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The straw that breaks the camel's back: service provider vulnerability to customer incivility

The straw that breaks the camel's back: service provider vulnerability to customer incivility Uncivil customer behaviour is a concern for service providers and can result in increasing vulnerability for them or their customers. This paper aimed to investigate the interactional link between customer incivility and service provider retaliation and job outcomes. Furthermore, power distance orientation and gender were investigated as potential moderators between customer and retaliation incivilities.Design/methodology/approachFive hypotheses were examined empirically through structural equation modelling. Overall, 679 (356 males and 323 females) service providers recruited across three countries, namely Australia (N = 233), Singapore (N = 199) and the Philippines (N = 247), were surveyed online.FindingsThe results indicated that incivility caused work exhaustion, which negatively impacted job satisfaction. Power distance orientation moderated the association between customer and retaliatory incivilities, leading to exhaustion and dissatisfaction with one's job. Importantly, the results also revealed that the female service providers with a higher power distance tend to instigate incivility compared to their male counterparts.Originality/valueBy incorporating both conservation of resource and negative spiral incivility theories, this study provided an integrated and cohesive explanation for both the direct and interaction effects between customer incivility, retaliatory incivility and work outcomes. In addition, the finding that emotional exhaustion promoted job dissatisfaction highlighted the importance of examining the former's role especially among the female service providers with a higher power distance as they may be less able to restrain their retaliatory behaviours during uncivil incidents. Several practical solutions aimed at reducing the vulnerability encountered by the mistreated service providers were proposed. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Service Theory and Practice Emerald Publishing

The straw that breaks the camel's back: service provider vulnerability to customer incivility

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
© Emerald Publishing Limited
ISSN
2055-6225
DOI
10.1108/jstp-11-2021-0238
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Uncivil customer behaviour is a concern for service providers and can result in increasing vulnerability for them or their customers. This paper aimed to investigate the interactional link between customer incivility and service provider retaliation and job outcomes. Furthermore, power distance orientation and gender were investigated as potential moderators between customer and retaliation incivilities.Design/methodology/approachFive hypotheses were examined empirically through structural equation modelling. Overall, 679 (356 males and 323 females) service providers recruited across three countries, namely Australia (N = 233), Singapore (N = 199) and the Philippines (N = 247), were surveyed online.FindingsThe results indicated that incivility caused work exhaustion, which negatively impacted job satisfaction. Power distance orientation moderated the association between customer and retaliatory incivilities, leading to exhaustion and dissatisfaction with one's job. Importantly, the results also revealed that the female service providers with a higher power distance tend to instigate incivility compared to their male counterparts.Originality/valueBy incorporating both conservation of resource and negative spiral incivility theories, this study provided an integrated and cohesive explanation for both the direct and interaction effects between customer incivility, retaliatory incivility and work outcomes. In addition, the finding that emotional exhaustion promoted job dissatisfaction highlighted the importance of examining the former's role especially among the female service providers with a higher power distance as they may be less able to restrain their retaliatory behaviours during uncivil incidents. Several practical solutions aimed at reducing the vulnerability encountered by the mistreated service providers were proposed.

Journal

Journal of Service Theory and PracticeEmerald Publishing

Published: Jul 4, 2022

Keywords: Customer incivility; Service providers; Retaliation; Emotional exhaustion; Structural equations modelling (SEM); Job satisfaction; Gender

References