Impact of frontline service employees’ acculturation behaviors on customer satisfaction and commitment in intercultural service encounters
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Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to explore the impact of four types of acculturation behaviors of frontline service employees (assimilation, separation, integration, and marginalization) on customer satisfaction and customer commitment. Design/methodology/approach: In total, 377 ethnically diverse customers of a retail bank in New Zealand participated in this study. SmartPLS3 was used to test all the hypotheses. Findings: Assimilation and integration have positive effects on both customer satisfaction and commitment. Marginalization has a negative effect on both customer satisfaction and commitment but separation has a negative effect only on customer satisfaction and not on customer commitment. Research limitations/implications: Future research may validate and extend the authors findings in diverse cultural settings and use experimental method to explore the socio-psychological mechanisms underlying the influence of frontline service employees’ acculturation behaviors on customer satisfaction and commitment. Practical implications: This study will help managers understand the importance of service employees’ acculturation behaviors and develop suitable recruitment strategies and training programs to improve their impact on customer satisfaction and commitment. Originality/value: This study extends current research on intercultural service encounters by looking beyond the moderating effects of four types of service employees’ acculturation behaviors, to explore their direct effects on customer satisfaction and commitment.
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