Consequences of Customer Powerlessness: Secondary Control

This research investigated the consequences of powerlessness when consumers experience service failure with a company that has high-exit barriers. The specific consequences investigated were three types of secondary control, which are grudge-holding, avoidance (predictive avoidance), and retaliation desire. These secondary control coping strategies highlight consumers' ability to control their personal behaviors and thoughts, even when they cannot completely control the outcomes of a situation. A qualitative study, followed by a scenario-based survey and structural equation model, suggest that the primary direct consequences of powerlessness in commercial relationships are grudge-holding and predictive avoidance, and that both predictive avoidance and a desire to retaliate are further consequences of grudge-holding. The results of this research underscore the importance of understanding the role of powerlessness and its consequences in consumer–firm relationships.

Publication Information
Article Title: Consequences of Customer Powerlessness: Secondary Control
Journal: Journal of Consumer Behavior (2009)
Vol. 8 (5), 225-299
Author(s): Bunker, M;  Ball, A. Dwayne
Researcher Information
Ball, A. Dwayne
Ball, A. Dwayne
  • Customer Relationship Marketing
  • Database Marketing
  • Market Research
  • Services Marketing
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