Does Service Employee Arrogance Discourage Sales of Luxury Brands in Emerging Economies?


Correspondence regarding this article should be sent to: Xuehua Wang is Assistant Professor, Department of Marketing, School of International Business Administration, Shanghai University of Finance and Economics, 777 Guoding Road, Yangpu District, Shanghai 200433, China (


Upscalex stores selling luxury brands from Western, developed countries are having a strong presence in many emerging markets. However, it is not uncommon to find that the service employees of these stores are arrogant and inhospitable. This article uses a dual attitudes perspective to show how service employee arrogance affects customers’ attitudes and purchase intentions toward luxury brands in emerging markets. Experimental findings show that arrogance produces dual attitudes, with positive implicit attitudes exerting a stronger influence than unfavorable explicit attitudes on purchase intentions. In addition, for customers with high self-esteem, service employee arrogance has a negative effect on their purchase intentions. In line with the expectation disconfirmation model, when service employees change their arrogant attitudes and subsequently show hospitality, customers also change their expectations. When the improved service exceeds customers’ expectations, their explicit attitudes turn positive and exert a stronger influence on purchase intentions than when service employees are consistently hospitable.