appropriate research design, which unlocks means–end considerations otherwise hidden from quantitative research. The quality of the results underlines the viability of a hard laddering method implemented online. In fact, the utilisation of the online approach provides evidence that complex contextual chains can be analyzed with comparable detail and quality to established hard laddering techniques implemented via a pen-and-pencil method. Further research needs to replicate these results and show the relative performance of different ways of implementing hard laddering (e.g. assisted by a graphical presentation explaining the procedure, or via a podcast), also contrasting different hard laddering techniques with soft laddering applications (Botschen & Thelen, 1998). In this connection, Grunert et al. (2001, p. 76) suggest that future research clarifies “under which circumstances it may be safe to perform hard laddering, and when it appears necessary to employ soft laddering”. Our results show the depth of insight that can be achieved using an on-line hard laddering approach, but there is clearly room for more work in the future examining the relative benefits of different laddering approaches.