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The impact of service providers' emotional displays on service evaluation : evidence of emotional contagion

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The impact of service providers' emotional displays on service evaluation : evidence of emotional contagion

Tomiuk, Marc Alexander (2000) The impact of service providers' emotional displays on service evaluation : evidence of emotional contagion. PhD thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

The present work begins with an exhaustive and comparative review of the emotions literature in psychology and in sociology. In Chapter Six, a model of the emotion system of the service encounter is developed. In part, it represents a conceptualization and a substantial and substantive extension of Hochschild's (1983a) work on emotional labor . The model not only accounts for the emotional reactions of consumers to the affective displays of service providers but provides an interdisciplinary perspective on emotion. Accordingly, we draw on elements from cognitive and somatic perspectives in psychology, Hochschild's (1983a) interactional theory, the views of other social constructivists, purist sociological perspectives, and on perspectives from communication studies in an attempt to account for the multilevel emotional dynamics which occur in the service encounter. It becomes evident that emotions are not simply intrapersonal states but that they are also social or interpersonal phenomena. It is also stressed that the consumer's and service provider's emotion processes involve different determinants. Importantly, it is suggested that cognitive appraisal theories do not provide the only general mechanism which may account for consumer emotion in the service encounter. Alternatively, primitive emotional contagion rests on somatic theories of emotion. Its underlying mechanism is essentially pre-attentive (unconscious) and thus does not imply the type of mental calculus which is suggested by appraisal theorists as a determinant of emotion. At a theoretical level, primitive emotional contagion appears to better account for emotion in a dynamic and interactive manner than do cognitive theories which essentially represent stimulus-response models. It also represents a compelling explanation for mutual entrainment, synchrony, rapport, and matched emotional states in interaction. On the other hand, cognitive appraisal theories appear to provide a mechanism for consumer emotion after the occurrence of failure in a component of service. Next, an experimental study is conducted to test a variety of hypotheses based on the proposed conceptual model and the services evaluation literature. Results indicate that the interaction between the valence of a service provider's emotional displays and the social context of these displays does have a significant effect on various evaluation factors including service quality dimensions, satisfaction, and behavioral intent. (Abstract shortened by UMI.)

Divisions:Concordia University > John Molson School of Business > Marketing
Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Authors:Tomiuk, Marc Alexander
Pagination:xx, 754 p. ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:Theses (Ph.D.)
Program:Marketing
Date:2000
Thesis Supervisor(s):Laroche, Michel
ID Code:1393
Deposited By:Concordia University Libraries
Deposited On:27 Aug 2009 13:19
Last Modified:08 Dec 2010 10:20
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