Workplace relationship cohesion: an internal customers’ perspective
Embargoed until: 2019-01-01
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Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to examine the differential effect of reciprocal and negotiated social exchanges in establishing workplace relationship cohesion, providing a mediating influence between social constructed initiatives (i.e. internal socialization and support) and internal customers’ psychological connectedness. Design/methodology/approach: Data were gathered via a national online survey of service employees in Australia, representing a diverse range of service industries (e.g. retail (food/non-food), health, financial, administrative support, real estate, household, insurance, education and training, etc.). Findings: Reciprocal-exchange relationship quality fully mediates the relationship between internal socialization and psychological connectedness; and negotiated-exchange relationship quality partially mediates the relationship between internal support and psychological connectedness of internal customers. Research limitations/implications: While the findings reported herein support the salience of interpersonal relationship quality enhancing the internal performance of the organization, it is essential to consider how the findings link to externally perceived performance (i.e. from the customer’s perspective). Future research is guided by a framework that the authors propose as a result of the study’s findings to facilitate research in this under-researched area. Practical implications: The development of sound socially relevant internal marketing strategies is vital to the long-term health and prosperity of the firm and its internal counterparts necessitating a move beyond transactional internal marketing, reflecting “pay for service” organizational thinking. Originality/value: The examination of internal relationship cohesion and how this effects internal customers’ allegiance to their organizations addresses an important research gap and, thus, provides a significant contribution to both theory and practice.
Journal of Service Theory and Practice
© 2017 Emerald. This is the author-manuscript version of this paper. Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the journal's website for access to the definitive, published version.
Marketing not elsewhere classified