Service recovery is an under-researched area in theoretical and empirical terms (Smith, Bolton, and Wagner 1999). In particular, limited knowledge exists regarding the factors which have an impact on the service recovery performance of frontline employees (Boshoff and Allen 2000). This research draws on goal orientation theory, perceived organisational support theory and the literature on psychological job outcomes and service recovery, in order to investigate the drivers of service recovery performance. The major goals of this study are to determine the effect of learning goal orientation on service recovery performance and the impact of perceived organisational support on learning goal orientation. Additionally, the effect of both learning goal orientation and perceived organisational support on emotional exhaustion is investigated. These simultaneous relationships are empirically tested for the first time. Following a review of the key literature, an integrative conceptual framework comprising a set of hypotheses is proposed and empirically tested in the UK. A total of 740 frontline service employees from the catering industry (representing a response rate of about 32%) provide the data for the analysis. Confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) is employed to assess the fit of the seven measurement components of the model and structural equation modelling (SEM) is used to test the hypothesised path model. The findings provide academic insights that may open new fruitful avenues for further research. In particular, two unexpected results contradict the extant theory: job satisfaction has a negative impact on service recovery performance and emotional exhaustion has a positive impact on service recovery performance. The new empirical results reveal that learning goal orientation has a positive impact on service recovery performance. Additionally, perceived organisational support has a positive effect on learning goal orientation. Moreover, whereas perceived organisational support has a negative impact on emotional exhaustion, learning goal orientation is unrelated to emotional exhaustion. Finally, the findings provide several managerial implications for service marketing practitioners by offering them practical guidelines to develop and implement effective service recovery programmes. Suggestions are provided in terms of the best practices when recruiting and training frontline service employees
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