Consumer safety complaints and organizational learning: evidence from the automotive industry

Sourish Sarkar, Balaji Rajagopalan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to investigate the value of information in consumer safety complaints for organizational learning. Design/methodology/approach: Empirical analysis of this study uses a novel secondary data set, which is formed by combining complaints data filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for potential safety defects, and design change information from 2003 to 2011 model-year vehicles in the USA. Findings: First, the paper demonstrates the value of information embedded in complaints. Second, in the case of radical product redesigns, owing to the lack of direct applicability of consumer feedback based learning, the impact of learning on product safety is found to be muted, third, the results suggest that the safety complaint rates vary by vehicle classes/categories and, fourth, the findings differ from prior research conclusions on vehicle quality. Prior research finds the debuting car models have the lowest repair rates among all car models produced in a given year, but the current study finds the debuting models to have the highest rates of safety complaints. Originality/value: Quality management literature rarely examines the safety complaints data (which, unlike other consumer feedbacks, focuses exclusively on the safety hazards due to flaws that result in accidents). This paper fills the gap in literature by linking safety complaints with future product quality and organizational learning.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2094-2118
Number of pages25
JournalInternational Journal of Quality and Reliability Management
Volume35
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 29 2018

Fingerprint

Automotive industry
Organizational learning
Consumer safety
Complaints
Safety
Value of information
Car
Redesign
Product quality
Accidents
Quality management
Design methodology
Empirical analysis
Traffic safety
Repair
Secondary data
Product safety
Defects
Hazard

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)
  • Strategy and Management

Cite this

@article{a59a3ae392d648638ddd9401b736115e,
title = "Consumer safety complaints and organizational learning: evidence from the automotive industry",
abstract = "Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to investigate the value of information in consumer safety complaints for organizational learning. Design/methodology/approach: Empirical analysis of this study uses a novel secondary data set, which is formed by combining complaints data filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for potential safety defects, and design change information from 2003 to 2011 model-year vehicles in the USA. Findings: First, the paper demonstrates the value of information embedded in complaints. Second, in the case of radical product redesigns, owing to the lack of direct applicability of consumer feedback based learning, the impact of learning on product safety is found to be muted, third, the results suggest that the safety complaint rates vary by vehicle classes/categories and, fourth, the findings differ from prior research conclusions on vehicle quality. Prior research finds the debuting car models have the lowest repair rates among all car models produced in a given year, but the current study finds the debuting models to have the highest rates of safety complaints. Originality/value: Quality management literature rarely examines the safety complaints data (which, unlike other consumer feedbacks, focuses exclusively on the safety hazards due to flaws that result in accidents). This paper fills the gap in literature by linking safety complaints with future product quality and organizational learning.",
author = "Sourish Sarkar and Balaji Rajagopalan",
year = "2018",
month = "11",
day = "29",
doi = "10.1108/IJQRM-03-2017-0048",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "35",
pages = "2094--2118",
journal = "International Journal of Quality and Reliability Management",
issn = "0265-671X",
publisher = "Emerald Group Publishing Ltd.",
number = "10",

}

Consumer safety complaints and organizational learning : evidence from the automotive industry. / Sarkar, Sourish; Rajagopalan, Balaji.

In: International Journal of Quality and Reliability Management, Vol. 35, No. 10, 29.11.2018, p. 2094-2118.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Consumer safety complaints and organizational learning

T2 - evidence from the automotive industry

AU - Sarkar, Sourish

AU - Rajagopalan, Balaji

PY - 2018/11/29

Y1 - 2018/11/29

N2 - Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to investigate the value of information in consumer safety complaints for organizational learning. Design/methodology/approach: Empirical analysis of this study uses a novel secondary data set, which is formed by combining complaints data filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for potential safety defects, and design change information from 2003 to 2011 model-year vehicles in the USA. Findings: First, the paper demonstrates the value of information embedded in complaints. Second, in the case of radical product redesigns, owing to the lack of direct applicability of consumer feedback based learning, the impact of learning on product safety is found to be muted, third, the results suggest that the safety complaint rates vary by vehicle classes/categories and, fourth, the findings differ from prior research conclusions on vehicle quality. Prior research finds the debuting car models have the lowest repair rates among all car models produced in a given year, but the current study finds the debuting models to have the highest rates of safety complaints. Originality/value: Quality management literature rarely examines the safety complaints data (which, unlike other consumer feedbacks, focuses exclusively on the safety hazards due to flaws that result in accidents). This paper fills the gap in literature by linking safety complaints with future product quality and organizational learning.

AB - Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to investigate the value of information in consumer safety complaints for organizational learning. Design/methodology/approach: Empirical analysis of this study uses a novel secondary data set, which is formed by combining complaints data filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for potential safety defects, and design change information from 2003 to 2011 model-year vehicles in the USA. Findings: First, the paper demonstrates the value of information embedded in complaints. Second, in the case of radical product redesigns, owing to the lack of direct applicability of consumer feedback based learning, the impact of learning on product safety is found to be muted, third, the results suggest that the safety complaint rates vary by vehicle classes/categories and, fourth, the findings differ from prior research conclusions on vehicle quality. Prior research finds the debuting car models have the lowest repair rates among all car models produced in a given year, but the current study finds the debuting models to have the highest rates of safety complaints. Originality/value: Quality management literature rarely examines the safety complaints data (which, unlike other consumer feedbacks, focuses exclusively on the safety hazards due to flaws that result in accidents). This paper fills the gap in literature by linking safety complaints with future product quality and organizational learning.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85057869493&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85057869493&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1108/IJQRM-03-2017-0048

DO - 10.1108/IJQRM-03-2017-0048

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:85057869493

VL - 35

SP - 2094

EP - 2118

JO - International Journal of Quality and Reliability Management

JF - International Journal of Quality and Reliability Management

SN - 0265-671X

IS - 10

ER -