An investigation into the antecedents of prosocial service behaviours : a travel service context
Frontline employee (FLE) attitudes and behaviours during service encounters influence customers’ perceptions of service quality and customer satisfaction. The identification of variables that influence FLEs service behaviours is, therefore, important. Much remains unknown about the factors affecting prosocial service behaviours (PSBs). This thesis answers the following questions: What are the antecedents of PSBs in a travel service setting? It is argued that managerial strategies indirectly influence PSBs via their direct influence on job attitudes. This thesis represents an attempt towards an increased knowledge about the antecedents of PSBs by seeking answers to the question. A conceptual model was developed from the literature. Briefly stated, the hypothesised model proposed that job attitudes mediate the relationship between managerial strategies and the PSBs. In-depth interviews provided initial support for the conceptual model. Structural equation modelling techniques were then used to test these relationships on data from 179 travel service employees. Partial support for the mediational role of job attitudes was found. More specifically, the relationship between professional development and extra-role customer service is mediated by job satisfaction and organisational commitment, but not in-role customer service and cooperation. The managerial strategies influence PSBs directly. Internal communication influences extra- and in-role customer service behaviours positively. The relationship between professional development and the three PSBs constructs is negative. Empowerment influences in-role customer service and cooperative behaviours positively.