|Mood and Worker Productivity|
Faculty Findings Inspire Classroom Discussion
Everyone has heard customer service horror stories of irate customers taking out their frustration on a call center agent. However, research conducted in a large call center in the Midwest by a Fisher professor came to a surprising conclusion about the effects of customer interplay on worker mood and performance.
“We don’t find that customers who are terribly negative will spill over to the employee. What we do find is the positive customer experiences do,” said Steffanie Wilk, associate professor of management and human resources, who conducted the study with Nancy Rothbard of The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.
The research, published in the Academy of Management Journal, also
The findings suggest that employees are more likely to see their bad moods improve than their good moods diminish as a result of interactions with customers.
Wilk has involved four PhD students in her research, including former student Erin Makarius (’10), who is currently an assistant professor of management and marketing at Canisius College in Buffalo, New York.
In the classroom
Wilk has used her findings to engage graduate students, noting that MBA students have managed staff or will manage teams one day. She emphasizes their role in facilitating positive mood.
“They have an opportunity every single day to improve the performance of the employees they manage,” Wilk said.
Management and Human Resources News