عوامل زمینه ای و خلاقیت کارکنان "صفی": اثرات واسطه ای استرس ناشی از ایفای نقش و انگیزش درونی
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|2248||2011||15 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Journal of Retailing, Volume 87, Issue 1, March 2011, Pages 31–45
Creative frontline service employees may be crucial in ensuring organizational performance. However, scant research has investigated the antecedents of service employee creativity. This research applies Role Theory to enlighten this issue. The findings reveal that: role conflict and role ambiguity have opposing effects on creativity; Role Theory complements Cognitive Evaluation Theory as a mediational mechanism for the influence of contextual factors on creativity; and, against current thinking, contextual factors also affect creativity directly. The results underscore the need to reconceptualize the mechanisms by which contextual factors influence creativity, and suggest how managers can promote creativity through the work environment.
Innovation is an increasingly important management function to ensure a firm's growth (Han et al., 1998 and Im and Workman, 2004). However, firms need creative employees to initiate organizational innovation. Not surprisingly, employee creativity is recognized as key for generating a competitive advantage (e.g., Shalley, Zhou, and Oldham 2004). The role of frontline employees in ensuring organizational innovation is of particular importance in service firms. As boundary workers, they occupy a privileged position to collect first-hand market information. Thus, frontline employees hold an important creative potential that could be incentivized (Wang and Netemeyer 2004). Frontline service employees also often hold unstructured jobs, frequently facing customers with quite diverse needs, implying that they need to be innovative (Dubinsky et al., 1986 and Wang and Netemeyer, 2004). As frontline employees are frequently responsible for service delivery, they are key in ensuring customer satisfaction (Bitner, Booms, and Tetreault 1990). Consequently, their creativity can be of great value for service organizations. The marketing field has an established tradition concerning the study of relationship marketing themes (e.g., Coulter and Coulter, 2003 and Ganesan, 1994). Since the late 1990s, this topic has become increasingly popular in the retailing literature (e.g., Brown and Lam, 2008, Grewal et al., 2004a, Kumar et al., 2006, Lei et al., 2008 and Reynolds and Beatty, 1999), which has paid increasing attention to the customer experience in order to better understand it (Mittal et al., 2008, Naylor et al., 2008, Ofir et al., 2008 and Puccinelli et al., 2009). Frontline employees play a major role in shaping customer experiences and relationships (e.g., Crosby et al., 1990 and Walter, 1999). Crosby, Evans, and Cowles (p. 69), for example, argue that because of his/her close proximity to the customer, the “service salesperson is often best suited to perform the role of ‘relationship manager”’. Bitner, Booms, and Tetreault (1990) observed that the capacity of the frontline employee to customize the service to each customer's unique needs determines customer satisfaction. Furthermore, customer–employee rapport positively influences customers’ satisfaction and loyalty (Gremler and Gwinner, 2000 and Gremler and Gwinner, 2008). Creative employees are more likely to uncover customers’ latent needs, to develop a good rapport with customers, and to solve their service problems creatively and effectively, ultimately creating a superior experience (cf. Grewal et al., 2009 and Verhoef et al., 2009). Frontline employees’ creative initiatives should also enhance customer value, which has important behavioral consequences (e.g., Kleijnen, Ruyter, and Wetzels 2007). This suggests that the creativity of frontline service employees has a great potential to contribute to successful long-term relationships. In summary, creative frontline service employees are likely to have a substantial impact on producing superior customer experiences, customer satisfaction, quality relationships and, thus, on organizational performance. This implies that organizations may have much to benefit from understanding the key organizational as well as personal characteristics that are associated with employee creativity. With this knowledge, managers will be able to fine-tune recruitment, selection and training programmes, as well as to orchestrate the work environment in a way that promotes creative behaviors by frontline service employees. Despite the importance of creative behavior among frontline service employees, empirical research has yet to identify its determinants. This gap is significant because different tasks may require different skills, motivations, and cognitive strategies (Mumford 2003). Frontline employees play a boundary-spanning role, whose specificities have long been acknowledged to greatly affect employee job attitudes and behaviors (e.g., Babakus et al., 2009, Bettencourt and Brown, 2003 and Singh, 1998). They deal with many people inside and outside the organization (e.g., supervisors, co-workers, and customers), and each of these people behaves in ways that promote his or her personal needs and expectations. As a consequence of the social interactions with a large set of people, incompatibility of expectations often emerges, increasing employee role stress (Nonis, Sager, and Kumar 1996), the two key aspects of which are role conflict and role ambiguity (cf. Rhoads et al., 2002 and Tubre and Collins, 2000). This paper addresses three major gaps in the literature. Firstly, we design a conceptual model of the antecedents of creativity that focus on frontline service employees. Given the potential relevance of creativity in these settings, we thus help fill an important gap in the services marketing literature. Secondly, we present a broader perspective of what obstructs and facilitates frontline service worker creativity by investigating the influence of role stress, which is intrinsic in the frontline role (Nonis, Sager, and Kumar 1996). Thirdly, we propose Role Theory as a relevant perspective to explain the impact of contextual factors on creativity. Contextual factors refer to work environment dimensions that, as such, have potential to influence creativity (Shalley, Zhou, and Oldham 2004). Based on Cognitive Evaluation Theory, researchers have considered that contextual factors affect employee creativity via intrinsic motivation (Shalley, Zhou, and Oldham 2004). Shalley, Zhou, and Oldham (2004), upon a literature review, called for the consideration of new explanatory contextual factors as well as of new mediation mechanisms between context factors and creativity. Thus, our research addresses this plea by investigating the link between role stress and creativity, which has not been considered yet, and by proposing Role Theory as another mediation mechanism between the context and employee creativity.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
As this study collected information from three different hospitals, we introduced two dummy variables to account for differences in hospital size and other hospital characteristics. The structural model's fit statistics are quite reasonable: χ2 = 560.8, df = 343, p < .01, CFI = .97, TLI = .97, IFI = .97, and RMSEA = .04. The results (see Table 2) provide solid support for the research model, as the majority of the hypotheses (13 out of 20) received statistical support.In conformance to H1, intrinsic motivation positively relates to creativity. The results also indicate that role ambiguity contributes negatively to creativity (H2), and role conflict contributes positively to it (H3). We found that ambiguity negatively relates to intrinsic motivation, supporting H4, whereas role conflict positively relates with it, and this contradicts H5. We also have support for H6, as role conflict positively relates with role ambiguity. We now analyze the indirect effects of job complexity and work relationships on creativity. Job complexity is positively related to intrinsic motivation, supporting H7a. H7b predicted a negative relationship between job complexity and role conflict but we obtained no significant effect. Nonetheless, job complexity contributes negatively to role ambiguity, supporting H7c. As predicted, employees’ relationships with their supervisors are mediated by intrinsic motivation (H8a), role conflict (H8b), and role ambiguity (H8c). We determined that the relationship with co-workers only significantly affected role ambiguity. The coefficient for this path has a negative sign, supporting H9c. Regarding co-workers’ relationships positive impact on intrinsic motivation (H9a) and negative influence on role conflict (H9b), none was significant. In H10 we predicted a positive relationship between workers’ relationship with customers and intrinsic motivation, but the path was not significant. Finally, in respect of the direct effects of job complexity and work relationships on creativity, the results support a positive, direct effect of job complexity on creativity (H11a). This provides evidence that job complexity impacts upon creativity over and above that which is mediated by intrinsic motivation. Surprisingly, the relationship with the supervisor does not directly relate with employee creativity, and this fails to support H11b. The effects of supervision seem to be fully mediated by intrinsic motivation, role conflict and role ambiguity. Frontline workers’ relationships with co-workers negatively relates with creativity, which contradicts H11c. As predicted in H11d, the relationship with customers has a positive, direct effect on creativity. Finally, none of the dummy variables obtained statistical significance. Our study posits that the effects of job complexity and work relationships are partially mediated by role stress and intrinsic motivation. To test this mediation effect, we estimated a model in which the effects of the exogenous variables on creativity are fully mediated by intrinsic motivation and role stress. The results of this model (χ2 = 591.3, df = 347, p < .01), compared to the hypothesized (partial mediation) model (χ2 = 560.8, df = 343, p < .01), support the hypothesized full model (Δχ2 = 30.5, Δdf = 4, p < .01). Thus, the effects of job complexity and work relationships are only partially mediated by role stress and intrinsic motivation. The literature on creativity has considered the intrinsic motivation principle to explain the influence of contextual factors on creativity. However, most studies have not empirically tested this mediating link, frequently investigating instead the direct effects of contextual factors on creativity. Those that have explicitly considered intrinsic motivation obtained mixed results about its mediation effects (Shalley, Zhou, and Oldham 2004). Accordingly, we have developed a competing model in which all variables only have direct paths to creativity (i.e., intrinsic motivation and role stress do not mediate the effects of other variables), the exception being role conflict, whose effect on creativity is mediated by role ambiguity. The results of this model (χ2 = 753.2, df = 342, CFI = .95, TLI = .94, IFI = .95, and RMSEA = .05), when compared to the proposed model (χ2 = 560.8, df = 343, CFI = .97, TLI = .97, IFI = .97, and RMSEA = .04) indicate that the latter performs much better. Therefore, the results provide strong support for the mediating role of intrinsic motivation and role stress.