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Frontline employee empowerment and perceived customer satisfaction

Teresa Proenca (Faculty of Economics, CEF.UP, University of Porto, Porto, Portugal)
Ana Torres (Department of Business and Management, Instituto Politecnico de Viana do Castelo Escola Superior de Ciencias Empresariais, Valenca, Portugal)
Ana Sofia Sampaio (Faculty of Economics, University of Porto, Porto, Portugal)

Management Research

ISSN: 1536-5433

Article publication date: 19 June 2017




The purpose of this paper is to examine the influence of structural empowerment, psychological empowerment and intrinsic motivation on perceived customer satisfaction in contact centers.


A questionnaire was conducted among 703 employees of a contact center. Data analysis was based on structural equation modeling.


Structural empowerment results in higher levels of perceived customer satisfaction through psychological empowerment and intrinsic motivation. Furthermore, structural empowerment effect on psychological empowerment is mediated by intrinsic motivation.

Practical implications

Previous predictions regarding counterproductive impact of empowerment in a low-service heterogeneity sector, such as contact center are challenged and a transformative message is disclosed in what concerns human resource management (HRM) in contact centers.


The research provides valuable insights for both scholars and practitioners regarding the process through which employees’ psychological empowerment and intrinsic motivation improves customer satisfaction in the context of contact centers.



Proenca, T., Torres, A. and Sampaio, A.S. (2017), "Frontline employee empowerment and perceived customer satisfaction", Management Research, Vol. 15 No. 2, pp. 187-206.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

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