When We Practice to Deceive: Service Worker Manipulation and (Mis)Behavior on Cruise Ships

Andrew Pressey, Lloyd C Harris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Downloads (Pure)


Studies of service delivery often assume that any deviance from service protocols when interacting with customers is largely due to service worker ineptitude or incompetence; this is particularly the case with customer deception or manipulation. This contrasts with studies which report that service workers frequently act in deviant ways. In tourist settings, service quality is paramount, and any attempts to deceive or manipulate customers is tantamount to service failure. This study explores service worker deception and manipulation on cruise ships through a series of in-depth interviews (n = 50) via the lens of “Deviant Leisure.” This study finds that manipulation is a quotidian practice on cruise ships, including the manipulation by cruise ship frontline employees (including the manipulation of customers, co-workers, subordinates, and superordinates), and the manipulation of cruise ship frontline employees (including manipulation by customers, co-workers, and managers). The paper concludes with a discussion of contributions to theory and practice.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Travel Research
Early online date22 Feb 2023
Publication statusPublished - 22 Feb 2023


  • Tourist Manipulation
  • Employee Misbehavior
  • Deviant Leisure
  • Service Quality
  • Cruise Ships


Dive into the research topics of 'When We Practice to Deceive: Service Worker Manipulation and (Mis)Behavior on Cruise Ships'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this