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|Assessment of customer perceptions towards frontline service employees’ role behaviours
|This thesis investigates the perceptions of customers towards service-role behaviours, both in-role and extra-role. These two sets of role behaviours have been studied by a number of researchers. Nevertheless, the definitions and distinctions in the role behaviours have received considerable criticisms. Several studies explain that the boundary between both behaviours was poorly defined and led to multiple interpretations. Differentiating in- and extra-role behaviours must be emphasised owing to its importance for both academic and managerial contributions. Role definition is also a powerful factor to encourage extra-role behaviours. Further, in previous studies, both in-role and extra-role behaviours have been considered in the context of employees and supervisors to improve FSEs’ performance to meet the firm’s interests. Very few studies on FSE role behaviours are placed in the context of customers. The absence of a research focus on customers’ perspectives is a reason why the distinction between in-role and extra-role behaviours remain unclear. This thesis, therefore, aims to redefine and clarify the distinctions between in-role and extra-role behaviours by involving the customers. A mixed method approach was used to conduct this study. First, a qualitative study focused on how FSEs consider firm regulations and rules, what factors drive them to perform role behaviours and how they see their roles towards customers. This study for the first time reveals that there is a three-category classification of service-role behaviours: role-prescribed, beyond role, and helping behaviours. FSEs undertake role-prescribed behaviours to meet the formal role requirements imposed by the firm and customers. On the other hand, beyond role behaviours involve the FSEs’ feelings and attitude expression towards their jobs, roles, themselves, and customers. For helping behaviours, the FSEs volunteer to help customers outside of their firm’s duty boundary. The second study, based on a quantitative survey and a structural equation model, investigated how customers perceive the three-category classification of service-role behaviours. The study proposes seven constructs, which reflect a three-category classification of service-role behaviours, to examine how these behaviours affect customer satisfaction and value perception. The empirical evidence demonstrates that the helping behaviours affect value perception, whereas the considerate manner construct of beyond role behaviours has an impact on customer service satisfaction. Interestingly, another construct of beyond-role behaviours, rapport, positively influences both satisfaction and value perception. This suggests rapport acts as a bridging behaviour that links the FSEs actions and emotions to customer perception. However, role-prescribed behaviours had non-significant effects on customer satisfaction and value perception. This thesis contributes to the knowledge of service literature and managerial implications by suggesting that the beyond role and helping behaviours of FSEs have crucial positive effects on customer satisfaction and value perception. Improved perceptions may help to build long-term relationships, customer retention, word of mouth intentions, and customer loyalty.
|Medlin, Christopher John
|Thesis (Ph.D.) -- University of Adelaide, Business School, 2017.
beyond role behaviours
customer service satisfaction
customer value perception
|This electronic version is made publicly available by the University of Adelaide in accordance with its open access policy for student theses. Copyright in this thesis remains with the author. This thesis may incorporate third party material which has been used by the author pursuant to Fair Dealing exceptions. If you are the owner of any included third party copyright material you wish to be removed from this electronic version, please complete the take down form located at: http://www.adelaide.edu.au/legals
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