Standing in my customer's shoes : Effects of customer-oriented perspective taking on proactive service performance

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

5 Scopus Citations
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  • Yuanyuan Huo
  • Ziguang Chen
  • Wing Lam
  • Stephen A. Woods

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)255-280
Journal / PublicationJournal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology
Issue number2
Online published4 Dec 2018
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2019


We develop a theoretical framework that delineates the process by which customer-oriented perspective taking contributes to employees’ proactive service performance. Drawing from motivated information processing and proactivity perspectives, the model hypothesizes that employees’ customer-oriented perspective taking enhances their role breadth self-efficacy (RBSE), which in turn enhances proactive customer service performance and proactive complaint-handling performance. A three-wave, time-lagged study, involving 145 frontline employees and their immediate supervisors in the Chinese hospitality industry, tests the research model. The results of structural equation modelling show taking customers’ perspectives results in a high level of RBSE. This relationship grows stronger if employees exhibit a strongly proactive personality. A high level of RBSE also mediates the interactive effects of customer-oriented perspective taking and proactive personality on proactive customer service performance and proactive complaint-handling performance. These findings provide insights for research on perspective taking, RBSE, and proactive service performance. Practitioner points: Taking customers’ perspectives results in a more satisfactory service encounter and significantly enhances employees’ service performance. Organizations should work to increase their employees’ customer-oriented perspective taking capabilities. Service organizations could use intervening mechanisms in the service marketing process to help employees enhance their confidence in proactively expanding their roles.

Research Area(s)

  • customer-oriented perspective taking, proactive service performance, role breadth self-efficacy

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