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Article

Get Close to the Robot: The Effect of Risk Perception of COVID-19 Pandemic on Customer–Robot Engagement

1
School of Business, Sun Yat-Sen University, No. 135, Xingang Xi Road, Guangzhou 510275, China
2
School of Business and Technology, University of Maryland Eastern Shore, Princess Anne, MD 21853, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Paolo Roma, Merylin Monaro, Cristina Mazza and Paul B. Tchounwou
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(12), 6314; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18126314
Received: 13 April 2021 / Revised: 4 June 2021 / Accepted: 8 June 2021 / Published: 10 June 2021
The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on customer–robot engagement in the Chinese hospitality industry. Analysis of a sample of 589 customers using service robots demonstrated that the perceived risk of COVID-19 has a positive influence on customer–robot engagement. The positive effect is mediated by social distancing and moderated by attitudes towards risk. Specifically, the mediating effect of social distancing between the perceived risk of COVID-19 and customer–robot engagement is stronger for risk-avoiding (vs. risk-seeking) customers. Our results provide insights for hotels when they employ service robots to cope with the shock of COVID-19 pandemic. View Full-Text
Keywords: COVID-19 pandemic; service robot; risk perception; customer engagement; protection motivation theory; social distancing COVID-19 pandemic; service robot; risk perception; customer engagement; protection motivation theory; social distancing
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MDPI and ACS Style

Wu, J.; Zhang, X.; Zhu, Y.; Yu-Buck, G.F. Get Close to the Robot: The Effect of Risk Perception of COVID-19 Pandemic on Customer–Robot Engagement. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 6314. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18126314

AMA Style

Wu J, Zhang X, Zhu Y, Yu-Buck GF. Get Close to the Robot: The Effect of Risk Perception of COVID-19 Pandemic on Customer–Robot Engagement. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2021; 18(12):6314. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18126314

Chicago/Turabian Style

Wu, Jifei; Zhang, Xiangyun; Zhu, Yimin; Yu-Buck, Grace F. 2021. "Get Close to the Robot: The Effect of Risk Perception of COVID-19 Pandemic on Customer–Robot Engagement" Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 18, no. 12: 6314. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18126314

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