Title: Empowerment and role stress in the human interface between the firm and its markets

Authors: Aarti Sood, Ian Lings

Addresses: Marketing Group, Aston University, Birmingham, B4 7ET, UK. ' School of Advertising, Marketing and Public Relations, Faculty of Business, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane 4001, Australia

Abstract: Frontline employees constitute one of the key interfaces that service organisations have with their markets. Many strategies to enhance the ability of these employees to satisfy the needs of customers have been proposed. Amongst these, empowering employees has been suggested to enhance the customer orientation of the firm and consequently its effectiveness in serving the market. However, the impact of empowerment in service organisations remains somewhat contentious. This paper examines the role of empowerment as an organisational service strategy and identifies its consequences for role stress, job satisfaction and the willingness of service employees to serve their customers.

Keywords: employee empowerment; role stress; job satisfaction; customer orientation; frontline staff; marketing; frontline services; service interfaces; service strategy; willingness to serve.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSTM.2010.034330

International Journal of Services Technology and Management, 2010 Vol.14 No.2/3, pp.233 - 249

Available online: 01 Aug 2010 *

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