Employees' willingness to report service complaints

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article presents the concept of service workers' willingness to report service complaints (WRC) and examines frontline workers' discretion about reporting customer complaints in two qualitative studies and a quantitative study. The qualitative studies conceptualize WRC based on a critical incident technique and interviews with service providers and reveal that service providers practice much discretion in their decision to report both informal and formal complaints, weighing cost/ benefit considerations, customer motivation and complaint justification, and numerous organizational and other factors. The quantitative study examines a preliminary WRC scale and its relationship with several correlates and shows that WRC levels are associated with measures of organizational citizenship behavior, service climate, and empowerment. The discussion examines the contribution of the findings regarding WRC to research on service recovery and improving customer satisfaction and presents managerial implications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)156-174
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Service Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Nov 2009


  • Customer complaints
  • Empowerment
  • Organizational citizenship behavior
  • Service climate
  • Service recovery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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