In this manuscript, we investigate the central role of perceived frontline service employee (FSE) authenticity and the process by which it impacts purchase intentions, taking into account the represented brand's authenticity. While brand authenticity has previously been shown to enhance consumer outcomes, we find that FSE authenticity is a separate significant predictor of purchase intentions. Further, we find that FSE authenticity enhances purchase intentions by increasing perceived trust and perceived quality. However, this finding only holds for brands that do not emphasize their authenticity, indicating that brand managers should differentially emphasize FSE authenticity based on their brand's positioning. Furthermore, we investigate the robustness of these effects across both experience and credence services, and find that FSE authenticity is especially important in credence service contexts.
- Frontline service employee
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