Title: Managing commitment to customer in the public sector: highlight the role of the supervisor

Authors: Pascal Paillé; Denis Morin; François Grima

Addresses: Département Management, Université Laval, G1K7P4, Québec, QC, Canada. ' Université du Québec à Montréal, 315, Sainte-Catherine Est, Montréal (Québec), H2X 3X2, Canada. ' Université Paris, 12-IRG et RMS, Avenue du Général de Gaulle, 94000 Créteil, France

Abstract: This study investigates the role of the supervisor as a determining factor in helping public employees in contact with citizens (customers) to deliver better service. Data were collected using public employees in contact with customers (N = 228). Overall, findings supported predictions of the study and were consistent with social exchange theory premises. Thus, within public organisations, public employees demonstrate willingness to commit to customers when they feel supported by the immediate superior. This study suggests that improvements to the physical work environment are one way to support employees. Implications of the findings are discussed.

Keywords: HRM practices; perceived supervisor support; commitment to the supervisor; commitment to the customer; social exchange theory; public sector; human resource management; willingness to commit; public employees; employee support.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSTM.2011.044361

International Journal of Services Technology and Management, 2011 Vol.16 No.3/4, pp.298 - 317

Available online: 14 Dec 2011 *

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