Achieving service-sales ambidexterity

T. Yu, P.G. Patterson, J.C. de Ruyter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Frontline employees in traditional customer service units are under increasing pressure to pursue the twin goals of providing quality service while achieving productivity gains by meeting increased sales targets-that is, being service-sales ambidextrous. Drawing from literature on organizational ambidexterity, this study explores forces that facilitate the conversion from a service-only environment to one that emphasizes both sales and service behavior. With a sample of more than 2,306 frontline employees in 267 bank branches, this study examines the impact of contextual variables on service-sales ambidexterity from a multilevel perspective. It then explores the consequences by analyzing objective financial data at the retail branch level, which reveal a significant relationship between ambidexterity and financial performance. Empowerment and transformational leadership are positively associated with service-sales ambidexterity at individual and branch levels; team support is associated with ambidexterity only at the individual employee level. Managers thus should let service workers exercise their own judgment when deciding when or what to up- or cross-sell. The delegation of authority works best for branch office veterans whose service excellence and selling both are recognized and rewarded.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)52-66
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Service Research
Volume16
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2013

Keywords

  • service-sales ambidexterity
  • empowerment
  • transformational leadership
  • team support
  • hierarchical linear modeling
  • HIERARCHICAL LINEAR-MODELS
  • CUSTOMER SATISFACTION
  • ORGANIZATIONAL AMBIDEXTERITY
  • EMPIRICAL-TEST
  • TRANSFORMATIONAL LEADERSHIP
  • MULTILEVEL RESEARCH
  • MEDIATING ROLE
  • PERFORMANCE
  • EMPOWERMENT
  • CONSEQUENCES

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