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Conflict with customers: the limits of social support and job autonomy in preventing burnout among customer service workers

Conflict with customers: the limits of social support and job autonomy in preventing burnout... The purpose of this study is to examine the burnout of workers in customer service roles as a result of conflict with customers; and the role that coworker support, non-work-related social support and job autonomy play in buffering customer service workers from conflict with customers.Design/methodology/approachA sample of 191 young customer service workers completed an online self-report questionnaire.FindingsAlthough it was found that coworker support, non-work-related social support and job autonomy moderated the relationship between customer conflict and burnout, the form of the interactions was not as expected. Rather than buffering customer service workers specifically against customer conflict, it was found that as customer conflict intensifies, it gradually erodes the positive benefits that coworker support, general social support and job autonomy have in preventing burnout as a result of general work stress.Originality/valueThis study is one of few to empirically investigate the unique stressors experienced by customer service workers. It also expands understanding of social support and job autonomy in the context of work stress, demonstrating that there are limits to the effectiveness of these personal and organizational resources in preserving worker well-being. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png International Journal of Conflict Management Emerald Publishing

Conflict with customers: the limits of social support and job autonomy in preventing burnout among customer service workers

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References (76)

Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
© Emerald Publishing Limited
ISSN
1044-4068
eISSN
1044-4068
DOI
10.1108/ijcma-04-2022-0074
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The purpose of this study is to examine the burnout of workers in customer service roles as a result of conflict with customers; and the role that coworker support, non-work-related social support and job autonomy play in buffering customer service workers from conflict with customers.Design/methodology/approachA sample of 191 young customer service workers completed an online self-report questionnaire.FindingsAlthough it was found that coworker support, non-work-related social support and job autonomy moderated the relationship between customer conflict and burnout, the form of the interactions was not as expected. Rather than buffering customer service workers specifically against customer conflict, it was found that as customer conflict intensifies, it gradually erodes the positive benefits that coworker support, general social support and job autonomy have in preventing burnout as a result of general work stress.Originality/valueThis study is one of few to empirically investigate the unique stressors experienced by customer service workers. It also expands understanding of social support and job autonomy in the context of work stress, demonstrating that there are limits to the effectiveness of these personal and organizational resources in preserving worker well-being.

Journal

International Journal of Conflict ManagementEmerald Publishing

Published: Jan 6, 2023

Keywords: Social support; Conflict; Coworker support; Job autonomy; Customer service; Burnout

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