How Does Workplace Ostracism Influence Service Employees' Coproduction Effectiveness with Customers

    Project: Research project

    Project Details


    In increasingly dynamic business environments, firms realize the importance of collaboration for creating and sustaining their competitive advantage. Recent strategy and marketing scholars has focused on collaboration with customers as a means to cocreate value (Lusch and Vargo 2006; Prahalad and Ramaswamy 2000). Yet despite considerable evidence about the importance and consequences of coproducing services with customers (e.g., Auh et al. 2007; Chan, Yim, and Lam 2010; Yim, Chan, and Lam 2012), little is known about how service employees actually handle their coproduction tasks with customers, especially if those workers suffer from negative job experiences such as being ostracized in their workplace. In particular, sources of workplace ostracism (i.e., by supervisors or coworkers), the psychological mechanisms embedded in explaining the process, and the effects on the effectiveness of coproduction with customers remain essentially unexplored.

    This proposed project aims to examine the impacts of service employees’ workplace ostracism on the effectiveness of their coproduction task with customers by citing the domains of marketing, psychology, and organizational behavior and thereby illuminating the portrait of the linkage between workplace ostracism and employees’ service performance. Using Williams’s (2001, 2007) need–threat view of ostracism as the theoretical mechanism, this project will address the following objectives:
    1. Examine the impacts of two major sources of workplace ostracism, supervisor ostracism and coworker ostracism, on employees’ service performance and outcomes (i.e., effectiveness of coproduction with customers, customer repurchase intention, and employee job performance).
    2. Investigate the roles of efficacy needs (control and meaningful existence) and relational needs (belonging and self-esteem) as mediators of the impacts of supervisor ostracism and coworker ostracism, respectively, on employees’ service performance and outcomes.
    3. Explore and test potential boundary conditions that might shift the impacts of workplace ostracism on employees’ service performance and outcomes.

    The results from this proposed project should advance understanding of the underresearched relationship among employees’ negative workplace experiences (i.e., workplace ostracism), the effectiveness of their service coproduction with customers, the underlying mediating mechanisms, and any potential boundary conditions. The results should also offer promising guidance to managers of firms that feature workplace ostracism. Managers must be concerned about the incidence and significant impacts of employees’ perceived workplace ostracism, whether due to supervisors or coworkers, and the resulting effects on their service performance and outcomes. In turn, they must look for ways to sustain more effective and satisfactory coproduction experiences with customers.
    Effective start/end date1/01/1431/12/16


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