Anglia Ruskin University
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Examining the role of social media influencers in service failure and recovery strategies: an empirical investigation of millennials’ views

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-08-01, 14:44 authored by Wilson Ozuem, Michelle Willis, Silvia Ranfagni, Kerry Howell, Serena Rovai


Prior research has advanced several explanations for social media influencers’ (SMIs’) success in the burgeoning computer-mediated marketing environments but leaves one key topic unexplored: the moderating role of SMIs in service failure and recovery strategies.


Drawing on a social constructivist perspective and an inductive approach, 59 in-depth interviews were conducted with millennials from three European countries (Italy, France and the United Kingdom). Building on social influence theory and commitment-trust theory, this study conceptualises four distinct pathways unifying SMIs’ efforts in the service failure recovery process.


The emergent model illustrates how source credibility and message content moderate service failure severity and speed of recovery. The insights gained from our model contribute to research on the pivotal uniqueness of SMIs in service failure recovery processes and offer practical explanations of variations in the implementation of influencer marketing. This study examines a perspective of SMIs that considers the cycle of their influence on customers through service failure and recovery.


The study suggests that negative reactions towards service failure and recovery are reduced if customers have a relationship with influencers prior to the service failure and recovery compared with the reactions of customers who do not have a relationship with the influencer.


Publication title

Information Technology & People





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Business & Law

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