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Service climate, employee commitment and customer satisfaction: Evidence from the hospitality industry in China

Yuanqiong He (School of Management, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, Hubei, China)
Wenli Li (Shenzhen Tourism College, Jinan University, Shenzhen, China)
Kin Keung Lai (City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong)

International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management

ISSN: 0959-6119

Article publication date: 12 July 2011

Abstract

Purpose

This study attempts to contribute to the knowledge of how service climate improves customer satisfaction in the hospitality industry based on evidence from mainland China. It considers different dimensions of service climate separately, including customer orientation, managerial support and work facilitation, and introduces an important mediator – employee commitment – to examine the relationship between service climate and customer satisfaction.

Design/methodology/approach

A theoretical framework is proposed to suggest links among the three dimensions of service climate, employee commitment and customer satisfaction. A structured questionnaire was developed to collect data from employees in the hospitality industry of China. The constructs were measured by using established scales. Structural equation modeling was used to examine the theoretical hypotheses.

Findings

Empirical results indicate that different dimensions of service climate have different effects on customer satisfaction. For instance, customer orientation, as one dimension of service climate, has a direct and positive influence on customer satisfaction, while two other dimensions of service climate, managerial support and work facilitation, have indirect positive influence on customer satisfaction, through improving employee commitment.

Practical implications

The results indicate that managers should create customer orientation in hotels, including clarifying the value of providing customers with high quality service, and developing a system of emphasizing the importance of customer feedback. Meanwhile, managers need to pay attention to two neglected components of service climate, managerial support and work facilitation, rather than focusing on physical infrastructure only.

Originality/value

This paper makes an important empirical contribution by treating various dimensions of service climate separately, and exploring their relationships with customer satisfaction by introducing a mediator, employee commitment. The results indicate that various dimensions of service climate play different roles in improving customer satisfaction. This study contributes to the theories of service climate and customer satisfaction.

Keywords

Citation

He, Y., Li, W. and Keung Lai, K. (2011), "Service climate, employee commitment and customer satisfaction: Evidence from the hospitality industry in China", International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, Vol. 23 No. 5, pp. 592-607. https://doi.org/10.1108/09596111111143359

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited