The robot-to-robot service encounter: an examination of the impact of inter-robot warmth

Magnus Söderlund*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: This study aims to examine humans’ reactions to service robots’ display of warmth in robot-to-robot interactions – a setting in which humans’ impressions of a service robot will not only be based on what this robot does in relation to humans, but also on what it does to other robots. Design/methodology/approach: Service robot display of warmth was manipulated in an experimental setting in such a way that a service robot A expressed low versus high levels of warmth in relation to another service robot B. Findings: The results indicate that a high level of warmth expressed by robot A vis-à-vis robot B boosted humans’ overall evaluations of A, and that this influence was mediated by the perceived humanness and the perceived happiness of A. Originality/value: Numerous studies have examined humans’ reactions when they interact with a service robot or other synthetic agents that provide service. Future service encounters, however, will comprise also multi-robot systems, which means that there will be many opportunities for humans to be exposed to robot-to-robot interactions. Yet, this setting has hitherto rarely been examined in the service literature.

Original languageEnglish
Peer-reviewed scientific journalJournal of Services Marketing
Issue number9
Pages (from-to)15-27
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 17.12.2021
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article - refereed


  • 512 Business and Management
  • customer service
  • experimental design
  • artificial intelligence

Areas of Strength and Areas of High Potential (AoS and AoHP)

  • AoS: Competition economics and service strategy - Service and customer-oriented management


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