Title: From verbal abuse to intention to leave: role of engagement and emotional exhaustion

Authors: Lata Bajpai Singh; Anubha Vashisht

Addresses: Department of Rural Management, Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar (Central) University, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India ' Symbiosis Centre for Management Studies, Symbiosis International (Deemed University), Noida, Uttar Pradesh, India

Abstract: This study aims to test a model explaining the process of verbal abuse causing emotional exhaustion, poor engagement, and increased intention to leave among the employees of service industry. This cross-sectional study includes the responses from 282 employees, responsible for customer service. During the study, confirmatory factor analysis was done to ensure the reliability and validity of five constructs, namely customer verbal abuse, supervisory verbal abuse, emotional exhaustion, engagement, and intention to leave. Then after related hypotheses were tested using structural equation modelling. The study concludes that both verbal cases of abuse lead to emotional exhaustion, which further reduces engagement level. The poor engagement causes high intention to leave among the employees. It was also found that customer verbal abuse is more responsible for poor engagement, whereas the supervisory verbal abuse is for intention to leave. The limitations of cross-sectional data and common method bias provided directions for future research.

Keywords: customer verbal abuse; supervisory verbal abuse; emotional exhaustion; engagement; intention to leave; service sector organisations.

DOI: 10.1504/WREMSD.2021.114423

World Review of Entrepreneurship, Management and Sustainable Development, 2021 Vol.17 No.2/3, pp.161 - 185

Received: 12 Jun 2019
Accepted: 10 Dec 2019

Published online: 15 Apr 2021 *

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