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Examining customer-oriented positive deviance intentions of retail employees

Syed Muhammad Fazel-e-Hasan (Business School, University of New England, Armidale, Australia)
Gary Mortimer (Department of Advertising, Marketing and Public Relations, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia)
Ian Lings (Department of Advertising, Marketing and Public Relations, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia)
Judy Drennan (Department of Advertising, Marketing and Public Relations, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia)

International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management

ISSN: 0959-0552

Article publication date: 17 July 2019

Issue publication date: 7 August 2019

Abstract

Purpose

Occasionally, retail employees “break the rules” in order to help customers. Currently, there is little research on the mechanisms by which a sales assistants’ positive deviance intentions help them attain specific personal and organisational goals. The purpose of this paper is to examine one mechanism, hope, which develops employees’ deviance intentions to provide benefits to the customer, themselves and the organisation.

Design/methodology/approach

A survey captured responses from 270 frontline employees from the retail and services sector. AMOS 23 was used to conduct measurement, path and mediation analyses.

Findings

This study highlights the role of employee hope in developing employees’ positive deviance intentions, and improving perceptions of organisational performance. Results demonstrate that the direct positive impact of hope on positive deviance intention was significant. Furthermore, positive deviance intention was found to positively impact employee goal attainment and perceived organisational performance. The authors’ employee hope model offers a better understanding of positive outcomes of employee deviance, suggesting that retail managers should invest resources to build strong employee–organisation relationships.

Originality/value

This is the first study to empirically demonstrate that employee hope can explain how customer-oriented positive deviance intentions help employee goal attainment and improve their perceptions of organisational performance.

Keywords

Citation

Fazel-e-Hasan, S.M., Mortimer, G., Lings, I. and Drennan, J. (2019), "Examining customer-oriented positive deviance intentions of retail employees", International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, Vol. 47 No. 8, pp. 836-854. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJRDM-10-2018-0235

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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