Understanding customer's meaningful engagement with AI-powered service robots

Sunyoung Hlee, Jaehyun Park, Hyunsun Park, Chulmo Koo, Younghoon Chang

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: The purpose of this study is to empirically investigate what aspects of service robot interactions with customers can lead to meaningful outcomes in the view of customers. The study examines functional and emotional elements of AI service robots in terms of meaningful outcomes. Design/methodology/approach: This study highlights AI service robots' meaningful outcomes as a viable research problem and proposes a research model utilizing the Stimulus-Organism-Response (SOR) framework. As an empirical approach, 260 datasets were collected from customers who have experience with AI service restaurants in China. Findings: The study examines the functional and emotional elements of AI-powered service robots on the attitude of and meaningful outcomes for customers. The results showed that the emotional (perceived friendliness and perceived coolness) and functional (perceived safety and robot competence) attributes of human–robot interactions (HRI) significantly affect the attitude toward using service robots. Second, the attitude toward using service robots significantly influences the experiential outcome and instrumental outcome of meaningful engagement. Research limitations/implications: This study highlights two elements (i.e. functional and emotional) of HRI effectiveness using two metrics: experiential and performance outcomes. Future studies should generalize the research findings of service robots in the current study using a larger quantity of data from various service fields. Originality/value: As the first empirical study highlighting the customer experience with service robots, this study opens up a feasible research direction for the service industry to pursue in terms of conducting HRI studies from the view of customers. It identifies a research model pursuant to customers' experience with HRI in creating meaningful outcomes and it theoretically extends the SOR model to the hospitality study, focusing on the HRI issue.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1020-1047
Number of pages28
JournalInformation Technology and People
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 11 Apr 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • Artificial intelligent (AI)
  • Customer experience
  • Human–robot interaction (HRI)
  • Meaningful engagement
  • Service robots

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Library and Information Sciences


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