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  • 1.
    Otterbring, Tobias
    et al.
    University of Agder, Norway.
    Arsenovic, Jasenko
    Linköping University, Sweden.
    Samuelsson, Peter
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Karlstad Business School (from 2013).
    Suresh, Malodia
    Strategic Marketing Area, MICA, India.
    Amandeep, Dhir
    University of Agder, Norway.
    Going the Extra Mile, Now or After a While: The Impact of Employee Proactivity in Retail Service Encounters on Customers’ Shopping Responses2023In: British Journal of Management, ISSN 1045-3172, E-ISSN 1467-8551Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Employee proactivity has been discussed as a key predictor of firm success and organi-zational performance. However, previous proactivity research has rarely focused on cus-tomers, and the few available proactivity studies from retail settings are either cross-sectional, solely based on subjective outcomes (e.g. customer satisfaction) or restricted toaggregateddata of objective outcomes (e.g. profits per store). We investigate the causaleffect of employee proactivity in retail service encounters on customers’ actual purchasebehaviour and satisfaction ratings at the fine-grained level ofindividualcustomers. Byintegrating theories on social perception with prior proactivity findings, we find that em-ployee proactivity positively predicts customers’ shopping responses. This finding extendsfrom correlational to experimental designs across sample types and paradigms, is repli-cated in actual retail settings, and is mediated by customers’ perceptions of employeewarmth and competence. Furthermore, the effect generalizes across several focal out-comes, including behavioural variables (spending and purchase likelihood), and is moder-ated by the time to employee-initiated contact in a way that goes against customers’ ownbeliefs. In sum, the present research quantifies the financial consequences of employeeproactivity and indicates that in ordinary retail service encounters, high proactivity cancompensate for delays, thus counteracting the aversive aspects of waiting.

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