Demystifying intercultural service encounters: Toward a comprehensive conceptual framework

Piyush Sharma, Lai Ming Tam, Nam Woon Kim

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

122 Citations (Scopus)


Customers and employees from different cultures are increasingly interacting with each other. However, there is little research in this area and it focuses mostly on the customers' perspective. This article presents a conceptual framework for intercultural service encounters applicable to both customers and employees. Findings from an exploratory qualitative study show that perceived cultural distance and intercultural competence influence inter-role congruence, interaction comfort, adequate and perceived service levels, and satisfaction. These findings have important managerial implications for managing the expectations and perceptions of customers and employees involved in the intercultural service encounters and improving their satisfaction with the service experience.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)227-242
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Service Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2009


  • Adequate service level
  • Inter-role congruence
  • Interaction comfort
  • Intercultural competence
  • Perceived cultural distance
  • Perceived service level
  • Satisfaction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


Dive into the research topics of 'Demystifying intercultural service encounters: Toward a comprehensive conceptual framework'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this