Who trusts whom? The case of immigrant service professionals

Tali Seger-Guttmann, Karin Amit

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study examined the effect of ethnicity on trust relations in day-to-day service encounters with various minority groups. Service encounters were explored in a 2×2 scenario-based, between-subject experimental design. Jewish-Israeli and Arab-Israeli respondents (N = 526) were assigned to four scenarios comprising two customer conditions (national majority/national minority) and two immigrant service professionals’ ethnic origin (Ethiopia/Former Soviet Union). We tested six hypotheses using triple-interaction models. Participants’ general sense of threat from immigrants diminished their trust of immigrant service professionals, a relationship significantly moderated by the immigrants’ ethnic origin. The current study contributes a novel perspective by using threat and support as they relate to immigrants in a service-related context, simulating routine service encounters. The findings expand our understanding of how multicultural relationships impact transactions in the real world of service encounters.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-21
Number of pages21
JournalService Industries Journal
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - 2024
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • Service professionals
  • attitudes toward immigrants
  • customer trust
  • ethnic minority

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Strategy and Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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