Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Business Administration

Major Professor

Stephanie M. Noble, Alex R. Zablah

Committee Members

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.


Chapter 1 of this document were previously published in the Journal of the Academy of the Marketing Science by Na Young Lee, Stephanie M. Noble and Dipayan Biswas: Lee, Na Young, Stephanie M. Noble, and Dipayan Biswas. "Hey big spender! A golden (color) atmospheric effect on tipping behavior." Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science 46.2 (2018), 317-337. My primary contributions to this paper include (i) development of research questions, (ii) identification of the study areas and objectives, (iii) literature review (iv) design and conducting experiments, (v) data analysis, (vi) writing the manuscript

Available for download on Wednesday, May 15, 2019

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