Academic journal article Academy of Marketing Studies Journal

Services Marketing: A Measure That Examines Job-Related Attitudes of Employees in the Service Sector

Academic journal article Academy of Marketing Studies Journal

Services Marketing: A Measure That Examines Job-Related Attitudes of Employees in the Service Sector

Article excerpt


Although part-time employees account for 28 percent of the labor force (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2012), they continue to be on the "missing persons" list in organizational research (Rotchford & Roberts, 1982). Feldman (1990) asserted that research on part-time employees is critical because (1) of their sheer volume, (2) of their emergence as an important labor supply for entire industries such as healthcare and retail service industries, and (3) part-time work is an important employment opportunity for three major demographic groups in our society: younger workers, older workers, and female workers.

All too often, employment status (i.e., part-time, full-time) is not one of the variables considered in organizational research. The findings of studies that sampled one group are often generalized to the other, with typically research findings associated with full-time being generalized to part-time employees. This action is taken without regard to the appropriateness of generalizing from one type of employee to another. Managerial decisions and actions may be determined by these findings. Given the increasing role part-time employees are playing in organizations, it is appropriate to address the question of whether there are significant differences between part-time and full-time employees on variables of interest to organizational research. As noted by Miller and Terborg (1979), if important differences exist between part-time and full-time employees, future research should differentiate between the two groups.

Additionally, research findings tend to be generalized across industries without thought to how employees in those industries may differ. Industry specific working conditions, policies, training, etc. might impact research into job attitudes and behaviors and yield different results.

Although there has been some research on the issue of differences between part-time and full-time employees, it has often been conducted without an underlying theoretical framework.

Feldman (1990) and Rotchford and Roberts (1982) have called for a stronger theoretical foundation for future research in this area. The purpose of this paper is to examine the job attitudes of part-time and full-time employees in two different service industries using the concept of partial inclusion as an underlying theoretical framework. Partial inclusion was noted by Miller and Terborg (1979) and Feldman (1990) as an important concept to examine in future research on part-time and full-time employees.

Service industries were chosen because 87 percent of the part-time workers are employed in service industries (Mabert and Showalter, 1990). Additionally, approximately one in every four workers employed in the service sector is a part-time employee (Mabert and Showalter, 1990).

The industries chosen were health care and retail sales. Both industries utilize a large percentage of part-time employees. According to Nardone (1986), over 77% of retail employees are classified as part-time. Three out of four hospitals report using part-time employees (Lundy, 1992). By using two different service industries a comparison between industries can be made.


As noted previously, part-time employees have been called the "missing persons" of organizational research (Rotchford & Roberts, 1982) because although part-time employees comprise nearly one-fifth of the work force, relatively little empirical research has focused on part-time employees. Additionally, the research that has been conducted has often had contradictory findings with conclusions ranging from "the differences between part-time and full-time salespeople seem substantial." (Darden, McKee, and Hampton, 1993, p. 12) to "... part-time and full-time workers are more alike than different. …

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