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Open Access
Article
Publication date: 5 October 2021

Valentina Pitardi, Jochen Wirtz, Stefanie Paluch and Werner H. Kunz

Extant research mainly focused on potentially negative customer responses to service robots. In contrast, this study is one of the first to explore a service context where service…

11498

Abstract

Purpose

Extant research mainly focused on potentially negative customer responses to service robots. In contrast, this study is one of the first to explore a service context where service robots are likely to be the preferred service delivery mechanism over human frontline employees. Specifically, the authors examine how customers respond to service robots in the context of embarrassing service encounters.

Design/methodology/approach

This study employs a mixed-method approach, whereby an in-depth qualitative study (study 1) is followed by two lab experiments (studies 2 and 3).

Findings

Results show that interactions with service robots attenuated customers' anticipated embarrassment. Study 1 identifies a number of factors that can reduce embarrassment. These include the perception that service robots have reduced agency (e.g. are not able to make moral or social judgements) and emotions (e.g. are not able to have feelings). Study 2 tests the base model and shows that people feel less embarrassed during a potentially embarrassing encounter when interacting with service robots compared to frontline employees. Finally, Study 3 confirms that perceived agency, but not emotion, fully mediates frontline counterparty (employee vs robot) effects on anticipated embarrassment.

Practical implications

Service robots can add value by reducing potential customer embarrassment because they are perceived to have less agency than service employees. This makes service robots the preferred service delivery mechanism for at least some customers in potentially embarrassing service encounters (e.g. in certain medical contexts).

Originality/value

This study is one of the first to examine a context where service robots are the preferred service delivery mechanism over human employees.

Details

Journal of Service Management, vol. 33 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-5818

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 16 April 2020

Graeme McLean, Kofi Osei-Frimpong, Alan Wilson and Valentina Pitardi

By adopting a social presence theory perspective, this study aims investigate the influence of perceived usefulness of live chat services and of their unique human attributes on…

3280

Abstract

Purpose

By adopting a social presence theory perspective, this study aims investigate the influence of perceived usefulness of live chat services and of their unique human attributes on customer attitudes, beliefs and behaviours in the context of online travel shopping.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on a cross-sectional survey research involving 8 travel provider websites and 631 travel consumers, this work applies structural equation modelling to analyse the data.

Findings

The results illustrate that the perceived usefulness from the communication with a human live chat assistant positively influences customer attitudes and trust towards the website as well as increasing purchase intention. The findings further illustrate the role of the human social cues conveyed by live chat facilities, namely, human warmth, human assurance, human attentiveness and human customised content in positively moderating this effect.

Research limitations/implications

The study is limited to specific human attributes. Future research could investigate the role of other human characteristics as well as assess the ability of artificial intelligent powered chatbots in replicating the human elements outlined in this research.

Originality/value

The study provides a unique contribution to the travel literature by offering empirical insights and conceptual clarity into the usefulness of human operated live chat communication on travellers’ attitudes, trust towards the website and purchase intentions.

Details

International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, vol. 32 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-6119

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 24 July 2019

Diego Rinallo and Valentina Pitardi

The purpose of this paper is to investigate how open, mediatised conflict in geographical indications (GIs) can provide the basis for differentiation strategies for heritage…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate how open, mediatised conflict in geographical indications (GIs) can provide the basis for differentiation strategies for heritage producers based on both functional and symbolic benefits.

Design/methodology/approach

Longitudinal case study based on multiple data sources, which reconstructs the history of the Bitto GIs and the conflict between the Protected Designation of Origin Bitto Consortium and a small number of heritage Bitto producers.

Findings

The paper highlights how the mediatised narration of conflict can contribute to raise consumer awareness, differentiate products and result in symbolic value creation.

Research limitations/implications

Extreme case study design purposively chosen as characterised by conditions likely to accentuate conflict.

Practical implications

The paper develops a conceptual framework that permits to identify the potential for conflict inside GIs. It also contributes to a better understanding of the image of products protected by GIs and the role played by heritage producers. It also offers practical advice on two promotional tools, namely, trade fair participations and experiential showcases.

Social implications

The paper offers practical advice on the safeguarding of small producers localised in cultural epicentres inside GIs.

Originality/value

The authors introduce the notions, such as competitive wars and secession, that contribute to a better understanding of centripetal/centrifugal forces inside GIs. The authors also propose a better understanding of image creation of GIs, grounded in cultural work in marketing and consumer research.

Details

British Food Journal, vol. 121 no. 12
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0007-070X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 11 September 2017

Luca Carrubbo, Francesca Iandolo, Valentina Pitardi and Mario Calabrese

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the decision-making process in the management of the complex adaptive systems (CAS), particularly focusing on the dimensions that…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the decision-making process in the management of the complex adaptive systems (CAS), particularly focusing on the dimensions that affect the individual decision maker (DM) when passing from decision to behavior in fitting processes. Although the importance of the general process of fitting in terms of organizational design has been highlighted in earlier studies, a closer focus on the DM perspective is required.

Design/methodology/approach

Starting from the theoretical frameworks of viable systems approach (vSa) and addressing the evolving concepts of change and adaptation in CAS, the work takes the DM perspective and investigates the dimensions involved in the paths that lead complex decisions into behaviors, when referring to fitting processes. The paper reviews the vSa and the concept of CAS, deepening the decision making in fitting processes. Then, the paper proceeds to discuss the schemes and the categories that affect, at different levels, the decision and behavioral choices by proposing an interpretative framework.

Findings

The paper proposes a general framework useful to recognize/identify which are the elements/dimensions that have to be considered when organizations change in pursuing survival. The findings of the paper also show how adopting a vSa as a meta-model can be insightful to the understanding of service systems and useful in fully comprehending decision-making processes and behavior in complex adaptive system.

Originality/value

The originality of this paper lies in exploring the decision making process in CAS, adopting a closer perspective on the single DM through the lens of the vSa.

Details

Journal of Service Theory and Practice, vol. 27 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2055-6225

Keywords

Abstract

Details

British Food Journal, vol. 121 no. 12
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0007-070X

Content available
Article
Publication date: 11 September 2017

Francesco Polese, Cristina Mele and Evert Gummesson

4839

Abstract

Details

Journal of Service Theory and Practice, vol. 27 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2055-6225

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