Sunday, 24 September 2017

Typically, customer satisfaction is influenced by the individual’s prior experiences with the
service provider.There is some evidence to suggest that emotional bonding or relationship status
might make customers more lenient towards service providers in the case of service failures (e.g.
Mattila, 2004). On the other hand, researchers also argue that perceived losses arising from
service failures are highly detrimental among customers with high prior cumulative satisfaction
(Bitner et al., 1990; Bolton, 1998). Loyal customers might retaliate if they feel betrayed by a
service failure (Grégoire & Fisher, 2008). Conversely, customers with low levels of emotional
bonding might be highly “forgiving” as long as the service recovery is effectively handled
(Mattila, 2004).
Relationship status is indeed a concept that is closely related to fairness. For example,
Aggarwal and Larrick (2012) introduce the notion of communal versus exchange relationships
to the recovery literature. Communal and exchange relationships were first identified in the
interpersonal relationships literature (Clark, 1981; Clark & Mills, 1979; Clark, Mills & Corcoran,
1989) but have also been applied to consumer contexts (Aggarwal, 2004; Goodwin, 1996;
Johnson & Grimm, 2010; Wan et al., 2011). In communal relationships, members benefit from
each other on the basis of needs or to demonstrate general concern for each other’s welfare
(Clark, 1984). Conversely, in exchange relationships, members benefit from each other in
response to specific benefits received in the past or expected in the future (Clark & Mills, 1979;
Mills & Clark, 1982). Aggarwal & Larrick (2012) show that consumers who have a communal
relationship with a brand are more sensitive to interactional fairness under conditions of low
distributive fairness while those who have an exchange relationship are more receptive when
distributive fairness is high.

ustice is a universal concept that touches all areas of life, including commercial exchanges.
Humans, unlike other species, have a sense of morality (Cropanzano et al., 2011). Justice is
typically defined as a moral property of some event or action (e.g., Bagger et al., 2006). Simply
put, something is fair when a person believes it to be fair. In other words, perceived fairness lies
in the eyes of the beholder and consequently the same event can be perceived as fair or unfair
depending on the individual. In this chapter we use the terms fairness and justice interchangeably.
The goal of the present chapter is to review marketing and consumer behavior literature related
to justice and to provide some avenues for future research.
The chapter is organized as follows: first we discuss the dimensions of the fairness construct.
We then discuss fairness in the context of service recovery efforts. Third, we discuss the social
impact of justice in terms of relationship norms and third-party justice.We then explore different
pricing strategies and their impact on perceived fairness. We end with a discussion on the role
of culture in shaping consumers’ fairness perceptions.

In the span of modernity’s five centuries, the world has witnessed increased levels of production
in the hands of fewer and fewer owners who are strictly separated from the working class. This
period saw the development of society around production under a strict division of labor which
resulted in workers being isolated from both the products of their labors and other workers.The
dominant form of social organization changed from that of feudal communities to the one of
nuclear families living under the protection, or the domination, of diverse political leaderships.
Mass industrialization was ideologically bound to grand theories with a common focus: that
progress and welfare could only come through material goods (van Raaij 1993). From the 19th
century, ideas were also mass packaged and delivered in the concentrated and easily digestible
form of a variety of -isms. Since the middle of the 20th century oppressive ideologies have been
further compressed into an amalgamation of shreds of lost utopias and fantasies of globalism;
fragments of cultures that came to be known as Pluralism (Lyotard 1984).
On a micro-scale, families have been evolving into new and fluid compositions, thus altering
the structure of the consumption decision-making process without challenging its fundamental
objective of happiness through having. On a macro-scale, supra-national organizations seek to
evolve global forms of governance (Mandelson 2009) and even statesmen have been issuing a
“clarion call” for the re-examination of the role of the nation-state (Papandreou 2010;Wiesmann
2011; Μουτζουρίδης [Moutzouridis 2012]. So far, however, the world has yet to witness the
“invisible hand” (A. Smith 1761, 1863) “make nearly the same distribution of the necessaries of
life, which would have been made, had the earth been divided into equal portions among all its
inhabitants.” It appears that Smith’s (1761: 273–274) fundamental assumption that “the capacity
of [the proud and unfeeling landlord’s] stomach bears no proportion to the immensity of his
desires” does not hold for the Transnational Corporation, the post-industrial equivalent of the
Although the masses have been acquiring ever increasing amounts of a variety of coveted
material possessions, their collars have turned from blue to white and the object of their labor
has become information and images, rather than machinery and material product, the bases of
social organization have not been challenged and the power structures of modernity seem to be,
if anything, more firmly entrenched. After the early sixties, with the emergence of the pop-art
movement, the important segmentation between those that own the means of production and
those that live to consume was spread by other means.

The view of consumption beyond sustenance and life preservation as a matter of the “heart” and
a process of heaping up individual joy is as at least as old as recorded civilization. Similarly, the
study of consumption and humans as consumers is one of the oldest intellectual pursuits which,
having drawn on a multitude of disciplines, has been formalized as a field that came to be known
as Consumer Research; a field so broad that “it stands for everything, which in this case is
tantamount to nothing” (Holbrook 1987). Only a little over a decade ago consumption was still
described as “a poorly understood phenomenon” (Wilk 1999, p. 1) with ambiguous boundaries
between the decision-making process and its abstractions (Shocker, Ben-Akiva, Boccara &
Nedungadi 1991). Despite the proliferation of consumer research addressing the social and
cultural influences on human behavior, as well as significant advances in the study of the
experiential, symbolic and ideological aspects of consumption, the end result is “more obfuscating
than clarifying” (Arnould & Thompson 2005: 868).This is caused by paradigmatic incoherencies
(Holbrook 1987; Wilk 1999, 2002) and results in ineffective policymaking, with regards to
curtailing consumerism and environmentally harmful consumption (Wilk 1999), and inefficient
marketing actions with regards to turning potential to buying and loyal customers (Shocker et
al. 1991).What is more important, the marketing discipline appears to have shown little concern
to limiting the damage caused to the social and physical environment by its processes, products
and by-products and to have taken an amoralistic stance to consumption.
In answering the question “what is consumer research?,” Holbrook (1987: 131) equates our lives
with the “pains and difficulties imposed by prices and budget constraints” and the “existential
anguish in choosing among products, none of which is perfect” and describes “the human
condition [as] an imperfect and tainted world in which consumers can only strive to surmount
their constant barriers to fulfillment.” Like all other social sciences, the fundamental responsibility
of marketing is acknowledged to be the making of the world into a better place for people to
live happier lives in. It is just that for marketing, “the State of Paradise” is described as that “in
which Adam and Eve’s sole task was to enjoy pleasant forms of consumption.”
It follows that, since consummation is to be found in consumption, the task of our discipline
is to employ macro and microeconomics, psychology, sociology, anthropology and humanities
(Holbrook 1987) in order to study the social, cultural, economic and psychological aspects of
consumer behavior as independent variables, givens beyond moral judgment, with the aim of
increasing consumption, irrespective of the consequences of consumerism (in the sense of the
dominant social and economic order that encourages the purchase of goods and services in
ever-greater amounts) for the lives of other people and future generations. In this framework,
the role of philosophy has been dismissed as being of limited scope; praxeology is seen as an
inadequate basis for a consumer theory of reasoned action, ethics as confined to addressing
“phenomena of consumer misbehavior” and the philosophy of science as a source of glimpses
into “approaches that depart from the prevailing tendency toward logical empiricism” (Holbrook
1987: 130).

Starting with the philosophical correlations of key marketing concepts (needs/wants/desires)
which serve as the backbone of consumerism, today’s dominant ideology, this chapter seeks to
outline the implications of the present economic crisis and the possible effects for the future of
consumerism as well as the marketing discipline itself. Philosophical ethics and economics
appear to be parting their ways in affluent societies.The separation of marketing from economics,
its subsequent development as an independent field and its focus on the individual behavior
alone have resulted in an overemphasis on individual desires at the expense of value. Thus,
consumption is not being held responsible for collective welfare and the achievement of social
objectives. The chapter argues that the ongoing crisis in the modern world is unique in that it
signifies a possible end of the “false desires” based consumer culture edifice alongside the bubble
finance-driven economies. Reforms in the way we see marketing and consumption are necessary
in order to reduce and diversify the Schumpeterian (1947) creative/destructive effects of
evolutionary forms of the present economic system, while fulfilling the Aristotelian economic
ideal of creating wealth, in such a way as to make every individual a better person and the world
a better place to live, rather than just to consume in.

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The harbor-master entered briskly but dubiously the room of the ship's first officer. "What about the five men for the Domus?" he bellowed. "All ready to sign, sir," assured the manager of the employment agency, pointing toward two saddle colored negroes, a Spaniard, and a limp figure half asleep, slouching in the corner on a narrow bench, one hand clutching an expensive leather bag. "It is the best I could do on such short notice," assured the agency man in an undertone, noticing that the first officer's inventory was not very encouraging. "Get them up here to sign. We're anchored in the stream, losing two thousand dollars every hour we stay here. We need five more firemen—anything that looks human," he added impatiently, spreading 10the ship's articles on the counter that reached across the smelly water-front den. "Come on and sign up, boys," said the agency man with assumed good nature. While the two negroes and the Spaniard were signing, the ship's first officer went to the sleeping figure in the corner, took up his free hand and felt of the palm, then dropped it disgustedly as he took the man by the shoulders and shook him vigorously. "Come on and sign up, Strong," he shouted into his ear. Strong labored with himself, still holding to his bag, half staggered to the counter and signed on the line indicated—"Hiram Strong, Jr." The signature was plain and businesslike. Evidently the Candidate had known better days. "He's been kicked out or disowned," muttered the first officer to me while he was signing up. "He won't be worth a cuss. Look—those hands never did a lick of work—but he will fill the list," he added, walking about nervously and sizing me up with apparent approbation. The agency man came up at once and held the pen towards me, and without hesitation I signed 11"Ben Taylor" on the line beneath. While I was thus engaged Hiram leaned against the counter weak and listless, his bag between his feet. We had both signed as firemen or stokers on the steamship Domus for a round trip to an unnamed Gulf, or Mexican port. Although pretty well awake by this time Strong did not resent my taking his arm and helping him a bit. He made no comment at first, but after he got used to the lively walk along the dock, he began to show signs of saying something. "Old pal," he began, without turning his head, "I—I've got a headache—top's coming off—and my stomach is all jelly. It shakes as I walk and makes me sick," he ended under his breath. "You'll be all right after you get some sleep." "Y-e-s—I think—I h-h-ope so——I've had an awful time—an awful time, pardee—but this is my last—this is my last," he added, more to himself. His bloodless face and lips, pink lids and bloodshot eyes indicated a disordered system urgently rebelling against recent abuses. After we got aboard the harbor-master's tug, although 12very weak, he refused to sit down. Noting that I had found a seat, he lurched over to me. "Old pal, everything looks yellow to me, even the sun looks yellow—sort of faded. Does it look yellow to you?" he asked, blinking at the clear setting sun, and although his power to realize was at low ebb, he picked me out evidently as being different from the others. By that act he exercised a discrimination that predestined an exciting and almost unbelievable career. "The sun looks all right to me," I told him, smiling up in sympathy. "I guess it's me—it's terrible—but this is the last—I'm going to work now. Little Hiram is going to work for the balance of his life—I got to, that's all," he ended, with a dogged determination that I hoped would survive after he recovered from his unsettled and polluted condition. I steadied him a little when climbing the ladder from the tug to the ship, which attention he seemed to appreciate. "Old pal, I must go to bed. If I don't I will die," said he as we went forward to the firemen's sleeping quarters. There he tumbled into a lower bunk, not stopping to remove even the cheap cap he wore.