The implementation of a superior service strategy strongly depends on the attitude and behavior of customer contact personnel in service organizations. However, conflicting demands of organizational constraints, service managers, service teams, and customers frequently lead to role stress of service employees. In this article, the authors investigate antecedents and consequences of role stress experienced in after-sales service management of an international office equipment manufacturer from a longitudinal perspective. Empowering service employees by giving them authority and responsibility decreases their sense of role stress and, at the same time, enhances job satisfaction. Moreover, the authors notice a negative short-term and a positive long-term effect of the presence of rules and regulations. In the short term, this leads to higher role conflict. Finally, on the basis of the positive lagged effect of perceived group cohesiveness on role ambiguity, the authors conclude that creating "tight-knit" workgroups can actually prove detrimental because the norms they develop might be hard to change.
Wetzels, M. G. M., Ruyter, de, J. C., & Lemmink, J. G. A. M. (1999). Role stress in after-sales service management: a longitudinal assessment of its antecedents and consequences. Journal of Service Research, 2(1), 50-67. https://doi.org/10.1177/109467059921005