Mistreatment by customers is a common occurrence for frontline service employees that is associated with employees’ impaired long-term well-being and performance. Theoretical work has attributed the development of these long-term consequences in part to the spillover effects associated with mistreatment, as being mistreated by one customer may compromise the employee’s ability to deliver services to subsequent customers. In this paper, we draw from resource depletion theory to conduct two studies testing the spillover effect of customer mistreatment on employees’ subsequent performance. In Study 1, we conducted an experiment whereby we manipulated the level of mistreatment. We found that customer mistreatment predicted lower service performance towards the next customer and that the effect was mediated by the loss of regulatory resources. In Study 2, we conducted a field study and examined the role of display rule commitment as moderator of the spillover effects associated with mistreatment. We found that high display rule commitment acted as a buffer to the negative relationship between customer mistreatment and subsequent service performance. Together, our findings highlight how episodes of customer mistreatment can trigger subsequent declines in performance and well-being, and the role of regulatory resources in buffering its associated effects.
|Name||Academy of management proceedings|
|Conference||2018 Academy of Management Annual Conference|
|Period||10/08/18 → 15/10/18|
- customer mistreatment
- service performance
- resource depletion
- display rule commitment