Customer Mistreatment, Employee Health and Job Performance: Cognitive Rumination and Social Sharing as Mediating Mechanisms

Journal of Management, DOI: 10.1177/0149206314550995, 2014

23 Pages Posted: 19 Jul 2015

See all articles by Lisa Baranik

Lisa Baranik

East Carolina University

Mo Wang

University of Florida - Department of Management

Yaping Gong

Hong Kong University of Science & Technology (HKUST)

Junqi Shi

Sun Yat-Sen University (SYSU) - Lingnan (University) College

Date Written: September 14

Abstract

The current study examined employee outcomes associated with customer mistreatment, conceptualizing customer mistreatment as signaling failure regarding employees’ pursuit of task and social goals at work. We argue that employees make internal attributions when experiencing customer mistreatment and are likely to engage in rumination because of this perceived goal failure. The goal of this article was to test this conceptualization and examine the outcomes of customer mistreatment – induced rumination as well as emotional labor strategies as potential protective mechanisms against customer mistreatment. Findings from time-lagged data collected from 737 call-center customer representatives indicated that cognitive rumination mediated the relationship between customer mistreatment and supervisor-rated job performance, customer-directed sabotage, employee well-being, and emotional exhaustion. The second mediator, social sharing of negative events, mediated the relationship between customer mistreatment and emotional exhaustion only. As expected, cognitive rumination was positively related to customer sabotage and emotional exhaustion and negatively related to job performance and well-being. Social sharing of negative events was positively related to both well-being and emotional exhaustion. Finally, we found that deep acting, but not surface acting, buffered the effects of customer mistreatment on cognitive rumination and social sharing. Limitations, future research directions, and managerial implications are discussed.

Keywords: customer mistreatment, cognitive rumination, social rumination, social sharing of negative events, well-being, productivity, emotional exhaustion, sabotage

Suggested Citation

Baranik, Lisa and Wang, Mo and Gong, Yaping and Shi, Junqi, Customer Mistreatment, Employee Health and Job Performance: Cognitive Rumination and Social Sharing as Mediating Mechanisms (September 14). Journal of Management, DOI: 10.1177/0149206314550995, 2014. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2632535

Lisa Baranik

East Carolina University ( email )

Greenville, NC 27858
United States

Mo Wang (Contact Author)

University of Florida - Department of Management ( email )

United States

Yaping Gong

Hong Kong University of Science & Technology (HKUST) ( email )

Clearwater Bay
Kowloon, 999999
Hong Kong

Junqi Shi

Sun Yat-Sen University (SYSU) - Lingnan (University) College ( email )

135 Xingang Xi Road
Guangzhou, Guangdong 510275
China

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