Balancing frontliners’ customer- and coworker-directed behaviors when serving business customers

Michel van der Borgh (Corresponding author), Ad de Jong, Ed Nijssen

Onderzoeksoutput: Bijdrage aan tijdschriftTijdschriftartikelAcademicpeer review

Uittreksel

In this digital era, where many product-oriented business-to-business (B2B) companies are shifting to a product-service systems approach, frontline employees (FLEs) are urged to complement customer-directed behaviors with coworker-directed prosocial behaviors to achieve optimal performance. Surprisingly, little is known about the relationship between FLEs’ coworker-directed and customer-directed behaviors in product-service systems settings. This research addresses this void and serves two purposes. First, drawing on role balance theory the authors develop and test a model of an FLE’s relative emphasis on serving coworkers (i.e., helping) relative to the emphasis on serving business customers (i.e., proactive selling) as well as the antecedents and consequences of customer-coworker (im)balance. Second, the authors propose that managers can influence antecedents and consequences through an incentive system and access to information sources, respectively. Multivariate time-lagged analyses using survey and secondary performance data reveal that customer-coworker balance is beneficial for an FLE’s performance, especially when leveraging their coworkers as a prime information source. Interestingly, the increasingly damaging impact of an imbalance toward customer-directed behaviors can be countered by using the IT system. Also of interest is that managers can correct imbalance—caused either by work group identification or expected customer demand—via individual-based incentives.
TaalEngels
Pagina's323-344
TijdschriftJournal of Service Research
Volume22
Nummer van het tijdschrift3
DOI's
StatusGepubliceerd - 1 aug 2019

Vingerafdruk

co-worker
customer
Personnel
Industry
employee
Managers
Sales
balance theory
manager
incentive system
performance
role theory
group work
selling
incentive
Frontline employees
demand

Citeer dit

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Balancing frontliners’ customer- and coworker-directed behaviors when serving business customers. / van der Borgh, Michel (Corresponding author); de Jong, Ad; Nijssen, Ed.

In: Journal of Service Research, Vol. 22, Nr. 3, 01.08.2019, blz. 323-344.

Onderzoeksoutput: Bijdrage aan tijdschriftTijdschriftartikelAcademicpeer review

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