Ismail KarabasPULLMAN, Wash. – Research by Ismail Karabas, a Washington State University doctoral student in marketing, recently won the Best Student Paper Award at the national Marketing Theory and Practice Conference.

His work showed that business patrons who overhear and observe other customers’ unresolved complaints form less favorable attitudes toward the business. This leads to a higher desire for revenge among the observers; they consequently cut back interactions with the business and leave its employees lower tips.

Karabas’ research found that a management apology eliminated the negative response toward the firm but not toward the employees.