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EMAC 2021 Annual Conference

Service Failures in Co-created, AI-powered Service Encounters: Exploring Customer Attribution of Responsibility

Published: May 25, 2021


Daniela Castillo, Brunel University London; Ana Canhoto, Brunel University London; Emanuel Said, University of Malta


Customers are increasingly being required to interact with AI-powered applications, such as chatbots, to self-serve, representing instances of co-creation. This paper distinguishes among different types of co-creation settings in AI-powered service encounters, specifically among conscious co-creation, forced co-creation and deceptive co-creation. We argue that when customers are faced with service failures, each setting will have a distinct effect on responsibility attributions of controllability, stability and locus of causality. We also investigate the role of customer expectations, and propose that expectations mediate the relationship between each co-creation setting and the resulting responsibility attributions. We envisage that the findings from this proposed experimental research will offer a more substantive understanding of blame attributions in settings in which failure is inevitable, in the process helping to better understand the implications of AI technologies.