Who gets the blame for service failures? Attribution of responsibility toward robot versus human service providers and service firms

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Service robots are on the rise. Technological advances in engineering, artificial intelligence, and machine learning enable robots to take over tasks traditionally carried out by humans. Despite the rapid increase in the employment of robots, there are still frequent failures in the performance of service robots. This research examines how and to what extent people attribute responsibility toward service robots in such cases of service failures compared to when humans provide the same service failures. Participants were randomly assigned to read vignettes describing a service failure either by a service robot or a human and were then asked who they thought was responsible for the service failure. The results of three experiments show that people attributed less responsibility toward a robot than a human for the service failure because people perceive robots to have less controllability over the task. However, people attributed more responsibility toward a service firm when a robot delivered a failed service than when a human delivered the same failed service. This research advances theory regarding the perceived responsibility of humans versus robots in the service sector, as well as the perceived responsibility of the firms involved. There are also important practical considerations raised by this research, such as how utilizing service robots may influence customer attitudes toward service firms.
Publisher
PERGAMON-ELSEVIER SCIENCE LTD
Issue Date
2020-12
Language
English
Article Type
Article
Citation

COMPUTERS IN HUMAN BEHAVIOR, v.113, pp.106520

ISSN
0747-5632
DOI
10.1016/j.chb.2020.106520
URI
http://hdl.handle.net/10203/276057
Appears in Collection
MG-Journal Papers(저널논문)
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