Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science

, Volume 20, Issue 1, pp 27–36 | Cite as

Developing customer orientation among service employees

  • Scott W. Kelley


A conceptual framework is proposed that considers the customer orientation of service employees and its relationship with their perceived level of organizational socialization and perceptions of the organizational climate for service, motivational effort and direction, and organizational commitment. Structural equation modeling techniques are applied to data collected from employees in the financial services industry to test the framework. The results of this study indicate higher levels of customer orientation result from favorable perceptions of the organizational climate for service and higher levels of motivational direction and organizational commitment. In addition, organizational socialization was found to have a positive impact on perceptions of climate, levels of motivation, and organizational commitment.


Organizational Commitment Customer Orientation Service Employee Organizational Climate Motivational Effort 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Abelson, Robert P. 1976. “Script Processing in Attitude Formation and Decision Making.” InCognition and Social Behavior. Eds. J.S. Carroll and J.W. Payne. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  2. Albrecht, Karl and Ron Zemke. 1985.Service America! Homewood, IL: Dow Jones-Irwin.Google Scholar
  3. Anderson, James C. and David W. Gerbing. 1984. “The Effect of Sampling Error on Convergence, Improper Solutions, and Goodness-of-Fit Indices for Maximum Likelihood Confirmatory Factor Analysis.”Psychometrika 49 (June): 155–173.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bagozzi, Richard P. 1980. “Performance and Satisfaction in an Industrial Salesforce: An Examination of Their Antecedents and Simultaneity.”Journal of Marketing 44 (Spring): 65–77.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bagozzi, Richard P. and Youjae Yi. 1988. “On the Evaluation of Structural Equation Models.”Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science 16 (Spring): 74–94.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Balazs, Anne L. 1990. “Value Congruency: The Case of the ‘Socially Responsible’ Firm.”Journal of Business Research 20 (March): 171–181.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bearden, William O., Subhash Sharma, and Jesse E. Teel. 1982. “Sample Size Effects on Chi Square and Other Statistics Used in Evaluating Causal Models.”Journal of Marketing Research 14 (November): 425–430.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Boomsma, Anne. 1982. “The Robustness of LISREL Against Small Sample Sizes in Factor Analysis Models.” InSystems Under Indirect Observation: Causality, Structure, Prediction. Eds. Karl G. Joreskog and Herman Wold. Amsterdam: North-Holland.Google Scholar
  9. Buchanan II, Bruce. 1974. “Building Organizational Commitment: The Socialization of Managers in Work Organizations.”Administrative Science Quarterly 19 (December): 533–546.Google Scholar
  10. Churchill, Gilbert A., Jr. 1979. “A Paradigm for Developing Better measures of Marketing Constructs.”Journal of Marketing Research 16 (February): 323–332.Google Scholar
  11. Deshpande, Rohit and Fredrick E. Webster, Jr. 1989. “Organizational Culture and Marketing: Defining the Research Agenda.”Journal of Marketing 53 (January): 3–15.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Dubinsky, Alan J., Roy D. Howell, Thomas N. Ingram, and Danny N. Bellenger. 1986. “Sales Force Socialization.”Journal of Marketing 50 (October): 192–207.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Dunlap, B. J., Michael J. Dotson, and Terry M. Chambers. 1988. “Perceptions of Real-Estate Brokers and Buyers: A Sales-Orientation, Customer-Orientation Approach.”Journal of Business Research 17 (September): 175–187.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Etzioni, Amitai. 1964.Modern Organizations. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.Google Scholar
  15. Feldman, Daniel C. 1976. “A Contingency Theory of Socialization.”Administrative Science Quarterly 21 (September): 433–450.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. — 1981. “The Multiple Socialization of Organization Members.”Academy of Management Review 6 (April): 309–318.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Gerbing, David W. and James C. Anderson. 1985. “The Effects of Sampling Error and Model Characteristics on Parameter Estimation for Maximum Likelihood Confirmatory Analysis.”Multivariate Behavioral Research 20 (July): 255–271.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Berbing, David W. and James C. Anderson. 1988. “An Updated Paradigm for Scale Development Incorporating Unidimensionality and Its Assessment.”Journal of Marketing Research 25 (May): 186–192.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Glick, William H. 1985. “Conceptualizing and Measuring Organization and Psychological Climate: Pitfalls in Multilevel Research.”Academy of Management Review 10 (July): 601–616.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Hackman, Richard J. and Greg R. Oldham. 1976. “Motivation Through the Design of Work: Test of a Theory.”Organizational Behavior and Human Performance 16 (August): 250–279.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Hall, Douglas T. 1987. “Careers and Socialization.”Journal of Management 13 (Summer): 301–321.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Hunt, Shelby D., Larry B. Chonko, and Van R. Wood. 1985. “Organizational Commitment and Marketing.”Journal of Marketing 49 (Winter): 112–126.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Joachimsthaler, Erich A. and John L. Lastovicka. 1984. “Optimal Stimulation Level—Exploratory Behavior Models.”Journal of Consumer Research 11 (December): 830–835.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Johannesson, Russel E. 1973. “Some Problems in the Measurement of Organizational Climate.”Organizational Behavior and Human Performance 10 (August): 118–144.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Joreskog, Karl C. 1978. “Structural Analysis of Covariance and Correlation Matrices.”Psychometrika 43 (December): 443–477.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Joreskog, Karl C. and Dag Sorbom. 1984.LISREL VI: Analysis of Linear Structural Relationships by Maximum Likelihood, Instrumental Variables, and Least Squares Methods. Mooresville, IN: Scientific Software.Google Scholar
  27. Katerberg, Ralph and Gary J. Blau. 1983. “An Examination of Level and Direction of Effort and Job Performance.”Academy of Management Journal 26 (June): 249–257.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Kelley, Scott W. 1988. “A Demonstration of Generalizability Theory Procedures Through the Assessment of the Psychometric Properties of the SOCO Scale.” InStrategic Issues in a Dynamic Marketing Environment. Eds. John H. Summey and Paul J. Hensel. Carbondale, IL: Southern Marketing Association.Google Scholar
  29. Kline, Paul. 1983.Personality: Measurement and Theory. New York: St. Martin’s Press.Google Scholar
  30. Leigh, Thomas W. and Arno J. Rethans. 1984. “A Script-Theoretic Analysis of Industrial Purchasing Behavior.”Journal of Marketing 48 (Fall): 22–32.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Louis, Meryl Reis. 1980. “Surprise and Sense Making: What Newcomers Experience in Entering Unfamiliar Organizational Settings.”Administrative Science Quarterly 25 (June): 226–251.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Maremont, Mark. 1990. “How British Airways Butters Up the Passenger.”BusinessWeek March 12: 94.Google Scholar
  33. Michaels, Ronald E. and Ralph L. Day. 1985. “Measuring Customer Orientation of Salespeople: A Replication With Industrial Buyers.”Journal of Marketing Research 22 (November): 443–446.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Michaels, Ronald E., Ralph L. Day, and Erich A. Joachimsthaler. 1987. “Role Stress Among Industrial Buyers: An Integrative Model.”Journal of Marketing 51 (April): 28–45.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Mitchell, Terence R. 1982. “Motivation: New Directions for Theory, Research, and Practice.”Academy of Management Review 7 (January): 80–88.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Morrow, Paula C. 1983. “Concept Redundancy in Organizational Research: The Case of Work Commitment.”Academy of Management Review 8 (July): 486–500.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Mowday, Richard T., Lyman W. Porter, and R. Dubin. 1974. “Unit Performance, Situational Factors, and Employee Attitudes in Spatially Separated Work Units.”Organizational Behavior and Human Performance 12 (October): 231–248.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Nunnally, Jum C. 1978.Psychometric Theory. New York: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar
  39. Phillips, Stephen, Amy Dunkin, James B. Treece, and Keith H. Hammonds. 1990. “King Customer: At Companies That Listen Hard and Respond Fast, Bottom Lines Thrive.”Business Week March 12: 88–94.Google Scholar
  40. Porter, Lyman W. and Edward E. Lawler III. 1968.Managerial Attitudes and Performance. Homewood, IL: Richard D. Irwin.Google Scholar
  41. Porter, Lyman W., Edward E. Lawler III, and J. Richard Hackman. 1975.Behavior in Organizations. New York: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar
  42. Porter, Lyman W., Richard M. Steers, Richard T. Mowday, and Paul V. Boulian. 1974. “Organizational Commitment, Job Satisfaction, and Turnover Among Psychiatric Technicians.”Journal of Applied Psychology 59 (October): 603–609.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Saxe, Robert and Barton A. Weitz. 1982. “The SOCO Scale: A Measure of the Customer Orientation of Salespeople.”Journal of Marketing Research 19 (August): 343–351.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Schein, Edgar H. 1968. “Organizational Socialization and the Profession of Management.”Industrial Management Review 9 (May): 1–16.Google Scholar
  45. —. 1978.Career Dynamics. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley.Google Scholar
  46. Schneider, Benjamin. 1973. “The Perception of Organizational Climate: The Customer’s View.”Journal of Applied Psychology 57 (June): 248–256.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. —. 1985. “Organizational Behavior.”Annual Review of Psychology 36: 573–611.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. —. 1986. “Notes on Climate and Culture.” InCreativity in Services Marketing: What’s New, What Works, What’s Developing, Eds. M. Venkatesan, Diane M. Schmalensee, and Claudia Marshall. Chicago: American Marketing Association.Google Scholar
  49. Schneider, Benjamin and David E. Bowen. 1985. “Employee and Customer Perceptions of Service in Banks: Replication and Extension.”Journal of Applied Psychology 70 (August): 423–433.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Schneider, Benjamin and Arnon E. Reichers. 1983. “On the Etiology of Climates.”Personnel Psychology 36 (Spring): 19–39.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Schneider, Benjamin, John J. Parkington, and Virginia M. Buxton. 1980. “Employee and Customer Perceptions of Service in Banks.”Administrative Science Quarterly 25 (June): 252–267.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Sheldon, Mary E. 1971. “Investments and Involvements as Mechanisms Producing Commitment to the Organization.”Administrative Science Quarterly 16 (June): 143–150.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Staw, Barry M. 1984. “Organizational Behavior: A Review and Reformulation of the Field’s Outcome Variables.”Annual Review of Psychology 35: 627–666.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Steers, Richard M. 1977. “Antecedents and Outcomes of Organizational Commitment.”Administrative Science Quarterly 22 (March): 46–56.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Stevens, John M., Janice M. Beyer, and Harrison M. Trice. 1978. “Assessing Personal, Role, and Organizational Predictors of Managerial Commitment.”Academy of Management Journal 21 (September): 380–396.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Stumpf, Stephen A. and Karen Hartman. 1984. “Individual Exploration to Organizational Commitment or Withdrawal.”Academy of Management Journal 27 (June): 308–329.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Sujan, Harish. 1986. “Smarter Versus Harder: An Exploratory Attributional Analysis of Salespeople’s Motivation.”Journal of Marketing Research 23 (February): 41–49.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Sujan, Harish and Barton A. Weitz. 1985.The Amount and Direction of Effort: An Attributional Study of Salesperson Motivation. Cambridge, MA: Marketing Science Institute.Google Scholar
  59. Tanaka, J. S. 1987. “‘How Big Is Big Enough?’: Sample Size and Goodness of Fit in Structural Equation Models with Latent Variables.”Child Development 58 (February): 134–146.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Terborg, James R. 1976. “The Motivational Components of Goal Setting.”Journal of Applied Psychology 61 (October): 613–621.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. —. 1976. “Vativation and Extension of an Individual Differences Model of Work Performance.”Organizational Behavior and Human Performance 18 (February): 188–216.Google Scholar
  62. Terborg, James R. and Howard E. Miller. 1978. “Motivation, Behavior, and Performance: A Closer Examination of Goal Setting and Monetary Incentives.”Journal of Applied Psychology 63 (February): 29–39.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Van Maanen, John. 1975. “Police Socialization: A Longitudinal Examination of Job Attitudes in an Urban Police Department.”Administrative Science Quarterly 20 (June): 207–228.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. —. 1978. “People Processing: Strategies of Organizational Socialization.”Organizational Dynamics 7 (Summer): 19–36.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Van Maanen, John and Edgar H. Schein. 1979. “Toward a Theory of Organizational Socialization.” InResearch in Organizational Behavior. Ed. Barry M. Staw. Greenwich, CT: JAI Press.Google Scholar
  66. Wanous, John P. 1980. Organizational Entry: Recruitment, Selection, and Socialization of Newcomers. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley.Google Scholar
  67. Weiner, Yoash. 1982. “Commitment in the Organization: A Normative View.”Academy of Management Review 7 (July): 418–428.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Weiss, Howard M. 1978. “Social Learning of Work Values in Organizations.”Journal of Applied Psychology 63 (December): 711–718.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Weitz, Barton A., Harish Sujan, and Mita Sujan. 1985.Knowledge, Motivation, and Adaptive Behavior: A Framework for Improving Selling Effectiveness. Cambridge, MA: Marketing Science Institute.Google Scholar
  70. Weitz, Barton A., Harish Sujan, and Mita Sujan. 1986. “Knowledge, Motivation, and Adaptive Behavior: A Framework for Improving Selling Effectiveness.”Journal of Marketing 50 (October): 174–191.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Williams, Michael R. and Josh Wiener. 1990. “Does the Selling Orientation-Customer Orientation (SOCO) Scale Measure Behavior or Disposition?” InEnhancing Knowledge Development in Marketing. Eds. William Bearden et al. Chicago: American Marketing Association.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Academy of Marketing Science 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Scott W. Kelley
    • 1
  1. 1.University of KentuckyUSA

Personalised recommendations