Unit-level linkages between employee commitment to the organization, customer service delivery and customer satisfaction

Neil Conway, Rob B. Briner

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Service profit chain and service climate research identifies the importance of employee attitudes and employee service behavior as mediating between organizational practices and customer satisfaction. While the importance of employee attitudes and customer service performance are acknowledged, there are calls to more precisely specify proximal mediators between employee attitudes and customer satisfaction. We propose a model in which the relationship between unit-level organizational commitment and customer attitudes is not direct but mediated via employees’ customer service delivery including queuing time, serving time, and service quality. We conducted a longitudinal unit-level analysis (N = 39) aggregating employee (N over 893) organizational commitment and customer (N over 1248) satisfaction data, and customer service behavior drawn from organizational records. Our model received reasonable support from basic tests of the predictive associations between unit-level organizational commitment, customer-relevant employee behaviors, and customer satisfaction; however, organizational commitment was not found to be an important predictor in more rigorous change analyses. The findings as a whole therefore suggest that organizational commitment is a feature of units delivering fast, quality service, but its causal role is as yet unclear.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2039–2061
Number of pages23
JournalThe International Journal of Human Resource Management
Issue number16
Early online date17 Dec 2014
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 17 Dec 2014

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