Customer Citizenship Behavior and Employee Strain: Validity Evidence for a New Source of Workplace Helping Behavior and when it Matters Helping Behavior And When It Matters

Open Access
Maneotis, Sarina M.
Graduate Program:
Doctor of Philosophy
Document Type:
Date of Defense:
June 30, 2014
Committee Members:
  • Alicia Ann Grandey, Dissertation Advisor
  • James Lewis Farr, Committee Member
  • Samuel Todd Hunter, Committee Member
  • David Manuel Almeida, Committee Member
  • citizenship
  • customer service
  • employee well-being
  • customer behavior
  • scale development
Recently, the customer service literature has trended towards incorporating positive customer behaviors, such as customer citizenship into its study. Although the organizational impact of these citizenship behaviors has been explored, it still remains unclear if customer citizenship is also desirable for service employees. A scale is developed to understand and assess when customers go beyond their required role and engage in citizenship towards service employees. Citizenship towards service employees is predicted to act as a resource to reduce employee stressors and strain and therefore enhance employee well-being; however, not all ‘help’ from customers may be desired so specific circumstances are explored to understand when and if customer citizenship impacts employee well-being. Two studies are conducted to test these ideas: a validation study of the customer citizenship instrument and repeated measures (daily diary) study that assesses customer citizenship and its corollary employee outcomes over several workdays. In general, it is found that customer citizenship does enhance several different employee well-being indicators, but that the effect is more positive during busy shifts for employees and less effective during shifts where employees have a high rate of aggressive customers. Implications, limitations, and future directions are also discussed.