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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For all previous alerts go hereDe Keyser, A., K. Verleye, K. N. Lemon, T. L. Keiningham and P. Klaus (2020): Moving the Customer Experience Field Forward: Introducing the Touchpoints, Context, Qualities (TCQ) Nomenclature, Journal of Service Research, 23(4), pp.433-455
In response to initial voices that put the customer experience (management) (CX(M)) movement into question, this article aims to introduce a formal nomenclature to push the CX(M) field toward a more mature state. First, drawing from an inductive analysis of 143 CX(M) papers, the authors identify 12 basic CX components that aggregate into three overarching building blocks—touchpoints (T, i.e., points of interaction between the customer and brand/firm), context (C, i.e., situationally available resources internal and/or external to the customer), and qualities (Q, i.e., attributes that reflect the nature of customer responses and reactions to interactions with the brand/firm). The TCQ nomenclature offers a language to make CX actionable, moving beyond the breadth of the current definition and frameworks by disentangling CX into small bite-sized chunks (i.e., the CX components) that any academic and practitioner, regardless of their discipline, may understand and use to discuss and manage CX. Second, using the TCQ nomenclature, the authors assess the current state of the CX(M) literature and identify mature (e.g., firm-controlled touchpoints and cognitive and emotional qualities associated with CX) and underdeveloped (e.g., nonfirm controlled touchpoints and the market and environmental context in which CX emerges) areas ripe for future research. In addition, they also provide a set of recommendations to strengthen the methodological rigor of the field. Third, the TCQ nomenclature may support managers in auditing their current CXM practices and/or serve as a basis for CX design and innovation.
Zeithaml, V. A., K. Verleye, I. Hatak, M. Koller and A. Zauner (2020): Three Decades of Customer Value Research: Paradigmatic Roots and Future Research Avenues, Journal of Service Research, 23(4), pp.409-432
The last three decades have witnessed a resurgence of research on the topic of customer value. In search of a comprehensive integration and analysis of this research—including conceptualization, operationalization, and measurement—we examined the myriad journal publications on the construct. We acknowledge that while some of the literature can be fully integrated, other parts are more difficult because they represent three different paradigms: positivist, interpretive, and social constructionist. We begin by briefly describing these three paradigms. Next, we detail the many studies representing the positivist paradigm, literature capturing customer value from just the customer’s perspective and using deductive logic. We designate the second paradigm as interpretive, in that researchers are interested in understanding the subjective nature of customer value along with its emergence through inductive logic. The third paradigm, the social constructionist, frames customer value as emerging from value co-creation practices in complex ecosystems. Building upon the commonalities and differences among research studies stemming from the positivist, interpretive, and social constructionist paradigms, we propose how researchers can complement one another to move the customer value field forward.
Cambra-Fierro, J., I. Melero-Polo, L. Patrício and F. J. Sese (2020): Channel Habits and the Development of Successful Customer-Firm Relationships in Services, Journal of Service Research, 23(4), pp.456-475
Technology advances have profoundly changed the way customers and service organizations interact, leading to a multitude of service channels. This study investigates consumer habits toward service channels in order to understand the influence of these channel habits on perceptions and intentions (perceived switching costs and attitudinal loyalty) and on consumer behavior (service usage and cross-buy). We empirically test the framework in the financial services industry, and the results reveal that physical store habit increases perceived switching costs and that acquired habits toward the physical store and self-service kiosks have a positive influence on attitudinal loyalty. Perceived switching costs positively affect service usage, and attitudinal loyalty positively influences cross-buy. In addition, habits in each channel lead to an increase in the number of services acquired (cross-buy), but online and self-service kiosks channel habits negatively impact service usage, as the lack of physical presence may increase customer uncertainty. Because habits are built on the frequency and stability of channel usage, firms can manage habits by encouraging frequent interactions under stable contexts. In addition, firms should stimulate customer habits toward the physical store as it is central to the promotion of loyalty and for increasing service usage.
Voorhees, C. M., P. W. Fombelle and S. A. Bone (2020): Don’t Forget About the Frontline Employee During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Preliminary Insights and a Research Agenda on Market Shocks, Journal of Service Research, 23(4), pp.396-400
The COVID-19 pandemic has transformed the way services are delivered. In this editorial, we shine a light on how frontline service employees are coping with the changing work environment. Leveraging insights from a critical incident technique data collection, we identify challenges related to employee morale, interfacing with service consumers, and transformational negative events. We then offer suggestions for future research on these topics. Moreover, we discuss how the business model transformations caused by COVID-19 could impact the role of technology in future service interactions as well as new challenges related to demand planning. We hope this editorial can serve as a platform to positively impact future research on how service is being delivered amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and future market shocks.
Bond Iii, E. U., A. de Jong, A. Eggert, M. B. Houston, M. Kleinaltenkamp, A. K. Kohli, T. Ritter and W. Ulaga (2020): The Future of B2B Customer Solutions in a Post-COVID-19 Economy: Managerial Issues and an Agenda for Academic Inquiry, Journal of Service Research, 23(4), pp.401-408
Customer solutions have been touted as the next service-growth engine. Yet, pursuing a solutions strategy can seriously backfire in times of severe crises. The massive economic shock wave brought on by the recent COVID-19 pandemic challenges some of the presumed advantages of business-to-business customer solutions and reveals downsides of these complex offerings to which academics and managers alike may have given insufficient attention. This editorial focuses on goods-centered companies’ recent foray into the solution business and the pressing managerial questions regarding the evolution of solutions as the world begins to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic. Based on the key characteristics of solution offerings, we identify seven potential downsides of customer solutions that are revealed by the current global crisis and develop promising research avenues mirroring these challenges. In each area, we propose three illustrative sets of research questions that may guide scholars and provide insights to practitioners for positioning solution businesses in the post-COVID-19 “next-normal” world.
Güntürkün, P., T. Haumann and S. Mikolon (2020): Disentangling the Differential Roles of Warmth and Competence Judgments in Customer-Service Provider Relationships, Journal of Service Research, 23(4), pp.476-503
Despite increasing interest in warmth and competence as fundamental dimensions in consumers’ evaluation of service providers, prior research remains ambiguous about which dimension is more important. The current study develops a nomological framework that clarifies this ambiguity and explains whether, when, and why warmth or competence takes precedence for different outcomes in customer-service provider relationships. Combined evidence from field and laboratory studies support the notion of an asymmetric dominance, which suggests that warmth is dominant in driving outcomes that capture relational aspects (e.g., customer-company identification), whereas competence is dominant in driving outcomes that capture transactional aspects of the customer-service provider relationship (e.g., share of wallet). The findings provide first insights into the underlying mechanisms that drive this asymmetric dominance by demonstrating that relational and capability concerns mediate this process. Moreover, the current investigation identifies novel moderators that offer managers help in identifying service contexts (people vs. object care) and customer segments (differing in process and outcome service goals) for which investing in warmth or competence is more promising. Overall, displaying competence is particular effective in driving customer attraction and current operating performance, whereas displaying warmth is better suited to establish strong emotional bonds and drive customer retention.
Harvey, J., M. Poorrezaei, T. Woodall, G. Nica-Avram, G. Smith, T. Ajiboye, K. Kholodova and K. Zhu (2020): The Smart Home: How Consumers Craft New Service Networks by Combining Heterogeneous Smart Domestic Products, Journal of Service Research, 23(4), pp.504-526
Service research suggests homes are becoming increasingly connected as consumers automate and personalize new forms of service provision. Yet, large-scale empirical evidence on how and why consumers automate smart domestic products (SDPs) is lacking. To address this knowledge gap, we analyze 13,905 consumer-crafted, automated combinations of SDPs, totaling 1,144,094 installations, across 253 separate service providers on the web service IFTTT.com. An exploratory network analysis examines the topology of the network and an interpretive coding exercise reveals how consumers craft different styles of human-computer interaction to cocreate value. The results reveal that the SDP network is disassortative, is imbalanced, has a long-tailed degree distribution, and that popular services have high centrality across all product category combinations. We show that popular combinations of SDPs are primarily motivated by utilitarian value-seeking enacted through a preference for automated tasks outside of conscious attention, though more individualistic combinations are slightly more likely to be hedonistically inclined. We conclude by showing how these consumer-crafted forms of service provision within domestic environments reveal design redundancy and opportunities for service innovation.
Rahman Muhammad, S., A. Hossain Md, M. Abdel Fattah Fadi Abdel and S. Akter (2020): Optimizing competitive performance of service firms in data-rich environment, Journal of Service Theory and Practice, 30(6), pp.681-706
Purpose The marketing information system (MkIS) in the data-rich business environment receives all the attention these days, but as essential and perhaps even more essential is the marketing information system management capability (MkISMC). Although many service firms apprehend the return from MkIS, others clearly struggle. It seems that MkIS management capability dynamics and their direct/indirect holistic influence on service firm’s competitive performance (SFCP) are unsolved in the current data-driven service economy. This study aims to conceptualize a model and test the antecedents on service firms’ competitive performance.Design/methodology/approach This study utilizes a survey of a sizeable sample of service firms’ managers at the firm level. A total of 250 useable responses were obtained and analyzed through structural equation modeling.Findings Results reveal that variables under their respective direct influences are positively and significantly related. Interestingly, MkISMC has a relatively large magnitude of positive and direct effects on service firms’ competitive performance. The other variables, such as the use of marketing analytics (UMAN), service innovation and management (SINM), partially mediate the effect of MkISMC on the competitive performance of service firms.Practical implications The findings inform practitioners that MkISMC, UMAN and SINM play a vital role in attaining service firms’ competitive performance in the data-rich environment. Overall, it deepens the understanding of the mediation effect of UMAN and SINM of service firms on competitive performance.Originality/value The study advances theoretical understanding of resource-based view (RBV), market orientation and dynamic capability that formulate the relationship of MkISMC, UMAN and SINM in attaining SFCP in the ever-changing data-driven business economy.
Kamath Pallavi, R., P. Pai Yogesh and K. P. Prabhu Nandan (2020): Determinants of recovery satisfaction and service loyalty: the differing effects of service recovery system and service recovery performance, Journal of Service Theory and Practice, 30(6), pp.643-679
Purpose This study aims to explore whether frontline employees’ service recovery performance as well as customers’ recovery satisfaction (RS) act as mediating mechanisms that simultaneously transmit the positive influence of an integrated service recovery system (SRS) on customers’ service loyalty (SL).Design/methodology/approach A total of 134 useable retail banking branch cases (including responses from 134 branch heads, 439 frontline employees and 941 customers) were used to test our model using the partial least squares structural equation modeling (PLS-SEM) approach.Findings Service recovery system, measured as a higher-order multidimensional construct, has a strong and positive influence on customers’ SL. Besides, service recovery performance partially mediates, along with RS, the relationship between SRS and SL. Finally, customers’ recovery satisfaction has the strongest influence on service loyalty.Practical implications This study strongly suggests that practitioners not only focus on implementing an effective SRS but also on leveraging service recovery performance and RS to build sustained customers’ loyalty. Practitioners must provide more attention to training their frontline employees, reward and recognize employees and continually evaluate their employees’ recovery efforts.Originality/value The role of frontline employees’ service recovery performance and customers’ RS as mediating mechanisms in transmitting the positive effect of SRS on customers’ SL is investigated using the combined perspectives of social-technical system theory and interdependence theory.
Bonamigo, A., B. Dettmann, G. Frech Camila and M. Werner Steffan (2020): Facilitators and inhibitors of value co-creation in the industrial services environment, Journal of Service Theory and Practice, 30(6), pp.609-642
Purpose The purpose of this study is to recognize the facilitators and inhibitors of value co-creation in the industrial service environment.Design/methodology/approach First, a systematic literature review (SLR) based on the systematic search flow (SSF) method was conducted, using six databases. Then, the content analysis proposed by Bardin (2011) was used to analyze the selected papers from SLR.Findings The authors identified a total of 11 facilitators and four inhibitors of value co-creation in industrial services. The findings show that concerning facilitators, the involvement of actors and synergy among participants reported a higher presence. As for the inhibitors, incompatibility among actors and actors’ inexperience in the context of value co-creation were the ones that registered the most frequency.Research limitations/implications Even though the SLR covered a large proportion of the studies available, this research may not have enabled a complete coverage of all existing peer-reviewed papers in the field of value co-creation in industrial services.Practical implications This study assists managers in enhancing the performance of the value co-creation process. This is because, by knowing both the facilitators and inhibitors, managers can have an improved understanding of this process, thereby pondering these elements on the elaboration of their strategies and decision-making.Originality/value This study is one of the first attempts to recognize both the facilitators and inhibitors of value co-creation in industrial services.
Choi, L. and A. Lawry Charles (2020): Labors of love: service employees on customer participation, Journal of Service Theory and Practice, 30(6), pp.585-607
Purpose Very few studies have considered how customer participation (CP) influences service employees’ well-being. CP may lead employees to engage in emotional labor strategies (surface/deep acting), which can elevate their job stress. Whereas surface acting involves falsifying emotions, deep acting involves empathizing with others. Therefore, the current article examines how these emotional labor strategies arise from CP and create job stress.Design/methodology/approach Study 1 is an online survey of service employees’ wellbeing during CP (n = 509). Study 2 compares service employees’ responses within hedonic and utilitarian service settings through a scenario-based experiment (n = 440). PROCESS was used to analyze the data in both studies.Findings First, study 1 supports that perceived CP increases job stress. Secondly, surface acting mediates the link between CP and job stress, but deep acting does not. Thereafter, Study 2 shows that the link between CP and job stress decreases as employee-customer identification (ECI) increases only during surface acting. Additionally, the impact of surface acting on job stress during CP is greater for hedonic services than utilitarian services, but there is no significant difference for deep acting.Originality/value This article contributes an original perspective by comparing models of service employees’ responses to CP and job stress in hedonic versus utilitarian settings. Moreover, the intervening effects of ECI and emotional labor strategies on job stress, as demonstrated through these employee-facing models, offer added value to the CRM and co-creation literature.
Xie, L., D. Li and H. T. Keh (2020): Customer participation and well-being: the roles of service experience, customer empowerment and social support, Journal of Service Theory and Practice, 30(6), pp.557-584
Purpose This research aims to contribute to the transformative service research (TSR) literature by examining how customer participation in the service process influences their service experience and eudaimonic well-being, as moderated by customer empowerment and social support.Design/methodology/approach In the contexts of wedding (n = 623) and tourism services (n = 520), two surveys were conducted to test the hypotheses using mediation and moderation analyses.Findings Customer participation had a positive effect on their well-being, as mediated by service experience. These effects were moderated by customer empowerment and social support. Specifically, customer empowerment negatively moderated the relationship between customer participation and their service experience for both services. In addition, the moderating effect of social support on the relationship between customer participation and service experience was positive for the wedding service but negative for the tourism service.Practical implications The findings imply that firms should encourage customer participation to enhance their service experience and well-being. In addition, the firm could judiciously empower customers by adapting to the level of customer participation. Furthermore, depending on the complexity of the service required to produce the expected service outcomes, the firm may encourage the customers to engage their social network for support.Originality/value This research uses the service ecosystem perspective to examine the roles of the customer, the firm and the customer’s social network in shaping their service experience and well-being for two common and important mental stimulus services, enriching the authors’ understanding on the role mental stimulus services play in enhancing consumers’ eudaimonic well-being.
Naujoks, A. and M. Benkenstein (2020): Expert cues: how expert reviewers are perceived online, Journal of Service Theory and Practice, 30(43926), pp.531-556
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to explore different types of source expertise and how they influence perceived message quality. Consumers face the challenge to identify valuable online reviews. Source expertise as a signal of message quality can be displayed differently, depending on website layout, operator and review author.Design/methodology/approach Two scenario-based experiments were conducted questioning 135 and 275 participants. They investigate the effect of different types of expert reviewers on perceived message quality and also examine the interplay of source expertise and source trustworthiness.Findings The findings reveal that the different types of expert reviewers differ in perceived expertise and their impact on perceived message quality. Claims of expertise induce the highest perceived expertise compared to the other expert types and non-experts, but are perceived as less trustworthy.Research limitations/implications Future research should examine the influence of the expert types across different product and service categories and could also include moderating influences that reflect how consumers process expert cues differently.Practical implications Cues that signal high expertise and high trustworthiness are likely to deliver the most valuable online reviews. This should be incorporated in the website’s layout to help consumers find valuable information.Originality/value The approach of this research is novel in that it undertakes comparisons between three types of expert cues and non-experts. It also addresses the interplay of source expertise and trustworthiness and examines the effect on message quality.
Medberg, G. and C. Grönroos (2020): Value-in-use and service quality: do customers see a difference?, Journal of Service Theory and Practice, 30(43926), pp.507-529
Purpose The definition of value adopted by the current service perspective on marketing theory is value as value-in-use. Surprisingly, however, little attention has been given to the question of what constitutes value-in-use for customers in service contexts? Therefore, the aim of this study is to provide an empirical account of value-in-use from service customers’ point of view.Design/methodology/approach To capture and analyze customers’ experiences of value-in-use in the typical service context of retail banking, this study employed a narrative-based critical incident technique (CIT) and a graphical tool called the value chart.Findings The study identified seven empirical dimensions of positive and negative value-in-use: solution, attitude, convenience, expertise, speed of service, flexibility and monetary costs. Interestingly, these value-in-use dimensions overlap considerably with previously identified dimensions of service quality.Research limitations/implications The concepts of service quality and value-in-use in service contexts seem to represent the same empirical phenomenon despite their different theoretical traditions. Measuring customer-perceived service quality might therefore be a good proxy for assessing value-in-use in service contexts.Practical implications As the findings indicate that service quality is the way in which service customers experience value-in-use, service managers are recommended to focus on continuous quality management to facilitate the creation of value-in-use.Originality/value This study is the first to explicitly raise the notion that in the minds of service customers, value defined as value-in-use and service quality may represent the same empirical phenomenon.
Rosenbaum Mark, S., M. Losada-Otalora and G. Contreras-Ramirez (2018): Understanding black market retailing: the case of Colombia’s San Andresitos, Journal of Service Theory and Practice, 30(43926), pp.483-505
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to explore black market retailing, with a focus on Colombia’s San Andresitos.Design/methodology/approach The authors use grounded theory methodology to develop a theoretical framework that explains how consumers rationalize their acceptance, rejection, or tolerance of black market retailing. The authors obtained qualitative data based on reader responses to newspaper articles on San Andresitos and used the responses as qualitative data in comparative analysis to derive a “strategy family” theoretical framework.Findings The framework advances rationalization techniques that consumers employ to accept, reject, or tolerate the San Andresitos.Research limitations/implications Colombians are divided on the legality of the San Andresitos. Although half the informants note the wrongfulness of the San Andresitos, the other half offer reasons to accept or tolerate them.Practical implications Legitimate (i.e. lawful) retailers operating in Colombia, or planning to enter, need to realize that local and national government officials support the San Andresitos. Colombia’s legitimate retailers must co-exist with the black market and dissuade consumers from patronizing unauthorized vendors or purchasing illicit goods.Social implications Colombia’s acceptance of its black markets results in consumers inadvertently supporting crime, terrorism, and even bodily harm via the San Andresitos. However, the San Andresitos enable lower-income consumers to gain access to otherwise unattainable merchandise and provide employment through lower-skilled labor.Originality/value This paper is one of the first to explore black markets. From a transformative service research perspective, this research reveals how consumers, retailers, and government officials participate in Colombia’s black market, and how their activities serve to harm consumer well-being.
Losada-Otalora, M., A. Valencia Garcés Carlos, J. Juliao-Rossi, M. Donado Pedro and F. E. Ramírez (2018): Enhancing customer knowledge: the role of banks in financial well-being, Journal of Service Theory and Practice, 30(43926), pp.459-582
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to explore the role of banks in enhancing consumer knowledge aiming to increasing customer’s financial well-being.Design/methodology/approach This research applied two quantitative studies with customers of banks in a Latin American country. The literature review and the results of the data analysis founded the development of a model that relates bank information transparency and subjective financial well-being through consumer financial knowledge.Findings By being transparent banks may transform the financial well-being of their customers. Particularly, this paper shows that consumer financial knowledge mediates the relationship between bank information transparency and the subjective financial well-being of individuals. However, the mediational effect occurs by subjective but not objective financial knowledge.Research limitations/implications The mediational model of this research does not take in consideration the role that individual factors play in the exposition and processing of the information provided by banks and its final impact on the subjective well-being of individuals. Also, this paper does not explore potential moderators of the theoretical relationships neither include cultural variables in the analysis.Originality/value Firm transparency has been related to various constructs in the marketing literature; however, its impact on consumer financial well-being is under-researched. This paper shows that companies need to aim to increase the subjective financial knowledge of their customers as a way to improve ultimate well-being of their customers.
Koskela-Huotari, K. and J. Siltaloppi (2020): Rethinking the actor in service research: toward a processual view of identity dynamics, Journal of Service Theory and Practice, 30(43926), pp.437-457
Purpose Only a few concepts in the service literature are as pervasive yet as undertheorized as is the concept of the actor. With a growing interest toward value creation as a systemic and institutionally guided phenomenon, there is a particular need for a more robust conceptualization of humans as actors that adopts a processual, as opposed to a static, view. The purpose of this paper is to build such processual conceptualization to advance service-dominant (S-D) logic, in particular, and service research, in general.Design/methodology/approach The paper is conceptual and extends S-D logic’s institutionally constituted account of the actor by drawing from identity theory and social constructionism.Findings The paper develops a processual conceptualization of the human actor that explicates four social processes explaining the dynamics between two identity concepts—social and personal identity—and institutional arrangements. The resulting framework reveals how humans are simultaneously constituted by institutions and able to perform their roles in varying, even institution-changing, ways.Research limitations/implications By introducing new insights from identity theory and social constructionism, this paper reconciles the dualism in S-D logic’s current description of actors, as well as posits the understanding of identity dynamics and the processual nature of actors as central in many service-related phenomena.Originality/value This paper is among the few that explicitly theorize about the nature of human actors in S-D logic and the service literature.
Isaeva, N., K. Gruenewald and M. N. K. Saunders (2020): Trust theory and customer services research: theoretical review and synthesis, Service Industries Journal, 40(0), pp.1031-1063
Research has revealed service industries’ benefits from customer trust including positive effects on commitment, loyalty, sales effectiveness, and collaborative, cooperative, and successful exchange relationships. Yet, despite the relevance of customer trust, gaps remain in our understanding regarding its implications and effective management. Commencing with a consideration of the theoretical foundations of trust, this theoretical review paper highlights the key trust theories synthesising service industries and management literatures on trust, its levels, development, violations, and repair. Drawing on this, recommendations are offered for scholars regarding future research as well as for service firms and their representatives regarding enabling customer trust. (English)
Moreira, M. F., G. Kuk, T. d. A. Guimaraes and P. H. M. Albuquerque (2020): The genealogy of service innovation: the research field tells its own story, Service Industries Journal, 40(0), pp.1064-1086
This paper examines the development of service innovation as a research field since the publication of Richard Barras’ seminal paper ‘Towards a Theory of Innovation in Services’ in 1986. It presents an exhaustive literature review of 31 years of research on service innovation. It offers some cross-sectorial perspectives on twelve key themes emerging from the literature, and on the broader research landscape and trajectories. Researchers, technologists and policy makers in the field of service innovation face issues arising from theories borrowed from economics since the 1980s and evolving through operationalization of its core themes over the last 20 years. After a description of the field, theoretical underpinnings of the field drawn from organization and management theory are discussed. The field has reached a stage where it can provide theoretical knowledge beyond the scope of the original service innovation theory, such as social innovations. A research agenda is suggested in both theoretical and thematic perspectives. (English)
Gao, L., I. Melero and F. J. Sese (2020): Multichannel integration along the customer journey: a systematic review and research agenda, Service Industries Journal, 40(0), pp.1087-1118
Enabled by the proliferation of new marketing channels, customers can utilize and compare marketing mix–related information across channels in a direct manner, which entails a more complex customer journey. Therefore, the question of how to optimally manage the marketing mix along the customer journey in multichannel environments has become a vital issue for the delivery of consistent customer experiences. To address the recent call for research on this topic, we performed a systematic literature review on multichannel studies, which led to the development of an integrative conceptual model that takes into account the linkage between the consistency of the marketing mix across channels along the customer journey (i.e. pre-purchase, purchase, and post-purchase) and the customer experience, along with a large range of moderating aspects (customer, firm, and industry characteristics). This research further contributes to literature in the marketing field by providing a set of future research avenues. The study offers a practical guide for managers to identify critical marketing mix elements that deserve their special attention along the customer journey in a multichannel environment. It also suggests that firms should consider the pros and cons before implementing a multichannel integration strategy. (English)
Senbeto, D. L. and A. H. Y. Hon (2020): Market turbulence and service innovation in hospitality: examining the underlying mechanisms of employee and organizational resilience, Service Industries Journal, 40(0), pp.1119-1139
With changing customer demand, fierce market competition, and uncertainties, service organizations are facing dynamic or even highly turbulent environments. Fostering employees’ ability to innovate is an effective business strategy that can enable firms to overcome market turbulence and cope with these challenges. Drawing on resilience theory, this study examines (1) the mediating effect of employee resilience on the relationship between market turbulence and service innovation, and (2) whether such mediating process was moderated by organizational readiness for change. Data were collected from employees in the hospitality industry in a developing country, Ethiopia, and the results indicated that employee resilience partially mediates the relationship between market turbulence and service innovation. Moreover, the indirect link was stronger for hotels with higher readiness for change than for those with lower readiness for change. Implications for managers and directions for further research are also discussed. (English)
Kim, M. and S. Stepchenkova (2020): Corporate social responsibility authenticity from the perspective of restaurant consumers, Service Industries Journal, 40(0), pp.1140-1166
While authenticity and personal values are considered critical components in the brand development process, little research has investigated their roles in the corporate social responsibility (CSR) context. Therefore, this study formulated an empirical research model to maximize the effectiveness of restaurant companies’ CSR efforts by considering the significant roles of CSR authenticity and personal value relevance in establishing and maintaining strong brand loyalty from consumers’ perspectives on CSR. With the data collected in the United States, this study found that consumers’ perception of CSR activities increases their favorable perceptions, attitudes, and behavior toward a restaurant brand through the significant mediating role of CSR authenticity. However, this study also found that depending on the degree of personal value relevance, the significant paths would be different. Based on the empirical findings, this study suggests managerial implications for foodservice companies to effectively design and implement CSR initiatives. (English)
Cetin, G. (2020): Experience vs quality: predicting satisfaction and loyalty in services, Service Industries Journal, 40(0), pp.1167-1182
Both quality and experience are discussed as antecedents of satisfaction and loyalty in services. Despite their popularity in measuring success, no previous study compared the effect size and impact of quality and experience on positive outcomes on the same product. In order to do so, package tours were selected as the case service. 356 questionnaires were collected from tourists participating in package tours. The impact of service quality and customer experience on satisfaction and loyalty was measured using regression analysis. Findings revealed that customer experience was a better predictor for both satisfaction and loyalty. Although service quality was also found as a significant antecedent, experience was able to explain a greater percentage of variance in positive customer behaviors. Through comparing the strength of service quality and customer experience on satisfaction and loyalty, this study offers both theoretical contributions and practical implications. The study identified experience as a better predictor for both satisfaction and loyalty than satisfaction which is an important contribution to the discussion on consumer behavior and its components. Tour operators organizing package tours who might design their itineraries based on experiential components might also achieve a greater satisfaction and loyalty. (English)
Sampson, S. E. and R. B. Chase (2020): Customer contact in a digital world, Journal of Service Management, 31(6), pp.1061-1069
Purpose: The customer contact approach to service has been at the core of service theory since the 1970s. It suggests that the potential operating efficiency of a service is inversely related to the extent of customer contact with the provider’s operations and that various service design issues are dictated by the presence or absence of customer contact. The purpose of this article is to reevaluate the customer contact approach in light of advanced digital technologies. Design/methodology/approach: The authors review the origins and history of the customer contact approach and show ways it has been refined in research literature. From that they demonstrate how the refined approach can be applied to contemporary conditions. Findings: Recent advances in digital technologies have indeed required us to revise our conceptualization of customer contact. There is now a blurring between front-office and back-office operations. Emerging technologies are allowing customers to have high-contact experiences with low-contact efficiencies. Research limitations/implications: Going forward, conceptualizations of customer contact are becoming increasingly complex and requiring increasingly complex models. Armed with self-service technologies, customers are able to permeate the “buffered core” of service businesses. Artificial intelligence and anthropomorphic devices have further blurred the distinction between front-office and back-office operations. Research will need to consider new forms of technology-enabled customer contact. Practical implications: Customer contact is no longer limited to interpersonal interactions and the relationships between service providers and customers are increasingly complex. Customers may interact with automated service providers, or service providers may interact with customer technologies. New forms of customer contact may not involve humans at all, but instead involve technologies interacting with technologies. Originality/value: The customer contact approach to service was one of the original models of service design. By revisiting and revising the model we bring it in-line with the realities of the contemporary service economy.
Liang, H.-Y., C.-Y. Chu and J.-S. C. Lin (2020): Engaging customers with employees in service encounters: Linking employee and customer service engagement behaviors through relational energy and interaction cohesion, Journal of Service Management, 31(6), pp.1071-1105
Purpose: Keeping both employees and customers highly engaged has become a critical issue for service firms, especially for high-contact and highly customized services. Therefore, it is essential to engage employees and customers during service interactions for better service outcomes. However, past research on employee and customer engagement has primarily focused on brands and organizations. Little research has concentrated on service interactions as the objects of engagement. To fill this research gap, this study aims to clarify and define service engagement behaviors (SEBs), identify various employee and customer SEBs and develop a model to investigate the relationships between these behaviors. Design/methodology/approach: A theoretical framework was developed based on social contagion theory and service-dominant (S-D) logic to explore the effects of employee SEBs on customer SEBs through customer perceptions of relational energy and interaction cohesion. Dyadic survey data collected from 293 customer-employee pairs in various high-contact and highly customized service industries were examined through structural equation modeling. Findings: Results show that employee SEBs (service role involvement, customer orientation behavior and customer empowerment behavior) positively influence relational energy and interaction cohesion, which in turn affect customer SEBs (service exploration behavior and service coordination behavior). Originality/value: This study represents pioneering research to conceptualize SEBs. Different from the extant literature on engagement, SEBs capture the proactive and collaborative engagement behaviors of employees and customers in service interactions. Various employee and customer SEBs were identified and an empirical model was proposed and tested to investigate the effect of employee SEBs on customer SEBs through relational energy and interaction cohesion.
Finsterwalder, J. and V. G. Kuppelwieser (2020): Equilibrating resources and challenges during crises: a framework for service ecosystem well-being, Journal of Service Management, 31(6), pp.1107-1129
Purpose: This article explores the impact of crises, such as the coronavirus pandemic, on service industries, service customers, and the service research community. It contextualizes pandemics in the realm of disasters and crises, and how they influence actors’ well-being across the different levels of the service ecosystem. The paper introduces a resources–challenges equilibrium (RCE) framework across system levels to facilitate service ecosystem well-being and outlines a research agenda for service scholars. Design/methodology/approach: Literature on disasters, crises, service and well-being is synthesized to embed the COVID-19 pandemic in these bodies of work. The material is then distilled to introduce the novel RCE framework for service ecosystems, and points of departure for researchers are developed. Findings: A service ecosystems view of well-being co-creation entails a dynamic interplay of actors’ challenges faced and resource pools available at the different system levels. Research limitations/implications: Service scholars are called to action to conduct timely and relevant research on pandemics and other crises, that affect service industry, service customers, and society at large. This conceptual paper focuses on service industries and service research and therefore excludes other industries and research domains. Practical implications: Managers of service businesses as well as heads of governmental agencies and policy makers require an understanding of the interdependence of the different system levels and the challenges faced versus the resources available to each individual actor as well as to communities and organizations. Social implications: Disasters can change the social as well as the service-related fabric of society and industry. New behaviors have to be learned and new processes put in place for society to maintain well-being and for service industry’s survival. Originality/value: This paper fuses the coronavirus pandemic with service and well-being research, introduces a resources-challenges equilibrium framework for service ecosystem well-being and outlines a research agenda.
Henkel, A. P., M. Čaić, M. Blaurock and M. Okan (2020): Robotic transformative service research: deploying social robots for consumer well-being during COVID-19 and beyond, Journal of Service Management, 31(6), pp.1131-1148
Purpose: Besides the direct physical health consequences, through social isolation COVID-19 affects a considerably larger share of consumers with deleterious effects for their psychological well-being. Two vulnerable consumer groups are particularly affected: older adults and children. The purpose of the underlying paper is to take a transformative research perspective on how social robots can be deployed for advancing the well-being of these vulnerable consumers and to spur robotic transformative service research (RTSR). Design/methodology/approach: This paper follows a conceptual approach that integrates findings from various domains: service research, social robotics, social psychology and medicine. Findings: Two key findings advanced in this paper are (1) a typology of robotic transformative service (i.e. entertainer, social enabler, mentor and friend) as a function of consumers’ state of social isolation, well-being focus and robot capabilities and (2) a future research agenda for RTSR. Practical implications: This paper guides service consumers and providers and robot developers in identifying and developing the most appropriate social robot type for advancing the well-being of vulnerable consumers in social isolation. Originality/value: This study is the first to integrate social robotics and transformative service research by developing a typology of social robots as a guiding framework for assessing the status quo of transformative robotic service on the basis of which it advances a future research agenda for RTSR. It further complements the underdeveloped body of service research with a focus on eudaimonic consumer well-being.
Odekerken-Schröder, G., C. Mele, T. Russo-Spena, D. Mahr and A. Ruggiero (2020): Mitigating loneliness with companion robots in the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond: an integrative framework and research agenda, Journal of Service Management, 31(6), pp.1149-1162
Purpose: Loneliness and isolation are on the rise, globally threatening the well-being across age groups; global social distancing measures during the COVID-19 crisis have intensified this so-called “loneliness virus”. The purpose of this paper is to develop an integrative framework and research agenda on the role of companion robots in mitigating feelings of loneliness. Design/methodology/approach: A netnographic analysis of 595 online visual and textual descriptions offer empirical insights about the role of the companion robot Vector during the COVID-19 pandemic. Findings: The contributions of this study are twofold. First, it postulates that companion robots have the potential of mitigating feelings of loneliness (i.e. indicator of well-being). Second, this study contributes to transformative service by developing an integrative framework introducing the roles (personal assistant, relational peer and intimate buddy) that companion robots can fulfill to mitigate feelings of loneliness through building different types of supportive relationships. Research limitations/implications: The proposed research agenda encourages future service scholars to investigate 1) the role of robots in addressing loneliness, 2) design features that drive adoption of robots, 3) social support for different groups, 4) the operationalization and the measurement of loneliness and 5) an impact analysis of companion robots. Practical implications: Service providers and policy makers can leverage the insights about how companion robots can help reduce a sense of loneliness. Originality/value: The integrative framework on loneliness reduction, based on 595 unprompted online contributions issued during the COVID-19 pandemic, offers initial evidence for the impact of companion robots in reducing people’s feelings of loneliness.
Karpen, I. O. and J. Conduit (2020): Engaging in times of COVID-19 and beyond: theorizing customer engagement through different paradigmatic lenses, Journal of Service Management, 31(6), pp.1163-1174
Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to consider a broadened suite of paradigmatic lenses to help better understand customer engagement during and beyond COVID-19. During this period of uncertainty and economic downturn, many customers are questioning their ways of living and being, and thus businesses are engaging customers in new and evolving ways. To appreciate this broadened realm of engagement requires researchers and businesses to embrace existential humanism as an alternative, yet complementary, paradigmatic lens. Design/methodology/approach: This is a conceptual paper. The authors consider three distinct paradigmatic lenses on human (inter)action—economic rationalism, institutionalism and existential humanism—and apply these lenses to deepen the underlying theorizing of the customer engagement concept. Further, the authors illustrate how customers engage with businesses in distinct ways, seeking meaning congruent with the challenges faced during COVID-19. Findings: The authors argue that the common tripartite model of cognitive, emotional and behavioral customer engagement, typically informed by reductionist and unilateral paradigmatic lenses, is insufficient to understand why customers seek to engage with businesses during and after COVID-19. Originality/value: In providing a broader paradigmatic perspective, the authors make a plea for a stronger consideration and activation of spiritual engagement in marketing. The current COVID-19 environment challenges extant philosophical assumptions of engagement theorizing, which we address by way of existential humanism. The authors contribute through a more differentiated perspective of engagement, accounting for a broader spectrum of human experience. This enables more informed theorizing across levels of abstraction, while emphasizing diverse avenues for future engagement for a time even beyond COVID-19.
Klaus, P. P. and A. Manthiou (2020): Applying the EEE customer mindset in luxury: reevaluating customer experience research and practice during and after corona, Journal of Service Management, 31(6), pp.1175-1183
Purpose: This paper’s objective is to raise awareness of how customer experience (CX) research, a key construct of modern-day service research, needs to be revisited in view of the pandemic. Particularly, we examine whether CX-related service research constructs, models and frameworks need to be reevaluated during and after the Corona crisis and if so, how and why? Moreover, this paper contributes to CX research by analyzing the customer mindset from three perspectives: emotions, employment and expectations (EEE). Design/methodology/approach: We critically review current CX practices and investigate the impact on how customers perceive services in this time of crisis. Findings: Based on this critical analysis, we discuss implications for research and practice with reference to the example of the luxury industry with its historical emphasis on the CX. This discussion leads to related propositions and research directions through Corona and beyond. Originality/value: We investigate the current customer mindset in more detail, which we divide into three main themes: emotions, employment and expectations (EEE).
Bove, L. L. and S. Benoit (2020): Restrict, clean and protect: signaling consumer safety during the pandemic and beyond, Journal of Service Management, 31(6), pp.1185-1202
Purpose: Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, customers fear for their health when interacting with service providers. To mitigate this fear service providers are using safety signals directed to consumers and other stakeholders who make organizational assessments. The purpose of this article is to synthesize the range of safety signals in a framework that integrates signaling theory with servicescape elements so as to provide guidance for service providers to assist in their recovery. Design/methodology/approach: The authors extracted examples of how service providers signal safety to their consumers that the risk of infection is low in exchanging with their service. These examples were taken from secondary data sources in the form of trade publications resulting from a systematic search and supplemented by an organic search. Findings: In total 53 unique safety signals were identified and assigned to 24 different categories in our framework. Most of the signals fell into the default and sale independent category, followed by the default contingent revenue risking category. Originality/value: This study builds on signaling theory and service literature to develop a framework of the range of safety signals currently in use by service providers and offers suggestions as to which are likely to be most effective. Further, a future research inquiry of safety signals is presented, which the authors believe has promise in assisting recovery in a post-pandemic world.
Arora, S. D. and A. Chakraborty (2020): Legitimate and illegitimate consumer complaining behavior: a review and taxonomy, Journal of Services Marketing, 34(7), pp.921-937
Purpose: This paper aims to provide an integrative view of the conceptualizations, definitions, antecedents and taxonomies of consumer complaining behavior (CCB). Additionally, the study aims to provide an updated synthesis and classification of both legitimate and illegitimate CCB antecedents, as well as an integrated CCB taxonomy. Design/methodology/approach: A multi-stage systematic search is conducted and 226 research articles relevant to the scope of the study are analyzed to fulfill the study’s objectives. Findings: Through an exhaustive aggregation, legitimate and illegitimate CCB antecedents identified in the literature are collated and a classification schema is developed. Deficiencies observed in extant CCB taxonomies are addressed and a refined taxonomy incorporating illegitimate CCB is developed. Research limitations/implications: The conclusions drawn on the basis of this paper are contingent on the effectiveness of the keyword-based systematic search process that is used to demarcate the extant literature. Practical implications: This paper suggests a three-pronged approach of differential enabling, legitimacy evaluation and differential management. This holistic perspective aims at enabling firms to design complaint management policies and systems that control fake complaints while maintaining sufficient redress opportunities for genuine dissatisfaction. Originality/value: The paper proposes an identical classification schema for legitimate and illegitimate CCB antecedents and is the first broad-based attempt to develop an integrated CCB taxonomy.
Daskalopoulou, A., J. Go Jefferies and A. Skandalis (2020): Transforming technology-mediated health-care services through strategic sense-giving, Journal of Services Marketing, 34(7), pp.909-920
Purpose: Service research has previously documented service providers’ role in addressing the barriers of technology mediation, mostly at the service delivery level. The purpose of this study is to enhance our understanding about the role of service providers who hold strategic and operational roles, as well as investigate the impact of coordinated, organization-wide initiatives in dealing with the demands and associated emotional ambivalence of technology-mediated services. Design/methodology/approach: This qualitative study draws from a series of in-depth interviews with health-care service providers who hold strategic and operational roles in health-care organizations along with participant observation to develop an understanding of the broader organizational context of telehealth services. Findings: This paper outlines the strategic sense-giving process and highlights how health-care service providers who hold strategic and operational roles enact the sense-giver role. This study illustrates that strategic sense-giving involves the recognition of sense-making gaps; identification of sense-giving opportunities; and provision of templates of action. Originality/value: This study illustrates that sense-giving can be performed by a number of organizational members in a more formalized way which extends informal sense-giving efforts at the peer-to-peer level. The importance of strategic sense-giving in providing templates of action for service providers and consumers is highlighted. This study also shows how strategic sense-giving safeguards against confusion and errors by communicating appropriate ways of using technology. Finally, the role of strategic sense-giving in helping service providers and consumers cope with the emotional ambivalence of technology-mediated service interactions are demonstarted.
Krishen, A. S., O. Berezan, S. Agarwal and B. Robison (2020): Harnessing the waiting experience: anticipation, expectations and WOM, Journal of Services Marketing, 34(7), pp.1013-1024
Purpose: This study aims to explore the anticipated emotions of consumers and their anticipated perceived quality (PQ) of an exhibit, event or service that they are waiting to attend. Design/methodology/approach: The study consists of a quantitative survey-based descriptive study of n = 470 real-world consumers from a waiting line at the Shark Reef exhibit in Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, Las Vegas. Data is analyzed with fuzzy-set qualitative comparative analysis (fsQCA) to extrapolate causal conditions or recipes, for word of mouth (WOM) generation regarding the exhibit. Findings: Recipes that influence positive WOM for an upcoming exhibit include: affect evaluation and affect expectations (AEXs) and affect evaluation, affect expectation, event entertainment and PQ. Practical implications: By recognizing the need to optimize the customer waiting experience, services marketing managers can more successfully engage customers and influence their subsequent intentions. Originality/value: Emotions regarding the anticipation of an upcoming event are critical to cultivating the intent to spread positive WOM.
Gabler, C. B., V. M. Landers and A. Rapp (2020): How perceptions of firm environmental and social values influence frontline employee outcomes, Journal of Services Marketing, 34(7), pp.999-1011
Purpose: More than ever, consideration of the natural environment and social welfare are values that firms must signal to their stakeholders. One way to do this is by adopting an environmental orientation (EO) and pro-social organizational identity (PSOI). The purpose of this paper is to examine how frontline employees (FLEs) respond to these firm-level values through four outcomes. Design/methodology/approach: Polynomial structural equation modeling with response surface analysis was implemented on FLEs survey data to uncover how different levels of EO and PSOI impact sales performance, word-of-mouth, turnover intent and job satisfaction. Findings: Both firm-level values have a positive and direct effect on all four outcomes. However, each imposes a boundary condition as well. Specifically, salespeople perform better when their firm has a stronger EO, but they are happier in their work, less likely to quit and more likely to spread positive word-of-mouth when PSOI is stronger. Practical implications: The results suggest that perceptions of a firm-level EO or PSOI enhance employee-level outcomes. Signaling to employees that your firm cares about the natural environment and the greater social good positively influences employee outcomes, but optimization of each outcome depends on the strength of those values. Originality/value: This research answers two specific research calls. First, it applies signaling theory to the workplace context, positioning FLEs as the receivers and feedback mechanisms of firm-level signals. Second, using too-much-of-a-good-thing logic, it uncovers boundary conditions imposed by social and environmental constructs on frontline outcomes.
Losada-Otálora, M. and J. R. Siqueira (2020): Transformative place management (TPM) in commercial settings and business performance, Journal of Services Marketing, 34(7), pp.889-907
Purpose: This study aims to introduce transformative place management – TPM – (defined as the deliberate efforts of place managers in commercial settings to provide a pool of restorative resources to improve the consumers’ emotional well-being) by merging the REPLACE framework and transformative service research. Additionally, this research analyzes the direct and indirect impacts of restorative resources as a form of TPM on consumers’ emotional well-being and place attachment, considering the moderating role of employee emotional labor. Design/methodology/approach: A total of 240 customers were surveyed in an experience-based store in a developing country by using a questionnaire. Then, a moderated mediation model was applied to analyze the moderating role of employee emotional labor in the relationship between TPM and place attachment through consumers’ well-being. Findings: TPM that provides restorative resources to consumers influences place attachment by improving consumer well-being. However, surface acting by employees reduces the ability of TPM to increase place attachment through the improvement of consumers’ emotional well-being. Deep acting, on the other hand, does not enhance the effect of TPM on place attachment through consumers’ emotional well-being. Originality/value: This paper proposes new developments in the transformative service research (TSR) paradigm by introducing TPM. By showing how the place of consumption increases the well-being of customers, this paper helps TSR researchers to accomplish the purpose of transforming the lives of consumers through relevant research. Although marketing researchers and environmental psychologists have theoretically anticipated the positive effects on well-being from consumption settings, this paper explains how commercial places promote customer well-being through the provision of restorative resources. Also, this paper shows how the place of consumption transforms consumers” lives and identifies some of the boundary conditions at which such a transformation occurs.
Azer, J. and M. Alexander (2020): Direct and indirect negatively valenced engagement behavior, Journal of Services Marketing, 34(7), pp.967-981
Purpose: This study aims to show the impact of direct and indirect customers’ negatively valenced influencing behavior (NVIB) on other actors in online social networks. Design/methodology/approach: Four experiments were conducted in an online review setting that encompasses both restaurant and hotel reviews. The first study compares the impact of direct and indirect NVIB. The second, third and fourth studies measure this impact moderated by aggregate ratings, the volume of positive reviews and managerial responses. Findings: Drawing on recent literature of customer engagement behavior, online reviews and social influence theory, this paper provides the first empirical results of the impact of direct and indirect NVIB, revealing the significant difference in their impact and the moderating role of the aggregate ratings, number of positive reviews and managerial responses on the cause-effect relationship between direct and indirect NVIB and other actors’ attitudes and behavioral intentions toward service providers. Research limitations/implications: TripAdvisor reviews were selected for the reason of appropriateness rather than representativeness, using two service providers, hotels and restaurants. Practical implications: This paper provides managers with new insights, which capture not only what customers say about service providers but also the impact of how they say it, suggesting that managers move beyond framing NVIB in generalized terms to considering the differences in the impact of its direct and indirect facets. Originality/value: This paper is the first to provide empirical results about the significant difference in the impact of direct and indirect NVIB on other actors’ attitudes and behavioral intentions toward service providers, moderated by different heuristics, namely, ratings, volume of positive reviews and managerial responses.
Frey-Cordes, R., M. Eilert and M. Büttgen (2020): Eye for an eye? Frontline service employee reactions to customer incivility, Journal of Services Marketing, 34(7), pp.939-953
Purpose: Frontline service employees (FSEs) face high demands of emotional labor when dealing with difficult, and sometimes even uncivil, customer behavior while attempting to deliver service with a smile. The purpose of this study is to investigate whether employees reciprocate uncivil customer behavior. The authors investigate two potential processes – ego threat and perceived interactional justice – and further address boundary conditions of this effect. Design/methodology/approach: The data for this paper were collected in three studies: one field experiment and two online experiments using adult samples. Hypotheses were tested and data was analyzed using ANOVA and regression-based modeling approaches. Findings: Findings from a field-experimental study and online experiments show that FSEs offer lower service levels to uncivil customers. The authors further find that this effect is mediated by a perceived ego threat and that employees’ regulation of emotion (ROE), as part of their emotional intelligence, attenuates the effect of perceived ego threats on service levels. Research limitations/implications: This study finds that perceived ego threat (but not perceived interactional justice) explains why employees respond negatively to uncivil customer behavior. Therefore, it offers an emotion-driven explanation of retaliatory behavior in frontline service contexts. Implications for theories focusing on service value co-destruction and customer incivility are discussed. Practical implications: The findings from this research show that ROE attenuates the impact of perceived ego threat on employee retaliatory behavior. Managerial implications include developing and training employees on emotion regulation. Furthermore, managers should identify alternative ways for restoring an employee’s ego after the employee experiences uncivil customer behavior. Originality/value: The authors propose and test two processes that can explain why employees reciprocate uncivil customer behavior to gain a deeper understanding of which processes, or a combination of the two, drive employee responses. Furthermore, the authors shed insights into boundary conditions and explore when employees are less likely to react to uncivil customer behavior while experiencing ego threat.
Medler-Liraz, H. (2020): Customer incivility, rapport and tipping: the moderating role of agreeableness, Journal of Services Marketing, 34(7), pp.955-966
Purpose: Although studies have emphasized the need to explore the negative consequences of customer incivility, scant attention has been paid to positive factors that can mitigate its negative effects on employees’ service performance. The purpose of this study is to extend research on customer incivility and its association with rapport and tipping through the prism of conservation of resources theory. It also examines the role of agreeableness as a personal resource in coping with instances of incivility. Design/methodology/approach: A total of 502 Israeli restaurant servers took part in this study. Findings: Agreeableness significantly moderated the relationship between customer incivility and rapport: agreeable hospitality employees who served customers manifesting low/medium incivility reported better rapport than disagreeable hospitality employees. However, this effect was not significant for high incivility. Further, agreeable hospitality employees who served customers with low/medium incivility reported higher tips than disagreeable hospitality employees. Surprisingly, the findings also suggested that when employees served customers exhibiting high incivility, the tips were lower for servers high on agreeableness than for servers low on agreeableness. Originality/value: This study broadens the frontiers of research on customer incivility and provides insights into the critical financial and emotional costs hospitality employees and service organizations incur when encountering incivility. The findings also contribute to the scant research on the potential moderators that may enable employees to handle customer interactions more constructively in the case of incivility within the hospitality industry. Agreeableness appeared to alleviate the negative effects of customer incivility on rapport and tipping but only seemed to be an effective resource up to a certain level of customer incivility.
Karabas, I. and J. Joireman (2020): The role of blocked gratitude in non-voluntary tipping, Journal of Services Marketing, 34(7), pp.983-997
Purpose: Non-voluntary tipping (e.g. automatic gratuity) has received growing attention in the service industry. Existing research suggests customers respond unfavorably to non-voluntary tipping, yet little research has examined why. The current study aims to address this question, with particular interest in response to non-voluntary tipping under high-quality service. Design/methodology/approach: Two scenario-based experiments tested the proposed hypotheses in between-participants design using ANOVA, hierarchical regression and PROCESS. Findings: Study 1 showed that non-voluntary tipping resulted in higher negative emotions, which led to lower return intentions. Surprisingly, the negative effect of non-voluntary tipping was as strong (or stronger) under high (vs low) quality service. To understand this counterintuitive effect, Study 2 developed and tested two competing process models (i.e. blocked vengeance vs blocked gratitude). Supporting the blocked gratitude model, results revealed that non-voluntary tipping hinders customers’ ability to reward service employees, undermining positive emotions and lowering return intentions. Research limitations/implications: Current work was conducted in two settings using two scenario-based experiments. Hence, additional settings with non-scenario-based studies are encouraged. Practical implications: The present work cautions managers considering a move to non-voluntary tipping to be aware of its negative effects, especially when the service quality is high. The blocked gratitude model suggests that managers should clarify methods available for customers who wish to reward good service. Originality/value: This paper is the first to examine customer response to non-voluntary tipping under different levels of service quality and the underlying emotional mechanisms.
O’Neill, J. W., B. A. N. Bloom and A. Sharma (2020): Toward Improving Hotel Prognostications Through the Application of Probabilistic Methodologies, Cornell Hospitality Quarterly, 61(4), pp.373-378
Existing and generally accepted methodologies for developing projections of future hotel performance have been recently described as “grossly inadequate” and we note they have essentially remained unchanged for decades. Notably, current methodologies result in point estimates of future performance and do not adequately consider the inherent risk in lodging investments. Borrowing from research in other fields, and particularly from the area of finance, we suggest the use of probabilistic, that is, stochastic methodologies. In particular, we recommend hotel investors, operators, and analysts use Monte Carlo simulation. Also, this article provides information regarding why probabilistic methodologies are appropriate and general guidance regarding how to apply such approaches.
Parsa, H. G., B. K. Shuster and M. Bujisic (2020): New Classification System for the U.S. Restaurant Industry: Application of Utilitarian and Hedonic Continuum Model, Cornell Hospitality Quarterly, 61(4), pp.379-400
In epistemological domains, classification systems play an integral part as tools of discovery and systematic exploration. Classifications are essential for the integrity and validity of any academic research and application of the research findings to that particular research context. Absence of classification systems limits the ability of a discipline to advance as a legitimate subject worthy of academic pursuit. Currently, in the United States, as noted by the National Restaurant Association, there is no standardized and official classification for the restaurant industry. Thus, the current study proposes a theoretically supported restaurant classification system based on the concept of hedonic and utilitarian consumption. The proposed classification system has been empirically tested in four different studies, including a panel of currently operating restaurateurs, food journalists specializing in restaurant industry, panel of hospitality educators, and restaurant customers. The proposed framework has received strong empirical support from all four selected groups. The obtained results suggest that this parsimonious system could be effectively used to classify the U.S. restaurant industry with the proposed four major classes: Luxury Restaurants, Fine-Dining Restaurants, Casual Restaurants, and Quick-Service Restaurants.
Nieto-García, M., P. A. Muñoz-Gallego and Ó. Gonzalez-Benito (2020): The More the Merrier? Understanding How Travel Frequency Shapes Willingness to Pay, Cornell Hospitality Quarterly, 61(4), pp.401-415
Customers’ evaluation of hotel prices has received increasing attention in hospitality research. Beyond the specific attributes of the offer, internal norms related to prior experiences affect customers’ response to price. Drawing on the behavioral price literature, this study investigates the effect of travel frequency and reference price on the formation of travelers’ willingness to pay (WTP) for accommodation. The study presents a novel methodological approach introducing the concept of instantaneous indirect effect. Results offer support for an inverted U-shaped relationship between travel frequency and WTP, mediated by the internal reference price. WTP reaches its peak when the customer has booked an accommodation 6 times in the past 2-year period. The findings provide clear implications for practitioners. Monitoring customers’ travel frequency and integrating it into dynamic pricing models will create a better alignment of room rates with travelers’ WTP, which will make revenue management techniques more customer centric and, ultimately, enhance profitability.
Jolly, P. M. and T. T. Self (2020): Psychological Diversity Climate, Organizational Embeddedness, and Turnover Intentions: A Conservation of Resources Perspective, Cornell Hospitality Quarterly, 61(4), pp.416-431
The hospitality workforce is the most diverse in the United States. Given this fact, a growing body of research has sought to investigate the effects of employee perceptions of their organization’s climate regarding diversity, also known as psychological diversity climate. However, little is still known about whether and how diversity climate perceptions might affect hospitality employees’ intentions to leave their organizations. Adopting a Conservation of Resources Theory perspective, we argue that diversity climate represents an important resource that employees wish to preserve by continuing employment with their organizations, thus increasing employee organizational embeddedness and decreasing turnover intention. Organizational embeddedness captures why employees stay and represents a totality of forces that serve to keep an employee with his or her current organization. These forces are driven by employees’ possession or pursuit of resources derived through employment with their current organization. Drawing on samples of frontline restaurant employees (Study 1) and restaurant managers (Study 2), we found evidence that psychological diversity climate is positively associated with organizational embeddedness. However, the relationship between psychological diversity climate and turnover intentions was mediated only by the sacrifice dimension of organizational embeddedness. Our results point to the importance of developing a positive climate for diversity as a means to retain employees and also shed light on how the dimensions of organizational embeddedness can have differential effects on turnover intentions.
Kim, H. and C.-H. Tang (2020): Experienced Buyers, Long-Term Fee Contracts, and the Value of Property Transactions in the Hotel Industry, Cornell Hospitality Quarterly, 61(4), pp.432-442
Hotel property sales have often been bundled with contracts, such as franchise agreements and management contracts. In these transactions, the seller/operator and the buyer/owner essentially entered into a long-term relationship. The present study accordingly proposed that such transactions could be viewed as a strategic alliance, rather than a one-time asset disposition. Specifically, it was hypothesized and confirmed that buyers’ experience in hotel investments could enhance the value of long-term fee contracts bundled with transactions. In addition to estimating the transaction premiums at the property level, the present study could contribute to the hospitality industry by demonstrating the value of specialist buyers in property sales bundled with contracts. For decision makers, the results suggested that buyer selection could be an important consideration in property sales bundled with contracts.
Sahin, S., S. Baloglu and E. Topcuoglu (2020): The Influence of Green Message Types on Advertising Effectiveness for Luxury and Budget Hotel Segments, Cornell Hospitality Quarterly, 61(4), pp.443-460
This study aims to broaden knowledge about the effects of green (environmentally responsible) advertising images on consumer behavior in the context of the hotel industry. A 5 (ad type: non-green vs. green with text vs. green with logos vs. green with visuals vs. green with the combination of all) × 2 (hotel segment: luxury vs. budget) between-subjects experimental design was developed. The purpose of this research, within the foundations of dual coding theory, is to investigate the influence of different types of green (textual, visual, green certification logos, and combination of all) versus non-green ads on advertising effectiveness operationalized as attitude toward the ad (AAd), attitude toward the hotel (AHot), and purchase intention (PI) for budget and luxury hotel segments while controlling the effects of environmental involvement. The results demonstrate that green text, green certification logo, green with visual cues, and green combination ads were more effective than non-green ads in terms of AAd, attitude toward the brand, or PI. The study also reveals that the effectiveness of green hotel ads will vary with the budget and luxury hotels as the results provide encouraging results for luxury hotels to increase ad effectiveness via using green certification in their advertising strategy. Overall, the findings provide implications for budget and luxury hotels in terms of designing green and sustainability messages in their communication strategies.