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Multi-level dyadic restaurant employee-customer model of orientation, incivility, and satisfaction: An identity-based extension of belongingness theory

Liu, Jing
This study attempts to investigate the paradoxical impacts of customer/employee orientation on customer/employee satisfaction. Drawing on belongingness theory (Baumeister & Leary, 1995), employee/customer incivility act as a mediator that elucidates whether and how customer/employee orientation reduces customer/employee satisfaction. Whereas the proposed indirect associations are discovered to be nonsignificant, the boundary conditions suggested by social identity theories (Brewer, 1991; Tajfel & Turner,1979; 1985) determine the strength of the direct customer/employee orientation-incivility, and customer/employee incivility-satisfaction links to vary by different levels of identification with a company. For customers, high identification appears to have a neutralizing effect by nullifying the customer orientation-incivility link. However, the direct relationship is significant in moderately identified group. With regard to employees, the direct relationship between employee incivility and satisfaction is significant for moderately identified employees, but not for highly identified employees. The models are tested on dyadic samples comprising 873 employees matched with 2,619 customers across 44 restaurants in China. MSEM is employed to analyze the clustered data by simultaneously accounting for within- and between-level variability.