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Exploring commercial friendships from employees' perspectives

Exploring commercial friendships from employees' perspectives Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to investigate which types of service employees provide their customers with social support and to understand why they do so. Design/methodology/approach – The article employs a network‐based inventory method to evaluate a customer's commercial‐based social support network and grounded theory to develop a framework illustrating the interdependence between service providers and their customers regarding the exchange of intrinsic support and extrinsic financial incentives and gifts. Findings – Indirect service employees who do not directly receive tips from customers emerge as key providers of social support. Also, commercial friendships are not marketplace niceties. Service providers and customers engage in a mutually beneficial exchange of social support, gifts, and tips under the guise of commercial friendships. Research limitations/implications – The article is based upon service provider and customer relationships in an American diner. Researchers may want to apply the offered model to other contexts and locals. Also, researchers may want to reconsider the idea that service providers willingly provide social support to their customers. Practical implications – The hiring and training of service employees, such as cashiers, hostesses, and “bus boys,” should be taken into consideration as they may be key providers of social support. Service providers should realize the extrinsic and intrinsic benefits or providing support. Originality/value – The paper empirically investigates the role of indirect service employees in providing customers with social support. Also, it demonstrates that commercial friendships are mutually beneficial relationships where service providers and customers realize extrinsic and/or intrinsic benefits from these relationships. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Services Marketing Emerald Publishing

Exploring commercial friendships from employees' perspectives

Journal of Services Marketing , Volume 23 (1): 10 – Feb 20, 2009

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References (73)

Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2009 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
0887-6045
DOI
10.1108/08876040910933101
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to investigate which types of service employees provide their customers with social support and to understand why they do so. Design/methodology/approach – The article employs a network‐based inventory method to evaluate a customer's commercial‐based social support network and grounded theory to develop a framework illustrating the interdependence between service providers and their customers regarding the exchange of intrinsic support and extrinsic financial incentives and gifts. Findings – Indirect service employees who do not directly receive tips from customers emerge as key providers of social support. Also, commercial friendships are not marketplace niceties. Service providers and customers engage in a mutually beneficial exchange of social support, gifts, and tips under the guise of commercial friendships. Research limitations/implications – The article is based upon service provider and customer relationships in an American diner. Researchers may want to apply the offered model to other contexts and locals. Also, researchers may want to reconsider the idea that service providers willingly provide social support to their customers. Practical implications – The hiring and training of service employees, such as cashiers, hostesses, and “bus boys,” should be taken into consideration as they may be key providers of social support. Service providers should realize the extrinsic and intrinsic benefits or providing support. Originality/value – The paper empirically investigates the role of indirect service employees in providing customers with social support. Also, it demonstrates that commercial friendships are mutually beneficial relationships where service providers and customers realize extrinsic and/or intrinsic benefits from these relationships.

Journal

Journal of Services MarketingEmerald Publishing

Published: Feb 20, 2009

Keywords: Relationship marketing; Buyer‐seller relationships; Older consumers; Service industries; United States of America; Personal needs

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