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Tricks and tactics used against troublesome travelers—Frontline staff's experiences from Swedish buses and trains
Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Service Research Center.
2014 (English)In: Research in Transportation Business and Management (RTBM), ISSN 2210-5395, Vol. 10, 53-59 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Public transport is facing escalating problems with passengers who behave badly by threatening and assaulting both staff and other passengers. Troublesome customers are known to affect employees' health and work motivation adversely. However, employees also form strategies for handling the incidents that arise. Developing successful ways of dealing with customer misbehavior, on both an operational and a strategic level, represents a key challenge facing the public transport sector. The aim of this article is to investigate the nature of such negative situations in public transport; in particular, highlighting the practical strategies that are used by public transport staff to handle these kinds of incidents. An interview study consisting of 23 in-depth interviews was conducted both with conductors on regional trains and bus drivers on local buses in Sweden. Several instances of customer misbehavior were described by the respondents, e.g. verbal abuse, threats, and even physical violence. These alarming incidents were dealt with by staff using a range of individual strategies aimed at averting or controlling misbehaving customers. Our study clearly demonstrates the importance of the employees' appearance and their interactional abilities, in addition to their use of the physical environment, when handling incidents that included misbehavior.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2014. Vol. 10, 53-59 p.
Keyword [en]
Public transport; Customer misbehavior; Employee strategies
National Category
Business Administration
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-33741DOI: 10.1016/j.rtbm.2014.04.002OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-33741DiVA: diva2:748201
Available from: 2014-09-18 Created: 2014-09-18 Last updated: 2015-07-08Bibliographically approved

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Fellesson, Markus
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