Strengthening Manager-Employee Relationships in Face of Dysfunctional Customers

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Being told that “the customer is always right” can be maddening for an employee dealing with dysfunctional customers. Relationships between managers and employees can become strained and job satisfaction can drop as a result. How can managers work with their employees to help prevent this from happening? Taeshik Gong, Youjae Yi, and Jin Nam Choi discussed this in their article “Helping Employees Deal With Dysfunctional Customers: The Underlying Employee Perceived Justice Mechanism” in the February edition of Journal of Service Research.

The abstract:

While considerable research explores job stress interventions for employees02JSR13_Covers.indd dealing with legitimate customer complaint behavior, managerial interventions relating to illegitimate, unreasonably dysfunctional customer behavior have been largely overlooked. Drawing on justice theory and using survey and experimental data, this study investigates perceived justice as the underlying mechanism through which managerial interventions affect satisfaction and loyalty among employees exposed to dysfunctional customer behavior. In addition, this study explores the contingency factors that affect this relationship. The findings offer managerial insights into how to protect employees from detrimental consequences of highly negative interactions with dysfunctional customers. This research suggests that managers should continually reinforce employees’ perceptions of fairness through interventions such as social support, participation, empowerment, and reward. Results also indicate that managers particularly need to direct intervention efforts to employees who are exposed to frequent and seriously negative interactions with dysfunctional customers.
This entry was posted in Burnout, Employee Satisfaction, Employees, employers, Management Theory, Relationships, Stress, Work environment and tagged , , , by Cynthia Nalevanko, Editor, Management INK. Bookmark the permalink.

About Cynthia Nalevanko, Editor, Management INK

Founded in 1965, SAGE is the world’s leading independent academic and professional publisher. Known for our commitment to quality and innovation, SAGE has helped inform and educate a global community of scholars, practitioners, researchers, and students across a broad range of subject areas. With over 900 employees globally from principal offices in Los Angeles, London, New Delhi, Singapore, and Washington DC, our publishing programme includes more than 560 journals and over 800 books, reference works and databases a year in business, humanities, social sciences, science, technology and medicine. Believing passionately that engaged scholarship lies at the heart of any healthy society and that education is intrinsically valuable, SAGE aims to be the world’s leading independent academic and professional publisher. This means playing a creative role in society by disseminating teaching and research on a global scale, the cornerstones of which are good, long-term relationships, a focus on our markets, and an ability to combine quality and innovation. Leading authors, editors and societies should feel that SAGE is their natural home: we believe in meeting the range of their needs, and in publishing the best of their work. We are a growing company, and our financial success comes from thinking creatively about our markets and actively responding to the needs of our customers.

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