تأثیرات سرمایه گذاری های سازمانی در سرمایه اجتماعی بر تعهد و عملکرد کارکنان خدمات
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|4403||2013||10 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Journal of Business Research, Volume 66, Issue 8, August 2013, Pages 1124–1133
Improving customers' service experiences by identifying ways to develop organizational cultures that better motivate and engage service employees is an important issue for service organizations and a top priority in services research. However, extant services research focuses far more on managing customer relationships than on the dynamics of effectively supporting and developing the service personnel who interact with customers. This study assesses the influence of an organizational human resource developmental initiative on service employees. The authors utilize social capital theory and the theory of reasoned action to propose and test a model that examines relationships between organizational investments in social capital and service employees' work-related attitudes, norms, and behaviors. Results from a field study of 407 customer-facing employees from multiple service organizations suggest that making organizational investments in social capital favorably influences service employees' commitment, job performance, and organizational citizenship behavior.
For service employees to provide great service to customers, they must be satisfied, motivated, and able to do their jobs without organizational obstacles (Bowen, 1996 and Bowen and Lawler, 1992, Spring). Bowen (1996) contends that managerial behaviors critically shape organizational culture and that in world-class service operations managers leverage intangible aspects of employee coaching and development to help service employees better serve customers. Recent examples in the popular press include overviews of the innovative approaches that Customer Service Champs organizations employ to support and develop service employees (McGregor, 2009) and Lowe's strategic emphasis on building employee engagement and business-related learning through social media communications (Bingham & Galagan, 2009). However, the influence of human resource developmental approaches as a means of creating and managing employee commitment to service quality remains relatively under-examined in the services literature (Rust, 2004). Rather, extant services research focuses far more on managing customer relationships than on the dynamics of effectively supporting and developing the service personnel who interact with customers ( Bowen, 1996, Bowen, 2010 and Johlke and Duhan, 2000, November). Given the influence that service employees have on organizational success, a top priority for services research is to better understand how to establish and leverage organizational cultures that effectively support and develop service employees ( Marketing Science Institute, 2010 and Ostrom et al., 2010). The notion of leveraging human resource developmental initiatives to improve employee commitment to service quality is consistent with the concept of internal marketing. A key premise of internal marketing is that to provide superior service experiences for external customers, organizations must first ensure that the needs of their internal employee customers are effectively met as service employees' ability to satisfy customers largely depends on the support and guidance that they receive from their supervisors and organizations (Bowen, 1996 and George, 1990). Previous research shows that when firms devote managerial effort and resources to support the needs of service employees, the employees provide exceptional levels of service to both customers and fellow employees (Berry, 2002). For superior service quality to emerge, managers must influence service employees' attitudes and behaviors with cultural artifacts, patterns of behavior and management practices (Schwepker and Hartline, 2005, May and Singh, 2000). Internal marketing helps organizations impart the focus of an organization's internal climate to service employees by reinforcing deep layers of culture. Creating organizational cultures that encourage employee commitment to the provision of superior service quality is imperative for service organizations (Bowen & Ostroff, 2004). Customer satisfaction and financial success often accompany positive organizational cultures (Bowen, 2010). The current research draws upon social capital theory and the theory of reasoned action to propose and test a model that examines relationships between a human resource developmental initiative—organizational investments in social capital (OISC)—and service employees' work-related attitudes, norms, and behaviors. The study responds to multiple calls for more insight into factors that improve service employee commitment to service quality and job performance and addresses several other gaps in the literature. First, as mentioned, the influence of human resource developmental initiatives as a means of creating and managing commitment to service quality is relatively under-examined in services research. Second, despite calls for research that examines how building social capital benefits organizations (e.g., Pastoriza, Ariño, & Ricart, 2008), with the exception of Merlo, Bell, Menguc, and Whitwell's (2006) study, current research devotes little attention to the issue of leveraging social capital to generate work-related returns in service industries. Third, this work responds to Batt's (2002) call for research to identify mediating employee variables that better explain the link between managerial practices and service employee performance by assessing the influence of OISC as a managerial practice. Fourth, the examination of the association between OISC and organizational citizenship behavior responds to MacKenzie, Podsakoff, and Ahearne's (1998) call for research that investigates antecedents of extra-role performance. The next sections review relevant literature, present an overview of the conceptual model and the theoretical bases, and propose study hypotheses. The following sections describe the study method and results. The final sections discuss the study findings, their contributions to services theory, implications for practicing managers, and offer some directions for future research.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
A recent industry survey of over one million employees working in more than fifty global, multinational and U.S.-based organizations of all sizes reports that employees perceive that opportunities to learn and grow at their workplaces are decreasing (Sirota Survey Intelligence, 2010). Yet, the importance of supporting and developing customer-facing personnel is especially critical in the current age of service-dominant logic (Vargo & Lusch, 2004) where research increasingly demonstrates that service employees and customers co-create value. This study evaluates the influence of an organizational employee development initiative by proposing and testing a model that examines relationships between managerial behaviors consistent with the notion of making organizational investments in social capital and service employee work-related attitudes, norms and behaviors. Overall, the study findings suggest that the human resource developmental initiative of OISC contributes towards creating an internal organizational culture that favorably influences employee work-related commitment and performance. As shown in Fig. 2, the results support several of the hypotheses in the proposed model, while some others are not. Consistent with the basic tenets of social capital theory, the proposed direct relationships between OISC and employee commitment to the firm, job performance, and organizational citizenship behavior receive support. These results lend credence to Cohen and Prusak (2001) and other researchers' largely prescriptive contentions that an association exists between OISC and beneficial work-related outcomes. The findings are also in line with the internal marketing concept and with previous services research studies that show when firms devote managerial effort and resources to support the needs of service employees, the employees are more committed to serving their customers and helping their fellow employees (e.g., Berry, 2002, Bowen, 1996 and George, 1990). However, some of the hypothesized relationships fail to emerge as originally anticipated. Instead, the revised final model in Fig. 2 reveals an intriguing sequence of partially mediating effects from OISC to service employee behavior. The complexity of these associations reinforces Batt's (2002) contention that mediating variables may better explain the link between managerial practices and employee performance. In particular, failing to confirm the expected association between OISC and employee commitment to service quality provides support for the conceptual distinction made earlier in this paper between commitment to the firm and commitment to service quality in service organizations. While commitment to the firm represents a global attitude that employees develop according to how their organizations treat them, commitment to service quality is a norm that can be sought out during the hiring process in service organizations. Studies that show commitment to service quality may be a function of hiring customer-oriented service employees (e.g., Donavan et al., 2004, January and Lytle and Timmerman, 2006) provide a basis for this reasoning. Taking this logic one step further, the lack of support for direct relationships between employee commitment to the firm and job performance and between employee commitment to service quality and OCB offers support for the distinction between commitment to the firm and commitment to service quality in service organizations. Thus, an employee who is highly committed to the firm may not have the same direct level of commitment towards serving its customers. Likewise, an employee who is highly committed to service quality may not have the same direct level of commitment to helping fellow employees. However, the robust series of partially mediating effects suggests that firms may be able to leverage OISC to transform employee commitment to the firm into commitment to service quality that ultimately yields superior internal and external work-related performance. 5.1. Theoretical contributions The Marketing Science Institute's (2010) research priorities and Ostrom et al.'s (2010) agenda for services inquiry both contend that the services field requires research to better understand the nuances of creating and managing more customer-focused service organizations that more effectively motivate and engage the service employees who so greatly influence customers' service experiences. Previous studies examine relationships between employee commitment to the firm, commitment to service quality, job performance, and organizational citizenship behavior. However, the current study extends this stream of research by responding to Bagozzi, Baumgartner, and Yi's (1992) call for research that examines antecedents of these work-related employee variables. Most importantly, this work extends the increasingly critical but relatively under-researched domain of human resource development in service provision contexts by demonstrating positive associations between OISC and service employee attitudes and behaviors. From an internal marketing perspective, service employees are equivalent to internal customers who buy their jobs with their time and effort in a similar way to how external customers exchange the firm's goods and services for money. To provide more favorable working environments for internal customers, firms should extend the same devotion of effort and resources to their employees as they devote to satisfying external customers (Bowen, 1996 and George, 1990). When service employees feel that their needs are being met through a positive internal organizational culture for employee well-being, they are more likely to create more positive service experiences for customers. This research study contributes to the internal marketing literature by identifying OISC as a means of better serving internal customers so that they can improve levels of commitment towards serving external customers and co-workers. The findings also extend services marketing theory by suggesting that organizations can favorably influence their customers' service experiences by making investments in social capital that create more favorable working environments for their service employees. The study findings are also in keeping with previous studies in the management literature that report positive relationships between human resource developmental initiatives and performance (e.g., Batt, 2002, Huselid, 1995 and Shub and Stonebraker, 2009). The research study empirically reinforces normative conceptualizations of organizational social capital as a strategic resource that firms can leverage to enhance competitive advantage (e.g., Hitt and Ireland, 2002, Maurer and Ebers, 2006 and Prusak and Cohen, 2001). In addition, this study responds to Batt's calls for the identification of mediating variables that better explain the link between managerial practices and employee performance by highlighting a series of partially mediating effects between OISC (managerial practice) and employee performance. In particular, the notion that commitment to the firm and commitment to service quality may have differential effects on employee behavior in service organizations is intriguing and requires further examination. Finally, the current study contributes to the development of theory by proposing and testing the influence of OISC as a catalytic factor for the support and development of service employees and by identifying OISC as an antecedent of extra role-performance. 5.2. Managerial implications The study findings underline the importance of hiring customer-oriented service personnel and reinforce the premise that work environment is an important consideration for firms seeking to improve customers' service experiences. While superior customer service yields a competitive advantage, industry reports frequently suggest that indifferent customer service and low levels of employee commitment to service quality are commonplace in many organizations. The study findings may therefore help practicing managers in service organizations to more effectively create and manage employee commitment to service quality by providing additional insight into interrelationships between human resource developmental practices and attaining the firms' key objective of improving customer service. The results of this study provide actionable implications for service organizations. Encouraging managers and supervisors to embrace behaviors consistent with the notion of making investments in social capital appears to be a viable approach for improving the work-related attitudes, cultural norms and behaviors of service employees. Cohen and Prusak's (2001) conceptualization of OISC offers a roadmap of managerial behavioral norms that may help service firms to more effectively achieve these ends. From a diagnostic perspective, the OISC measure is a tool that managers and researcher may use as a means for assessing discrepancies between employee and managerial perceptions of OISC, thus providing an indication of potential problem areas and opportunities for elevating the quality of working environments. 5.3. Limitations and future research Readers should view these results in light of the constraints of the design of this research. Firstly, this study uses a convenience sample that may not be representative of the population of service employees. While random sampling is always preferable to convenience sampling, random sampling is not feasible in this context because no comprehensive and exhaustive list of service employees available. However, an advantage of the current study's approach is that the sample comprises over 400 service employees from multiple and diverse service-related workplace settings. In addition, although the respondents are drawn from a variety of industries, the sample consists purely of employees. While numerous studies attest to the validity of the self-report key informant data collection method (e.g., Chan, 2009 and Phillips, 1981, November), self-reported measures are not completely objective. However, an advantage of self-report data collection is that the approach is purported to most accurately capture perceptual data. Thus, many researchers contend that self-report measures are necessary when assessing self-referential respondent perceptions like job satisfaction, mood, and perceived organizational support (Chan, 2009). Further, according to Podsakoff and Organ (1986), self-reports may represent more accurate estimates of population parameters than behavioral measures and are therefore virtually indispensible in many organizational research contexts. In the current context, although by no means perfect, self-report data may represent the best way to assess the domain of service employees' perceptions. Despite these advantages, the authors acknowledge that the use of self-report performance data as a potential limitation of the study in that service employee respondents may be biased judges of their own work-related attitudes and performance. For more objective measures, future studies should compare service employee perceptions of OISC with alternative sources such as customers, managers and other internal customers. Finally, as with majority of empirical research, this study draws on cross-sectional data that precludes the development of causal inferences about the influence of OISC. Longitudinal data would enable researchers to more precisely evaluate the influences of organizational developmental initiatives on service employees. The current findings also suggest other avenues for future research in service provision contexts. This study provides a foundation for better understanding how OISC may help organizations to more effectively support and develop service employees' commitment to the firm, service quality, and work-related behaviors. However, other potential attitudinal and behavioral antecedents and consequences of OISC and moderators and mediators of the relationship between OISC and employee performance remain. Examples include individual traits of upper and operational level managers, employee retention rates, employee engagement, and the efficacy of alternative developmental approaches like coaching, mentoring, and reward systems such as cash bonuses and recognition. In addition, evidence from the sociology literature suggests, social capital can sometimes have a dark side in the form of exclusion of outsiders, excess claims on group members, restrictions on individual freedoms and downward leveling norms (e.g., Portes, 1998). However, to date, research does not address the potential negative influences of social capital in service organizations. Such research would help to broaden what service researchers know about the role of social capital, and help service organizations to better serve customers by more effectively addressing the needs of employees who serve those customers. Case analyses, field observations, and in-depth interviews are appropriate research approaches for crafting a more comprehensive understanding of the potentially diverse support and developmental needs of service employees. The authors hope that these study findings and the questions they raise will stimulate further research on the support and development of service employees, an important, but relatively dormant area in the services literature.