We explore service worker reactions to a supervisor’s fair treatment of customers (i.e., customer-directed fairness), utilizing the group-value model of fairness to formulate two distinct predictions: (1) a status cuing effect, in which employees internalize social cues from the supervisor’s behavior to determine the social value of customers, and adapting their own customer-oriented behaviors to reflect the supervisor’s cue, and (2) a character indictment effect, in which employees use customer-directed fairness to assess the trustworthiness of the supervisor’s character. Results from experimental and field data provide evidence for these dual effects and show how each ultimately affects the employee’s in-role and extra-role customer service behavior. Implications are discussed with regard to the group-value model of fairness, alternative theories of fairness, and practical applications.
- Customer service
- Extra-role behavior
- Group-value model of fairness
- Organizational justice
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sociology and Political Science