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Hotel management’s attempts at repairing customers’ trust : The use of apology and denial

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Abstract

The present study explores the discursive practice of the hospitality industry in addressing competence-based, benevolence-based, and integrity-based accusations of trust violation made by dissatisfied customers on TripAdvisor. Authentic negative online reviews written by dissatisfied customers and the corresponding responses by hotel management downloaded directly from TripAdvisor are analyzed qualitatively with Nvivo10. Results show that hotel management has the strongest preference for apology, followed by implicit denial and then explicit denial when dealing with the three different types of accusations of trust violation. The findings will enhance our understanding of trust and its repair, and benefit hospitality practitioners responsible for handling online criticisms and complaints.

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Keywords: TripAdvisor; apology; denial; hotel accommodation; trust repair; trust violation

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 31, 2019

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