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Uncovering the relationship between customer anger and frontline employees’ recovery performance in the service encounter

Uncovering the relationship between customer anger and frontline employees’ recovery performance... Regarding the interpersonal influence of customer anger on frontline employees (FLEs) in service encounters, existing findings remain mixed. Building on emotion as a social information model and appraisal theory, this study aims to focus on two dimensions of customer anger – intensity and relevance with FLEs and examined their divergent effects on FLEs’ immediate recovery performance.Design/methodology/approachThis study conducted a questionnaire survey of 366 Chinese FLEs in the hospitality and tourism industries. Hierarchical regressions and bootstrap analysis for nonlinear mediated relationships were used to test the hypotheses.FindingsThe results suggested a U-shaped curvilinear relationship between the intensity of customer anger and FLEs’ recovery performance and a positive linear relationship between relevance with FLEs of customer anger and FLEs’ recovery performance. Moreover, the mediating effects of FLEs’ emotional anger and cognitive perceived threat were confirmed.Practical implicationsService managers should improve FLEs’ awareness of unconscious emotional contagion and encourage them to shoulder responsibility actively even if customer anger is not related to them. In addition, complaining customers can learn how to strategically express anger to get good remedies.Originality/valueThis paper examines the divergent effects of two dimensions of customer anger on FLEs, advancing the understanding of customer anger in the service interaction. It is also the first to suggest the U-shaped nonlinear effect of customer anger intensity on employees’ service outcomes and its underlying mechanisms, reconciling mixed findings. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Nankai Business Review International Emerald Publishing

Uncovering the relationship between customer anger and frontline employees’ recovery performance in the service encounter

Nankai Business Review International , Volume 12 (2): 22 – Sep 8, 2021

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References (61)

Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
© Emerald Publishing Limited
ISSN
2040-8749
DOI
10.1108/nbri-09-2020-0049
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Regarding the interpersonal influence of customer anger on frontline employees (FLEs) in service encounters, existing findings remain mixed. Building on emotion as a social information model and appraisal theory, this study aims to focus on two dimensions of customer anger – intensity and relevance with FLEs and examined their divergent effects on FLEs’ immediate recovery performance.Design/methodology/approachThis study conducted a questionnaire survey of 366 Chinese FLEs in the hospitality and tourism industries. Hierarchical regressions and bootstrap analysis for nonlinear mediated relationships were used to test the hypotheses.FindingsThe results suggested a U-shaped curvilinear relationship between the intensity of customer anger and FLEs’ recovery performance and a positive linear relationship between relevance with FLEs of customer anger and FLEs’ recovery performance. Moreover, the mediating effects of FLEs’ emotional anger and cognitive perceived threat were confirmed.Practical implicationsService managers should improve FLEs’ awareness of unconscious emotional contagion and encourage them to shoulder responsibility actively even if customer anger is not related to them. In addition, complaining customers can learn how to strategically express anger to get good remedies.Originality/valueThis paper examines the divergent effects of two dimensions of customer anger on FLEs, advancing the understanding of customer anger in the service interaction. It is also the first to suggest the U-shaped nonlinear effect of customer anger intensity on employees’ service outcomes and its underlying mechanisms, reconciling mixed findings.

Journal

Nankai Business Review InternationalEmerald Publishing

Published: Sep 8, 2021

Keywords: Service recovery performance; Relevance; Frontline employees; Anger intensity; Customer anger; Employee anger; Perceived threat

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