To read this content please select one of the options below:

An organizational behavior/human resource management perspective on the roles of people in a service organization context: frameworks and themes

David E. Bowen (Thunderbird School of Global Management, Arizona State University, Phoenix, Arizona, USA)

Journal of Service Management

ISSN: 1757-5818

Article publication date: 8 January 2024

Issue publication date: 11 January 2024

620

Abstract

Purpose

This article overviews some key contributions to service research from the organizational behavior/human resource management (OB/HRM) discipline with its strong focus on the role of employees. This focus complements the Marketing discipline’s heavy emphasis on customers, largely true of service research, overall.

Design/methodology/approach

Ten OB/HRM frameworks/perspectives are applied to analyzing the roles of people (with a focus on employees and modest consideration of customers as “partial” employees who co-create value) in a service organization context. Also, commentary is offered on how the frameworks relate to six key themes in contemporary service research and/or practice. The article concludes with five reflections on the role and status of employees in service research—past, present and future.

Findings

Employee roles in evolving service contexts; participation role readiness of both employees and customers; role stress in participating customers; an employee “empowered state of mind”; an emphasis on internal service quality; “strong” HRM systems link individual HRM practices to firm performance; service-profit chain with links to well-being of employees and customers; a sociotechnical system theory lens on organizational frontlines (OF); service climate as an exemplar of interdisciplinary research; emotional labor in both employees and customers; the Human Experience (HX); specification of employee experience (EX).

Originality/value

Service remains very much about people who still guide organizational design, develop service strategy, place new service technologies and even still serve customers. Also, a people and organization-based competitive advantage is tough to copy, thus possessing sustainability, unlike with imitable technology.

Keywords

Citation

Bowen, D.E. (2024), "An organizational behavior/human resource management perspective on the roles of people in a service organization context: frameworks and themes", Journal of Service Management, Vol. 35 No. 1, pp. 1-21. https://doi.org/10.1108/JOSM-10-2023-0424

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2023, Emerald Publishing Limited

Related articles