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Dysfunctional customer behavior is believed to engender employee stress and, in turn, fuel employee turnover. However, little research has examined the moderating role of individual-level and contextual-level resource variables. The purpose of this paper is to fill these gaps by examining employee embeddedness and individualism–collectivism as putative moderators of the hypothesized mediation chain.Design/methodology/approachThe authors conducted a field study involving 264 service employees working in two hotels operated by the same international hotel chain, one in South Korea (n=138) and the other in the UK (n=126).FindingsResults show that employee embeddedness weakens the impact of dysfunctional customer behavior on employee turnover via employee stress. In addition, findings suggest that collectivists (individualists) are more (less) likely to be receptive to embeddedness cues.Originality/valueThis is the first known study to show that employee embeddedness can mitigate the impact of dysfunctional customer behavior on turnover via employee stress. This moderated-mediation model is further moderated by employees’ cultural value orientation (individualism–collectivism). Prior literature is not explicit on these complex models.
Journal of Service Theory and Practice – Emerald Publishing
Published: Sep 20, 2019
Keywords: Employee turnover; Dysfunctional customer behaviour; Employee embeddedness; Employee stress; Individualism–collectivism
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