Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
Dr. James Thomas
Given that fair treatment increases customer satisfaction (e.g., Bolton & Drew, 1991), the present study integrated consumer and organizational justice concepts by testing the interaction among distributive justice (DJ), procedural justice (PJ), and interactional justice (IJ) with respect to customers. The predicted nature o f the interaction differed from that obtained in research with employees such that unfavorable outcomes, rather than favorable outcomes (Skarlicki & Folger, 1997), were expected to render PJ and IJ inconsequential. The sample included 37 male and 83 female university students ranging in age from 19 to 46 years. Participants watched a videotaped scenario depicting an encounter between a customer and a bank loan officer, in which DJ, PJ, and IJ were each either high or low. The participants answered questions about their fairness perceptions, customer satisfaction, organizational commitment, and customer discretionary behavior (CDB) intentions based on the scenario. Results revealed a PJ main effect with respect to satisfaction (p < .05) such that participants who had experienced high PJ indicated higher levels of satisfaction than did those who had experienced low PJ. Results also revealed a two-way interaction between DJ and IJ with respect to both the fairness (p < .01) and satisfaction measures (p < .001) and a two-way interaction between PJ and IJ with respect to the fairness measure (p < .01). CDB and commitment were combined, and they yielded a significant three-way interaction (p < .01). Contrary to the hypotheses, high levels of IJ, rather than DJ, were typically required before the other justice aspects could influence responses. Based on the results, recommendations for future research and business application include taking a closer look at what customers find most important when making assessments about a service.
Rohde, Tara, "The effects of fair treatment on customer reactions in a service encounter" (2001). Student Work. 1299.