Mitigating implicit racial bias in tipping : When direct and indirect experience matters

Journal article


O’Rourke, Anne-Maree, Belli, Alex and Mathmann, Frank. (2023). Mitigating implicit racial bias in tipping : When direct and indirect experience matters. Journal of Consumer Marketing. 40(5), pp. 609-621. https://doi.org/10.1108/JCM-03-2021-4556
AuthorsO’Rourke, Anne-Maree, Belli, Alex and Mathmann, Frank
Abstract

Purpose
Academic research has supported the belief that consumers undertip minority race service workers due to implicit racial biases. However, there has been less focus in examining possible moderating factors. This paper aims to fill this gap by analyzing the role of direct and indirect experience in tipping frontline service workers from a minority background. Given the prominence of customer ratings on digital service platforms and the perception that African Americans are discriminated against, the authors look at the interplay of interaction length (direct experience) and customer ratings (indirect experience) on the relationship between race and tipping.

Design/methodology/approach
An expectancy disconfirmation framework was developed and tested with a sample of 360 US participants in an online experiment. The experiment followed a 2 × (race: African-American versus Caucasian) × 2 (direct experience: limited versus extensive) × 3 (indirect experience: absent versus positive versus negative customer rating) design.

Findings
The authors found consumers who have extended direct experience (longer service interaction) and no indirect experience (absent customer ratings) tipped African Americans more than Caucasians. Interestingly, this effect is reduced in the presence of indirect experience (customer ratings). Finally, where the consumer lacks direct experience (shorter service interaction) but is exposed to positive indirect experience (positive customer ratings), consumers tip African Americans more.

Originality/value
To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this is the first paper that examines the role of direct and indirect experience in the relationship between race and tipping. Based on the authors’ findings, the authors provide several contributions, including recommendations to reduce inequalities arising from implicit racial bias on digital service platforms.

Keywordsrace; direct experience; tipping; customer ratings; digital service platforms; indirect experience
Year2023
JournalJournal of Consumer Marketing
Journal citation40 (5), pp. 609-621
PublisherEmerald Publishing Limited
ISSN0736-3761
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1108/JCM-03-2021-4556
Scopus EID2-s2.0-85133916657
Open accessPublished as green open access
Page range609-621
Author's accepted manuscript
License
All rights reserved
File Access Level
Open
Publisher's version
License
All rights reserved
File Access Level
Controlled
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online13 Jul 2022
Publication process dates
Accepted20 Jun 2022
Deposited04 Aug 2023
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https://acuresearchbank.acu.edu.au/item/8z724/mitigating-implicit-racial-bias-in-tipping-when-direct-and-indirect-experience-matters

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File access level: Open

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