DOI: 10.1111/ijcs.12974 ISSN:

Service failure and service recovery: A hybrid review and research agenda

Taiba Musadiq Sahaf, Asif Iqbal Fazili
  • Marketing
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Applied Psychology


It is an opportune time to reflect on the progress of service failure and service recovery in the field of service marketing, specifically with a focus on perceived justice. Over the past three decades, justice theory has played a pivotal role in explaining these phenomena, prompting the need to evaluate its current standing and contributions. The study reviews the literature on service failure and recovery (SFR) using the hybrid review approach through an integration of bibliometric analysis and a framework‐based review (Theories–Characteristics–Contexts–Methods; Paul and Rosado‐Serrano, 2019, International Marketing Review, 36(6), 830–858). In the bibliometric overview, the publication trend and citation structure of articles dealing with perceived justice in SFR between 1990 and March 2022, the most prolific authors/sources as well as the most active institutions that contribute the most to this field of scientific inquiry have been analysed in detail. Following the performance analysis, the authors carry out scientific mapping that underscores the intellectual corpus as well as the emergent themes of the field. Using network analysis in visualization of similarities viewer software, service failure, service recovery and perceived justice in service failure and service recovery have been grouped into clusters based on co‐citation analysis and bibliographic coupling. The articles in the clusters are critically reviewed in terms of theories, contexts, characteristics and methods to not only synthesize the foundational knowledge in the field and propose avenues for future but also make recommendations for academia and industry. To add scientific rigour, the study uses Scientific Procedures and Rationales for Systematic Literature Reviews (Paul et al., 2021, International Journal of Consumer Studies, 45(4), O1–O16) protocol to guide review decisions in a bibliometric analysis.

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