To read the full version of this content please select one of the options below:

Perceived power and smile intensity in service encounters

Qi Yao (School of Economics and Management, Chongqing Jiaotong University, Chongqing, China)
Qiuyan Wan (School of Humanities, Chongqing Jiaotong University, Chongqing, China)
Shihao Li (School of Business, University of International Business and Economics, Beijing, China)
Wenkai Zhou (Department of Marketing, University of Central Oklahoma, Edmond, Oklahoma, USA)
Zhilin Yang (Department of Marketing, City University of Hong Kong, Kowloon Tong, Hong Kong) (School of Economics and Management, North China University of Water Resources and Electric Power, Zhengzhou, China)

Marketing Intelligence & Planning

ISSN: 0263-4503

Article publication date: 22 March 2022

Issue publication date: 11 April 2022

126

Abstract

Purpose

Smiles displayed at varying intensities by service providers may result in different social judgments by customers, affecting decision-making. This study investigates the joint effect of customers' sense of power (low vs. high) and service providers' smile intensity (slight vs. broad) on their warmth and competence perceptions in service encounters.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors conducted four experiments based on the Stereotype Content Model (SCM) of social judgments and the agentic-communal model of power, and assessed the impact of perceived power and smile intensity in different service encounter contexts.

Findings

The interaction effect of customers' sense of power (low vs. high) and service providers' smile intensity (slight vs. broad) influences customers' social judgments (warmth perceptions vs. competence perceptions). A service provider who displays a broad smile is more likely to be perceived as warmer by customers with a low sense of power, but less competent by those with a high sense of power. Furthermore, mediation analysis revealed that the combined effect of customers' sense of power and service providers' smile intensity on customers' subjective well-being and purchase intentions might be attributed to their social judgments.

Originality/value

This study reveals the intrinsic mechanism behind the interaction effect between smile intensity and sense of power affecting customers' purchase intentions and subjective well-being, namely, warmth/competence perceptions.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation (72172021, 71772021 and 72072152), Research Grant Council of Hong Kong SAR (CityU 11502218), and City University of Hong Kong (CityU SRG 7005478 and 7005791). The authors would like to thank Editage (www.editage.com) for English language editing.

Citation

Yao, Q., Wan, Q., Li, S., Zhou, W. and Yang, Z. (2022), "Perceived power and smile intensity in service encounters", Marketing Intelligence & Planning, Vol. 40 No. 3, pp. 372-387. https://doi.org/10.1108/MIP-07-2021-0216

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

Related articles