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J Appl Psychol. 2007 Jul;92(4):1177-87.

An examination of the role of perceived support and employee commitment in employee-customer encounters.

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  • 1Department of Management, Ecole des Hautes Etudes Commerciales, Montreal, PQ, Canada.


The authors examined the relationships between perceived organizational support, organizational commitment, commitment to customers, and service quality in a fast-food firm. The research design matched customer responses with individual employees' attitudes, making this study a true test of the service provider-customer encounter. On the basis of a sample of matched employee-customer data (N = 133), hierarchical linear modeling analyses revealed that perceived organizational support had both a unit-level and an employee-level effect on 1 dimension of service quality: helping behavior. Contrary to affective organizational commitment, affective commitment to customers enhanced service quality. The 2 sub-dimensions of continuance commitment to the organization--perceived high sacrifice and perceived lack of alternatives--exerted effects opposite in sign: The former fostered service quality, whereas the latter reduced it. The implications of these findings are discussed within the context of research on employee-customer encounters.

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