An examination of organizations' frontline service employee development practices
Article first published online: 29 AUG 2007
Copyright © 2007 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Human Resource Development Quarterly
Volume 18, Issue 3, pages 293–314, Autumn (Fall) 2007
How to Cite
Ellinger, A. E., Elmadağ, A. B. and Ellinger, A. D. (2007), An examination of organizations' frontline service employee development practices. Human Resource Development Quarterly, 18: 293–314. doi: 10.1002/hrdq.1206
- Issue published online: 29 AUG 2007
- Article first published online: 29 AUG 2007
Firms with the ability to provide superior customer service can accrue significant competitive advantage and research suggests that frontline service employees' (FLSEs) actions have a considerable influence on the success of service operations. Yet, the high level of customer defections consistently attributed to poor and indifferent service suggests that many organizations are not placing sufficient emphasis on developing FLSEs to interact more effectively with customers. Although it is generally believed that human resource development enhances employee performance, relatively little is known about firms' approaches for developing and motivating FLSEs. We therefore examine the influence of service provider organizations' developmental practices on FLSE performance using data collected from 307 customer contact personnel. Our findings indicate that, in contrast to conventional wisdom, higher levels of employee development may not always yield the most beneficial outcomes.