, Volume 30, Issue 2, pp 159-171

Customer mind-set of employees throughout the organization

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Abstract

Previous research has provided strong evidence for the benefits of embracing a market orientation, an organizational focus highlighting the needs of customers, and the creation of customer value. This study extends this focus on the customer to the individual worker level. A construct, customer mind-set (CMS), is developed that reflects the extent to which an individual employee believes that understanding and satisfying customers, whether internal or external to the organization, is central to the proper execution of his or her job. In this exploratory study, the authors develop a parsimonious scale for measuring CMS. Relationships between CMS and significant organizational variables are examined to establish CMS's validity and provide some tentative insights into its value to researchers and practitioners. The authors believe the CMS construct will allow for operational-level analysis of the extent to which a customer orientation is embraced throughout an organization, permitting managers to implement targeted improvement strategies.

Karen Norman Kennedy is an assistant professor of marketing at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She earned her Ph.D. from the University of South Florida. Her research interests include customer orientation and cultural change in organizations, as well as the evolving role of customers and employees in today's marketplace. Her work has been published in theJournal of Personal Selling and Sales Management, theJournal of Services Marketing, Industrial Marketing Management, and theJournal of Marketing Education.
Felicia G. Lassk is an assistant professor in the Marketing Group of Northeastern University. She received her Ph.D. from the University of South Florida. Her research interests include customer orientation, salesperson job involvement, and measurement issues. Her articles have appeared in the theJournal of Personal Selling and Sales Management, Industrial Marketing Management, and theJournal of Marketing Education, among others.
Jerry R. Goolsby is the Hilton/Baldridge Eminent Chair of Music Industry Studies at Loyola University New Orleans. He received his Ph.D. from Texas Tech University. His research interests include issues related to market orientation and its implementation, customer and employee relationships, and sales interactions. His work has been published in theJournal of Marketing, theJournal of Marketing Research, theJournal of the Academy of Marketing Science, and other marketing journals.