Negative customer engagement in emerging markets: cognitive dimension

Diem Khac Xuan Do, Kaleel Rahman, Linda J. Robinson, Jana Bowden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Defined as a customer’s unfavourable thoughts, emotions and behaviours towards a brand/firm, negative customer engagement is viewed as a complex construct, particularly its cognitive dimension. This study advances understanding of negative customer engagement through cognitive expression of customers in an emerging market. Critical Incident Technique method was employed to examine negative critical service incidents of 335 Vietnamese customers and identify their cognitive responses to these incidents. The findings reveal a range of unfavourable thoughts engaged in by customers towards the offending service provider, including a sense of injustice, incompetence, irresponsibility, distrust and cynicism. These sub-dimensions do not occur in isolation, but rather interact within a complex system. This is the first study to empirically examine the cognitive dimension of negative customer engagement based on negative critical service incidents experienced by customers in an emerging market and in a commercial service context. Negative customer engagement has adverse effects on customer well-being that may indirectly lead to an unhealthy society and a weak economy. Understanding the underlying cognitive triggers of negative customer engagement will enable managers to design service recovery strategies aimed at preventing or minimising negative customer engagement, especially for firms operating in emerging markets.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages33
JournalJournal of Strategic Marketing
Early online date1 May 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 1 May 2021


  • Negative customer engagement
  • Vietnam
  • cognitive dimension
  • critical incident
  • emerging markets


Dive into the research topics of 'Negative customer engagement in emerging markets: cognitive dimension'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this