Purpose:The purpose of this study is to determine which attribution dimensions concerning dysfunctional other-customer misbehavior most influence customer dissatisfaction toward a service firm.;Design/methodology/approach:Our research hypotheses were tested using a 2 (Controllability: controllable versus uncontrollable) × 2 (Stability: unstable versus stable) × 2 (Globality: specific versus global) experimental design in a hypothetical restaurant context.;Findings:Our empirical results demonstrate that when customers feel that the other-customer’s misbehavior can be controlled by the firm (i.e., controllability attributions) or is likely to recur (i.e., stability attributions), they render unfavorable service evaluations toward that firm. However, these harmful effects may be mitigated if the customer believes that the same type of dysfunctional customer behavior also occurs during service encounters in other firms (i.e., globality attributions).;Implications:With a view to diminishing the unsatisfactory experience of other-customer failure, the service organizations need to: (1) act as “police officers” to ensure that their customers behave appropriately; (2) have policies and procedures in place to manage their guests’ behavior so as to reduce the recurrence of other-customer failure; and (3) consider communications intended to enhance attributions of globality following an other-customer failure, that will help to buffer the negative impact of controllability and stability attributions on satisfaction and behavioral reactions with the firm.;Originality/value:This is the first time that controllability, stability, and globality attributions are clearly shown to be part of the process by which customers transfer their negative response to other-customer misbehavior to the organization.
Journal of Business and Psychology, 25(1), pp.151-161