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EMAC 2019 Annual Conference

Migrant Customers’ Acculturation and Participation in Host Country Services

Published: May 28, 2019


Christina Sichtmann, University of Vienna; Vasileios Davvetas, University of Leeds; Andriana Romanyuk, University of Vienna; Johanna Bleich, FH Burgenland/AMS Austria


Immigration; Acculturation; Customer participation


The rise in global migration has led to soaring numbers of migrants claiming the role of cus-tomers in their host country markets. In parallel, service providers increasingly introduce participatory service delivery systems, expecting that customer participation will drive supe-rior service quality. Taping into the intersection of these trends, we investigate how mi-grants’ acculturation with the host county affects their service participation behaviors. We find that (1) migrants’ cultural identification with the host country increases their service participation expertise, (2) knowledge of host country language and social networks with host country nationals increase participation willingness and remove participation barriers, and (3) migrants’ ability (but not willingness) to participate eventuate in stronger participa-tion behavior when the service employee is also perceived as actively participating. The findings enrich acculturation and service participation literature and have implications for service brands, public service providers and policy makers.