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Title: Frontline employees’ personality traits: customer preferences and the homophily effect
Authors: STREUKENS, Sandra 
Andreassen, Tor W.
Issue Date: 2009
Abstract: Despite the agreement among researchers that the frontline employee (FLE) is crucial in creating value in retailing and other services, no empirical work exists that examines the customer’s preferences regarding FLE personality traits. Building on leading work in personality and services research, our empirical study aims to gain insight in customer preferences for FLE personality traits. In particular, we assess whether customer preferences for FLE personality traits vary as a function of the customer’s own personality (“homophily effect”), customer gender and the level of employee-customer interaction. The results provide strong support for the homophily in shaping customers’ preferences for FLE personality traits. Furthermore, the homophily effect appears to be largely invariant across customer and service characteristics.
Notes: Under review at Journal of Economic Psychology
Keywords: Service management, frontline employees, personality traits, customer preferences, value creation
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Category: R2
Type: Working Paper
Appears in Collections:Research publications

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