How to boost frontline employee service recovery performance: the role of cultural intelligence

  • Annelies CostersEmail author
  • Yves Van Vaerenbergh
  • Anja Van den Broeck
Empirical article


Satisfying complaining customers is challenging, especially when dealing with the increasing number of customers with culturally diverse backgrounds. The purpose of this study is to show whether and how frontline employee cultural intelligence (CQ) is related to their service recovery performance. The results of among 155 flight attendants of a Southeast Asian airline indicate that frontline employee CQ is positively associated with their service recovery performance. Work engagement mediates this relationship. This study reveals that organizations likely benefit from investing in frontline employees’ CQ to optimize their work engagement and service recovery performance.


Cultural intelligence Work engagement Service recovery performance 



The research for this paper was financially supported by an SB Fellowship of the Research Foundation—Flanders (FWO): 1S53218N.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.KU LeuvenLeuvenBelgium

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