Employee Perceptions of the Work Environment and Customer Perceptions of Service Quality
Vaswani, Vikki Vijay
While research has shown there is a significant relationship between strong human resource (HR) practices and enhanced firm performance (e.g., Tracey, 2014), there is much to be learned about the processes by which this relationship is established and sustained over time. In the hospitality industry, one of the most important indicators of firm performance is customer perceptions and reactions to their service experiences. And while there is some evidence which shows that employee perceptions are significantly related to customer perceptions (e.g., Schneider and Bowen, 1995; Schneider, White, and Paul, 1998), additional inquiry is needed to examine the specific types of employee perceptions that may be most relevant to customer perceptions of their service experiences. Based on the research that has examined “high performance work systems” (e.g., Huselid, 1995; Tracey, 2014), I considered five specific types of employee perceptions that may have particular relevance in hospitality work settings: firm culture, work life balance, pay and benefits, job security and advancement, and management. Based on a sample of N=(197) from five major cities in the U.S., the results from an analysis of data gathered from two social media sites - Indeed.com for employee perceptions, and Expedia.com for customer perceptions - showed that firm culture was consistently and significantly related to customer perceptions of service quality. I also found that some of the other employee perception dimensions appeared to be relevant in some markets but not others. The results demonstrate the need to consider specific types of work-related influences, especially for prioritizing opportunities for improvement. In addition, the findings suggest that some types of employee perceptions may be more generally relevant (e.g., organizational culture), where other types of employee perceptions may be more locally relevant (e.g., pay and benefits).
firm performance; human resources; customer service; recruiting; branding; organizational culture
Tracey, J. Bruce
B.S., Hotel Administration
Bachelors of Science
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dissertation or thesis