Due to its prevalence and lasting implications, frontline employees’ (FLEs) experience of customer incivility has long occupied both managers and the human resources field as a whole. The current research employs the conservation of resources theory (COR) and justice theory to examine the influence of customer incivility on the customer problem-solving behaviour of FLEs via the mediation of employee burnout. Furthermore, it examines what alleviates the adverse influences of customer incivility by assessing the moderating roles of perceived supervisor justice and employee resilience. Using structural equation modelling (SEM), the research model is analysed based on a sample of 243 FLE-supervisor dyads in various hospitality organisations using a time-lagged research method, whereby supervisor-assessed FLEs’ customer problem-solving behaviours were also examined. The results demonstrate that customer incivility indirectly (via burnout) and directly has a negative influence on FLE willingness to engage in customer problem-solving behaviours. This influence is alleviated when a supervisor is perceived to be just and the employees are resilient. For managers, these research findings illustrate the significance of understanding what lessens the negative impact of customer incivility on the willingness to engage in customer problem-solving behaviours. © 2020 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.
|Journal||Total Quality Management and Business Excellence|