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Psychological safety, contributions and service satisfaction of customers in group service experiences

Volker G. Kuppelwieser (Schumpeter School of Business and Economics, University of Wuppertal, Wuppertal, Germany)
Jörg Finsterwalder (Department of Management, University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand)

Managing Service Quality: An International Journal

ISSN: 0960-4529

Article publication date: 15 November 2011



This paper aims to demonstrate how psychological safety influences individual contributions in customer groups where multiple customers co‐create a service experience. It also shows the influence of other customers' contributions on an individual customer's own contribution to the service experience as well as the individual customer's perception of his/her own and of other customers' contributions toward service satisfaction.


This empirical research paper is based on structural equation modelling to examine customer group experiences of two different service providers, a white water rafting company and an indoor soccer company. Data from a survey of a combined total of 273 consumers were utilised to test the research model.


The results demonstrate that, on an aggregate level, psychological safety affects an individual customer's perception of his/her own and others' contributions to a service experience. The findings show that the contributions of others have a significant influence on one's own contribution. No influence or relationship could be found regarding one's own contribution and service satisfaction; however, other customers' contributions have a negative effect on an individual's service satisfaction. The results vary on a subsample level.

Research limitations/implications

The generalisability of the findings is limited to two customer group services, one group sport experience and one group leisure experience.

Practical implications

This research provides insights for service firms with respect to managing the provider‐to‐multi‐customer co‐creation interface.


This article contributes to the analysis of co‐creation efforts of individuals in groups with respect to a specific environment (psychological safety). It adds value to the discussion of factors that influence the partial creation of a service by individuals while interacting with one another and the impact on the perceived outcome. The paper provides a platform for further research on aspects of co‐creation in customer groups.



Kuppelwieser, V.G. and Finsterwalder, J. (2011), "Psychological safety, contributions and service satisfaction of customers in group service experiences", Managing Service Quality: An International Journal, Vol. 21 No. 6, pp. 617-635.



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