Exploring the relationship between individual values and the customer orientation of front-line employees

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Because of the nature of services, namely the inseparability of production and consumption, employee behaviours influence customer perceptions of service quality and satisfaction with the service provider. In particular, customer-oriented employees seek to help customers by addressing their needs, and this contributes to the building of customer satisfaction and the development of a relationship. Not surprisingly, research has been investigating the drivers of employees’ customer orientation. This paper examines how individual values influence the customer orientation of front-line service employees, a topic that has been unexplored in extant literature, and this is useful for the selection of employees who match the firm’s service strategy. To accomplish this, the study relies on the Schwartz value theory, which is applied to front-line employees in banking. The findings indicate that both resultant conservation and resultant self-enhancement affect the customer orientation of employees, and that these effects are moderated by job satisfaction and autonomy.

Keywords: autonomy; customer orientation; individual values; job satisfaction

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0267257X.2013.798674

Affiliations: 1: Durham University, UK 2: University of Coimbra, Portugal,

Publication date: November 1, 2013

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