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An investigation into the antecedents of frontline service employee guardianship behaviours

Balkrushna Potdar (Tasmanian School of Business and Economics, University of Tasmania, Newnham Campus, Launceston, Australia)
Tony Garry (Department of Executive Programmes, Otago Business School, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand)
Juergen Gnoth (Department of Marketing, Otago Business School, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand)
John Guthrie (Department of Marketing, Otago Business School, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand)

Journal of Service Theory and Practice

ISSN: 2055-6225

Article publication date: 4 March 2021

Issue publication date: 20 April 2021

258

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to provide empirically generated insights into the drivers of guardianship behaviour among frontline service employees (FLEs) within retail settings.

Design/methodology/approach

The research framework comprises a quantitative survey of 507 frontline service employees at national supermarkets within New Zealand.

Findings

The findings of the survey suggest that service employee perceptions of internal corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities, their level of psychological ownership towards the supermarket and personal moral beliefs, shape their guardianship behaviours and, consequentially, the prevention of in-store deviant behaviours by customers such as shoplifting.

Originality/value

The contribution of this paper is twofold. First, it offers both a conceptual foundation and an empirical-based evaluation of the antecedents and role of guardianship behaviour among frontline service employees. Second, the conceptual model derived from this research may aid practitioners in developing strategies that engender guardianship behaviours in their employees within service contexts.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank the anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments and excellent reviews on the different versions of this manuscript.

Citation

Potdar, B., Garry, T., Gnoth, J. and Guthrie, J. (2021), "An investigation into the antecedents of frontline service employee guardianship behaviours", Journal of Service Theory and Practice, Vol. 31 No. 3, pp. 450-467. https://doi.org/10.1108/JSTP-06-2020-0124

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited

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