Work Environment

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International Journal of Business and Social Science

Vol. 2 No. 20; November 2011

Work Environment, Service Climate, and Customer Satisfaction: Examining Theoretical and Empirical Connections
Padmakumar Ram
Director of Experiential Education & Associate Professor, School of Management, New York Institute of Technology
Sixth circle - Zahran Street, P.O. Box 840878, Amman 11184 Jordan

Swapna Bhargavi . G
Research Scholar
Sri KrishnaDevaraya Institute of Management
Sri KrishnaDevaraya University
Ananatapur 515004, India

Gantasala V. Prabhakar
Department Assessment Director & Assistant Professor, School of Management, New York Institute of Technology
Sixth circle - Zahran Street, P.O. Box 840878, Amman 11184 Jordan

Abstract
The main objective of this exploratory study was to examine the relationships among service climate, employee job satisfaction, employee engagement, and customer satisfaction. Structured questionnaires were given to senior employees of selected retail service organizations in India. A total of 369 usable questionnaires were analyzed and the findings indicate that work environment influences service climate, which in turn influences employee job satisfaction, employee engagement, and customer satisfaction. The interactional relationship between Service climate and Job Satisfaction, Service climate and Employee Engagement, Employee Engagement and Job Satisfaction, Job Satisfaction and Customer Satisfaction, Service climate and Customer Satisfaction were proved using hierarchical regression and other statistical tools. Implications and directions for future research are a lso discussed.

Key Words: Work environment, Service climate, employee job satisfaction, employee engagement and customer satisfaction
INTRODUCTION

For organizations in the service industry, the most appropriate criterion for organizational performance i s customer satisfaction (Schneider& Chung, 1994). Very few studies exist that evaluate climate for service components against a criterion of customer satisfaction. The objective of this study is to evaluate the effectiveness of proper work environment practices and conditions associated with a service climate, and by determining the relationships between service climate components and customer satisfaction in a large retail organization. Delivering and sustaining service excellence can be essentially the key competitive advantage for many organizations (Albrecht and Zemke, 2001). Service researchers and practitioners also specifically recognize that service climate will lead to increased job satisfaction (e.g. Schneider, 1980; Johnston, 2004). Organizational work environment which favors a service climate can lead to behaviors and attitudes in employees which in turn in higher value and better results (e.g. Deshpandé et al., 1993; Lytle and Timmerman, 2006; Walker, 2007). REVIEW OF LITERATURE

Review of service quality literature shows that there is a need for organizations to create and maintain a climate for service in order for employees to effectively deliver excellent service (Schneider, 1990; Schneider & Bowen, 1995). In the case of service climate, the criterion is customer satisfaction (Schneider & Chung, 1994). Employees are more likely to deliver excellent service to customers when the organization expects and rewards such behavior and establishes practices that facilitate service delivery (Schneider, Wheeler, & Cox, 1992). Even though there is much discussion on this topic, there is very little research investigating the effectiveness of management practices designed to enhance service delivery.

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Organizational Variables
Link between the Work Environment and Climate for Service
Burke, Borucki, and Hurley (1992) showed that employees 'perceptions of their work environment could be modeled in terms of two factors: a concern for employees and a concern for customers. However, these...
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