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Article
Publication date: 11 July 2016

Maria del Mar Pàmies, Gerard Ryan and Mireia Valverde

Waiting in services commonly reduces customer satisfaction and has a considerable and enduring negative effect on the overall evaluation of a service. Waiting may even…

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1235

Abstract

Purpose

Waiting in services commonly reduces customer satisfaction and has a considerable and enduring negative effect on the overall evaluation of a service. Waiting may even lead consumers to abandon a service or to avoid that service on future occasions. This paper aims to advance the understanding of the role played by culture in shaping the perceptions of waiting in services. In doing so, the study aims to demonstrate that solutions for managing waiting in services should be culturally appropriate.

Design/methodology/approach

This study uses in-depth interviews and consumer diaries. The sample includes expatriates from most continents living in Catalonia, Spain.

Findings

The study confirms existing theories on cultural differences in time orientations in a services marketing context. It uncovers a range of culture-bound rules of waiting and differences in cultural interpretations of what it means to wait and even whether waiting is occurring or not.

Practical implications

This study questions the applicability of some standard waiting solutions across cultural contexts. Companies that operate in different cultures should consider their approach to managing waiting times according to the cultural time orientations of their customer base. The cultural aspects of time-based service guarantees and time-rationing strategies are considered.

Originality/value

This paper takes an innovate approach to “uncovering” the implicit rules of waiting by asking expatriate consumers about their waiting experiences while living abroad. Expatriates are in a unique position to identify these differences, as they have a cultural point of comparison with their home countries.

Details

Journal of Services Marketing, vol. 30 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0887-6045

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Article
Publication date: 12 September 2016

Dorina Chicu, Mireia Valverde, Gerard Ryan and Rosemary Batt

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the explanatory power of the service-profit chain (SPC) model in a context that differs from its original conception. The…

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1604

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the explanatory power of the service-profit chain (SPC) model in a context that differs from its original conception. The authors do so by considering whether the main relationships it proposes apply in the context of call centre services, characterised by remote services and cost cutting business models.

Design/methodology/approach

The data were gathered from a survey of call centre management with a sample of 937 call centres from 14 countries. The analysis was carried out using structural equation modelling.

Findings

Findings reveal that the SPC model behaves somewhat differently in call centres. Although there is general support for most of the links in the model, the results indicate that customer satisfaction in the call centre industry is a separate outcome, rather than a precursor to company performance.

Research limitations/implications

As is common in most research of this type, the present study is based on cross-sectional data.

Practical implications

Managers would be well advised to keep in mind that even minimum investments in human capital can make a difference in customer satisfaction and company results.

Originality/value

This is the first study to examine the main links in the SPC in non-traditional, non-face-to-face services. It demonstrates that the basic logic of the model is upheld, thus providing evidence that the boundaries of the SPC model may be further pushed in line with the peculiarities of the evolving service economy. Also, the authors make a methodological contribution by proposing a series of organisational level proxies for measuring elements of the chain that are typically assessed using individual level data that is expensive to gather.

Details

Journal of Service Theory and Practice, vol. 26 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2055-6225

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Article
Publication date: 10 October 2016

Yury Ustrov, Mireia Valverde and Gerard Ryan

This paper aims to draw attention to the need for a nuanced view of the emotional contagion framework. It proposes and empirically tests a refined model of emotional…

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1860

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to draw attention to the need for a nuanced view of the emotional contagion framework. It proposes and empirically tests a refined model of emotional contagion and its effects in the hotel sector by focusing on the front-desk service encounter interactions.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were collected from three separate groups of paired informants: receptionists, hotel customers and interaction observers. The sample included 573 full customer service interactions in 47 hotels in Catalonia. The model was tested with structural equation modelling.

Findings

Emotional contagion has specific mechanisms at the hotel front-desk. No relationship was found between receptionists’ inner mood and their outwardly displayed emotions. Yet, receptionists’ displayed emotions enhance customer mood, and, largely, customer satisfaction. Ultimately, this affects customer behavioural intentions. It was also discovered that guests are able to clearly distinguish between their satisfaction with the specific service encounter at the front desk and the overall satisfaction with the hotel stay. The positive effects of employees’ displayed emotions are of particular importance in lower-star hotels and are less important at the high end. Perceived training opportunities have a positive effect on customer satisfaction and improve the employee-displayed emotion.

Research limitations/implications

Researchers should examine employee outcomes that are more stable than mood, but may enhance or be related to the effective display of emotions at the front desk, such as employee satisfaction and commitment. In general, emotions and behaviours of employees and consumers should be further examined in other services across the hospitality industry, in different cultural contexts and in terms of their impact on company performance. Researchers should heed the precise type of mechanism that takes place in each service context.

Practical implications

The hotel management should focus their efforts on ensuring positive emotional performance, regardless of employees’ inner mood. Managers should carefully interpret differentiated results according to whether they have been drawn from overall satisfaction or customer service interaction surveys. The training provision is of particular importance in lower-star hotels, where customer outcomes depend more on employee-displayed emotion.

Originality/value

This study empirically corroborates that customer outcomes of front-desk services are linked to receptionists’ displayed emotions, and not to employees’ feelings. Onsite data collection, multiple-informant approach, paired dyads and structural equation modelling hold a great potential for study designs that seek insights into interpersonal phenomena in hospitality services research.

Details

International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, vol. 28 no. 10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-6119

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Article
Publication date: 1 August 2003

Gerard Ryan and Mireia Valverde

Although waiting on the Internet is widely recognised as a crucial factor in the evolution of e‐commerce and the Internet in general, it is not a widespread topic of…

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1592

Abstract

Although waiting on the Internet is widely recognised as a crucial factor in the evolution of e‐commerce and the Internet in general, it is not a widespread topic of research. This article identifies and reviews 21 papers based on 13 separate empirical studies on waiting on the Internet. The literature draws from the areas of marketing, system response time studies and quality of service studies. Having reviewed the existing literature, this article proposes an agenda for future research. Recommendations are made to extend the range of research methodologies applied to this topic, to broaden the definition of waiting on the Internet to include other forms of online waiting, and to continue the interdisciplinary approach to research on online waiting.

Details

Internet Research, vol. 13 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1066-2243

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Article
Publication date: 1 November 2006

Mireia Valverde, Gerard Ryan and Ceferí Soler

Purpose – The purpose of the paper is to show that HRM is not the sole responsibility of HR departments, but also of other agents inside and outside the organisation, such…

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6351

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of the paper is to show that HRM is not the sole responsibility of HR departments, but also of other agents inside and outside the organisation, such as top and line managers, and external HRM service providers. This paper seeks to examine how organisations distribute HRM activities and responsibilities among these agents. The study attempts to classify organisations according to agent distribution and to explore whether a number of internal and external context characteristics affect this distribution. Design/methodology/approach – The survey in the paper shows the methodology chosen in order to collect and analyse factual data about the participation of different agents in HRM activities and the characteristics of the organisations and their context. The questionnaire obtained a valid sample of 231 Spanish companies. A multiple correspondence analysis approach was taken in order to cluster the organisations. Findings – The analysis of the data in this paper clearly produced seven groups, each involving organisations that allocated responsibilities to the various agents in a similar fashion. However, no common contextual characteristics were found among the companies in each of the seven categories. Research limitations/implications – The main limitations in the paper are related to the length of the questionnaire, the adequacy of the respondents related to the unit of observation; and the relative newness of the techniques used. Originality/value – The main contribution of the paper consists of the incorporation of existing partial areas of study in the field of HRM (roles of the HR department, devolution to line management, and outsourcing of the HR function) into an integrated study.

Details

Personnel Review, vol. 35 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0048-3486

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Article
Publication date: 1 April 2005

Gerard Ryan and Mireia Valverde

E‐consumers consistently complain that the internet is frustratingly slow. Most existing research on this phenomenon is based on the concept of “download delay”, that is…

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2781

Abstract

Purpose

E‐consumers consistently complain that the internet is frustratingly slow. Most existing research on this phenomenon is based on the concept of “download delay”, that is, the time required for a web page to fully download to the e‐consumer's computer screen. This paper reports on an exploratory study of the phenomenon of waiting for service on the internet with the intention of extending the narrow conceptualisation of the phenomenon of “download delay” to a more user‐based perspective of waiting on the internet.

Design/methodology/approach

The study is based on a qualitative research methodology. The research methods are seven asynchronous virtual focus groups involving 126 intensive internet users over 17 days and 92 participants who maintained personal diaries of waiting on the internet over a nine‐week period.

Findings

A new definition of waiting on the internet is proposed based on extensive virtual focus group research. Subsequently, 14 distinct types of internet waiting situations are identified based on the analysis of a total of 1,041 waiting situations as reported by the participants in the study.

Practical implications

A number of practical implications for various functional areas of the business are outlined. Conceptual and methodological contributions are also made.

Originality/value

The study is the first to present a broader conceptualisation of waiting on the internet from an e‐consumer perspective and based on empirical research. All previous research has been based on just one type of online waiting, i.e. waiting for web pages to download to the user's screen. This paper presents 13 “new” types of waiting situations on the internet.

Details

Internet Research, vol. 15 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1066-2243

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Article
Publication date: 10 April 2009

María Tatiana Gorjup, Mireia Valverde and Gerard Ryan

The purpose of this paper is to analyse the actual variability of job quality in Spanish call centers (CCs) and to examine the factors that determine the existence of…

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1339

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to analyse the actual variability of job quality in Spanish call centers (CCs) and to examine the factors that determine the existence of better quality jobs in this sector.

Design/methodology/approach

Data are collected via survey. The analysis takes place in two stages: First, a standardised index of job quality is generated; second, an ordinary least squares regression analysis is used to evaluate the extent to which the independent variables identified in the literature affect the degree of job quality in CCs.

Findings

There is considerable variability in the quality of jobs in Spanish CCs. This means that the sector cannot be stereotyped as providing either dead‐end or highly professionalized jobs.

Practical implications

Indeed, this variability depends on the type of management model in use and the participation of managers in professional associations/networks. No relationships are found between the strategy followed by the CC and the quality of jobs provided.

Originality/value

One of the main contributions of this paper is the index of job quality it proposes. For management and policy makers, the paper moves the discussion on the sector beyond the importance of CCs as a source of job creation, and considers the type of jobs that are being provided and under which conditions.

Details

Personnel Review, vol. 38 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0048-3486

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 2006

Rosalía Cascón‐Pereira, Mireia Valverde and Gerard Ryan

Few definitions in the HRM literature have reached as much consensus as the term “devolution”. However, devolution is a phenomenon that has been defined from the…

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3045

Abstract

Purpose

Few definitions in the HRM literature have reached as much consensus as the term “devolution”. However, devolution is a phenomenon that has been defined from the perspective of HRM specialists, with little or no contribution from middle managers. This paper seeks to explore what is behind the commonly shared definition of devolution, by examining not only the actual tasks that are being devolved, but also by trying to establish different degrees of devolution according to a number of dimensions.

Design/methodology/approach

An approach that facilitated the exploration of the extent of devolution and impact on middle managers' perceptions was required. A qualitative approach was adopted. Specifically, a case study of a hospital in Spain was undertaken. The research methods included in‐depth interviews, participant observation and internal documentation.

Findings

The findings emphasize the importance of reflecting on the reality and the rhetoric of devolution. The results indicate that it is worthwhile to break down the concept of devolution into dimensions (tasks and responsibilities, decision‐making power, financial power and expertise power) and to specify what dimensions are devolved.

Practical implications

There is a clear difference between the rhetoric of devolution and what actually happens in practice. In order to distinguish between those organisations that go beyond the rhetoric of devolution, it is important to differentiate between the devolution of tasks and the devolution of decision‐making power and autonomy in order to undertake these tasks. This differentiation facilitates the identification of those companies which display superficial levels of devolution and take steps to advance the process.

Originality/value

This paper questions the traditional definition of devolution. It proposes a new definition of devolution based on the identification of various dimensions and incorporates the perspectives of all the actors involved in the process.

Details

Journal of European Industrial Training, vol. 30 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0590

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Article
Publication date: 25 January 2008

María Tatiana Gorjup, Mireia Valverde and Gerard Ryan

The purpose of this paper is to examine the quality of jobs in call centres by focusing on the opportunities for promotion in this sector. More specifically, the research…

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4008

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the quality of jobs in call centres by focusing on the opportunities for promotion in this sector. More specifically, the research questions focus on discovering whether promotion is common practise in the call centre sector and on identifying the factors that affect this.

Design/methodology/approach

A survey questionnaire was administered to call centre directors or their human resource managers. A least square regression analysis was carried out to examine how training, job security and knowledge about employees' abilities, affect the use of promotion in call centres, as well as three structural variables of the organisations: size, being part of a larger organisation and whether the call centre was in‐house or outsourced.

Findings

The results suggest a limited use of promotion and the absence of consolidated internal labour markets in this sector. Nevertheless, a diverse range of call centres exists in terms of the use of promotion. The analysis identifies structural and managerial variables that identify where promotion is likely to be employed more intensively in call centres.

Research limitations/implications

The main limitation of the paper is related to the variables used to examine training. An important implication of the results for managers is the suggestion to employ promotion policies with other human resource management practices.

Originality/value

The main contribution of this paper is the finding that the use of promotion has been determined by structural factors and other management practices. Therefore, call centre managers are encouraged to establish these practices in order to subsequently facilitate the use of promotion.

Details

Journal of European Industrial Training, vol. 32 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0590

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 8 February 2016

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0

Abstract

Details

Journal of Managerial Psychology, vol. 31 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0268-3946

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