Empowerment has been argued as a viable strategy to enable frontline employees (FLEs) to manage the complexities of service encounters. Organisations must cascade insights from analytics to frontlines for dynamic (re)bundling of service elements while serving customers. However, very little is known on how FLEs are empowered in analytics-driven services. This study addresses these research gaps, drawing on a systematic literature review and in-depth interviews (n = 30), followed by conceptualisation and validation of an empowerment scale through a pilot (n = 50) and the main study (n = 304). This research confirms empowerment as a second-order construct consisting of six dimensions namely, decision making, discretionary skills, information access, knowledge, tools and training. The predictive power of the scale is validated through PLSc and PLSpredict (k = 10) using a training sample (n = 274) and a holdout sample (n = 30). Theoretically, this work extends FLE empowerment to analytics-driven services. Practically, the study informs managers to complement their investments in technology with an internal orientation program to empower FLEs to effectively link with customers and seize opportunities.
Available for download on Thursday, July 07, 2022