Abstract

Customer sexual harassment (CSH) is a persistent problem that harms worker well-being in many service industries. In turn, bystander intervention in the workplace is critical for preventing and stopping customers' inappropriate behaviors as well as mitigating the detrimental effects of such harassment on workers. However, previous research has rarely examined what can facilitate bystander employees' intervention behaviors in CSH incidents. Drawing from the empathy-prosocial behavior research and the arousal: Cost-reward model in social psychology literature, this research examines whether frequent observation of CSH at work is related to bystander employees' empathy toward the targets, which then positively relates to bystander intervention behaviors. This research also tests two moderating factors to determine whether empathy is more strongly associated with bystander interventions among employees who have a higher level of moral idealism and/or less reliance on customer tipping. Two online survey studies with three measurement points were conducted to test the hypotheses (i.e., n 1 = 287 service workers; n 2 = 264 service workers). The path modeling results supported the study hypotheses. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed, along with limitations and a future research agenda. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2022 APA, all rights reserved).

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