Service quality and turnover intentions as perceived by employees

Terje Slåtten (Lillehammer University College, Lillehammer, Norway)
Göran Svensson (Oslo School of Management, Oslo, Norway)
Sander Sværi (Oslo School of Management, Oslo, Norway)

Personnel Review

ISSN: 0048-3486

Publication date: 8 February 2011



The objective of this paper is to test a selection of hypothesized relationships between: employees' perceived service quality; employees' turnover intentions; role clarity; and empowerment and coaching.


Drawing from theory, this paper develops a set of hypothesized relationships. The data collection is based on a survey with a sample of 1,076 frontline employees in service organizations.


There are indications that employees' perceived service quality has a direct negative effect on employees' turnover intentions. The effect of empowerment, coaching, and role clarity on turnover intention appears to be mediated through employees' perceived service quality.

Research limitations/implications

This study is limited to a selection of variables related to employees' turnover intentions. Future research may focus on testing other variables that may be related to employees' turnover intentions.

Practical implications

This study stresses the importance for managers in service organizations to measure employees' perceived service quality. The results show that there are both direct and indirect relationships to employees' turnover intentions. The conclusion is that employees' perceived service quality is an important consideration with respect to employee‐turnover management.


This study has developed and tested a set of hypothesized relationships in the field of service management.



Slåtten, T., Svensson, G. and Sværi, S. (2011), "Service quality and turnover intentions as perceived by employees", Personnel Review, Vol. 40 No. 2, pp. 205-221.

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