Full Program »
How Emotional Dynamics of Employees In Service Organizations Influence Prosocial Behavior Following Witnessing Rudeness
Witnessing rudeness incurs enormous costs for organizations. It is especially impactful where prosociality, hindered by rudeness, is critical to performance quality, like healthcare services. However, prosocial behavior varies depending on the emotional dynamics while witnessing rudeness, indicating opposite outcomes. Specifically, negative feelings by empathetic reactions of compassion vs. empathetic distress might be crucial to understanding how people behave after witnessing rudeness and help plan interventions accordingly. In three lab studies, we examine how rudeness affects prosocial behavior. Study 1 shows the emotional effect of witnessing rudeness and its subsequent effect on individuals’ prosocial behavior. Study 2 shows that empathy stands at the base of the emotional effect found in Study 1. Study 3 shows how an intervention of projecting media of compassionate acts before witnessing rudeness fares against other types of media in facilitating or hindering prosociality. These results have important implications, both on practical and theoretical grounds.