Service behaviours of highly committed financial consultants

  • Furtmueller E
  • van Dick R
  • Wilderom C
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Abstract

Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to examine the service behaviours of highly committed consultants engaged in face-to-face service provision with customers in the financial-services industry. Design/methodology/approach - In-depth interviews are conducted with 41 financial consultants (from 30 financial-service firms) in Austria. The qualitative data are then rigorously analysed and coded to identify categories of behaviours of highly committed financial consultants. Findings - In total, 15 behaviours of highly committed financial consultants are identified. These behaviours are shown to include both "in-role" behaviours and "extra-role" behaviours. The study also finds that service behaviours of highly committed financial consultants change over time. Employed and self-employed financial consultants are found to have the same high-commitment behaviours; however, employed consultants tend to experience conflicts between organisational commitment and customer commitment, whereas self-employed consultants tend to experience conflicts between their own self interests and the interests of their customers. Research limitations/implications - The study did not examine whether age and experience influence behavioural differences. Nor did the study address the question of behaviours that are typical of low-commitment service delivery. Future research could objectively record the behaviours (by audio-recording and/or video-recording) to reduce the possibility of self-serving bias by respondents in reporting their behaviours. Practical implications - The study provides guidance for managers who wish to encourage and reward highly committed service behaviours among employees. Originality/value - Little research has been conducted into the actual behaviours of financial consultants while delivering services. Moreover, previous studies of organisational commitment have utilised quantitative methodologies to assess attitudes, whereas this study adopts a qualitative approach and examines actual behaviours of high work commitment

Author-supplied keywords

  • Austria
  • Financial service consultants
  • High commitment
  • Service behaviour

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Authors

  • Elfi Furtmueller

  • Rolf van Dick

  • Celeste Wilderom

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