Trust recovery: The case of the Kenyan service sector

  • Dianna Nderitu

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


This research investigates trust repair strategies in the Kenyan service sector. This research identifies the factors that lead to trust being broken and the factors that influence the repair of trust. As the importance of building and rebuilding trust continues to grow, there is a need for further investigation into how organizations can successfully repair the broken trust. This thesis develops a conceptual framework for repairing trust, taking into account new strategies of repairing trust, such as value co-creation and service recovery strategies.

This thesis employed qualitative data, collecting data using interviews to investigate how customers, frontline employees and managers perceived violation of trust after a service failure including the most effective strategies for repairing the trust. In total 56 interviews with 36 customers, 16 frontline employees and 4 managers were conducted with collaboration with the biggest telecommunication organisation in East Africa, as well as the longest serving bank in Kenya.

Data was analysed using NVivoin order to generate themes. The data was rearranged into different categories based on the research objectives highlighted in this thesis. Codes were developed from the interview transcriptions and sub themes were developed, which were merged to develop the five main themes discussed in this thesis. Thematic analysis was used to analyse the data.

The results support that customers’ involvement during service recovery process is pivotal in the process of trust repair. Therefore, confirming that value co-creation is a crucial tool in the process of trust repair. The research also highlights that service recovery strategies and trust repair strategies do overlap during the process of trust repair. Overall, this thesis contributes to the literature by offering a different scope of repairing trust after a service failure. The conceptual framework is crucial in providing a practical framework for managers to consider during the process of trust repair.
Date of AwardNov 2020
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorHusni Kharouf (Supervisor), Sophie Yang (Supervisor) & Nigel Berkeley (Supervisor)

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