"Responsiveness: Emotion and Information Dynamics in Service Interactions"
Lorna Doucet, April 1998

Abstract: This research poses the following basic research question: What is the value of emotional and informational responsiveness in service interactions and what are their antecedents? Through a cross-sectional study of 250 service interactions, this dissertation provides evidence regarding individual and environmental differences in emotional and informational responsiveness in service interactions. The research design is multi-method and field-based. The data include transcribed and coded audio recordings of the service interactions, as well as surveys and standardized tests of individual service representatives.

In addition to the recordings, organizational and customer evaluations of the interactions are used to answer the research questions. Participant observation and focus groups are used to get a richer sense of the nature of the work in general, and of the emotional and informational labor performed. In preliminary analyses, tests of the models of the antecedents and outcomes of emotional and informational responsiveness explain between 18% and 48% of the variance in service quality and duration of the interaction. Interesting differences between antecedents of customer rated quality and organization rated quality are identified.

Download the paper.