Traditional in-store service–customer loyalty relationships have fragmented in the gig economy with growing contingent and disengaged labour and cashier-less and mobile/online retail. This study investigates the effects of face-to-face compassionate customer service (CCS) in ethnic minority small retailers (EMSRs). Our analysis of 43 semi-structured interviews in South Asian regional SMEs in England shows how shared ethnic culture and family value systems blur boundaries between commercial and social interactions. We offer a theoretical framework for future research on ethnic minority small enterprises (EMSEs) based on five dimensions: a customer-conscious approach, empathy, patience, allowing the customer to make the buying decision, and dealing with difficult situations/customers amicably. We discuss policy and practice implications for managing small businesses and customer relationships to create a potential source of sustained competitive advantage within a challenging retail environment amidst debates about the social and economic integration of immigrants and ‘the other’.
|Journal||Academy of Management Proceedings|
|Early online date||1 Aug 2019|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Aug 2019|
|Event||The 79th Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management - Hynes Convention Center, Boston, United States|
Duration: 9 Aug 2019 → 13 Aug 2019
Conference number: 79