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Digital transformation for crisis preparedness: service employees' perspective


Leo, WWC and Laud, G and Yunhsin Chou, C, Digital transformation for crisis preparedness: service employees' perspective, Journal of Services Marketing pp. 1-20. ISSN 0887-6045 (2022) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Emerald Publishing Limited

DOI: doi:10.1108/JSM-07-2021-0249


Purpose: Digital transformation (DT) has had a profound impact on how services are delivered, but its effects on service frontline employees in crisis have yet to be examined. Using conservation of resources theory, this study empirically tests the overall effects of DT within service organisations on service employees' beliefs with respect to crisis preparedness, life satisfaction and customer orientation. It also examines the moderating effects of crisis-related anxiety and job experience on these relationships.

Design: The study hypotheses were tested quantitatively with an online survey of N=592 frontline service employees working in hospitality and retail services organisations during the crisis of COVID-19 pandemic. Structural equation modelling was used to analyse the data. A post-hoc study of customer-facing supervisors (N=268) was conducted to validate the study findings and establish generalisability.

Findings: DT predicts service employees' beliefs regarding crisis preparedness. In turn, crisis preparedness increases life satisfaction and customer orientation. Moreover, crisis-related anxiety negatively moderates the relationship between DT and crisis preparedness. Post-hoc analyses validate the results derived from service employees' data. Surprisingly, there is no significant relationship between crisis preparedness and life satisfaction for supervisors/managers with low job experience.

Originality: This study makes an empirical contribution to the service management literature by examining the impact of DT on service employees' beliefs with respect to crisis preparedness that subsequently influences their life satisfaction and ability to remain customer oriented during a crisis. It highlights an important intersection between technology and service work in terms of a transformative impact of DT on service employee outcomes during crises.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:digital, well-being, frontline service employees, crisis management, digital transformation, crisis preparedness, service employees, services
Research Division:Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services
Research Group:Marketing
Research Field:Service marketing
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in commerce, management, tourism and services
UTAS Author:Laud, G (Dr Gauri Laud)
ID Code:149245
Year Published:2022
Web of Science® Times Cited:1
Deposited By:TSBE
Deposited On:2022-03-21
Last Modified:2022-05-24

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