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Service climate in knowledge-intensive, internal service settings

Service climate in knowledge-intensive, internal service settings PurposeThis study aims to extend service climate research from its existing focus on routine service for external clients into a knowledge-intensive, internal (KII) service setting. This extension was important because internal knowledge workers may operate from a monopolistic perspective and not view themselves as service providers because of the technical/professional nature of their work.Design/methodology/approachTwo surveys were distributed in participating organizations. One survey, completed by employees in information technology (IT) service units, contains measures of service climate, climate antecedents and technical competence. The second survey, filled out by members of their corporate customer units, taps their evaluations of service quality.FindingsService climate in IT service units significantly predicted service evaluations by their respective customer units. Importantly, service climate was more predictive than IT service employees’ technical competency. Role ambiguity, empowerment and work facilitation were also found to be significant service climate antecedents.Research limitations/implicationsThese results provided strong empirical evidence supporting an extension of the existing service climate research to KII service settings. To the extent that front-line service employees rely on internal support to deliver quality service to external customers, managers should work to enhance the service climate in internal support units, which ultimately improves external service quality.Originality/valueThis is the first study that establishes the robustness of the service climate construct in KII service settings. It makes service climate a useful managerial tool for improving both internal and external service quality. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png international Journal of Quality and Service Sciences Emerald Publishing

Service climate in knowledge-intensive, internal service settings

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © Emerald Group Publishing Limited
ISSN
1756-669X
DOI
10.1108/IJQSS-11-2015-0071
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

PurposeThis study aims to extend service climate research from its existing focus on routine service for external clients into a knowledge-intensive, internal (KII) service setting. This extension was important because internal knowledge workers may operate from a monopolistic perspective and not view themselves as service providers because of the technical/professional nature of their work.Design/methodology/approachTwo surveys were distributed in participating organizations. One survey, completed by employees in information technology (IT) service units, contains measures of service climate, climate antecedents and technical competence. The second survey, filled out by members of their corporate customer units, taps their evaluations of service quality.FindingsService climate in IT service units significantly predicted service evaluations by their respective customer units. Importantly, service climate was more predictive than IT service employees’ technical competency. Role ambiguity, empowerment and work facilitation were also found to be significant service climate antecedents.Research limitations/implicationsThese results provided strong empirical evidence supporting an extension of the existing service climate research to KII service settings. To the extent that front-line service employees rely on internal support to deliver quality service to external customers, managers should work to enhance the service climate in internal support units, which ultimately improves external service quality.Originality/valueThis is the first study that establishes the robustness of the service climate construct in KII service settings. It makes service climate a useful managerial tool for improving both internal and external service quality.

Journal

international Journal of Quality and Service SciencesEmerald Publishing

Published: Nov 21, 2016

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