Customer orientation of service employees

Thorsten Hennig‐Thurau (Department of Media, Bauhaus‐University of Weimar, Weimar, Germany)

International Journal of Service Industry Management

ISSN: 0956-4233

Publication date: 1 December 2004


With the performance of service personnel often constituting a major element of a service per se, the customer orientation of service personnel is often regarded as a main determinant of service firms' success. Drawing on a deductively derived four‐dimensional conceptualization of the customer orientation of service personnel, consisting of employees' technical skills, social skills, motivation, and decision‐making power, a model of the impact employees' customer orientation has on key service marketing constructs is theoretically developed. The model is then empirically tested against a sample of 989 consumers for two service contexts (i.e. book/CD/DVD retailers and travel agencies), with the results providing support for most hypotheses. Implications of the findings for services and retail management are discussed.



Hennig‐Thurau, T. (2004), "Customer orientation of service employees", International Journal of Service Industry Management, Vol. 15 No. 5, pp. 460-478.

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Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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