The purpose of this paper is to examine how customer orientation affects frontline service workers’ deep acting and to what extent the effect is moderated by the severity of dysfunctional customer behavior (DCB). Service organizations usually want their employees to demonstrate sincere emotions during customer encounters.
The study employed a mixed method design using measured variables (e.g. customer orientation) and a scenario-based manipulated variable (i.e. DCB severity). Data from 237 service workers were used to investigate the theoretical model.
Results showed that perspective taking and emotional sensitivity mediate the positive effect of customer orientation on deep acting. Furthermore, the influence of emotional sensitivity on deep acting is positive when DCB is less severe, but becomes non-significant when DCB becomes severe.
Because the DCB severity is manipulated as a single event, future research can examine its influence based on employees’ experiences. Also, future studies may investigate other mechanisms to explain customer orientation’s effects on deep acting.
This paper provides service organizations an understanding of the key roles of emotional sensitivity and perspective taking in driving deep acting as well as the importance of monitoring DCB severity.
The study is one of the first in marketing to examine the different influences of DCB severity on important employee outcomes. This study also identifies two important mediators to explain how customer orientation drives deep acting.
Huang, Y. and Brown, T. (2016), "How does customer orientation influence authentic emotional display?", Journal of Services Marketing, Vol. 30 No. 3, pp. 316-326. https://doi.org/10.1108/JSM-12-2014-0402Download as .RIS
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