Dissertation > Economic > Economic planning and management > Enterprise economy > Enterprise Marketing Management

The Effect of Employee Behavior on Customer Participation in the Service Encounter

Author ZhaoYuFei
Tutor RenJunSheng
School Jilin University
Course Business management
Keywords Service Encounter Employee Behavior In-role Behavior OrganizationalCitizenship Behavior Customer Affect Customer Participation
CLC F274
Type PhD thesis
Year 2012
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Since the1980s, the global economy is further showing the general trend of thetransition from the “industrial-based economy” to the “service economy”. The serviceeconomy is becoming the main driving force for the development of the worldeconomy, and the service industry has naturally become the important engine ofeconomic growth. In this context, the service enterprise operating performance andhow to improve service enterprise’s productivity receive more and more attention.Unlike tangible products, the services cannot be owned, they can only beexperienced, to create and participate(Bowen and Schneider,1988). Serviceinseparability determines that production processes and customer consumptionprocess are carried out at the same time. Because customer participation is inevitable,Lovelock and Young (1979)poised that companies can look to customers to increaseproductivity and the interaction between the customer and service provider is thefourth component of improving productivity. In addition, with the rise of theknowledge-based economy and growing global competition,enterprise’s marketingideas have changed from product dominant logic to service dominant logic. In theservice dominant logic, the core perspective is customer-oriented, customers mustparticipate in the co-creation of value. Under such a background, the theory andpractice world have recognized that customer participation is of great significance tothe development of enterprises.According to literature review, there are two aspects of the driving factors oncustomer participation, one is customer’s own factors, another is influence factors ofthe enterprise. Customer’s own factors include intrinsic motivation, culturalbackgrounds, personal traits, the customer’s technical maturity, the length ofrelationship between customer and service provider. The influence factors of theenterprise include organizational socialization of customers, enterprise type,institutional atmosphere and enterprise incentive. According to the service marketingtriangle theory, enterprise, customers and service provider are three key participants, so internal marketing, external marketing and interactive marketing are interrelated,influence each other, and together constitute an organic whole (Gronroons,1996).Obviously, customer participation cannot avoid to be influenced by enterprise,customer itself and the service employee. However, the existing research of drivingfactors of customer participation lacks the study of impact of service employee oncustomer participation.In addition, according to the service encounter theory, social interaction theoryand “Stimulus-Organism-Response” model, service employee behavior will have animpact on customer participation in service encounter and this impact plays a rolethrough customer affects. This dissertation built a theoretical model of the relationshipamong service employee behavior, customer affects and customer participation.Through in-depth interviews with bank employees and customers and pre-test, aquestionnaire containing42items is formed. At last, we obtain627validquestionnaires through formal investigation. Then using the statistical software likeSPSS18.0and AOMS17.0, we take a series of empirical analysis as follow,descriptive statistical analysis, reliability analysis, validity analysis and regressionanalysis. At the same time, we test theoretical models and hypotheses in the study andthe results are analyzed to explain.After the empirical analysis, this study reaches the following conclusions:(1) Service employee in-role behavior has a significant positive impact oncustomer participation. Reliability behavior, responsiveness behavior, and empathybehavior has a significant positive impact on customer participation, and the influencedegree is empathy behavior>reliability behavior>responsiveness behavior.Assurance behavior has no impact on customer participation.(2) Service employees organizational citizenship behavior has a significantpositive impact on customer participation. Customer facilitation, organizationalinvolvement and sportsmanship all has a positive impact on customer participation.Customer facilitation has the greatest impact on customer participation, followed byorganizational involvement and sportsmanship.(3) Service employee in-role behavior has a significant impact on customer affects.Reliability behavior, responsiveness behavior, assurance behavior and empathybehavior all has a significant positive impact on customer positive affects and empathybehavior has the greatest impact. Reliability behavior and responsiveness behavior has a negative impact on customer negative affects. Assurance behavior has no impact oncustomer negative affects. Empathy behavior has a positive impact on both customerpositive affects and customer negative affects.(4) Service employees organizational citizenship behavior has a significantimpact on customer affects. Customer facilitation has a positive impact oncustomer positive affects and has no negative impact on customer negativeaffects. Organizational involvement has no positive impact on customer positiveaffects and has a negative impact on customer negative affects. Sportsmanshiphas a positive impact on customer positive affects and has a negative impact oncustomer negative affects.(5) Customer affects have a significant positive impact on customer participationwhich customer positive affects have a positive impact on customer participation,customer negative affects have a negative impact on customer participation.(6) Customer affects play an intermediary role between service employee in-rolebehavior and customer participation, also play an intermediary role between serviceemployee organizational citizenship behavior and customer participation.The contribution of the research is mainly as follows:(1) Enrich the study on the antecedents of customer participationIn previous research on customer participation, the research of customerparticipation outcome variables is richer, comparatively speaking, few studies onantecedents of customer participation. In this dissertation, empirical studies proveservice employee in-role behavior and organizational citizenship behavior have asignificant direct impact on customer participation, and also through customer affectshave an indirect effect on customer participation. This also proved that customeraffects also have a significant direct impact on customer participation. So this studyriches theoretical study of customer participation and provides a new perspective forthe future study on influencing mechanism of customer participation.(2) Enrich service employee behavior researchPrevious studies concern about antecedents of service employee behavior, that iswhat factors will cause changes in employee behavior, but less concern about theimpact of employee behavior. This study focuses on the outcome variables of serviceemployee behavior. Previous studies rarely explore the effect of service employeebehavior on customer affects, but also did not explore the impact of service employeebehavior on customer participation, especially service employee organizational citizenship behavior. The dimension of service employee was divided in the pastmainly from business performance and human resource management perspective,while this dissertation is from the customer perceived angle. Therefore this study tosome extent riches the study of service employee behavior, further confirmes theimportant relationship between service employee and customer(Spradley and Mann,1975; Mars and Nicod,1984).(3) Introduce customer affects as mediating variables between service employeebehavior and customer participationThis dissertation set up a model of “service employees behavior→customeraffects→customer participation”, and verifies intermediary role of customer affectsthrough empirical study, so enriches study of customer affects.The existing literature mainly focuses on research on the impact of themateriality environmental factors on customer affects, but little attention to thesociability environmental factors (such as the behavior of the service employee, theinteraction between service employees and customers). Mattila and Wirtz (2000) alsobelieve that scholars have neglected the study on service evaluation and customerfollow-up behavior of customer affects as well as customer affects. In previous studies,the reaction of the customer in service encounter was narrowly understood to besatisfied or not (Fisk et al.,1993), but in fact customer emotional experience is veryrich. It may be accompanied also may not be accompanied with the judgment ofsatisfaction, showing the complex form of positive affects and negativeaffects(Arnould and Price,1993; Westbrook and Oliver,1991). In addition, theexisting research on the mediating role of customer affect not involves anintermediary between service employee and customer participation, while this studyverifies that customer affects has both mediating effect.According to the conclusions, this dissertation proposes a number ofrecommendations on management practices in the banking industry. At the end, thelimitation and future research recommendations are also be described.

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