“The Role and Effect of Job Satisfaction and Empowerment On Customers’ Perception of Service Quality: a Study in the Restaurant Industry,” published by Gabriel Gazzoli, César Ritz Colleges Switzerland, Murat Hancer and Yumi Park, Oklahoma State University, was the most read article in the Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Research in 2010. Professor Gazzoli kindly provided his thoughts concerning the article.
The idea behind this research was born during my master studies at Oklahoma State University, when I was required to write a proposal for my research methods course. I’ve always been interested in organizational behavior and marketing topics, and my proposal focused on the OB-marketing link. The paper started to become reality when I met a restaurant developer who was visiting the department to speak with undergraduate students about management operations in the restaurant industry. I discovered during his presentation that he wanted to do applied research to find out the perceptions of his employees about the working conditions within his restaurants as well as customers’ perceptions of service quality. Since his research aims matched very well with the proposal I had recently written, I presented him my study ideas which he embraced right away. I then invited Associate Professor Murat Hancer and a doctoral student Yumi Park to join the project.
From the very beginning we worked really close with the restaurant managers from each outlet to finalize the research methodology. Several conference calls took place in order for us to clarify any issues related to the study: from the development of the measures to data collection procedures, ethical issues, and so on. Given the strong practical implications portrayed in the article, we’d like to think that this paper applies to both HRM and Marketing practitioners and academics.
The experience of conducting this research was very fulfilling, especially for me who was new to the “research world”. Besides working very closely with industry practitioners, I learned a lot from the review process. Although several reviews were required to get this paper published, the editor, reviewers and other faculty members within the School of Hotel & Restaurant Administration at Oklahoma State University were very supportive by providing us the necessary intellectual guidance to get this study published at JHTR. Through this research, we hope that more academics consider an employee-customer research approach within the same evaluation context. By separating employee surveys from customer surveys, academics and industry miss out the opportunity to investigate the important relationships existent in the perceptions and attitudes of employees and customers.