Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät


Article on employee emotion authenticity by Andreas Lechner and Michael Paul accepted for publication in JBR


The article "Is this Smile for Real? The Role of Affect and Thinking Style in Customer Perceptions of Frontline Employee Emotion Authenticity" authored by Andreas Lechner and Michael Paul has been accepted for publication in the Journal of Business Research (Jourqual: B).

Many service firms emphasize emotion display authenticity in customer-employee interactions and regard authenticity as a competitive advantage and key strategic goal. However, the importance placed on authenticity builds on the assumption that customers perceive displayed emotion authenticity, an assumption which is only partly supported in previous research. The authors study two factors influencing customer authenticity perceptions, customer affect and thinking style, which represent feeling and thinking, two key domains of the human mind.

The study finds that customers who experience positive affect perceive positive emotion displays of frontline employees as more authentic, regardless of its objective extent of authenticity. Likewise, customer thinking style of combined processing (highly rational and highly experiential) is found to create upward bias on authenticity perceptions. Service firms are advised to enhance customers' affective states before customers enter into the service encounter by means of affect enhancing music, colors, and scents. Furthermore, they should measure their customers' thinking style and use this information for customer-specific frontline employee display behavior.

message of 17.10.2017