Dishonest Behavior at Self-Service Checkouts

  • Susan Creighton
  • Graham Johnson
  • Paul Robertson
  • Jan Law
  • Andrea SzymkowiakEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 9191)


Self-service technology could be argued as creating less personal transactions when compared to traditional checkouts involving a sales assistant for the entire transaction process, which may affect customer behavior. The aim of our study was to investigate the perceived influence of social presence at self-service checkouts by staff and its perceived effect on dishonest customer behavior. Twenty-six self-service checkout staff took part in a series of semi-structured interviews to describe customer behaviors with self-service. With respect to actual physical social presence, staff reported that more customer thefts occurred when the self-service checkouts were busy and their social presence was reduced. Staff also reported that perceived and actual social presence is likely to reduce thefts. Future research will elaborate to which extent the perceived social presence via technological systems might support staff in their task to assist customers and reduce dishonest behavior.


Self-service  Social presence Dishonest behavior 



We would like to thank all of the participating supermarkets and their staff for accommodating and agreeing to participate in this research. We would also like to thank NCR for their on-going support with our research.


  1. 1.
    Anand, P., Sternthal, B.: Ease of message processing as a moderator of repetition effects in advertising. J. Mark. Res. 27(3), 345–353 (1990)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Bateson, M., Nettle, D., Roberts, G.: Cues of being watched enhance cooperation in a real-world setting. Biol. Lett. 2, 412–414 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Baumeister, R.F.: A self-presentational view of social phenomena. Psychol. Bull. 91, 3–26 (1982)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Beck, A., Willis, A.: Context-specific measures of CCTV effectiveness in the retail sector. In: Surveillance of Public Space: CCTV, Street Lighting and Crime Prevention. Crime Prevention Studies Series, pp. 251–269 (1999)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Beaman, A.L., Klentz, B., Diener, E., Svanum, S.: Self-awareness and transgression in children: two field studies. J. Pers. Soc. Psychol. 37(10), 1835–1846 (1979)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Beck, A.: Self-scan checkouts and retail loss: understanding the risk and minimising the threat. Secur. J. 24(3), 199–215 (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Biocca, F., Harms, C., Burgoon, J.K.: Towards a more robust theory and measure of social presence: review and suggested criteria. Presence: Teleoperators Virtual Environ. 12(5), 456–480 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Collier, J.E., Kimes, S.E.: Only if it is convenient understanding how convenience influences self-service technology evaluation. J. Serv. Res. 16(1), 39–51 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Chen, K.J.: Technology-based service and customer satisfaction in developing countries. Int. J. Manag. 22(2), 307–318 (2005)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Davis, F.D.: Perceived usefulness, perceived ease of use and user acceptance of information technology. MIS Q. 13(3), 319–340 (1989)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Dooley, J.J., Pyżalski, J., Cross, D.: Cyberbullying versus face-to-face bullying. J. Psychol. 217(4), 182–188 (2009)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Goodenough, O.R., Decker, G.: Why do Good People Steal Intellectual Property? The Social Science Research Network Electronic Paper Collection (2008).
  13. 13.
    Harmon-Jones, E., Mills, J.: Cognitive Dissonance: Progress on a Pivotal Theory in Psychology. American Psychological Association, Washington, DC (1999)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Hilton, T., Hughes, T., Little, E., Marandi, E.: Adopting self-service technology to do more with less. J. Serv. Mark. 27(1), 3–12 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Honess, T., Charman, E.: Closed Circuit Television in Public Places. Home Office, London (1992). (Police Research Group Crime Prevention Unit Series Paper, #35.)Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Jolliffe, D., Farrington, D.P.: Examining the relationship between low empathy and self-reported offending. Leg. Criminological Psychol. 12(2), 265–286 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Kallweit, K., Spreer, P., Toporowski, W.: Why do customers use self-service information technologies in retail? The mediating effect of perceived service quality. J. Consum. Serv. 21, 268–276 (2014)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Kang, M., Gretzel, U.: Differences in social presence perceptions. In: Fuchs, M., Ricci, F., Cantoni, L. (eds.) Information and Communication Technologies in Tourism 2012, pp. 437–447. Springer, New York (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Kinard, B.R., Capella, M.L., Kinard, J.L.: The impact of social presence on technology based self-service use: the role of familiarity. Serv. Mark. Q. 30(3), 303–314 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Korczynski, M.: The contradictions of service work: call centre as customer-oriented bureaucracy. In: Customer Service: Empowerment and Entrapment, pp. 79–101 (2001)Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Lee, H.J., Yang, K.: Interpersonal service quality, self-service technology (SST) service quality, and retail patronage. J. Retail. Consum. Serv. 20(1), 51–57 (2013)MathSciNetCrossRefzbMATHGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Meuter, M.L., Bitner, M.J., Ostrom, A.L., Brown, S.W.: Choosing among alternative service delivery modes: an investigation of customer trial of self-service technologies. J. Mark. 69(2), 61–83 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Meuter, M.L., Ostrom, A.L., Roundtree, R.I., Bitner, M.J.: Self-service technologies: understanding customer satisfaction with technology-based service encounters. J. Mark. 64(3), 50–64 (2000)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Miller, R.S., Leary, M.R.: Social Sources and Interactive Functions of Emotion: The Case of Embarrassment (1992)Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Mohr, D.C., Cuijpers, P., Lehman, K.: Supportive accountability: a model for providing human support to enhance adherence to ehealth interventions. J. Med. Internet Res. 13(1), e30 (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Parasuraman, A., Berry, L.L., Zeithaml, V.A.: Understanding customer expectations of service. Sloan Manag. Rev. 32(3), 39–48 (1991)Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Pietro, L., Pantano, E., Virgillo, F.: Frontline employees’ attitudes towards self-service technologies: threats or opportunity for job performance. J. Retail. Consum. Serv. 21(5), 844–850 (2014)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Siddiqi, K.O.: Interrelations between service quality attributes, customer satisfaction and customer loyalty in the retail banking sector in bangladesh. Int. J. Bus. Manag. 6(3), p12 (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Reeves, B., Nass, C.: The Media Equation: How People Treat Computers, Television, and New Media like Real People and Places. Cambridge University Press, New York (1996)Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    Romano, D.M., Sheppard, G., Hall, J., Miller, A., Ma, Z.: BASIC: A believable, adaptable socially intelligent character for social presence. In: PRESENCE 2005, The 8th Annual International Workshop on Presence, 21–22, September, 2005. University College London, London (2005)Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Wang, M.C.H.: Determinants and consequences of consumer satisfaction with self-service technology in a retail setting. Managing Serv. Qual. 22(2), 128–144 (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Wispé, L.: History of the concept of empathy. In: Eisenberg, N., Strayer, J. (eds.) Empathy and its Development, pp. 17–37. Cambridge University Press, New York (1987)Google Scholar
  33. 33.
    Zhao, S.: Toward a taxonomy of copresence. Presence 12(5), 445–455 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Susan Creighton
    • 1
  • Graham Johnson
    • 2
  • Paul Robertson
    • 1
  • Jan Law
    • 1
  • Andrea Szymkowiak
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Abertay UniversityDundeeUK
  2. 2.NCR Discovery CentreDundeeUK

Personalised recommendations