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Purpose – This paper seeks to examine the relevance of some existing Western motivation and job design theories in explaining employees' service performance, termed service orientation in delivery, in a developing country context. Design/methodology/approach – The satisfaction‐performance thesis and the two factor theory (motivation and hygiene factors) are tested using a case study from a developing economy, Ghana. Survey data were collected from 535 retail bank employees of two large commercial banks across 85 branches in the final phase of the research. Multiple and hierarchical regression as well as split sample analyses were used to examine data. Findings – Overall, the findings indicate some support for the validity and relevance of the satisfaction‐service performance thesis even in a non‐developed economy. Some outcomes, however, seem to challenge the validity of the two factor theory: context/hygiene satisfaction elements emerged as better predictors of service performance than content/motivator factors. In particular, context satisfaction dimension relating to co‐workers appeared to be the most important predictor. Satisfaction with pay and rewards, however, appeared unimportant to the service performance of the bank employees surveyed. Research limitations/implications – As the research was limited to the banking sector from only one developing country, generalisations and applications of its findings should be made with caution. Future studies which provide broader conceptual and empirical views, in terms of how specific co‐worker attitudes and behaviours motivate or discourage service‐oriented performances in multi‐country studies, could be useful. Practical implications – Despite its limitations, the confirmation of the satisfaction‐performance thesis in this paper may indicate to managers that some, if not all, of the management theories taught in American/European schools may be equally relevant to developing economies such as Ghana. In addition, the findings provide managers with insights regarding the potential importance of context satisfaction elements to employees' service performance. Originality/value – Overall, the broad findings from the study indicate some support for the relevance of the satisfaction‐service performance thesis even in a non‐developed economy, characterised by relatively challenging economic conditions. However, some outcomes reported in this paper seem to challenge the validity of the two factor theory and its relevance for job motivation and design.
Journal of Service Management – Emerald Publishing
Published: Aug 2, 2013
Keywords: Job satisfaction; Service orientation; Service quality/performance; Developing countries; Customer services quality; Ghana
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