RESEARCH TOPICS AND METHODS

Has anyone ever insulted you online? Perhaps you posted something on a social media site, online forum, or comments beneath a news story online, after which a complete stranger disagreed with you in some way to the point of insulting you, trying to publicly shame you, bully you, or verbally abuse you. If so, I may want to interview you via Skype for a current research project. It's possible you may be eligible to receive payment in exchange for an email if you meet certain criteria. If this interests you, please contact Professor Bacile (tjbacile@loyno.edu) and mention "online insults" in the subject line or body of the email.

Theories and frameworks used in past research

A service recovery is the actions a firm takes with its customer service initiatives to resolve a problem for a consumer. What are some concerns that companies must be aware of when trying to resolve complaints? I investigate these and other service recovery issues in my work.

 
  • Incivility theory

  • Deindividuation theory

  • Online disinhibition effect

  • Customer co-production

  • Anonymity theory

  • Sociological deviance theory

  • Attribution theory

  • Equity theory

  • Perceived justice framework

  • Unified services theory

  • Service-dominant logic

  • Communication theory

  • Referent cognitions theory

  • Signaling theory

  • Media systems dependency theory

  • Picture superiority effect

Some current research projects regarding online complaining are seeking individuals willing to be interviewed. In particular, people who complain to a brand online via social media and are then met with some type of disagreement from other customers. Examples include another customer suggesting your complaint is not important, you are wrong to complain, the problem is your fault (not the brand's), and other forms of civil or uncivil language targeted at you. If this sounds interesting please contact Professor Bacile for more details: tjbacile@loyno.edu. If you qualify, it may be possible to compensate you in exchange for an interview.

Social media and other interactive technologies are enabling people to complain to firms about service failures online. How should firms handle such online complaints? Is an online service recovery different from an offline recovery? My research examines these online service recovery issues.

An important principle within services marketing is the consumer as an active participant in the provision of service. Consumers help to co-produce the service experience by offering inputs, efforts, and information to service workers. I posit that many of the tenets associated with services is now important to how firms interact with consumers via newer, interactive media (i.e., social and mobile).

Qualitative methods are useful when investigating newer phenomena or under-researched topics. Methods such as ethnography and netnography aid in the identification of emerging frameworks and theories. These are methods I often use in my research.

Structural equation modeling (SEM) uses algorithms and statistical calculations to fit networks of constructs to data. SEM is a terrific method to use in the social sciences due to its ability to impute relationships between unobserved constructs (latent variables) from observable variables. I studied SEM under Dr. Michael Brady at Florida State University, who is one of the utmost experts on the method.

Analysis of the variance (ANOVA) is a collection of statistical techniques that assesses the variation among and between group means. A variable's variance is partitioned into componets attributable to different sources of variation. Say that sentence three times quickly! ANOVA is a useful method to assess differences in survey data and experimental data.

Click here to read the web appendix to my research paper published in the Journal of Services Marketing: "The value disruption of uncivil other-customers during online service recovery", by TJ Bacile, AK Krallman, JS Wolter, and ND Beachum

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