Experience of shame in service failure context among restaurant frontline employees: does industry tenure matter?

Xingyu Wang, Priyanko Guchait, Do The Khoa, Aysin Paşamehmetoğlu

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to integrate tenets from the appraisal-based model of self-conscious emotions and the compass of shame theory to examine restaurant frontline employees’ experience of shame following service failures, and how shame influences employees’ job attitude and behaviors. In addition, employees’ industry tenure is identified as an individual factor influencing the impacts of shame in resorting to literature on aging in emotion regulation. Design/methodology/approach: Using a survey methodology, 217 restaurant frontline employees and their supervisors in Turkey provided survey data. Partial least squares (PLS) method using SmartPLS 3.3.3 was used for data analysis. Findings: The results indicated the maladaptive nature of shame following service failures as a salient self-conscious emotion, as it was negatively related to employee outcomes. Moreover, employees’ industry tenure played a moderating role that influences the impacts of shame on commitment to customer service. Practical implications: Managers should attend to frontline employees’ shame experience depending on their industry experience and adopt appropriate emotion intervention (e.g. cognitive reappraisal) or create error management culture to eliminate the negative effects of shame. Originality/value: This study advances our understanding of a powerful but understudied emotional experience, shame, in a typical shame-eliciting hospitality work setting (e.g. service failures). Shame has been linked with commitment to customer service and error reporting. In addition, industry tenure has been identified as a boundary condition to help clarify previous inconsistent findings in regard to the adaptive/maladaptive nature of shame.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2817 - 2838
JournalInternational Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 9 Aug 2021


  • Commitment to customer service
  • Error reporting
  • Organizational citizenship behavior
  • Shame

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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