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Do morally disengaged employees withdraw from customer-oriented citizenship behavior in response to customers’ uncivil behavior?

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Saurabh BhattacharyaORCiD, Professor Suraksha Gupta



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


Leveraging moral disengagement theory, the objective of this study is to explore the underlying mechanisms and boundary conditions under which frontline employees withdraw from customer-oriented citizenship behavior (CCB) in response to customer incivility. We test moderated mediation models in the hotel context using a three-wave survey with 307 employee–supervisor dyads. Our findings suggest that employees encountering uncivil customer interactions withdraw more from CCB. This relationship is mediated by moral disengagement. Moral identity and ethical climate moderate this mediated relationship such that when moral identity and perceived ethical climate are high, there is less moral disengagement in response to uncivil behavior. Consequently, withdrawal from CCB is also less in the presence of high values of these moderators. Our findings have implications for frontline employees’ management.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Agnihotri A, Bhattacharya S, Gupta S

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Business Research

Year: 2023

Volume: 165

Print publication date: 11/10/2023

Online publication date: 11/10/2023

Acceptance date: 11/10/2023

Date deposited: 07/11/2023

ISSN (print): 0148-2963

ISSN (electronic): 1873-7978

Publisher: Elsevier


DOI: 10.1016/j.jbusres.2023.114027

ePrints DOI: 10.57711/8yhk-gv97


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