Principles and principals : do customer stewardship and agency control compete or complement when shaping frontline employee behavior?

J.J.L. Schepers, T. Falk, J.C. Ruyter, de, A. Jong, de, M. Hammerschmidt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

55 Citations (Scopus)
6 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

This article introduces customer stewardship control to the marketing field. This concept represents a frontline employee’s felt ownership of and moral responsibility for customers’ overall welfare. In two studies, the authors show that customer stewardship control is a more encompassing construct than customer orientation, which reflects an individual’s focus on meeting customers’ needs. They provide evidence that the former is more potent in shaping inand extra-role employee behaviors. Moreover, they highlight how customer stewardship control operates in conjunction with an organization’s agency control system; stewardship’s positive influence on in- and extra-role behavior is weaker in the presence of high agency control. Actionable advice is offered about how to solve the resulting managerial control dilemma. Finally, the authors show that customer stewardship control depends on drivers that reside at the individual level (employee relatedness), the team level (team competence), or both levels of aggregation (employee and team autonomy). These findings show how to effectively design a frontline employee’s work environment to ensure optimal frontline performance.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-20
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Marketing
Volume76
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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