Frontline Employee Motivation to Participate in Service Innovation Implementation

Susan Cadwallader, California State University, Fullerton
Cheryl Burke Jarvis, Southern Illinois University
Mary Jo Bitner, Arizona State University
Amy Ostrom, Arizona State University

Front line employees often are in a prime position to accelerate acceptance of a new Self Service Technology (SST) by explaining its benefits and demonstrating its use to customers. Yet, often they are reluctant to do so.

This research examines employee behaviors and motivation regarding recommending a new SST to end customers. More than 300 sales and service employees in dealerships of a major manufacturer were surveyed to assess their motivation for recommending a new consumer SST.

Results of the research suggest that managers can improve employee motivation to participate in service innovation implementation by:

  • Creating a sense of the importance of the innovation and building buy-in throughout the organization.
  • Providing training for employees about how to use the SST themselves and how to demonstrate and recommend it to customers.
  • Establishing organizational processes that allow employees choice and independence regarding the implementation of their job tasks, even while emphasizing the value and importance of their participation.

 

The paper is published in Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, Vol. 38, No. 2, 2010, pp. 251+