Volume 10, Issue 4
  • ISSN 1878-9714
  • E-ISSN: 1878-9722
Buy:$35.00 + Taxes



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.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


  1. Bhatia, Vijay
    2004Worlds of Written Discourse: A Genre-based View. London: Continuum.
    [Google Scholar]
  2. Biber, Douglas, Ulla Connor, Thomas Upton, and Budsaba Kanoksilapatham
    2007 “Introduction to move analysis.” InDiscourse on the Move: Using Corpus Linguistics to Describe Discourse Structureedited byD. Biber, U. Connor, and T. Upton, 23–42. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. 10.1075/scl.28
    https://doi.org/10.1075/scl.28 [Google Scholar]
  3. Bradley, Graham, and Beverly Sparks
    2009 “Dealing with service failures: The use of explanations.” Journal of Travel and Tourism Marketing26: 129–43. 10.1080/10548400902862010
    https://doi.org/10.1080/10548400902862010 [Google Scholar]
  4. Chan, Nga-ling, and Basak Guillet
    2011 “Investigation of social media marketing: How does the hotel industry in Hong Kong perform in marketing on social media websites?.” Journal of Travel and Tourism Marketing28: 345–68. 10.1080/10548408.2011.571571
    https://doi.org/10.1080/10548408.2011.571571 [Google Scholar]
  5. Ferrin, Donald, Peter Kim, Cecily Cooper, and Kurt Dirks
    2007 “Silence speaks volumes: The effectiveness of reticence in comparison to apology and denial for responding to integrity- and competence-based trust violations.” Journal of Applied Psychology92, 4: 893–908. 10.1037/0021‑9010.92.4.893
    https://doi.org/10.1037/0021-9010.92.4.893 [Google Scholar]
  6. Folkes, Valerie, and Yun-oh Whang
    2003 “Account-giving for a corporate transgression influences moral judgement: when those who ‘spin’ condone harm-doing.” Journal of Applied Psychology88, 1: 79–86. 10.1037/0021‑9010.88.1.79
    https://doi.org/10.1037/0021-9010.88.1.79 [Google Scholar]
  7. Fornell, Claes, and Birger Wernerfelt
    1987 “Defensive marketing strategy by customer complaint management: a theoretical analysis.” Journal of Marketing Research24: 337–46. 10.2307/3151381
    https://doi.org/10.2307/3151381 [Google Scholar]
  8. Fornell, Claes, Michael Johnson, Eugene Anderson, Jaesung Cha, and Barbara Bryant
    1996 “The American customer satisfaction index: nature, purpose, and findings.” Journal of Marketing60: 7–18. 10.2307/1251898
    https://doi.org/10.2307/1251898 [Google Scholar]
  9. Fuoli, Matteo, and Carita Paradis
    2014 “A model of trust-repair discourse.” Journal of Pragmatics74: 52–69. 10.1016/j.pragma.2014.09.001
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pragma.2014.09.001 [Google Scholar]
  10. Jambulingam, Thani, Ravi Kathuria, and John Nevin
    2009 “How fairness garners loyalty in the pharmaceutical supply chain Role of trust in the wholesaler-pharmacy relationship.” International Journal of Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Marketing3, 4: 305–22. doi:  10.1108/17506120911006029
    https://doi.org/10.1108/17506120911006029 [Google Scholar]
  11. Ho, Victor
    2017a “Achieving service recovery through responding to negative online reviews.” Discourse & Communication11, 1: 31–50. doi:  10.1177/1750481316683292
    https://doi.org/10.1177/1750481316683292 [Google Scholar]
  12. 2017b “Giving offense and making amends: How hotel management attempts to manage rapport with dissatisfied customers.” Journal of Pragmatics109: 1–11. doi:  10.1016/j.pragma.2016.12.001
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pragma.2016.12.001 [Google Scholar]
  13. Kim, Peter, Donald Ferrin, Cecily Cooper, and Kurt Dirks
    2004 “Removing the shadow of suspicion: The effects of apology versus denial for repairing competence- versus integrity-based trust violations.” Journal of Applied Psychology89: 104–18. 10.1037/0021‑9010.89.1.104
    https://doi.org/10.1037/0021-9010.89.1.104 [Google Scholar]
  14. Kim, Peter, Cecily Cooper, Kurt Dirks, and Donald Ferrin
    2013 “Repairing trust with individuals vs. groups.” Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes120: 1–14. 10.1016/j.obhdp.2012.08.004
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.obhdp.2012.08.004 [Google Scholar]
  15. Lazare, Aaron
    2004On Apology. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  16. Levy, Stuart, Wenjing Duan, and Soyoung Boo
    2013 “An analysis of one-star online reviews and responses in the Washington, D.C., lodging market.” Cornell Hospitality Quarterly54, 1: 49–63. doi:  10.1177/1938965512464513
    https://doi.org/10.1177/1938965512464513 [Google Scholar]
  17. Linell, Per, and Ivana Marková
    2013Dialogical Approaches to Trust in Communication. Information Age Publishing.
    [Google Scholar]
  18. Litvin, Stephen, and Laura Hoffman
    2012 “Responses to consumer-generated media in the hospitality marketplace: An empirical study.” Journal of Vacation Marketing18, 2: 135–45. doi:  10.1177/1356766712443467
    https://doi.org/10.1177/1356766712443467 [Google Scholar]
  19. Matzat, Uwe, and Chris Snijders
    2012 “Rebuilding trust in online shops on consumer review sites: Sellers’ responses to user-generated complaints.” Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication18: 62–79. doi:  10.1111/j.1083‑6101.2012.01594.x
    https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1083-6101.2012.01594.x [Google Scholar]
  20. Mayer, Roger, James Davis, and F. David Schoorman
    1995 “An integrative model of organizational trust.” The Academy of Management Review20, 3: 709–34. doi:  10.2307/258792
    https://doi.org/10.2307/258792 [Google Scholar]
  21. Mazzarol, Tim, Jillian Sweeney, and Geoffrey Soutar
    2007 “Conceptualizing word-of-mouth activity, triggers and conditions: An exploratory study.” European Journal of Marketing41: 1475–94. doi:  10.1108/03090560710821260
    https://doi.org/10.1108/03090560710821260 [Google Scholar]
  22. McColl-Kennedy, Janet, and Beverly Sparks
    2003 “Application of fairness theory to service failures and service recovery.” Journal of Service Research5: 251–66. doi:  10.1177/1094670502238918
    https://doi.org/10.1177/1094670502238918 [Google Scholar]
  23. Murphy, Laurie, Gianna Mascardo, and Pierre Benckendorff
    2007 “Exploring word-of-mouth influences on travel decisions: Friends and relatives vs. other travelers.” International Journal of Consumer Studies31: 517–27. doi:  10.1111/j.1470‑6431.2007.00608.x
    https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1470-6431.2007.00608.x [Google Scholar]
  24. O’Connor, Peter
    2010 “Managing a hotel’s image on TripAdvisor.” Journal of Hospitality Marketing and Management19: 754–772. doi:  10.1080/19368623.2010.508007
    https://doi.org/10.1080/19368623.2010.508007 [Google Scholar]
  25. Olshtain, Elite
    1989 “Apologies across languages.’ InCross-cultural speech acts realization project, edited byS. Blum-Kulka, J. House, and G. Kasper, 155–173. Norwood, N.J.: Ablex.
    [Google Scholar]
  26. Papathanassis, Alexis, and Friederike Knolle
    2011 “Exploring the adoption and processing of online holiday reviews: A grounded theory approach.” Tourism Management32: 215–24. doi:  10.1016/j.tourman.2009.12.005
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tourman.2009.12.005 [Google Scholar]
  27. Park, Hee and Xiaowen Guan
    2009 “Culture, Positive and Negative Face Threats, and Apology Intentions.” Journal of Language and Social Psychology28, 3: 244–62. doi:  10.1177/0261927X09335249
    https://doi.org/10.1177/0261927X09335249 [Google Scholar]
  28. Sigal, Janet, Louis Hsu, Stacey Foodim, and Jeffrey Betman
    1988 “Factors affecting perceptions of political candidates accused of sexual and financial misconduct.” Political Psychology9: 273–80. doi:  10.2307/3790956
    https://doi.org/10.2307/3790956 [Google Scholar]
  29. Sparks, Beverly, and Graham Bradley
    2017 “A ‘triple A’ typology of responding to negative consumer-generated online reviews.” Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Research41, 6: 719–745. 10.1177/1096348014538052
    https://doi.org/10.1177/1096348014538052 [Google Scholar]
  30. Sparks, Beverly, and Liz Fredline
    2007 “Providing an explanation for service failure: Context, content, and customer responses.” Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Research31, 2: 241–60. doi:  10.1177/1096348006297292
    https://doi.org/10.1177/1096348006297292 [Google Scholar]
  31. Spenader, Jennifer, and Emar Maier
    2009 “Contrast as denial in multi-dimensional semantics.” Journal of Pragmatics41: 1707–26. doi:  10.1016/j.pragma.2008.10.005
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pragma.2008.10.005 [Google Scholar]
  32. Spencer-Oatey, Helen
    2008 “Face, (im)politeness and rapport.” InCulturally Speaking: Culture, Communication and Politeness Theory, 2nd edition, edited byH. Spencer-Oatey, 11–47. London & New York: Continuum.
    [Google Scholar]
  33. Spencer-Oatey, Helen, and Peter Franklin
    2009Intercultural Interaction: A Multidisciplinary Approach to Intercultural Communication. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. 10.1057/9780230244511
    https://doi.org/10.1057/9780230244511 [Google Scholar]
  34. Spreng, Richard, Gilbert Harrell, and Robert Mackoy
    1995 “Service recovery: impact on satisfaction and intentions.” Journal of Services Marketing9, 1: 15–23. doi:  10.1108/08876049510079853
    https://doi.org/10.1108/08876049510079853 [Google Scholar]
  35. Stapleton, Karyn
    2016 “Accountable preferences? Discourse, identity, and the anti-prejudice norm.” Journal of Language and Social Psychology35, 5: 491–514. doi:  10.1177/0261927X15615635
    https://doi.org/10.1177/0261927X15615635 [Google Scholar]
  36. Tedlow, Richard
    2010Denial: Why Business Leaders Fail to Look Facts in the Face – and What to do about It. New York: Portfolio.
    [Google Scholar]
  37. White, Tiffany
    2005 “Consumer trust and advice acceptance: The moderating roles of benevolence, expertise, and negative emotions.” Journal of Consumer Psychology15, 2: 141–8. 10.1207/s15327663jcp1502_6
    https://doi.org/10.1207/s15327663jcp1502_6 [Google Scholar]
  38. Yavas, Ugur, Osman Karatepe, Emin Babakus, and Turgay Avci
    2004 “Customer complaints and organizational responses: A study of hotel guests in Northern Cyprus.” Journal of Hospitality and Leisure Marketing11, 2–3: 31–46. doi:  10.1300/J150v11n02_04
    https://doi.org/10.1300/J150v11n02_04 [Google Scholar]
  39. Zhang, Yi, and Camilla Vásquez
    2014 “Hotels’ responses to online reviews: Managing consumer dissatisfaction.” Discourse, Context and Media6: 54–64. doi:  10.1016/j.dcm.2014.08.004
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.dcm.2014.08.004 [Google Scholar]

Data & Media loading...

  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): apology; denial; hotel accommodation; TripAdvisor; trust repair; trust violation
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was successful
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error