A self-verification perspective on customer mistreatment and customer-directed organizational citizenship behaviors

Rajiv K. Amarnani, Simon Lloyd D. Restubog, Ruodan Shao, David C. Cheng, Prashant Bordia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Customer mistreatment events play a major role in employees' subsequent customer service behaviors, and is believed to have implications for employees' sense of self. We extend this line of research by developing a self-verification account of the relationship between customer mistreatment and customer-directed OCBs (OCB-Cs) by examining theoretically prescribed novel mechanisms (i.e., self-verification) and boundary conditions (i.e., self-esteem and entity customer appreciation) for this relationship. We conducted a programmatic series of studies using daily diary (Study 1), audio vignette (Study 2), and behavioral experiment (Study 3) designs to test the proposed model. The overall pattern of results showed that customer mistreatment led employees to feel less self-verified, especially among those with higher trait self-esteem. These employees in turn were more likely to withhold OCB-Cs, especially among those perceiving lower levels of entity customer appreciation. Overall, these results deepen our understanding of the role of the self-concept in how employees experience and react to customer mistreatment--depending on how employees see themselves and how they see their customers in general.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)912-931
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Organizational Behavior
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jun 2022


  • OCB-customer
  • customer appreciation
  • customer mistreatment
  • self-esteem
  • self-verification
  • workplace aggression

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Psychology(all)
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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