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Servant leadership and perceptions of service quality provided by front-line service workers in hotels in Turkey: Achieving competitive advantage

Mustafa Koyuncu (Faculty of Tourism, Canakkale Onsekizmart University, Canakkale, Turkey)
Ronald J. Burke (Schulich School of Business, York University, Toronto, Canada)
Marina Astakhova (Department of Management and Marketing, University of Texas, Tyler, Texas, USA)
Duygu Eren (Faculty of Tourism, Nevsehir University, Nevsehir, Turkey)
Hayrullah Cetin (Faculty of Tourism, Nevsehir University, Nevsehir, Turkey)

International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management

ISSN: 0959-6119

Article publication date: 7 October 2014

3592

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this article is to examine the relationship of service employees perceptions of servant leadership provided by their supervisors/managers and employee’s reports of service quality provided to clients by their hotels.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were collected from 221 frontline employees, a 37 per cent response rate, working in four- and five-star hotels in Cappadocia, Turkey. Previously developed and validated measures of servant leadership (Liden et al., 2008) and service quality (Parasuraman et al., 1988) were used and both were found to be highly reliable in this study.

Findings

Respondents were generally young, had relatively short organizational tenure and had high school educations. Respondents having longer organizational tenures and those working in five-star hotels reported lower levels of servant leadership. Longer tenured employees, and males, rated some dimensions of service quality lower as well. Service employees reporting higher levels of servant leadership from their supervisors/managers generally indicated higher levels of service quality.

Research limitations/implications

Some limitations should be noted. First, all data were collected using respondent self-reports, raising the limited possibility of response set tendencies. Second, the sample, while reasonably large, may not be representative of all hotel employees in Turkey. Third, all properties were located in one region of Turkey and may not be representative of hotel employees in other regions of the country.

Practical implications

First, organizations could select individuals exhibiting higher levels of servant leadership potential based on indications that these individuals are interested in developing long-term relationships with staff and co-workers and in helping them become more skilled in doing their jobs. Selection can also be augmented by servant leadership training (Fulmer and Conger, 2004). Supervisors/managers could be coached to help them develop their staff and help them meet their unique goals (Raelin, 2003). Finally, workplace cultural value supportive of both servant leadership and service quality can be identified, modeled by senior level managers, supported and rewarded.

Originality/value

Most studies focus on defining and measuring servant leadership or service quality. This study investigates the relationship between servant leadership and service quality.

Keywords

Citation

Koyuncu, M., J. Burke, R., Astakhova, M., Eren, D. and Cetin, H. (2014), "Servant leadership and perceptions of service quality provided by front-line service workers in hotels in Turkey: Achieving competitive advantage", International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, Vol. 26 No. 7, pp. 1083-1099. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJCHM-06-2013-0238

Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2014, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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