Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy
Stephanie M. Noble, Alex R. Zablah
Ann E. Fairhurst, Yazhen Xiao
This dissertation is comprised of three papers in the field of frontline marketing, which examines the influence of servicescape, frontline employee (FLE), and service encounter expectations on customer and company outcomes. The first chapter examines the influence of the servicescape on customers’ tipping behaviors. Through the field and lab experiments, I find that customers’ status perception is a key mechanism that drives their tipping behaviors, and, more importantly, that subtle elements of the servicescape imbued with status perception (i.e., the color of service props) increases tip sizes in restaurants. In the second chapter, I investigate boundary conditions for an important work motivator for FLE, organizational identification (OI). Using meta-analytic techniques, I find that OI, which is defined as individual’s sense of oneness with the organization, improves FLE’s in-role performance the most when the work itself is not meaningful. This finding implies that OI is most beneficial when the work itself provides workers with limited opportunity to experience a sense of autonomy (e.g., tellers), competence (e.g., food service workers), or relatedness (e.g., delivery personnel). Finally, in the third chapter, I examine the impact of psychological distances evoked by customers’ story on service encounter evaluation. Drawing construal level theory, I developed predictions that psychologically distant story enhances prospective customers’ narrative transportation, which in turn increases positive service encounter evaluations. I also hypothesize that this distal story effects are strengthened when those who have high need for cognition evaluate intangible service encounter, because their dispositional characteristics that enjoy thinking. The findings across four studies based on unobtrusive field study and series of experiment consistently support my hypothesis. This study contributes to the service marketing literature by revealing how storytellers’ distal stories can positively influence customers’ future service encounter evaluation.
Lee, Na Young, "Managing Customers and Motivating Employees for Success in the Frontlines. " PhD diss., University of Tennessee, 2018.
Available for download on Wednesday, May 15, 2019