|M.Sc Thesis||Department of Industrial Engineering and Management|
|Supervisor:||Prof. Rafaeli Anat|
|Full Thesis text|
The current study examined conditions under which displayed anger is more likely to be rewarded in the context of customer service relations. We approached displayed anger as a continuous construct, and examined the influence of low and high anger intensity on the rewarding behavior. Moreover, since anger expression is commonly associated with injustice, we tried to separate the influence of display of anger from the influence of the perception of justice, while the latter was achieved by adding a reference to procedural justice. In addition, we explored the influence of the organizational context on anger rewarding behavior by examining two types of organizational policies - cost-oriented and customer-oriented.
In a laboratory experiment, using a between-subjects 2x2x2 design, we have compared the reward that subjects, undergraduate students playing the role of customer service representatives, were willing to pay to an angry customer. The reward included the amount of compensation and the discount provided to the customer. Each of the 181 subjects was randomly assigned to two different frames of organizational policies (cost or customer oriented), and was asked to address an angry complaint, randomly chosen from four potential complaints (high or low in anger intensity, and with or without a reference to procedural justice). Then, the subjects were asked to specify the amount of compensation and discount they would pay to the complaining customer within a specified set of guidelines.
The results show that anger intensity on its own does not have a major effect on rewarding behavior. However, organizational policy moderates the relations between anger intensity and reward in such a way that in cost-oriented policy high intensity anger is more rewarded than low intensity anger, while in customer-oriented policy such a relation is insignificant. In addition, reference to procedural justice was found to be positively connected to reward. Customer-oriented policy was also positively related to reward, while the moderating role of policy on the relations between justice and reward was not significant. These findings strengthen the importance of organizational context, while examining implications of displayed anger. Moreover, they suggest that explicit organizational policies might have a great influence on rewarding anger. In addition, our findings indicate the different functions of anger intensity and justification, showing that expression of more anger is not equivalent to more justification. Finally, our findings suggest that intensity of a discrete emotion, such as anger, has important social function.