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Mediating roles of frontline employees in transformative service processes

Ane Bast (Inland School of Business and Social Sciences, Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences, Lillehammer, Norway)
Marit Engen (Inland School of Business and Social Sciences, Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences, Lillehammer, Norway)
Maria Røhnebæk (Inland School of Business and Social Sciences, Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences, Lillehammer, Norway)

Journal of Services Marketing

ISSN: 0887-6045

Article publication date: 28 February 2024

167

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to explore the role of frontline employees (FLEs) as mediators in transformative service processes within services targeting vulnerable users.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper is based on a case study of the development and implementation of a dementia village, and the data consist of documents, in-depth interviews and field observations.

Findings

The analysis identifies FLEs as mediators in six different roles. These roles highlight how FLEs perform as mediators, acting in between and for vulnerable users and thus supporting their well-being. Specifically, the roles explicate the mediating role of FLEs in the design and planning of transformative changes and in daily work practices.

Practical implications

The different mediating roles of FLEs presented here should inform care providers and managers of how employees can become assets for supporting vulnerable users’ well-being during the design and planning stages of transformative change and through daily service work.

Originality/value

This paper offers novel insights into the multifaceted roles of FLEs in transformative services. The findings add to the current debate on mediation in transformative services and contribute to the literature by extending and refining the established conceptual and empirical understandings of the role of transformative service mediators in consumers’ well-being.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This work received funding from the Norwegian Research Council under grant number 282044.

Citation

Bast, A., Engen, M. and Røhnebæk, M. (2024), "Mediating roles of frontline employees in transformative service processes", Journal of Services Marketing, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/JSM-09-2023-0350

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2024, Emerald Publishing Limited

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