Although in recent years academic interest in trust repair following a breach has grown significantly, we still know very little about how trust repair happens and in what contexts. This study focuses on customer trust repair following a major food adulteration scandal. Through a grounded theory study of customer experiences of real-life trust breakdown and recovery, we identify four factors (absence of further transgressions, positive personal experience with the retailer, the retailer’s normal functioning, and the normal behavior of other customers) and three contextual conditions (passage of time, institutional context, and immediate trust repair strategies) associated with customers’ trust recovery in food retailers. In addition, we show that trust recovery is not necessarily a direct result of the trustee’s trust repair activities, as theorized previously, before discussing the implications of our findings for theory and practice.
- Customer trust
- Grounded theory
- Trust recovery
- Trust repair
Bozic, B., Siebert, S., & Martin, G. (2020). A grounded theory study of factors and conditions associated with customer trust recovery in a retailer. Journal of Business Research, 109, 440-448. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jbusres.2019.12.032