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Achieving long‐term customer satisfaction through organizational culture: Evidence from the health care sector

Victoria Bellou (University of Macedonia, Thessaloniki, Greece)

Managing Service Quality: An International Journal

ISSN: 0960-4529

Article publication date: 11 September 2007

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Abstract

Purpose

Customer satisfaction is becoming increasingly important for organisational survival, let alone prosperity. In this context, this study seeks to examine the impact of cultural dimensions on the customer service orientation of employees and recognize potential variations between the perceptions of managerial and non‐managerial employees regarding the aforementioned relationship.

Design/methodology/approach

The study took place in 20 Greek public hospitals, where 749 usable questionnaires were gathered from front‐line employees. The questionnaire responses were analysed using descriptive statistics, t‐tests, and regression analyses.

Findings

Findings provide insight into the perceptions of front‐line employees regarding the effect that organisational culture dimensions have on customer service orientation. Some effects were uniform for all employees, while others varied depending upon the position occupied by the employee. Other than aggressiveness, decisiveness, and innovativeness that affect all employees, eagerness to identify and fulfil customer needs is influenced by age and tenure in the case of managers whereas it is affected by emphasis on rewards and outcome orientation in the case of non‐managers.

Research limitations/implications

Owing to the fact that all variables depict employees' perceptions, common method variance is likely to exist. Moreover, the strength of cultural traits was not taken into consideration.

Practical implications

Developing a culture which fosters customer satisfaction can provide a competitive advantage to the organisation. It is, thus, critical for organisational agents not only to have a clear view of the existing culture but also to shape it in such a way that emphasizes customers' needs and priorities.

Originality/value

This is one of the first comparisons between managers and non‐managers, regarding customer service orientation antecedents, and it suggests that convincing all employees to put customer needs first requires different approaches in different segments of the workforce.

Keywords

Citation

Bellou, V. (2007), "Achieving long‐term customer satisfaction through organizational culture: Evidence from the health care sector", Managing Service Quality: An International Journal, Vol. 17 No. 5, pp. 510-522. https://doi.org/10.1108/09604520710817334

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2007, Emerald Group Publishing Limited