טכניון מכון טכנולוגי לישראל
הטכניון מכון טכנולוגי לישראל - בית הספר ללימודי מוסמכים  
M.Sc Thesis
M.Sc StudentDerfler Rellie
SubjectThe Effects of Encounters with Angry Customers on Employee
Performance, Cognitive Abilities and Emotional
Exhaustion: A Simulation Study
DepartmentDepartment of Industrial Engineering and Management
Supervisor Professor Anat Rafaeli
Full Thesis textFull thesis text - English Version


Abstract

In a pure experimental environment, we document the effect of encountering angry customers on employee performance. We show that interactions with angry customers can hamper employee cognitive work performance and cognitive capacities. Individuals who encountered customers who present their requests angrily displayed lower performance of both work and non-work cognitive tasks than individuals who encountered customers whose requests were 'emotion free'. Emotional exhaustion was a complete mediator of this relationship between customer anger and employee cognitive performance. Our study suggests cognitive consequences of emotion work in work settings and contributes to the understanding of the tight coupling between emotional and cognitive processes. Our study provides support for the ego depletion process and for the episodic process model described in past research. The study elaborates on the prices customer representative pay for dealing with angry customers, and suggests that organizations and managers should be aware of such prices, and strive to minimize the detrimental effect of such encounters.