The Effects of Attractiveness, Gender and Self-esteem in Service Jobs
International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management
The purpose of this paper is to investigate the impact of service providers’ attractiveness in service jobs and examine the underlying psychological mechanisms that may explain consumers’ different attitudes and potential behavior.
An experimental design was used in this paper. Study 1 used a scenario depicting a front-desk agent performing check-in procedures and Study 2 used a scenario depicting a restaurant server. Data were analyzed using Hayes’ (2013) PROCESS macro.
Study 1 demonstrated the mediating effect of perceived interpersonal skills in the relations between front desk agent attractiveness and participant positive word-of-mouth and service satisfaction. Study 2 reaffirmed this finding and showed that the attractiveness of servers positively impacted participants’ perceptions of the servers’ interpersonal skill and participants’ tipping behavior. Furthermore, the relation between attractiveness and interpersonal skills was moderated by servers’ genders and participants’ levels of self-esteem, such that the effect was stronger in response to female servers for participants with relatively low self-esteem. In addition, the effect of the three-way interaction among server gender, server’s level of attractiveness, and participant’s level of self-esteem on tipping was mediated by participant’s perceived interpersonal skills.
This paper investigated the under-researched constructs of participants’ self-esteem and service providers’ gender and their moderating roles within the service context. These results suggest that responses to service providers can be impacted by the attractiveness and gender of the provider and customers’ self-esteems, despite equivalent objective performance of the provider.
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Xu, S., Martinez, L., & Smith, N. A. (2019). The effects of attractiveness, gender and self-esteem in service jobs. International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management.