A preliminary study of service predispositions amongst hospitality workers in Australia

Lee-Ross, Darren, and Pryce, Josephine (2005) A preliminary study of service predispositions amongst hospitality workers in Australia. Journal of Management Development, 24 (5). pp. 410-420.

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Purpose–To assess the attitudes toward service delivery of employees in Australian hotels with a long-term view of establishing job service “norms” against which candidates may be ultimately evaluated.

Design/methodology/approach–Lee-Ross's Service Predisposition Instrument (SPI) questionnaire was used to elicit information about the attitudes of front-line hotel workers towards service delivery. This quantitative approach sought to identify the innate presence of service dimensions amongst workers previously found in other studies of service predispositions.

Findings–After initial analysis, the dimensionality of the SPI questionnaire was found to be less substantial than when tested in other studies. Indeed, a new dimension of “negative service” emerged. Hotel employees rated all “service dimensions” elicited by the SPI as important. However, competence and the provision of “extras” were ranked notably highly. Affinity was scored the lowest of all dimensions. This suggests that workers recognize the particular importance of technical and intangible skills associated with the service encounter. In tourist hotels, short periods of service delivery allow only limited opportunities for workers to establish affinity with customers.

Research limitations/implications–The SPI and the theory upon which it is based are relatively novel.

Practical implications–The posited innate worker dimensions or attitudes necessary for effective service delivery could provide a new focus for hospitality managers when recruiting staff. Achieving effective “job-fit” for service employees should deliver higher levels of service quality and ultimately increased organizational productivity.

Originality/value–The theoretical originality of this paper rests on the idea that “proximal” attitudinal models are useful in predicting the behaviour of individuals in the workplace. The SPI is a new and applied construct based on this notion. However, given the moderate support found for the factor structure of the SPI, these results should be treated with caution and further research is recommended.

Item ID: 6613
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1758-7492
Keywords: Australia; employee attitudes; hospitality services; hotels; service delivery
Date Deposited: 25 Feb 2010 01:31
FoR Codes: 15 COMMERCE, MANAGEMENT, TOURISM AND SERVICES > 1506 Tourism > 150603 Tourism Management @ 100%
SEO Codes: 90 COMMERCIAL SERVICES AND TOURISM > 9003 Tourism > 900303 Tourism Infrastructure Development @ 100%
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