Do Managerial Strategies Influence Service Behaviours?: Insights from a Qualitative Study

Do Managerial Strategies Influence Service Behaviours?: Insights from a Qualitative Study

Anna-Lena Ackfeldt, Neeru Malhotra
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-0288-5.ch013
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Based on a review of the extant literature, a conceptual framework for analyzing the associations between managerial strategies (internal communications, empowerment, supportive leadership and professional development), employee job attitudes (organizational commitment and job satisfaction) and prosocial service behaviours (PSBs) is developed. The authors explore the relevance of the proposed conceptual model and testable propositions regarding the associations between managerial strategies, employee attitudes and PSBs by conducting in-depth interviews of FLEs in a travel service organization. Based on the findings of the in-depth interviews, the relationships between managerial strategies, job attitudes and PSBs in the conceptual framework are largely supported.
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Literature Review


Bettencourt and Brown (1997) posit PSB as a three dimensional construct comprising: role-prescribed customer service, extra-role customer service and helping behaviours. Role- prescribed customer service is defined as the performance of expected service behaviours by employees in serving customers (Bettencourt & Brown, 1997). Role-prescribed behaviours consist of regular duties and responsibilities that are required and tend to be outlined in job descriptions (Podsakoff, MacKenzie, & Bommer, 1996). In contrast, extra-role customer service refers to the discretionary service behaviours that employees perform (Bettencourt & Brown, 1997). Discretionary behaviours go beyond formal role requirements and are valued by firms as these have been found to be positively associated with organizational effectiveness and performance (Netemeyer, Boles, McKee, & McMurrian, 1997; Organ, 1988, 1997; Podsakoff & MacKenzie, 1997).

The helping behaviour dimension consists of co-operative and helping behaviours directed at colleagues. Although these helping behaviours are directed towards the organization, they have a strong flavour of service orientation (Bowen & Waldman, 1999) as they involve assisting co-workers to avoid or solve work-based problems (MacKenzie, Podsakoff, & Ahearne, 1998). PSBs are important to study because of their potential to influence organizational performance (Babacus, Yavas, & Ashill, 2009). Moreover, in view of the capacity of PSBs to enhance service employee delivery outcome, it makes sense to understand more fully the factors that encourage or precipitate PSBs. A review of the literature suggests a number of antecedents of PSBs. The next section reviews some of the literature on employee job attitudes, which are linked to employee behaviours at the individual level.

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