Dr. Gwinner's main research stream focuses on improving and managing the performance of front-line, customer-contact employees. Specifically, he is examining issues dealing with the real-time interaction between front-line service employees and consumers. To that end, Gwinner's research interests and publications emphasize (1) the identification and measurement of personal and organizational antecedents impacting various job performance indicators in front-line service employees (e.g., adaptive service behavior and organizational citizenship behaviors), (2) customer expectations regarding service employee behaviors during service interactions (e.g., consumer relationship benefits and perceptions of rapport), and (3) the cognitive and emotional aspects of consumer complaint behavior and employee response within a service encounter.
A secondary research interest involves sports marketing issues. To date, Gwinner's research and publications on this topic have focused on understanding the brand image implications of sporting event sponsorship. Specifically, he has been active in the examination of the potential for an event’s image to transfer to a brand through sponsorship activities. His focus is now turning toward the sponsorship implications of consumers’ sports team identification and consumers’ attitudes toward commercialization.