Abstract: Service recovery is about problems. What happens when customers experience problems? Well, sometimes customers complain to the one responsible for the service. Sometimes customers do not complain but instead tell somebody else about the problem, possibly leading to a bad reputation for the one responsible for the service. Sometimes it happens that customers never return to the same provider because of the problem experienced. To avoid the customer leaving, service recovery can be used. Service recovery is a set of actions a service pro-vider can take in order to repair a failure (Tax and Brown, 1998; Zemke, 1995; Scheuing and Christopher, 1993; Levesque and McDougall, 2000).In addition, many services today are Internet-based, meaning that services are self-services enabled by information technology (IT). Self-services enabled by IT, referred to as self-service technology (SST), are characterized by an interac-tion between a user and a machine rather than between two humans. Conse-quently, service recovery is no longer between two people interacting in a face-to-face manner when solving problems, but between a user and a machine when taking place in an SST context.This change of context has resulted in difficulties but also opportunities in the work of service recovery. Instead of turning to the one responsible for the service when problems occur, it is now possible to turn to other customers and users to receive help. SST has opened up new opportunities to learn with and from other individuals through the sharing of knowledge. The sharing of knowledge for the purpose of turning problems into solutions and improve-ments depends on the ability to create value for people involved.Service recovery in a self-service technology context, i.e. self-service recovery (SSR) is defined as the capability, enabled by self-service technology, of turning user prob-lems into solutions and improvements by means of sharing knowledge between users in order to create value.The aim of this doctoral thesis is to answer the question, “Why self-service recovery works?” The question is addressed by seven research studies and by evolving a framework for understanding why self-service recovery works.The contributions of this dissertation reside from the framework, which en-hances our understanding of self-service recovery as a value creation activity through not only recovery, but also improvement of the service in question.
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