Purpose – This study attempts to contribute to the knowledge of how service climate improves customer satisfaction in the hospitality industry based on evidence from mainland China. It considers different dimensions of service climate separately, including customer orientation, managerial support and work facilitation, and introduces an important mediator – employee commitment – to examine the relationship between service climate and customer satisfaction. Design/methodology/approach – A theoretical framework is proposed to suggest links among the three dimensions of service climate, employee commitment and customer satisfaction. A structured questionnaire was developed to collect data from employees in the hospitality industry of China. The constructs were measured by using established scales. Structural equation modeling was used to examine the theoretical hypotheses. Findings – Empirical results indicate that different dimensions of service climate have different effects on customer satisfaction. For instance, customer orientation, as one dimension of service climate, has a direct and positive influence on customer satisfaction, while two other dimensions of service climate, managerial support and work facilitation, have indirect positive influence on customer satisfaction, through improving employee commitment. Practical implications – The results indicate that managers should create customer orientation in hotels, including clarifying the value of providing customers with high quality service, and developing a system of emphasizing the importance of customer feedback. Meanwhile, managers need to pay attention to two neglected components of service climate, managerial support and work facilitation, rather than focusing on physical infrastructure only. Originality/value – This paper makes an important empirical contribution by treating various dimensions of service climate separately, and exploring their relationships with customer satisfaction by introducing a mediator, employee commitment. The results indicate that various dimensions of service climate play different roles in improving customer satisfaction. This study contributes to the theories of service climate and customer satisfaction.
International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jul 12, 2011
Keywords: Service climate; Employee commitment; Customer satisfaction; Hospitality industry; China
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