Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science

, Volume 38, Issue 2, pp 219–239 | Cite as

Frontline employee motivation to participate in service innovation implementation

  • Susan Cadwallader
  • Cheryl Burke Jarvis
  • Mary Jo Bitner
  • Amy L. Ostrom
Original Empirical Research


Companies today face the challenge not only of designing innovative customer-focused service strategies to compete and grow but also of translating such strategies into results through successful execution. Experience and research demonstrate the difficulty of such an execution, but little research in marketing has focused on strategy implementation, particularly at the employee level. Prior research has suggested that frontline employee participation is critical to successful innovation implementation, especially in service contexts. We develop a theoretical model to investigate the complex role of motivation in engaging employee participation in service innovation implementation and test it with field data from a real-world context. The study contributes to motivation research in marketing by adapting and extending a hierarchical conceptualization from psychology that incorporates three levels of motivation: global, contextual, and situational. We also investigate the antecedents managers can control to increase employee motivation to participate in implementation efforts and subsequently to improve participation behaviors that are critical to the successful implementation of a customer service innovation.


Services marketing Employee motivation Service innovation Strategic implementation 


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Copyright information

© Academy of Marketing Science 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Susan Cadwallader
    • 1
  • Cheryl Burke Jarvis
    • 2
  • Mary Jo Bitner
    • 3
  • Amy L. Ostrom
    • 3
  1. 1.Mihaylo College of Business and EconomicsCalifornia State University, FullertonFullertonUSA
  2. 2.College of BusinessSouthern Illinois University, CarbondaleCarbondaleUSA
  3. 3.W. P. Carey School of BusinessArizona State UniversityTempeUSA

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