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The social exchange between consumers and service providers in service- based operations (such as restaurants) provides an opportunity to examine complaint efficacy and outcome expectations. To further explain the cognitive influences behind complaint message production and delivery, this two-part investigation applied previous work involving self-efficacy theory within the context of consumer complaint intentions about service experiences. Specifically, it extended Makoul and Roloffs work from complaint intentions in romantic relationships to consumerism. In Study 1, existing measures of complaint efficacy and outcome expectations were redesigned and validated in a service context, indicating that the two constructs are in fact distinct, despite controversy over their conceptualization and measurement. In Study 2, the measures were revalidated and applied to a simple causal string, modeling the cognitive processing of complaint intentions in terms of the relationship among consumers' dining frequency, complaint efficacy, and outcome expectations. Results indicated that dining frequency significantly influenced complaint efficacy expectations and that efficacy expectations significantly predicted outcome expectations.


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© SAGE. Final version published as: Susskind, A. M. (2000). Efficacy and outcome expectations related to customer complaints about service experiences. Communication Research 27(3), 353-378. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.