Will you tolerate this? The impact of affective commitment on complaint intention and postrecovery behavior

H. Evanschitzky, Christian Brock, Markus Blut

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Successful complaint management primarily depends on customers' willingness to voice their complaints and on companies' ability to adequately deal with these complaints. This article investigates the impact of one relationship characteristic in the complaint management process: affective commitment. Based on two studies, the authors investigate whether affective commitment moderates the impact of complaint barriers on complaint intention (a) and whether it moderates the link between complaint satisfaction and purchase behavior after the complaint (b). Results show that affectively committed customers exhibit higher complaint intention irrespective of the level of complaint barriers. Furthermore, affectively committed customers display little change in their postrecovery behavior, even after a service failure followed by an unsatisfactory recovery attempt. It seems that these customers are tolerant and want to help the provider improve their business. Affective commitment seems to amplify willingness to help the company by means of voicing dissatisfaction despite considerable efforts in doing so. Moreover, affective commitment buffers the negative effects of service failures on postrecovery behavior. Findings have important implications for managers. They highlight the necessity to measure customers' affective commitment. Based on that, tailored complaint systems can be designed, which help in achieving a more effective allocation of resources for customer recovery.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)410-425
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Service Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2011


  • complaint management
  • complaint stimulation
  • complaint satisfaction
  • postrecovery behavior
  • affective commitment
  • double deviation effect


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