Customer abuse and harassment in the hospitality industry: the immersion of an everyday workplace crime

Fotios Mitsakis, Anastasios Hadjisolomou, Amairisa Kouki

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The article, drawing on the General Strain Theory (GST), discusses customer abuse and harassment in the Greek hospitality sector during the unprecedented strain of the Covid-19 pandemic. The study draws on an online survey questionnaire, incorporating a combination of open-ended and closed questions to secure both qualitative and quantitative data. Customer abuse and harassment are outlined as endemic phenomena of workplace violence in the industry, and workplace crimes that were further intensified because of the pandemic. Managerial immoral inaction towards customer misbehaviour, as well as the underreporting of this issue are discussed as impeding factors to address customer abuse and harassment. The study’s theoretical contribution stems from the examination of abuse and harassment from a criminology perspective, employing the GST and the classification of such (mis)behaviours as an everyday workplace crime, which remains unmanaged, accepted, and tolerated in the hospitality and tourism sector, violating employees’ well-being and dignity at work.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages21
JournalCurrent Issues in Tourism
Early online date23 Apr 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 23 Apr 2024


  • customer abuse
  • harassment
  • hospitality and tourism
  • workplace crime
  • general strain theory
  • management inaction
  • moral economy
  • dignity at work


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