Original Research

Frontline service innovation within an agricultural retail, trade and services organisation

Marietjie Nieder-Heitmann, Dirk J. Malan
South African Journal of Business Management | Vol 54, No 1 | a3651 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajbm.v54i1.3651 | © 2023 Marietjie Nieder-Heitmann, Dirk J. Malan | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 03 October 2022 | Published: 31 August 2023

About the author(s)

Marietjie Nieder-Heitmann, Department of Industrial Psychology, Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch, South Africa
Dirk J. Malan, Department of Industrial Psychology, Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch, South Africa

Abstract

Purpose: A review of the literature on service innovation revealed that several contributing factors may facilitate service innovation among frontline employees. The purpose of this article was to explore and empirically evaluate a theoretical model identifying the antecedents of frontline service innovation among frontline employees within an agricultural retail, trade and services organisation within the Western Cape.

Design/methodology/approach: A quantitative data gathering method was employed in the current study. Paper-and-pencil questionnaires were utilised to gather data from 150 frontline employees working within an agricultural, trade and services organisation within the Western Cape.

Findings/results: The results confirmed that both Emotional Intelligence and Creative Self-Efficacy had a significant direct relationship with Frontline Service Innovation, and Creative Self-Efficacy mediated the relationship between Empowering Job Characteristics and Frontline Service Innovation. In addition, the relationships between Empowering Leadership and Innovative Organisational Climate, Empowering Job Characteristics and Creative Self-Efficacy, Empowering Job Characteristics and Psychological Ownership and Empowering Job Characteristics and Psychological Safety was established as being significant, while Innovative Organisational Climate significantly mediated the relationship between Empowering Leadership and Psychological Safety.

Practical implications: These findings equip organisations with the knowledge to facilitate the development of frontline service innovation on multiple organisational levels and lead the way for future research on this topic.

Originality/value: The current study contributed towards the conceptualisation of the construct of Frontline Service Innovation and towards the development of an instrument that measures this construct.


Keywords

frontline service innovation; frontline employees; Western Cape; agricultural retail; trade and services organisation.

JEL Codes

J24: Human Capital • Skills • Occupational Choice • Labor Productivity; L26: Entrepreneurship; L84: Personal, Professional, and Business Services

Sustainable Development Goal

Goal 9: Industry, innovation and infrastructure

Metrics

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