Customer service at altitude: effects of empowering leadership

S. Aryee (First Author), Tae-Yeol Kim (Participant Author), Q. Zhou (Participant Author), S. Ryu (Participant Author)

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This paper aims to examine how team-level empowering leadership related to service performance through thriving at work and how shared organizational social exchange and customer orientation moderated the latter relationships.The authors collected the data from 283 flight attendants and their supervisors working at a major Korean airline. Multi-level analyses were used to test the effect of empowering leadership on employee outcomes. Both team-level empowering leadership and customer orientation were significantly and indirectly associated with service performance via thriving at work. Additionally, customer orientation significantly moderated the relationship between team-level empowering leadership and thriving at work such that the relationship was stronger when customer orientation was low rather than high. In addition, shared organizational social exchange augmented the influence of team-level empowering leadership on service performance but not on thriving at work. The findings suggest that team-level empowering leadership is more effective in enhancing thriving at work of employees when their customer orientation is low rather than high. In addition, a shared high-quality organizational social exchange augments the effect of empowering leadership on employees’ service performance.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3722-3741
JournalInternational Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Indexed by

  • ABDC-A
  • Scopus
  • SSCI


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