آزمون مدل تنش زا - فشار- پیامد عوامل استرس زای اجتماعی مربوط به مشتری در پیش بینی خستگی عاطفی، مشتری مداری و بهبود خدمات و عملکرد
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|20996||2014||14 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||12240 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : International Journal of Hospitality Management, Volume 36, January 2014, Pages 272–285
The integrated perspective of human resource management (HRM) and service marketing (SM) on the emotional labor issue provides company managers with critical insight into how to create customer equity through effective management of their human capital. The objective of this study is to investigate the structural relationships among customer-related social stressors (CSSs) as job stressors, emotional exhaustion (EE) as a job strain, and both customer orientation (CO) and service recovery performance (SRP) as job outcomes using data from 1014 frontline service providers (tour guides, frontline tourist hotel employees and frontline tourist restaurant employees) employed in the three major sectors (travel agency, tourist hotel and tourist restaurant) of the Korean tourism industry. Specifically, this study incorporates HRM issues (CSSs and EE) and SM concerns (CO and SRP) into a single model using Koeske and Koeske's (1993) stressor–strain–outcome framework, which is useful for understanding the work-stress process. This study uses a structural equation modeling to investigate the research model and hypotheses. Results showed that CSSs (ambiguous customer expectations, disliked customers, and customer verbal aggression, with the exception of disproportionate customer expectations) significantly and positively influence EE. EE then significantly and negatively influences CO and SRP. In particular, the effect of customer verbal aggression on EE is stronger than the effects of ambiguous customer expectations and disliked customers. The results also showed that CO has a highly influential positive effect on SRP. The study concludes with a discussion of the empirical findings, theoretical contributions, managerial implications, and suggestions for future research.
Human resource management (HRM) and service marketing (SM) are the two traditionally dominant perspectives used to explore emotional labor issues in hospitality and tourism management. Integrating these two perspectives can provide critical managerial insights into customer equity creation and effective human capital management (Lee et al., 2012). Because of their role flexibility, frontline service providers play a crucial role in service delivery and customer-relationship building. They directly participate in implementing the marketing concept (Brown et al., 2002), and their attitudes and behaviors toward customers determine customers’ perceived service quality and satisfaction, which in turn impacts organizational performance (Rust et al., 1996). However, frontline employees’ emotional exhaustion (EE), which refers to the lack of energy and emotional fatigue caused by excessive psychological demands (Van Dierendonck and Mevissen, 2002) weakens their job performance (Halbesleben and Bowler, 2007, Wright and Bonett, 1997 and Wright and Cropanzano, 1998) and hinders effective customer service (Babakus et al., 1999 and Karatepe et al., 2009). Therefore, effectively managing EE is a critical issue to both academics and practitioners. Given that frontline employees are vital for successful functioning of hospitality and tourism firms, understanding frontline employees’ EE as well as its antecedents and consequences is a crucial research and managerial agenda in HRM and SM fields (Singh, 2000). Frontline service employees’ frequent intense face-to-face or voice-to-voice interactions with customers are a salient characteristic of the service process. However, the service process does not require customers to be courteous or respectful. Consequently, frontline service providers are expected to serve customers who are rude, arrogant, and hostile (Zapf, 2002). For example, Harris and Reynolds (2004) found that 70% of hospitality customers admitted to have intentionally and verbally abused frontline employees for financial gains. “The customer is king” or “the customer is always right” philosophy results in an unequal power mechanism between service employees and customers, requiring employees “to serve customers with a smile” even in the event of verbal aggression from the customer (Chu and Murrmann, 2006). This implicit imbalance in the exchange forces employees to suppress their true emotion and allows customers more freedom to express anger (Rafaeli et al., 2006). Dysfunctional customer behaviors are largely outside the realm of the service firm's control and are likely to have a substantial impact on service providers’ EE (Dormann and Zapf, 2004). EE plays a critical role in SM as frontline service employees are required to display positive emotions toward customers during performance delivery (Mattila and Enz, 2002). As such, employees’ EE as well as its antecedents and consequences have received considerable attention in the service and hospitality management literature. However, a number of the studies have focused on task-related antecedents and consequences rather than customer-related factors. For example, as antecedents of EE, experts from various fields have studied situational and task-related factors including dissatisfied physical and social environments and job demands (role ambiguity, role conflict, and role overload) (e.g., Babakus et al., 2009, Grandey et al., 2004 and Karatepe, 2010), while task-related outcomes such as decreased job performance, lower job satisfaction, lower work engagement, and increased turnover and turnover intention have been studied as consequences of EE (e.g., Karatepe et al., 2009, Karatepe, 2010, Karatepe, 2011a, Karatepe, 2011b and Koeske and Koeske, 1993). However, customer-related factors should be emphasized. In a service firm, not only employees but also customers are key participants in creating service performance and further enhancing or detracting from customers’ own satisfaction on the service value they attain (Bitner et al., 1997). Since frontline service employees have intense direct interactions with customers during the service process and customers themselves greatly affect and participate in the service delivery and determine service quality (Song and Liu, 2010), how customers play in the service process determines job performance and assessment as well. Therefore, customer-related antecedents and consequences of frontline service employees’ EE should be highlighted in the service and hospitality management literature. This study focuses on customer-related rather than task-related factors, for examining the antecedents and consequences of frontline service providers’ EE. Here, the antecedents consist of customer-related social stressors (CSSs), while consequences comprise customer orientation (CO; individual level) and service recovery performance (SRP). The premise that frontline employees’ EE is caused by customers offers an important research perspective to investigate how EE affects CO and SRP, which are integral to high-quality service, customer satisfaction management, and enhanced competitive advantages of hospitality and tourism firms (Boshoff and Allen, 2000 and Brown et al., 2002). Service failures, which are inevitable because of the high “people factor” in the service and hospitality business (Susskind, 2002), result in customer dissatisfaction with the service provider and, possibly, customer complaints. However, complaints resolved effectively can restore customer satisfaction, reinforce positive word-of-mouth advertising, improve customer trust and commitment, forge customer relationships, increase purchasing from the customer, decrease acquisition expenses, and eventually ensure customer patronage (Blodgett et al., 1997, Kim et al., 2009, Tax et al., 1998 and Wirtz and Mattila, 2004). In particular, frontline service providers’ customer-oriented tendency or predisposition to meet customer needs is important for effective SRP especially in the event of a service failure. Despite this recognition, however, the dysfunctional influences of EE on CO and SRP, and the intensifying effect of individual-level CO on SRP have been largely unexplored. The paucity of research is due to the fact that emotional labor issues have been studied mainly within the context of HRM and organizational behavior, but not critically from a SM perspective. A recent exception to this is a study by Julian (2008) that explored critical managerial and marketing issues related to emotional labor. Also, Karatepe et al. (2009) demonstrated that EE is a significant negative predictor of SRP among frontline hotel employees in Northern Cyprus. In addition, Lee et al. (2012) revealed that EE has a significant negative impact on CO among frontline hotel employees in Korea. Thus, CO and SRP have been identified as key outcome variables that deserve more attention from SM researchers and practitioners alike. Against this backdrop, the purpose of the current study is to test a theoretical model purported to analyze the structural relationships among CSSs, EE, CO, and SRP of frontline service providers in tourism companies using Koeske and Koeske's (1993) stressor–strain–outcome (SSO) framework, which is a useful tool for understanding the work-stress process. Based on a survey of 1014 frontline service employees (tour guides, frontline tourist hotel employees and frontline tourist restaurant employees) across three major sectors (travel agency, tourist hotel and tourist restaurant) of the Korean tourism industry, this study uses a structural equation modeling (SEM) to investigate the research model and hypotheses. Very recently, in Korea, many reports have highlighted the emotional labor problems of service workers having to deal with unreasonable customer demands. Customers’ expectation of a service seems to be excessively biased in Korea, under the strong influence of rapid changes in economic structure and the shift toward service-related industries from manufacturing-related industries in all major business sectors (Hankook-ilbo, 2011a). Integrating HRM and SM perspectives, this study attempts to go beyond the negative effects of emotional labor at a personal level and examine the structural relationships among job stressors, strain, and outcomes as well as the effectiveness of tourism companies in terms of their SM performance.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
This study tested a theoretical model purported to analyze the structural relationships among EE and its antecedents such as CSSs (disproportionate customer expectations, ambiguous customer expectations, disliked customers and customer verbal aggression) and its consequences such as CO and SRP among frontline service providers (tour guides, frontline tourist hotel employees and frontline tourist restaurant employees) in the three major sectors (travel agency, tourist hotel and tourist restaurant) of Korea's tourism industry. Using Koeske and Koeske's (1993) SSO framework, from a perspective, CSSs and EE were incorporated into the research model as job stressors and a job strain, respectively. In addition, CO and SRP, from a SM perspective, were incorporated as outcome variables. Several useful findings emerged from our study, and are discussed below. In terms of the stressor–strain link, as hypothesized, three components of CSSs—ambiguous customer expectations, disliked customers, and customer verbal aggression—had significant positive effects on EE. Our findings are perfectly consistent with the results of Dormann and Zapf (2004), who showed that ambiguous customer expectations, disliked customers, and customer verbal aggression heightened employees’ EE among German employees working as flight attendants, travel agency employees, and sales clerks in shoe stores. Such findings lend partial support to the findings of Karatepe et al., 2009, Karatepe et al., 2010a and Karatepe et al., 2010b, Song and Liu (2010), and Choi and Lee (2010). The three CSSs collectively explained more than 33% of the total variance of EE (Fig. 2) in this study. Thus, customer-related stressors may be particularly taxing for frontline service workers who have frequent face-to-face or voice-to-voice interactions with customers, and problematic for the organization (Dormann and Zapf, 2004, Karatepe et al., 2010a, Karatepe et al., 2010b, Song and Liu, 2010 and Walsh, 2011). These findings can be explained on the basis of Dormann and Zapf's (2004) research, which argued that frontline service providers engage in high levels of emotional labor and social interaction with customers, and tend to experience more psychological strain as a consequence of workplace stress. Koeske and Koeske's (1993) SSO paradigm perspective also suggests that CSSs (job stressors) heighten EE (job strain). In addition, these findings are congruent with the COR theory. On the basis of the COR theory (Hobfoll, 2001), it could be assumed that employees who experience higher level of CSSs tend to feel that their existing resources are threatened or that additional resources should be input. For example, when employees experience CSSs, they tend to spend time worrying about how they could avoid or manage the situation. Thus, they are likely to spend their valuable resources in thinking about their situation and trying to preserve their resources (e.g., time and energy), resulting in more severe job strains and less job outcomes. Thus, CSSs intensify frontline service providers’ EE. Furthermore, consistent with the result of Dormann and Zapf (2004), our data showed that the influence of customer verbal aggression on EE is stronger than those of ambiguous customer expectations and disliked customers. However, Karatepe et al., 2010a and Karatepe et al., 2010b sampled frontline bank employees and found that among the four components of CSSs, only ambiguous customer expectations had a significant positive effect on EE. As such, the results of Karatepe et al., 2010a and Karatepe et al., 2010b studies are not consistent either with the result of the Dormann and Zapf (2004) or ours. The differences in the results of these studies may be attributable to industry characteristics. While business sectors selected for our study and that of Dormann and Zapf were similar, the banking industry represents a different sector and has a different approach to service. However, it is worth noting that Karatepe et al., 2010a and Karatepe et al., 2010b hypothesized, at first, a positive relationship between CSSs and EE, similar to Dormann and Zapf's (2004) and the current study. In this study, disproportionate customer expectations had an insignificant positive impact on EE. This result may be explained as follows: disproportionate customer expectations are highly frequent in the Korean tourism industry (Hankook-ilbo, 2011b); as a result, service workers in Korea may be insensitive to such cases. A service worker stated that there are countless numbers of such customers, and the worse cases among them engage in verbal attack (Hankook-ilbo, 2011b). The social hierarchy in Korea could play a role in this finding. Traditionally, service people are considered to be at a lower rank than other social-economic status cohorts based on the Confucian culture (Hankook-ilbo, 2011a). Another plausible explanation to support this result we can find is that Korean service firms put customers first at any rate and thus they do not have sufficient system to protect the service employees from excessive emotional labor and its negative consequence such as EE. There exists dominant norm that service workers should obey their customers who pay for the services and unlimited services should be provided to customers. Therefore, it seems that “the customer is king” or “the customer is always right” philosophy and the resulting unequal power relationship between service workers and customers bring about high frequency of disproportionate customer expectation and the subsequent insensitiveness of the service workers. In the emotional labor research area, an important but previously under-examined outcome variable of EE is CO. With regard to the strain–outcome, our empirical results, consistent with the SSO framework (Koeske and Koeske, 1993) and prior studies (e.g., Kim and Kwon, 2010, Lee et al., 2012 and Suh and Kim, 2002), indicated that EE of frontline service providers reduces their CO. That is, when frontline service providers experience EE, they are less likely to exhibit customer-oriented attitudes or a predisposition to meet customer needs. They interact less with customers, provide less information, and show less genuine interest in understanding and meeting customers’ needs. Evaluating the effect of EE on SRP as an important job-related performance confirms that EE is a critical variable in understanding the attitudes and behaviors of employees. Concordant with the SSO model (Koeske and Koeske, 1993), the COR theory (Lee and Ashforth, 1996 and Yavas et al., 2008), and previous studies (e.g., Karatepe et al., 2009), our results show that frontline service employees’ EE exerts a detrimental effect on their SRP. As the COR theory argues, employees who experience resource loss and EE show undesirable performance while providing service. Apparently, once they are emotionally exhausted, they have no more resources with which to deliver good service. Regarding the relationship between CO and SRP, our finding that an individual-level CO has a strong and positive effect on SRP (β32 = 0.727) is an encouraging addition to a small but growing body of empirical evidence ( Donavan et al., 2004). At the organizational level, a few Korean hotel studies (e.g., Kwon and Park, 2005 and Park and Hong, 2008) have reported the same result. However, at the individual level, the current research is among the first to show that CO heightens SRP. In this study, EE and CO together account for more than 49.3% of the total variance of SRP ( Fig. 2). This result implies that CO is a critical factor for encouraging frontline service employees to engage in desirable interactions with customers, display customer-satisfying behaviors ( Pan and Zinkhan, 2006), and generate a positive outcome ( Babakus and Yavas, 2012). This result also implies that frontline service providers with high CO are highly self-motivated to be helpful and cooperative when dealing with customers ( Brown et al., 2002).