The relationships among leadership, goal orientation, and service quality in high-contact service industries: An empirical study

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34 Citations (Scopus)


High-contact service industries are characterized by close interaction between service employees and customers, and diverse customer needs. Such characteristics pose a great challenge to the delivery of services of superior quality. In this research we conceptually explore and empirically examine several attitudinal and motivational factors of customer-contact employees, and the management style of managers as antecedents to service quality in high-contact service sectors. Based on dyadic data collected from 230 service firms in Hong Kong, we examine the relationships among transformational leadership, transactional leadership, affective organizational commitment, learning goal orientation, performance goal orientation, and service quality. We find that learning goal orientation is more effective than performance goal orientation in fostering service quality in the high-contact service context. We also observe that transformational leadership tends to be more effective than transactional leadership in influencing employee attitude in high-contact service firms. This research pioneers theory-driven examination of service quality in high-contact service firms using data collected from service employees and shop managers for hypothesis testing.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)452-464
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Production Economics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2013


  • Learning goal orientation
  • Performance goal orientation
  • Service quality
  • Transactional leadership
  • Transformational leadership

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering

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