Employee emotional displays in the extended service encounter: A happiness-based examination of the impact of employees depicted in service advertising

Magnus Söderlund, Hanna Berg*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Purpose
The purpose of this paper is to examine the impact of happiness expressed by service firm employees when they are depicted in marketing communications materials, such as printed ads and videos.
Design/methodology/approach
Two experiments were conducted in a fitness service setting, in which employee display of happiness was manipulated (low vs high).
Findings
Both experiments showed that expressions of high levels of happiness produced a more positive attitude toward the service employee than expressions of low levels of happiness. Moreover, the impact of the expression of happiness on the evaluation of the employee was mediated by several variables, which suggests that the influence of depicted employees’ emotional expressions can take several routes.
Practical implications
The results imply that service firms should not only be mindful about which specific employee they select for appearing in marketing communications materials, they should also pay attention to the emotional displays of selected employees.
Originality/value
The present study contributes to previous research by assessing a set of potential mediators to explain why displays of happiness influence consumers, and by examining these effects in a marketing communications setting in which the customer is exposed to still images or video-based representations of the employee. The present study also focuses explicitly on happiness rather than on smiles.
Original languageEnglish
Peer-reviewed scientific journalJournal of Service Management
Pages (from-to)115-136
ISSN1757-5818
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15.11.2019
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article - refereed

Keywords

  • 512 Business and Management
  • service marketing
  • advertising effectiveness
  • emotional displays
  • employee happiness

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