Service employees' personality, customer orientation and customer incivility

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


The purpose of this study is to examine the mediating role customer orientation plays in the relationship between service employees’ personality and their perceived experiences of customer incivility.
Service workers from a variety of industries were recruited from an online panel service and asked to complete a self-report on-line questionnaire (n = 253). PLS structural equation modeling was used to test the research hypotheses.
Service employees who are high in agreeableness and core self-evaluations are more customer-oriented and, as a result, report fewer customer incivility experiences. Disagreeable and neurotic service employees are more likely to be selling-orientated, but this was unrelated to customer incivility.
Research limitations/implications
The results are limited because all data are self-report. However, the findings suggest that personality and customer orientation influence employees’ customer incivility experiences.
Service jobs can be stressful, in part, because employees have to deal with rude and abusive customers. However, little is known about the antecedents to customer incivility from the perspective of the service provider. The present study bridges this gap and provides an understanding of the mechanisms by which targeted employees’ personality characteristics and customer-oriented behaviors influence their experiences of customer incivility. The results suggest two possible pathways to reduce employees’ customer incivility experiences including selection and training activities to develop a high core self-evaluation and more customer-oriented behaviors.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)281-296
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Quality and Service Sciences
Issue number3
Early online date2 Jan 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2020


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