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The relationship between employee satisfaction and customer satisfaction

Hoseong Jeon (Hallym University, Chuncheon, Korea)
Beomjoon Choi (California State University, Sacramento, California, USA)

Journal of Services Marketing

ISSN: 0887-6045

Article publication date: 27 July 2012




This study aims to examine whether the relationship between employee satisfaction (ES) and customer satisfaction (CS) is bilateral or unilateral based on dyadic data. In addition, it seeks to examine the role of moderating variables which have incremental impacts on this link.


The authors conducted an empirical test on this relationship in an educational service context. Structural equation modeling was employed to test the hypotheses.


Results indicate that employee satisfaction leads to CS but CS did not affect ES, which suggests that the relationship between ES and CS is unilateral rather than bilateral. The findings also demonstrate that the dispositional variables (i.e. self efficacy, cooperative orientation) moderate the impact of ES on CS.

Research limitations/implications

This study provided theoretical implications for the ES‐CS relationship.

Practical implications

This finding suggests that top level management in the service industry must take an active role in recruiting employees who are confident in their abilities and who display pro‐social dispositions.


The linkage between ES and CS has been previously examined but the findings have been inconsistent. The authors used dyadic data to investigate the relationship between ES and CS and found the influence of ES on CS but not vice versa.



Jeon, H. and Choi, B. (2012), "The relationship between employee satisfaction and customer satisfaction", Journal of Services Marketing, Vol. 26 No. 5, pp. 332-341.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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