Understanding Soldiers' Responses to Product Dissatisfaction in Field Training Environments


  • Teresa N. Malafi U.S. Army Natick Research, Development & Engineering Center


A substantial literature has accumulated on the ways in which consumers respond to dissatisfaction with products and services. However, no research has examined if these behaviors characterize soldiers' reactions to product dissatisfaction while participating in field training exercises. To address this question, a series of focus groups was conducted with soldiers as part of a program to develop a comprehensive typology of responses to dissatisfaction in field training environments. An analysis of the discussions indicated support for the use of responses similar to Hirschman's exit, voice, and loyalty as well as responses resembling Rushbult's neglect and Huefner & Hunt's retaliation. Results are discussed in terms of the impact of the field environment on responses and directions for future research.