Emotional intelligence in front-line/back-office employee relationships

Kearney, Treasa ORCID: 0000-0002-4655-3749, Walsh, Gianfranco, Barnett, Willy, Gong, Taeshik, Schwabe, Maria and Ifie, Kemefasu
(2017) Emotional intelligence in front-line/back-office employee relationships. JOURNAL OF SERVICES MARKETING, 31 (2). pp. 185-199.

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<jats:sec> <jats:title content-type="abstract-subheading">Purpose</jats:title> <jats:p>This paper aims to undertake a simultaneous assessment of interdependence in the behaviours of front-line and back-office employees and their joint effect on customer-related organisational performance. It also tests for a moderating influence of the emotional intelligence of front-line salespeople and back-office employees.</jats:p> </jats:sec> <jats:sec> <jats:title content-type="abstract-subheading">Design/methodology/approach</jats:title> <jats:p>The sample comprises 105 front-line sales employees and 77 back-office employees. The customer-related organisational performance data come from a UK business-to-business (B2B) electronics company. With these triadic data, this study uses partial least squares to estimate the measurement and structural models.</jats:p> </jats:sec> <jats:sec> <jats:title content-type="abstract-subheading">Findings</jats:title> <jats:p>Salespeople’s customer orientation directly affects customer-related organisational performance; the relationship is moderated by salespeople’s emotional intelligence. The emotional intelligence of salespeople also directly affects the customer-directed citizenship behaviour of back-office employees. Furthermore, the emotional intelligence of back-office staff moderates the link between the emotional intelligence of salespeople and back-office staff citizenship behaviour. Back-office staff citizenship behaviour, in turn, affects customer-related organisational performance.</jats:p> </jats:sec> <jats:sec> <jats:title content-type="abstract-subheading">Originality/value</jats:title> <jats:p>The emotions deployed by employees in interactions with customers clearly shape customers’ perceptions of service quality, as well as employee-level performance outcomes. However, prior literature lacks insights into the simultaneous effects of front-line and back-office employee behaviour, especially in B2B settings. This paper addresses these research gaps by investigating triadic relationships – among back-office employees, front-line employees and customer outcomes – in a B2B setting, where they are of particular managerial interest.</jats:p> </jats:sec>

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Emotional intelligence, Organizational performance, Moderation, Citizenship behaviours, Customer service employees, Matched data
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 04 Jan 2017 13:07
Last Modified: 19 Jan 2023 07:20
DOI: 10.1108/JSM-09-2016-0339
Related URLs:
URI: https://livrepository.liverpool.ac.uk/id/eprint/3005097