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Article
Publication date: 19 June 2017

Amit Gur, Shay S. Tzafrir, Christopher D. Zatzick, Simon L. Dolan and Roderick Iverson

The purpose of the research was to develop a tool for measuring antecedents of customer aggressive behavior (CAB) in healthcare service settings, by identifying its roots…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of the research was to develop a tool for measuring antecedents of customer aggressive behavior (CAB) in healthcare service settings, by identifying its roots in organizational and interpersonal dynamics.

Design/methodology/approach

Four studies were conducted. In Studies 1 and 2, antecedents of CAB were identified through analysis of internet reader comments and a questionnaire was distributed to students. In Study 3, scenarios were used to validate the findings of the previous studies. Finally, in Study 4, a scale was developed and validated for measuring organization- and person-related triggers of CAB using samples of 477 employees and 579 customers.

Findings

The concept of CAB was conceptualized and validated. In total, 18 items were identified across five dimensions: personal characteristics, uncomfortable environment, aggressive role models, reinforcement of aggressive behavior and aversive treatment. The scale demonstrated good psychometric results.

Research limitations/implications

The research relies mainly on customer perspective. Employees and additional stakeholders should be included to achieve more accurate information that could contribute to a better understanding of CAB and its roots.

Practical implications

Exploring social and organizational antecedents that trigger CAB could help healthcare managers evaluate and proactively manage CAB and its implications within their organization.

Originality/value

This measurement scale is the first comprehensive tool, based on Bandura’s social learning theory (1973), that may identify and measure antecedents of CAB, and could be used to reduce CAB in healthcare service settings.

Details

Management Research: Journal of the Iberoamerican Academy of Management, vol. 15 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1536-5433

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Article
Publication date: 24 September 2020

Won-Moo Hur and Yeonshin Kim

The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of perceived corporate hypocrisy on customer mistreatment behaviors within the banking industry and the moderating…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of perceived corporate hypocrisy on customer mistreatment behaviors within the banking industry and the moderating effects of customer–company identification (CCI) and brand equity on the hypocrisy-mistreatment behavior relationship.

Design/methodology/approach

Using multistage sampling, 567 South Korean banking service users participated in an online survey. Structural equation modeling (confirmatory factor analysis) and hierarchical regression analysis were used to analyze the data.

Findings

Perceived corporate hypocrisy was positively related to customer mistreatment behaviors. CCI and brand equity differentially moderated the positive relationship between perceived corporate hypocrisy and customer mistreatment behaviors. Specifically, CCI and brand equity strengthened and weakened the positive relationship between perceived corporate hypocrisy and customer mistreatment behaviors, respectively.

Practical implications

Marketers and banking service managers should pay careful attention to customer evaluations of their social activities and communication about the ethical values and actions of their firms. Since CCI and brand equity have contrasting moderating effects on the corporate hypocrisy-aggressive behavior relationship, marketers should devise different strategies to manage the adverse effects of such corporate crises on company-identified and brand-committed customers. For example, managers should focus on customers who actively express their deep sense of disappointment or profound anger in response to corporate hypocrisy (e.g. those with high levels of CCI) because they are likely to exhibit aggressive behaviors toward the company or its employees. Managers need to devise customized relationship-recovery strategies for such customers (e.g. forging a personal connection between the customer and service provider).

Originality/value

The present findings delineate the adverse effects of perceived corporate hypocrisy on customer behaviors and the moderating effect of customer relationship quality on the corporate hypocrisy-mistreatment behavior relationship within the banking industry.

Details

International Journal of Bank Marketing, vol. 38 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-2323

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Book part
Publication date: 29 November 2019

Aspasia Simillidou, Demetris Vrontis and Michael Christofi

Service employees engage in Emotional Labor (EL), either through surface acting (SA) or deep acting (DA), when they interact with aggressive customers, so that they are…

Abstract

Service employees engage in Emotional Labor (EL), either through surface acting (SA) or deep acting (DA), when they interact with aggressive customers, so that they are able to abide to the organizational rules. Current studies have shown that employees engage only in SA when they interact with aggressive customers due to a number of reasons. Based on this, the authors undertake an exhaustive review and analysis of existing literature on EL, in order to enhance our understanding of the DA concept. Consequent to this analysis, tha authors interrelate and present the various research findings into a unified comprehensive framework for engaging in DA during a service encounter. Conclusively, the authors discuss the implications of the developed framework for the scholar community and management practice in the hospitality industry, and the authors propose various avenues for further research.

Details

The Cross-Disciplinary Perspectives of Management: Challenges and Opportunities
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83867-249-2

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Article
Publication date: 20 April 2012

Ruhama Goussinsky

The purpose of this research is to investigate the direct and moderating effect of negative affectivity (NA) (Study 1) and self‐efficacy (Study 2) on the relationship…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this research is to investigate the direct and moderating effect of negative affectivity (NA) (Study 1) and self‐efficacy (Study 2) on the relationship between customer verbal aggression and three forms of emotion‐focused coping strategies: behavioral disengagement, seeking emotional support, and venting negative emotions.

Design/methodology/approach

Two samples of service workers were recruited from northern Israel in 2007‐2008 (n=178 and n=516), and data were collected using self‐reported questionnaires. Research hypotheses were tested using hierarchical regression analyses.

Findings

The results show that under high levels of exposure to customer aggression, employees with high NA were more likely to use behavioral disengagement than low‐NA individuals, employees with low NA were less likely to vent negative emotions than high‐NA individuals, and employees with high self‐efficacy were less likely to use venting and emotional support than employees with low self‐efficacy. In addition, self‐efficacy was found to reduce the negative impact of customer aggression on emotional exhaustion.

Practical implications

Through appropriate training programs, service organizations can foster their employees' sense of trust in their own ability to cope with customer misbehavior and consequently reduce reliance on dysfunctional coping strategies.

Originality/value

While it has been established that verbal abuse from customers constitutes a common experience for many service workers, little is known about the manner in which workers cope with this particular job stressor and even less about the individual differences that may explain coping behaviors in this context. The present paper begins to bridge this gap and contributes to existing literature by showing that in addition to being predictors of dysfunctional coping strategies, both NA and self‐efficacy may play a moderating role in the relationship between customer aggression and coping behaviors.

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Article
Publication date: 20 February 2020

Mehmet Okan and Ayse Banu Elmadag

This paper aims to examine the widespread effects of service actors’ verbal aggression on witness customers’ intentions toward the service organizations through their…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine the widespread effects of service actors’ verbal aggression on witness customers’ intentions toward the service organizations through their self-conscious emotions. The moderating roles of the witness customers’ empathic tendencies and the source of aggression are also examined.

Design/methodology/approach

In two scenario-based experiments and by adopting a multifoci approach, severity of mistreatment (aggression vs incivility vs no-mistreatment) and source of mistreatment (employee-to-employee and customer-to-customer) were manipulated to test distinctive effects of witnessing aggression on self-conscious emotions and intentions.

Findings

This study shows that witnessing aggression during service experiences negatively influences customers’ intentions towards the service organization through self-conscious emotions. Moreover, empathic tendencies of customers make these effects more pronounced. It is also shown that witnessing employee-to-employee aggression has a stronger effect on self-conscious emotions and intentions than customer-to-customer aggression.

Research limitations/implications

This paper uncovers the distinctive effects of aggressive behaviors of service actors on self-conscious emotions from the third-party perspective. It is also shown that empathic tendencies can be detrimental to service organizations in certain conditions.

Practical implications

The results warn service managers against verbal aggression because of its negative effects on witness customers. It is suggested that they should try to clarify the incident and restore justice in front of the witnesses.

Originality/value

This paper is one of the first attempts to investigate the distinctive effects of witnessing aggression during service experiences and the roles of self-conscious emotions and emphatic tendencies.

Details

Journal of Services Marketing, vol. 34 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0887-6045

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Article
Publication date: 1 April 1997

Roger Bennett

This study employed the responses of 237 subjects to questions regarding the emotions they experienced while complaining about products or organizations to test a…

Abstract

This study employed the responses of 237 subjects to questions regarding the emotions they experienced while complaining about products or organizations to test a neo‐Freudian catharsis hypothesis concerning the consequences for repeat purchasing of angry customer complaints. Aggressive complaining frequently led to the psychologically gratifying relief of frustration, and hence to higher post‐complaint levels of regard for the product or supplying firm. Identifies sub‐groups of customers possessing specific personal characteristics (extreme type‐A, type‐B personalities, low self‐esteem, guilt‐propensity); examines disparities in the patterns of complaining behavior of the various categories; and assesses the implications of the differences observed. Of the respondents who reported having complained angrily, 82 percent continued to buy the products (or use particular suppliers). Some even increased purchasing levels. Concludes that firms should actively encourage assertive complaining by customers so that the beneficial consequences of catharsis may be obtained.

Details

Journal of Consumer Marketing, vol. 14 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0736-3761

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Article
Publication date: 13 July 2015

Chuanchuen Akkawanitcha, Paul Patterson, Siriwut Buranapin and Saranya Kantabutra

This research aims to examine the cognitive appraisals of frontline employees (FLEs) when dealing with aggressive customers and the impact on their well-being, as well as…

Abstract

Purpose

This research aims to examine the cognitive appraisals of frontline employees (FLEs) when dealing with aggressive customers and the impact on their well-being, as well as several moderator effects, in a collectivist, Eastern culture.

Design/methodology/approach

A critical incident technique reveals the cognitive appraisal of FLEs who had recently experienced customer aggression. Data were collected through qualitative, in-depth interviews with 35 FLEs in customer-facing roles in Thailand.

Findings

The FLEs perceived threats to self-esteem, physical well-being, goal completion at work, fairness or equity and sense of control when dealing with customer aggression. These cognitive appraisals affected their psychological well-being in the form of negative affectivity, anxiety, depression and stress. Importantly, factors that moderate (exacerbate or weaken) the impact of customer aggression on cognitive appraisal, and cognitive appraisal on psychological well-being were revealed, including “customer is always right” philosophy, social status, public versus private context and social support.

Practical implications

Organisations should pay more attention to FLEs’ psychological well-being and how they interpret and deal with customers’ misbehaviour and aggression. The research identifies factors that moderate the impact of customer aggression on psychological well-being.

Originality/value

This is the first empirical paper that has examined how FLEs cope with customer aggression in a collectivist, south-east Asian context where social norms calibrate FLEs’ responses to customer aggression. It is also the first research that adopts a contingency approach to understanding how FLEs cope with customer aggression – i.e. when faced with customer aggression, under what contingency conditions do FLEs cognitive appraisals have a stronger or weaker impact on their psychological well-being?

Details

Journal of Services Marketing, vol. 29 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0887-6045

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Article
Publication date: 29 June 2012

Kate L. Daunt and Lloyd C. Harris

This paper aims to examine the associations between individual factors (personality and demographic variables) and contextual factors (servicescape and situation‐specific…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine the associations between individual factors (personality and demographic variables) and contextual factors (servicescape and situation‐specific variables), and the motives that drive episodes of dysfunctional customer behavior.

Design/methodology/approach

Self‐report data were collected from a survey of bar, hotel, and restaurant customers (n=380). Confirmatory factor analysis and hierarchical cluster analysis were utilized to analyze the data.

Findings

Analysis of the data revealed three clusters of motives labelled: financial egotists, money grabbers, and ego revengers. Statistically significant differences were revealed across the personality, servicescape, and situation specific variables for each motive. However, no differences were found concerning demographic variables.

Research limitations/implications

This research emphasizes the primacy of three customer behavior motivations. Future research might investigate the motives for dysfunctional customer behavior across different organizational contexts and the dynamics between such motivations.

Practical implications

The findings of the study indicate that service managers can proactively control and manipulate servicescape and situation‐specific variables that relate to customer misbehavior motives.

Originality/value

No existing scholarly research has developed a data‐grounded understanding of the motivations of dysfunctional customer behaviors. Moreover, to date, no study has explored the associations between customer's motives to misbehave and personality, situation specific, servicescape, and demographic variables.

Details

Journal of Services Marketing, vol. 26 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0887-6045

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Article
Publication date: 12 October 2017

Chuanchuen Akkawanitcha and Paul G. Patterson

The purpose of this paper is to examine the impact of a loss of face on the psychological well-being of frontline employees (FLEs) in an Eastern cultural context…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the impact of a loss of face on the psychological well-being of frontline employees (FLEs) in an Eastern cultural context (Thailand) when subjected to customer aggression. Importantly, it adopts a contingency approach and examines moderating effects by which social status, a “customer is always right” organisational philosophy and a public/private context impact the nature of the association between customer aggression and loss of face. Finally, it examines the moderating effect of regulation of emotion on the association between loss of face on psychological well-being.

Design/methodology/approach

A survey, administered to 319 FLEs in retail stores in Thailand, asked them to recall a recent experience dealing with customer aggression. The data were analysed using structural equation modelling and a moderator regression.

Findings

Customer aggression expressions are associated with FLEs’ loss of face, which in turn affects FLEs’ emotional exhaustion and anxiety. FLEs social status and a “customer is always right” organisational philosophy moderate the association between customer aggression and loss of face, and FLEs’ loss of face is greater when their physical well-being is threatened publicly rather than in private. In addition, regulation of emotion was found to increase the negative impact of loss of face on emotional exhaustion.

Practical implications

The way FLEs respond to customer aggression during service encounters, as well as the FLEs’ status and the context, can intensify their loss of face and psychological well-being. This has implications for the extent to which organisations impose a “customer is always right” dictum on FLE, as well as the need for counselling and peer support immediately following customer aggression incidents.

Originality/value

This study is the first to investigate the moderating effects of social status, a “customer is always right” philosophy and public/private context on the expression of customer aggression and FLEs’ accompanying loss of face. In other words, rather than simply examining what causes face loss, the authors shift the focus from the “Is” question to “When” – i.e., under what contingency condition is there more or less face loss?

Details

Journal of Service Theory and Practice, vol. 27 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2055-6225

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 2 June 2015

Jaclyn Koopmann, Mo Wang, Yihao Liu and Yifan Song

In this chapter, we summarize and build on the current state of the customer mistreatment literature in an effort to further future research on this topic. First, we…

Abstract

In this chapter, we summarize and build on the current state of the customer mistreatment literature in an effort to further future research on this topic. First, we detail the four primary conceptualizations of customer mistreatment. Second, we present a multilevel model of customer mistreatment, which distinguishes between the unfolding processes at the individual employee level and the service encounter level. In particular, we consider the antecedents and outcomes unique to each level of analysis as well as mediators and moderators. Finally, we discuss important methodological concerns and recommendations for future research.

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