UBC Theses and Dissertations

UBC Theses Logo

UBC Theses and Dissertations

Understanding e-service failures : formation, impact and recovery Tan, Chee-Wee


E-service failure has been the bane of e-commerce by compelling consumers to either abandon transactions entirely or to switch to traditional brick-and-mortar establishments. More often than not, it is not the manifestation of e-service failure that drives away consumers, but rather, the absence or inadequacies of service recovery solutions that led to undeserved anger and frustration. Yet, despite the ‘dangers’ posed by e-service failures, there has not been a study to-date that systematically investigates how perceptions of failure emerge within an online transactional environment and what can be done to address these sources of potential consumer disappointments. Drawing on the Expectation Disconfirmation Theory (EDT) and the Counterfactual Thinking Perspective, this study synthesizes contemporary literature to arrive at separate typologies of e-service failure and recovery. Then, an integrated theory of e-service failure and recovery is constructed together with testable hypotheses. To empirically validate the model, two studies have been conducted and their designs elaborated. Essentially, findings from the two studies serve to inform both academics and practitioners on: (1) how consumer perceptions of different types of e-service failure manifest on e-commerce websites; (2) the impact of these perceptual failures on consumers’ expectations about transactional outcome, process and cost, as well as; (3) what kind of e-service recovery technology would be beneficial in alleviating negative failure consequences.

Item Media

Item Citations and Data


Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International