Why and When do Stores With Satisfied Employees Have Satisfied Customers?

Alicia A. Grandey, Pennsylvania State University, Lori S. Goldberg, Personnel Decisions International, Inc., and S. Douglas Pugh, Virginia Commonwealth University, published “Why and When do Stores With Satisfied Employees Have Satisfied Customers?: The Roles of Responsiveness and Store Busyness” in the November 2011 issue of Journal of Service Research. To read the other articles in this issue, please click here.

Who is the target audience for this article?

We think that managers of retail and face-to-face service organizations will be interested, as well as researchers of the service linkages.

What inspired you to be interested in this topic?

The idea that satisfied employees leads to satisfied customers is a truism that is rarely questioned, but we found it interesting to question the conditions where that might be less true.

Were there findings that were surprising to you?

Though this relationships is a truism, we found that in stores that have higher sales volume, the level of employee satisfaction matters less for predicting responsive service and satisfied customers.  We argue that the busyness of the store environment constrains the satisfied employee to express his or her positive attitude and motivated behaviors (speed of response to help customers).

How does this study fit into your body of work/line of research?

I study employee emotional labor and how it influences customers, and the moderators of these relationships, so it fits rather well.  My colleague Doug Pugh studies service linkages, so this study is really a direct intersection of or work.  Lori Goldberg has done consulting on developing service leaders, so the piece about service leadership as a predictor of employee satisfaction is directly linked to her work.

How did your paper change during the review process?

The JSR reviewers were extremely positive about the paper, and so the paper did not change drastically. We appreciated their support of our work.

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