Paper Number

1351

Paper Type

Complete

Description

Service robots that interact with customers have penetrated various industries. With a basis in social identity theory, this study examines how customers respond to frontline service robots (FSRs) by investigating norm-compliant versus norm-violating behaviors compared with similar behaviors by human frontline employees (FLEs). In experimental studies, a black sheep effect occurs, such that customers downgrade norm-violating FLE behaviors more than similar behaviors by FSRs. They also upgrade norm-compliant behaviors by human FLEs more than those of FSRs. In service failures, this effect manifests as greater anger and frustration toward the FLE. We establish the underlying mechanism driving the black sheep effect: customers assign FSRs to an outgroup but categorize FLEs to their social ingroup, across different service encounters and independent of interaction frequency.

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09-HCI

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Dec 12th, 12:00 AM

Good Robot, Bad Robot: Customer Responses to Norm-Compliant and Norm-Violating Service Robots

Service robots that interact with customers have penetrated various industries. With a basis in social identity theory, this study examines how customers respond to frontline service robots (FSRs) by investigating norm-compliant versus norm-violating behaviors compared with similar behaviors by human frontline employees (FLEs). In experimental studies, a black sheep effect occurs, such that customers downgrade norm-violating FLE behaviors more than similar behaviors by FSRs. They also upgrade norm-compliant behaviors by human FLEs more than those of FSRs. In service failures, this effect manifests as greater anger and frustration toward the FLE. We establish the underlying mechanism driving the black sheep effect: customers assign FSRs to an outgroup but categorize FLEs to their social ingroup, across different service encounters and independent of interaction frequency.

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