The purpose of this paper is to examine the impact of ambiguous Locus of Control (LOC) on customers’ evaluations after service failures in the tourism distribution channel between intermediaries (travel agents) and suppliers (hotels). A three (Locus: ambiguity, intermediary, and supplier) × two (Severity: severe versus mild) between-subject design was employed. Findings indicate that customers’ evaluations are more negative of an intermediary (travel agent) than of a supplier (hotel) when customers do not know who is at fault. In addition, when service failure is severe, consumers who do not know who is at fault (perceiving an ambiguous LOC) are more dissatisfied with the service failure than those who know who caused the failure (perceiving a clear LOC). Furthermore, customers who served themselves (self-service; high participation) are more likely to attribute service failure to a supplier than customers who were served by an intermediary (intermediary service; low participation).
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management