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Does a retailer’s charisma matter? A study of frontline employee perceptions of charisma in the retail setting

Arto Lindblom (Department of Marketing, Aalto University School of Business, Helsinki, Finland)
Sami Kajalo (Department of Marketing, Aalto University School of Business, Helsinki, Finland)
Lasse Mitronen (Department of Marketing, Aalto University School of Business, Helsinki, Finland)

Journal of Services Marketing

ISSN: 0887-6045

Article publication date: 9 May 2016

Abstract

Purpose

In today’s retail environment, retailers’ leadership skills can make the difference between the success and failure of their retail stores. Despite the acknowledgment that retailers’ leadership skills and behaviour are important, treatment of the topic within the retail marketing and management literatures is still very limited. Against this backdrop, this paper aims to focus on the relationship between the retailers’ charismatic leadership and frontline employee outcomes.

Design/methodology/approach

For the purpose of this study, the authors develop hypotheses about the influence of the retailers’ charismatic leadership on frontline employee job satisfaction, self-efficacy, organizational identification and turnover intentions. Using structural equation modelling, hypotheses are tested using a sample of 208 frontline employees from the Finnish retail industry.

Findings

As a first main contribution, the findings of this study indicate that charismatic leadership has a very strong positive impact on job satisfaction. As a second contribution, this study shows that there is strong positive link between charismatic leadership and the self-efficacy of frontline employees. As a third contribution, this study indicates that charismatic leadership is positively related to organizational identification. And finally, this study indicates that charismatic leadership has a very strong negative impact on employee turnover intentions.

Originality/value

This study contributes to retail management and services marketing literature by broadening the current understanding of the leadership behaviour of retailers and its effectiveness and demonstrating how frontline employees respond to charismatic leadership in the retail setting.

Keywords

Citation

Lindblom, A., Kajalo, S. and Mitronen, L. (2016), "Does a retailer’s charisma matter? A study of frontline employee perceptions of charisma in the retail setting", Journal of Services Marketing, Vol. 30 No. 3, pp. 266-276. https://doi.org/10.1108/JSM-05-2015-0160

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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