Challenging conventional wisdom: Positive waiting

Gerard Ryan, Gilda María Hernández-Maskivker, Mireia Valverde, Maria del Mar Pàmies-Pallisé

Research output: Indexed journal article Articlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


This paper calls for a re-examination of the conventional wisdom that making consumers wait for service is necessarily negative. This is important because after three decades of research on waiting, consumers still spend a considerable amount of time waiting, in an ever-widening range of contexts. And although there is a continuous and steady stream of waiting studies, there have been few significant advances in our understanding in recent years. We forward a set of challenging propositions that consider the positive effects of waiting. In contrast to established thinking, we propose that waiting attracts more consumers; increases perceived value; provides information to facilitate consumer decision-making; improves customer evaluations; and encourages positive anticipation. The propositions are supported theoretically and empirically by drawing on related disciplines. With this paper, we aim to stimulate new and innovative discussion around the topic of waiting, with particular emphasis on waiting in tourism services, and to question accepted knowledge in order to begin laying the basis for the next phase of research on consumer waiting.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)64-72
Number of pages9
JournalTourism Management
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Hospitality
  • Positive
  • Services marketing
  • Tourism
  • Waiting


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