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

Does transformational leadership always matter in frontline service roles?

Keo Mony Sok (Department of Management and Marketing, Swinburne University of Technology, Hawthorn, Australia)
Phyra Sok (Department of Marketing, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia)
Lan Snell (Faculty of Business and Economics, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia)
Pingping Qiu (Department of Marketing, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia)

Journal of Service Theory and Practice

ISSN: 2055-6225

Article publication date: 7 November 2018

Issue publication date: 14 November 2018

821

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the role of frontline service employees (FSEs) motivation (enjoyment of work and driven to work) and ability (customer service ability) in the relationship between TFL and employee service performance.

Design/methodology/approach

This is a survey-based study which involves 534 FSEs and 135 supervisors in a hair salon setting. Hierarchical regression analysis was used to test the proposed hypotheses.

Findings

Results show that TFL is significantly related to employee service performance; this relationship is enhanced with the presence of driven to work; yet, it is neutralized with the presence of enjoyment of work. Further, the three-way interaction of TFL, enjoyment of work and customer service ability as well as TFL driven to work, and customer service ability are negatively associated with employee service performance.

Practical implications

The results advance service managers’ understanding of the importance of FSEs motivation and ability if they are to fully reap the benefits from their FSEs. The role of leader is not always effective in all situations. FSEs with high level of enjoyment of work and customer service ability would least rely on the guidance and support from the supervisors.

Originality/value

This research is one of the first to examine the role of subordinate’s characteristics (motivation – enjoyment of work and driven to work and ability – customer service ability) as the key moderators in the relationship between TFL and employee service performance.

Keywords

Citation

Sok, K.M., Sok, P., Snell, L. and Qiu, P. (2018), "Does transformational leadership always matter in frontline service roles?", Journal of Service Theory and Practice, Vol. 28 No. 6, pp. 733-751. https://doi.org/10.1108/JSTP-03-2018-0053

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited

Related articles