Customer service biases against obese individuals: A field investigation of retail service
Mannix, Laura Marie
Hebl, Michelle R.
Master of Arts
Customer service is a focus of much research attention and is linked to organizational outcomes. This thesis examines customer service behaviors toward obese versus average-weight customers. Because of the negative stereotype of obesity and widespread discrimination against obese individuals in many social and organizational contexts, we hypothesized that obese customers would receive poorer service than average-weight customers. We also proposed several potential moderators of the relationship between obesity and customer service. Data supported our first two hypotheses, but overall no effects of hypothesized moderators emerged. Results are discussed in terms of stigma and customer service.
Marketing; Industrial psychology; Business administration; Psychology