Academic journal article E - Journal of Social & Behavioural Research in Business

Organisational Climate, Service Climate and Customer Satisfaction: An Investigation of Their Relationships in Franchised Hospitality Enterprises

Academic journal article E - Journal of Social & Behavioural Research in Business

Organisational Climate, Service Climate and Customer Satisfaction: An Investigation of Their Relationships in Franchised Hospitality Enterprises

Article excerpt

Abstract

Purpose: This paper offers a comparison of the relative efficacies of a generalised or overall organisational climate measure and a domain specific measure, service climate, as predictors of customer satisfaction, in two international hospitality sector franchise systems.

Design/methodology/approach: A quantitative research method was employed. Data were collected from 122 employees by way of a mail survey and from 220 customers by way of a brief questionnaire, handed to customers during consumption of the service. Data were analysed at the individual employee and franchise (organisational) levels using multiple regression and correlation analyses.

Findings: Generalised climate at both levels of analysis was found to explain more of the variance in customer satisfaction than did service climate suggesting that satisfaction is a product of a wider spectrum of organisational factors than simply service itself. Nevertheless, service climate accounted for a significant proportion of the variance in customer satisfaction.

Implications: The findings suggest that customer satisfaction and hence business viability may well be enhanced by management attention to the broader workplace experience of all employees rather than simply to customer service initiatives alone.

Originality/value: The originality and value of the paper lies in its comparison of organisational climate and service climate as predictors of customer satisfaction.

Keywords: Franchising; organisational climate; service climate; customer satisfaction.

JEL Classification: M30

PsycINFO Classification: 3920

FoR Code: 1505

Introduction

The concept of organisational climate arises from the work of Kurt Lewin and his colleagues (Lewin, 1939; Lewin et al., 1939). In response to their investigations of the impact of varying leadership types upon artificially created social groupings, they proposed that the members of any group exist within a 'field' made up of each individual's perceptions of both the other members of the group and all other attributes of the environment within which they operate. The individual's field or 'life space' was referred to by later scholars as that group member's 'psychological climate' (Forehand and von Haller Gilmer, 1964; Insel and Moos, 1974; James et al., 1978; James and Jones, 1974). When aggregated, the psychological climates created by group members yielded a group or 'organisational climate' in which those individuals were, in effect, immersed (Johnston and Spinks, 2013; Manning et al., 2012). Psychological climate is, inevitably, a reflection of individual idiosyncrasies; nevertheless, the characteristics of the field itself, it was proposed, rather than the characteristics of component individuals per se, determined in all circumstances, group-member and overall group behaviour.

Essentially then, organisational climate proposes itself, as its name implies, as a comprehensive profile of the psychological field in which the employees function in any given organisation/workplace. Some scholars however, contest the validity of any such general phenomenon. They maintain that the profusion of incoming information from the organisation is automatically sorted by the human mind into sets of related data and these sets constitute the numerous distinct 'domain specific' climates existing in the organisation (Schneider, 1975; Schneider et al., 1998; Schneider and Reichers, 1983). No evidence for this proposition is offered but it is not without a certain appeal to common sense and rationality. The capacity of the mind to identify patterns in the mass of information presented endlessly to it has obvious intellectual, aesthetic and evolutionary value. Much research has accepted this proposal and developed measures of these domain specific climates, defined and operationalised in terms of a specific subject or focus such as the example of interest to this study, 'climate for service' (Little and Dean, 2006; Lytle et al. …

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