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Predictors of service climate and intention to quit in Swedish retail: the role of relations in the work place
Mälardalen University, School of Sustainable Development of Society and Technology. (HAS/Avdelningen för psykologi)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5928-7988
Mälardalen University, School of Sustainable Development of Society and Technology. (HAS/Avdelningen för psykologi)ORCID iD: 0000-0003-0627-4857
2010 (English)Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The service sector is growing and the level of service provided by the shops to the customers is considered important since the customer has the decision to shop or not. The retail sector is also the first experience of working life for a large number of young people in Sweden but this also seems to be related to relatively high rates of turnover. The service delivered is important both for the result of the shop in terms of sales but also for us as customers in affecting the treatment we get during our shopping. This paper aims at increasing knowledge about how good service develops. A key assumption is that the quality of service given to customers is related to the quality of relationships experienced in the workplace. However, the mechanisms behind this assumption need further exploration. The general aim of this study is to identify predictors of service climate to customers and intention to stay or quit among employees in large and small shops in Sweden. The role of employment conditions as well as individual factors and preferences are investigated together with relationships in the work place in terms of psychological contract fulfilment, support from supervisors and organzational climate. 

 

Data for this study builds on questionnaires distributed to all employees in 12 stores in Middle-Sweden on two occasions with a one year interval. At time one, 277 employees answered the questionnaire, their mean age was 32 years and about half of them (55%) were women. They had been employed from 6 months up to more than 30 years. About half of them worked full-time (54%), but working hours per week varied considerably from 5 to 60 hours. At time two, the second questionnaire was returned by 121 respondents and only 60 of them were actually responding to both data collections. The sample on the second occasion was generally somewhat older, with more stable employment and longer weekly working hours. Regression analyses were performed using the cross-sectional data sets from T1 and T2 but also the longitudinal data aiming to identify short and long term predictors of service climate, well-being of employees and intention to quit.

 

The general pattern of results indicated that satisfaction with working hours and with the present occupation were more critical predictors of job satisfaction than actual contract and working hours (part time or full time). Furthermore, working conditions such as perceived time pressure was a significant predictor of well-being and intention to leave the job. Manager’s fulfillment of promises and commitments as part of the psychological contract seemed to affect the general organizational climate and perceived support from supervisors which appeared to be the most important predictors of all outcomes. These factors were especially important as predictors of service climate. The most obvious conclusion, is that relations in the work place are critical both for service to customers and willingness to stay on the job for employees.  Perhaps most important, the relationship between supervisors and subordinates, e.g. keeping promises and giving support spills over also to customer relations.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010.
National Category
Psychology
Research subject
Working Life Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-11652OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mdh-11652DiVA, id: diva2:393758
Conference
2nd Nordic Retail and Wholesale Conference, Gothenburg, Sweden, November 2010.
Projects
RASK- Relationer, arbete, serviceklimatAvailable from: 2011-02-01 Created: 2011-02-01 Last updated: 2016-05-02Bibliographically approved

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Isaksson, KerstinBrav, Agneta

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
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