Human–robot interactions in the restaurant setting: the role of social cognition, psychological ownership and anthropomorphism

Ruiz-Equihua, Daniel, Romero, Jaime, Loureiro, Sandra Maria Correia and Ali, Murad (2023) Human–robot interactions in the restaurant setting: the role of social cognition, psychological ownership and anthropomorphism. International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, 35 (6). pp. 1966-1985. ISSN 0959-6119

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Purpose: The usage of robot waiters in the hospitality industry is growing, thus increasing the number of human–robot interactions in frontline services. Focusing on robot waiters in restaurants, this study aims to propose the social cognition (SC)–psychological ownership (PO)–customer responses (CR) model, while examining the association between SC, PO, robot anthropomorphism and CR. Design/methodology/approach: The hypotheses of this study are tested using a three-step mixed-method approach that includes partial least squares structural equation modeling (PLS-SEM), necessary condition analysis (NCA) and fuzzy-set qualitative comparative analysis (fsQCA). Findings: PLS-SEM demonstrates the mediating role of psychological ownership on the relationship between SC, customer attitudes regarding being attended by a robot and revisiting intentions. Robot anthropomorphism enhances the relationship between SC and psychological ownership. NCA indicates that SC and psychological ownership are necessary conditions for the presence of favorable attitudes and revisiting intentions. FsQCA suggests that different configurations of the antecedent conditions lead to better attitudes and revisiting intentions. Practical implications: Frontline hospitality robots need to be perceived as warm, competent, responsive and adaptable to customer requests to elicit positive responses. Managers should employ attractive robots displaying anthropomorphic features. Managers need to ensure that customers have some knowledge about robots before interacting with them. Managers should also consider customer heterogeneity and the context in which the robots will be deployed. Originality/value: Based on the psychological ownership theory, this paper analyzes the relationship between SC, psychological ownership and CR. Anthropomorphism moderates the relationship between SC and psychological ownership.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Funding Information: Authors are grateful for the financial support received from the Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación (PID2020-113561RB-I00) and from the Professorship Excellence Program in accordance with the multi-year agreement signed by the Government of Madrid and the Autonomous University of Madrid (Line #3).
Uncontrolled Keywords: Customer responses, fsQCA, NCA, Psychological ownership, Robot anthropomorphism, Social cognition
Subjects: N200 Management studies
N800 Tourism, Transport and Travel
Department: Faculties > Business and Law > Newcastle Business School
Depositing User: Rachel Branson
Date Deposited: 20 Dec 2022 15:32
Last Modified: 22 May 2023 15:00

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