Considered Service-specific journals were Journal of Service Research, Journal of Service Management, Journal of Services Marketing, Journal of Service Theory and Practice, Service Industries Journal, Cornell Hospitality Quarterly, and Service Science.
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Wilden, R., M. A. Akaka, I. O. Karpen and J. Hohberger (2017): The Evolution and Prospects of Service-Dominant Logic: An Investigation of Past, Present, and Future Research, Journal of Service Research, 20(4), pp.345-361
Service-dominant logic (SDL) emerged over a decade ago as a potential framework and paradigmatic lens for rethinking the role of service in exchange and value creation. The growth of SDL reflects a major shift in service research. However, SDL’s relationship to prior service literature and its potential for future development in this field have not been empirically examined. We explore the foundational research areas and evolution of SDL research through a systematic investigation, which combines cocitation analysis with a novel text mining tool, Leximancer. Specifically, we investigate the research streams connected with SDL and compare core themes across two time periods (2004 to 2008 vs. 2009 to 2015). The findings reveal SDL’s interdisciplinary theoretical heritage and significant changes in the structure of focal themes and concepts over time. Our analyses identify current limitations and subsequent research areas and questions to further develop strategic approaches for SDL and advance a service ecosystems view. These include open innovation, dynamic capabilities, organizational microfoundations, and service systems, as well as social capital and consumer culture theories. Integration of midrange theories and strategic frameworks in these particular areas can help to guide managers in improving service innovation and enhancing value creation in service ecosystems.
Jerger, C. and J. Wirtz (2017): Service Employee Responses to Angry Customer Complaints: The Roles of Customer Status and Service Climate, Journal of Service Research, 20(4), pp.362-378
Service employees’ emotional and behavioral responses to angry customer complaints were examined to help firms improve their service recovery performance. Role-played complaints were conducted in a field experiment set in fast-food restaurants. Actors played customers who complained in an angry fashion to service employees. Employees’ immediate emotional (i.e., expressed anger) and delayed behavioral responses (i.e., restitution offered) were observed. A follow-up scenario-based experimental study was used to retest the hypotheses and add controls to rule out potential rival explanations. In both studies, level of customer status (low vs. high; true experimental design) and strength of a restaurant’s service climate (weak vs. strong; quasi-experimental design) were manipulated. The findings confirm that employees in a weak service climate expressed more anger and were less likely to offer restitution to low-compared to high-status customers. In contrast, in a strong service climate, employee responses were less dependent on customer status and converged at a low level of anger and high probability of restitution offered. Furthermore, the consistent immediate affective and delayed behavioral responses suggest that a strong service climate is internalized by frontline employees. This study contributes to service theory by establishing a customer status main effect on both affective and conative employee responses and by confirming service climate as a boundary condition for the customer status main effect. A key implication for managers is that establishing a strong service climate is important for achieving effective service recovery in increasingly diverse societies.
Gabler, C. B., J. L. Ogilvie, A. Rapp and D. G. Bachrach (2017): Is There a Dark Side of Ambidexterity? Implications of Dueling Sales and Service Orientations, Journal of Service Research, 20(4), pp.379-392
This study examines how employee customer and selling orientations, and their interaction, impact frontline employees’ (FLEs) pursuit of service and sales-related performance outcomes. Applying a job demands-resources lens, we advance a model that explores service-sales ambidexterity at the individual level. Polynomial regression and response surface analysis are used to assess how varying levels of customer and selling orientation relate to FLE outcomes. Our findings indicate that commitment to service quality and sales performance are highest when employees are singularly focused on one or the other. However, when required to be ambidextrous–that is, when employees must maintain a dual focus–these outcomes begin to suffer as employees are unclear of their role in the organization. While ambidextrous employees experience role conflict, they are also more likely to use creativity in their selling activities. These positive and negative consequences of ambidexterity underscore both the potential risks and rewards of a dual orientation on the front line.
Roschk, H. and K. Gelbrich (2017): Compensation Revisited: A Social Resource Theory Perspective on Offering a Monetary Resource After a Service Failure, Journal of Service Research, 20(4), pp.393-408
This research examines how to recompense customers, from a social resource theory perspective, which portrays financial compensation as the act of offering the resource “money” to customers during a service recovery attempt. This resource can differ in its particularism (is the money offered in a more or less personal way?) and concreteness (is the money offered in a more or less tangible way?), which are shown in two experiments to affect recovery outcomes. Specifically, personal compensation accompanied by a handwritten note from the service person (vs. impersonal: a typewritten note from the firm) fosters recovery satisfaction, mediated by justice perceptions, and reciprocal customer behavior (tipping, cross-buying), mediated by an obligation to reciprocate. Tangible compensation in the form of a banknote or banknote-like coupon (vs. intangible: a credit entry) also fosters reciprocal customer behavior via the obligation to reciprocate. In both studies, relationship strength amplifies the indirect effect of compensation’s particularism on recovery satisfaction. As a theoretical contribution, we show that the way the monetary resource is presented matters for service recovery. As a major managerial takeaway, this research presents personal (vs. impersonal) compensation as an impactful property of compensation: It increases recovery outcomes without additional monetary costs. Further, managers learn that handing over the money in a personal and tangible way can be a way to increase monetary returns to the firm in the form of tipping and cross-buying.
Herhausen, D., L. M. De Luca, G. N. Miceli, R. E. Morgan and M. Schoegel (2017): When Does Customer-Oriented Leadership Pay Off? An Investigation of Frontstage and Backstage Service Teams, Journal of Service Research, 20(4), pp.409-425
The service literature highlights the importance of organizational leaders in creating an organization-wide customer orientation (CO). Yet, some open questions remain regarding this relationship: Are organizational leaders from different hierarchical levels equally effective in creating a CO? Does the functional role of employees affect the importance of certain leaders? More generally, when does customer-oriented leadership really pay off? To address these questions, we investigate how senior managers’ and direct supervisors’ CO affects the CO climate and effectiveness of both frontstage and backstage service teams. Analyzing multisource data from 575 employees and their supervisors from 110 teams in a retail bank, we find that the effect of perceived senior manager CO on team CO climate and team effectiveness is stronger in backstage teams while perceived direct supervisor CO has a greater influence on frontstage teams. Moreover, team CO climate consensus moderates the effect of team CO climate on team effectiveness. These results suggest that, contrary to past theorizing, customer-oriented leadership does not per se increase team CO climate and team effectiveness; rather, the correct coupling of leadership source and degree of customer contact needs to be achieved. Service managers should use these findings and appoint the correct leader to implement CO to make the organization-wide CO diffusion more efficient and effective.
Jin Ho, J., Y. Jaewon Jay and T. J. Arnold (2017): Service Climate as a Moderator of the Effects of Customer-to-Customer Interactions on Customer Support and Service Quality, Journal of Service Research, 20(4), pp.426-440
This study introduces customer-perceived service climate, which captures an individual customer’s perception of the extent to which a service organization teaches, prioritizes, and recognizes outstanding customer service through organizational practices and procedures. Such a perception is found to significantly and positively influence the outcomes of a customer’s already positive interactions with other customers as well as temper outcomes associated with a customer’s negative experience of another customer’s dysfunctional behaviors. Longitudinal results demonstrate that customer-perceived service climate creates a potential “spillover” effect, where positive influences of a strong service climate benefit an organization in two ways–both through employee actions (as previous research shows) and through customer actions toward one another (i.e., supportive behaviors–as the current study demonstrates). The development of such supportive behaviors among customers is shown to be critical, as it is these support behaviors from other customers, and not positive or negative customer-to-customer (C2C) interactions themselves, that ultimately influence a customer’s judgment of organizational service quality. Service organizations should be aware of the importance of developing positive customer perceptions of service climate to help in positively influencing C2C interactions as well as focusing upon the development of a service environment that enables C2C support behaviors.
Hazée, S., C. Delcourt and Y. Van Vaerenbergh (2017): Burdens of Access: Understanding Customer Barriers and Barrier-Attenuating Practices in Access-Based Services, Journal of Service Research, 20(4), pp.441-456
Access-based services (ABS), which grant customers limited access to goods without any transfer of ownership, are unique technology-based service innovations requiring the substantial involvement and collaboration of customers without employees’ supervision. Although ABS offer several potential advantages, convincing customers to use them remains challenging. Combining 56 in-depth interviews with supplementary literature, the authors address this challenge by proposing an integrative framework that reflects the (1) barriers that prevent customers from using ABS and (2) practices in which customers engage to attenuate those barriers. The complex, multidimensional barriers relate not only to the service and technology features but also to other customers. Customers can engage in different practices to attenuate perceived barriers and create value, namely, “to distance,” “to manage,” “to elaborate,” “to control,” and “to relate.” Yet, they regard these barrier-attenuating practices as necessary sacrifices to use ABS. Complementing suggestions that customers adopt and use ABS to escape the burdens of ownership, the current research reveals that customers actually may confront several “burdens of access.” This research suggests managers who wish to reduce rejection of their innovation could not only overcome customers’ perceived barriers but also facilitate and reduce the number of practices in which customers engage to attenuate those barriers themselves.
Giebelhausen, M., B. Lawrence, H. H. Chun and H. Liwu (2017): The Warm Glow of Restaurant Checkout Charity, Cornell Hospitality Quarterly, 58(4), pp.329-341
Checkout charity is a phenomenon whereby frontline employees (or self-service technologies) solicit charitable donations from customers during the payment process. Despite its growing ubiquity, little is known about this salient aspect of the service experience. The present research examines checkout charity in the context of fast-food restaurants and finds that, when customers donate, they experience a “warm glow” that mediates a relationship between donating and store repatronage. Study 1 utilizes three scenario-based experiments to explore the phenomenon across different charities and different participant populations using both self-selection and random assignment designs. Study 2 replicates with a field study. Study 3 examines national store–level sales data from a fast-food chain and finds that checkout fund-raising, as a percentage of sales, predicts store revenue–a finding consistent with results of Studies 1 and 2. Managers often infer, quite correctly, that many consumers do not like being asked to donate. Paradoxically, our results suggest this ostensibly negative experience can increase service repatronage. For academics, these results add to a growing body of literature refuting the notion that small prosocial acts affect behavior by altering an individual’s self-concept.
Xie, X., C. K. Anderson and R. Verma (2017): Customer Preferences and Opaque Intermediaries, Cornell Hospitality Quarterly, 58(4), pp.342-353
Using two choice-based experiments, we evaluate consumer preferences hotel attributes for firms selling hotel rooms across three online distribution channel formats: full information, semi-opaque, and opaque online travel agents. A multinomial logit model is used to analyze the experimental data and measure consumer trade-offs between price and other product attributes. We then use these preferences to determine optimal channel selling strategies. Our optimal channel strategies illustrate under what conditions firms should add opaque distribution channels and the resulting incremental revenue obtained with the setting of optimal channel specific prices. We deploy two choice-based experiments, traditional and menu-based, in an effort to add flexibility to survey respondents in choice selection. As part of our analysis, we compare managerial insights from analysis based on traditional choice-based experiments to that using menu-based choice experiments. In general, we indicate that both forms of opaque selling increase firm demand and that with appropriate pricing can also increase firm revenue. In addition, opaque channels have elevated price sensitivity and increased impact of guest reviews versus traditional online travel agents.
Nisa, C., C. Varum and A. Botelho (2017): Promoting Sustainable Hotel Guest Behavior: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis, Cornell Hospitality Quarterly, 58(4), pp.354-363
Unsustainable patterns of tourist behavior produce a massive environmental burden. Nevertheless, it is unknown which behavioral strategies can be implemented to foster resource-efficient behavior in customers of leisure and travel services. This article aims to identify and summarize the evidence about the interventions which have been tested to promote sustainable hotel guest behavior. Electronic searches were performed in the main databases from inception to September 2016. Papers deemed eligible for inclusion were experimental field studies, reporting factual changes in guest behavior. The final sample was composed of nine papers comprising 13 studies in a total of 5,859 hotel stays. Results showed that all included interventions targeted towel reuse. Five different types of interventions were identified including environmental appeals, messages prompting commitment for conservation, donation to charity, social norms, and nudges. Only the last two forms of interventions (social norms: effect size [ES] = -0.25, 95% confidence interval [CI] = [-0.39, -0.12], p = .004 and nudges: ES = -0.43, 95% CI = [-0.72, -0.13], p = .009) showed significant positive effects in promoting towel reuse. Particularly regarding social norms, our work shows an effect weaker than reported in previous meta-analyses but consistent (low between-study heterogeneity) in producing modest increases in the levels of towel reuse.
Bavik, A., B. Yuen Lam and T. Pok Man (2017): Servant Leadership, Employee Job Crafting, and Citizenship Behaviors: A Cross-Level Investigation, Cornell Hospitality Quarterly, 58(4), pp.364-373
While servant leadership is widely recognized as a people-oriented management style, little attention has been directed to understand the positive outcomes of servant leadership on different stakeholders in the hospitality context. This research examines the mediating role of employee job crafting in the relationship between servant leadership and individual employees’ interpersonal citizenship behaviors directed at both internal and external stakeholders. Multisourced survey data collected from 238 hotel employees in 38 teams revealed that the effects of servant leadership on individual employees’ citizenship behaviors directed toward leaders, coworkers, and customers were mediated by employee job crafting.
Sungbeen, P., S. Sujin and L. Seoki (2017): How Do Investments in Human Resource Management Practices Affect Firm-Specific Risk in the Restaurant Industry?, Cornell Hospitality Quarterly, 58(4), pp.374-386
Despite the importance of achieving a competitive advantage in human resources in the restaurant industry, restaurant firms often hesitate to make significant investments in human resource management (HRM) practices because of outcome uncertainty, operational issues, and limited financial resources, among other issues. Building upon the strategic human resource management (SHRM) literature, the current study attempts to better understand the HRM issues in the restaurant industry and investigate the effects of HRM practices on a firm’s risk. More specifically, we explore the separate effects of positive and negative HRM practices on firm-specific risk (i.e., unsystematic risk) in the restaurant industry. Our findings demonstrate that positive HRM practices have a nonsignificant relationship with firms’ unsystematic risk, but negative HRM practices have an inverted U-shaped relationship with unsystematic risk, supporting the stakeholder theory, theory of desensitization, and slack resource theory.
Smith, W. W., R. E. Pitts, S. W. Litvin and D. Agrawal (2017): Exploring the Length and Complexity of Couples Travel Decision Making, Cornell Hospitality Quarterly, 58(4), pp.387-392
A quasi-experiment is used to examine the dynamics of the shared decision-making process by observing couples in real time as they make decisions about an overnight stay at a luxury resort. Observations and video recordings of the decision processes of 24 couples were coded and analyzed. The time to final decision, number, and type of tactics used were found to vary with couples’ length of experience with one another. Observation indicated that couples with greater travel experience together relied on “predealing” based on their experience together to avoid conflict, while less-experienced couples’ decisions were more likely to yield winners and losers. These findings and those related to the use of persuasive tactics by members of the couple dyads provide the basis for specific recommendations for marketing travel products.
Riasi, A., Z. Schwartz, L. Xuan and L. Songzi (2017): Revenue Management and Length-of-Stay-Based Room Pricing, Cornell Hospitality Quarterly, 58(4), pp.393-399
From a theoretical perspective, it is unclear whether hotels should offer a discount to customers who stay for longer periods, while it is rather clear that customers feel entitled to such length-of-stay (LOS)-based discounts. Accordingly, the major theoretical contribution of this study is to provide empirical evidence of hotels’ LOS-based pricing practices. The findings revealed that on average, hotels charge more per night when the guests stay longer. The finding that hotels increase their room rates as LOS increases, suggests that hotel revenue managers may want to address the customers’ misinformed expectations of getting lower prices for longer LOS and/or devise pricing or communication strategies to deal with it.
Jeehyae Kim, K., B. Gumkwang and K. Dae-Young (2017): The Effects of Visible Customer Characteristics on Servers’ Perceptions of Tipping: Potential Threats to Service Interactions, Cornell Hospitality Quarterly, 58(4), pp.400-408
This study examined the effects of customer race (i.e., Caucasian, African American, Hispanic, and Asian), gender (i.e., female and male), and attire (i.e., business and casual) on servers’ tip expectations and service intentions. The results indicate that customers in business attire are perceived as better tippers and targeted for better treatment than customers in casual attire. However, this main effect of attire was qualified by significant interactions with race and gender. The positive effects of business (vs. casual) attire were greater for African Americans than for Caucasians and for males than for females. The implications of these findings for the training and monitoring of restaurant servers are discussed.