Attributions of blame for customer mistreatment: Implications for employees’ service performance and customers’ negative word of mouth

Patrick Raymund James M. Garcia, Simon Lloyd D. Restubog, Vinh Nhat Lu, Rajiv K. Amarnani, Lu Wang, Alessandra Capezio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Integrating conservation of resources and attribution theories, this study investigates the extent to which perceived customer mistreatment increases customers’ negative word of mouth by reducing service workers’ subsequent customer-directed in-role performance and customer-directed organizational citizenship behaviors. We also hypothesized that customer-directed blame attributions would moderate these relationships. Data collected from 153 restaurant servers, 153 coworkers, 149 supervisors and 306 customers show that the negative relationship between customer mistreatment and customer-directed behaviors (both in-role performance and organizational citizenship behaviors) is stronger for employees who engage in high as opposed to low levels of customer-directed blame attributions. Furthermore, the conditional indirect effect of customer mistreatment on negative word of mouth, via customer-directed organizational citizenship behaviors, is stronger for those employees who engage in high as opposed to low levels of customer-directed blame attributions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)203-213
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Vocational Behavior
Volume110
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2019

Keywords

  • Attribution theory
  • Blame attributions
  • Conservation of resources theory
  • Customer mistreatment
  • Negative word of mouth
  • Performance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Applied Psychology
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies

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