Misleading by Example: The Effects of a Manager’s Unfair Customer Treatment on Service Employee Performance and Perceived Managerial Trustworthiness

Joel M. Evans, Jennifer Anderson, Stephen W Gilliland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)260-289
Number of pages30
JournalSocial Justice Research
Volume31
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2018
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Customer service
  • Extra-role behavior
  • Group-value model of fairness
  • Organizational justice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anthropology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Law

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