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School of Business | Department of Marketing | Marketing | 2013
Thesis number: 13514
Exploring organizational service orientation: A preliminary analysis in the retail industry
Author: Lehto, Antti
Title: Exploring organizational service orientation: A preliminary analysis in the retail industry
Year: 2013  Language: eng
Department: Department of Marketing
Academic subject: Marketing
Index terms: markkinointi; marketing; organisaatio; organization; palvelut; service; strategia; strategy; asiakkaat; customers; asiakaspalvelu; customer service; kulttuuri; culture; arviointi; evaluation; kyselyt; questionnaire
Pages: 61
Full text:
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Key terms: organizational service orientation; strategy; retail industry
This study explored organizational service orientation and focused on the dimensions, limits and measurability of the construct. A concept-centric literature review was conducted to clarify the borders of the construct, to investigate the dimensions of the construct and to gather tools for comprehensive measurement of the construct. Based on the findings, this study constructed an analytical framework for organizational service orientation and formed a scale that measures it accordingly.

The framework and the scale represent a comprehensive view on the subject avoiding the context restrictions evident in previous research. The theoretical findings implicate that the following dimensions are essential for organizational service orientation: internal characteristics (e.g., service climate and organizational culture), strategy (e.g., service-orientated business strategy and service-oriented strategic choices) and the nature of the services offered (e.g., services in support of the client's actions or in support of the product).

In the empirical section, the framework and the scale were utilized to gather data from the retail sector to examine organizational service orientation. First, the scales were pre-tested during February-March 2013 with a test survey among the members of the Union of special trade (Erikoiskaupanliitto) yielding 39 responses. Second, the actual quantitative data used in this study was collected during October-November 2013 with a web-based questionnaire administered to 1263 operative managers of speciality retail stores in Finland. The survey yielded 152 acceptable responses (response rate 12.02%). An exploratory factor analysis was conducted on the collected data in order to identify the underlying dimensions of organizational service orientation.

The empirical findings of the analysis indicate five acceptable factors in the collected data: service-minded leadership, service capabilities, commitment to serving customers, service recovery and organizational service culture. The results of the analysis differ from the dimensions gathered from previous research, thus providing a ground for further investigations concerning the construct of organizational service orientation.
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