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Abstract

The purpose of the study was to determine the effects of equity and outcomes in customer complaint situations. The study utilized a 2 × 2 within-subjects design with equity (inequity, equity) and outcomes (low, high) as the independent variables. The dependent variables were perceived equity, behavioral intentions, resentment, and guilt. Subjects were 128 students from a large western university. It was hypothesized that high outcome situations would be perceived as more equitable than low outcome situations, regardless of equity condition; high outcome situations would yield more favorable behavioral intentions, regardless of equity condition; subjects would perceive more resentment in inequitable, low outcome situations; subjects would perceive more guilt in inequitable, high outcome situations. Hypotheses 1, 2, and 3 were supported. Hypothesis 4 was not supported. Implications for customer complaint handling practices were discussed. © 1995 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.