Date of Award

May 2015

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Business Administration


Yitzhak Fried


Customer service, Job performance, Multilevel analysis, Personality, Scale development and validation, Work stress

Subject Categories

Social and Behavioral Sciences


Two areas of research approach employee interactions with the public in different ways; research on emotional labor and burnout describes it as solely harmful, while research on job design considers its merits. I propose that each area of the literature adopts a narrow perspective that creates these different views. This dissertation constructs and validates a framework based on valence (negative and positive) and content (affect-based and task-based) dimensions that identify four types of employee experiences with the public: mistreatment, gratitude, problematic demands, and cooperation. Then, I use these measures to predict employee well-being (i.e., emotional exhaustion and job satisfaction) and performance (i.e., prescribed task performance, proactive customer service, and incivility toward customers), the mechanisms that underlie these outcomes, and the boundary conditions. Based on multilevel analyses of 403 service employee-supervisor dyads from various organizations in Thailand, I found that both negative and positive interactions with the public contribute to employee well-being and performance. Moreover, I found that negative experiences with the public do not always cause deleterious effects on employees (e.g., poor proactive customer service and incivility toward customers). This paper systematically explores the patterns, mediating processes, and boundary conditions of the relationships between different types of interactions with the public and key work-related outcomes. These findings offer important implications for research and practice in the area of customer service performance.


Open Access