Many service providers explicitly ask customers for a tip. This may create social pressure, thus resulting in lower tips. Building on the theory of psychological reactance, we propose that an explicit request to tip has a detrimental impact on tip size. Across two studies, a field experiment and an online experiment, we test this effect and examine how the physical presence of the server moderates this relationship. We find that an explicit request to tip negatively affects tip size, while server’s physical presence alleviates this effect. The findings also show that social pressure hampers perceived control, which in turn has a detrimental effect on tip size. In light of these findings, service providers might want to revisit their strategies to enhance tipping.
- social pressure
- perceived control
- revenue maximization
- service encounters
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