IO Psychology – At your service: Antecedents and consequences of emphasizing good service

Publication: Journal of Applied Psychology (2013)
Article: Missing link in the service profit chain: A meta-analytic review of the antecedents, consequences, and moderators of service climate
Authors: Ying Hong, Hui Liao, Jia Hu, & Kaifeng Jiang
Reviewed by: Scott Charles Sitrin

Service climate refers to “employees’ consensual perceptions of organizations’ emphasis on service quality” (p. 237). Antecedents of service climate include human resource practices and leadership, and consequences of service climate include employee attitudes (e.g., job satisfaction and organizational commitment), service performance, customer satisfaction, and financial outcomes, according to an investigation by Hong, Liao, Hu, and Jiang. In diagram form, the results are as follows:

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In comparing general human resource practices and service-oriented human resource practices (i.e., human resource practices focused on improving service), both are related to service climate, while service-oriented human resource practices have a stronger relationship with service climate than general human resource practices. Similarly, general leadership and service-oriented leadership (i.e., leadership focused on service quality) are both related to service climate, while service-oriented leadership has a stronger relationship with service climate than general leadership. Overall, these results were found through a review of 58 studies and nearly 10,000 subjects.

Since the American and global economies are shifting from manufacturing to service, this result of service climate’s antecedents and consequences is particularly important. As the authors point out, 76% of the American gross domestic product is related to the service sector while 63% of the world’s gross domestic product is.