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Exploring the relationship between service orientation, employee engagement and perceived leadership style: a study of managers in the private service sector organizations in India

Sapna Popli (IILM Institute for Higher Education AND International Management Institute, New Delhi, India)
Irfan A Rizvi (International Management institute (IMI), New Delhi, India)

Journal of Services Marketing

ISSN: 0887-6045

Publication date: 9 February 2015

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this paper is to explore the relationship between leadership, employee engagement and service orientation, specific to the private service sector organizations in India. The paper also explores the ability of leadership style and engagement to predict service orientation in the given cross section.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper has used a single cross-sectional descriptive design. Purposive sampling has been used to identify respondents who are managers in the private service sector organisations in India. A valid sample size of 106 has been used for the analysis. Instruments used for perceived leadership style are as follows: Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ-5X short form); Employee Engagement E3 (DDI) and Service Orientation (Frimpong and Wilson, 2012).

Findings

Service orientation is found to be strongly correlated to employee engagement and employee engagement is a strong predictor of service orientation. The other relationships which are significant and moderately correlated are that of transformational leadership and employee engagement and also of transformational leadership and service orientation.

Research limitations/implications

The study highlights the importance and significant role of leadership and employee engagement for higher service orientation in the given cross section. The mediating impact of employee engagement of the leadership style and service orientation relationship could be further explored through path analysis or structured equation modeling techniques.

Practical implications

The research emphasizes that organizations need to focus on employee engagement as much as they focus on customers. The differential advantage to organizations will come through the employees and their behaviors towards customers. Appropriate leadership styles that drive engagement and service-oriented behaviors can be fostered in organizations to drive service performance. The mediating impact of employee engagement of the leadership style and service orientation relationship could be further explored through path analysis or structured equation modeling techniques.

Originality/value

The research is focused in the private service sector organizations in India and data and results support the need to focus on employees for higher scores on customer parameters. The respondents are from a cross section of service organizations and, hence, emphasizing the interplay of the three variables across organizations. The paper supports the critical role of leadership and employees in creating a higher service orientation.

Keywords

Citation

Popli, S. and Rizvi, I.A. (2015), "Exploring the relationship between service orientation, employee engagement and perceived leadership style: a study of managers in the private service sector organizations in India", Journal of Services Marketing, Vol. 29 No. 1, pp. 59-70. https://doi.org/10.1108/JSM-06-2013-0151

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited