What is it about?

Customer mistreatment in the food and retail sectors has come under the spotlight during the COVID-19 pandemic. This research informs the design of interventional strategies for reducing its negative impact in challenging circumstances.

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Why is it important?

 We show how and why mistreatment by customers increased counterproductive behavior in the workplace and the mechanism that underlies their relationship.  We highlight that customer mistreatment represents those situations where a customer makes unfair demands, uses condescending language and exhibits disrespectful behaviour toward frontline staff  We show that customer mistreatment provokes a strong emotional reaction and ruminative thoughts among the frontline staff  We unpacked the dark side of rumination by discussing that rumination preserves the negative emotions and prolongs the negative impact of daily stressors such as customer mistreatment  For managers, we highlight that the servant leadership style can protect the frontline staff from the negative emotional effects of customer mistreatment.

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: A COVID-19 contextual study of customers’ mistreatment and counterproductive work behavior at coffee cafés, British Food Journal, March 2021, Emerald, DOI: 10.1108/bfj-07-2020-0664.
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