Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


School of Business


The frontline employees (FLEs) that are often referred to as boundary spanners play a dual role as ‘voice of the firm’ and ‘voice of the customer’. FLEs face complex challenges in responding to the idiosyncratic needs of customers. With the advent of digital technologies, service providers can interact with customers through a myriad array of channels, and capture their digital footprints (e.g. internet, click-stream, and social media) using big data analytics. In an equal footing, these technologies are empowering consumers with information on the competition, alternate choices and shared experiences. Customers are demanding (near) real-time responses and adaptable services. It is echoed that empowerment of frontlines as an enabler to enhance their dynamic adaptive abilities. Scholars argue that organisations need to be analytics-driven, cascade information and decision making downward, and internally orient FLEs to make effective decisions and enhance service performance.

Despite these important insights, there exists very limited know-how on FLE empowerment in an analytics-driven environment. To quantitatively assess and introduce change, organisations require measurement scales. To date, the prominent empowerment scale belongs to industrial contexts of the 1990s. There is a pressing need to reconceptualise and empirically validate an FLE empowerment model to address the changing internal and external realities. In comprehending these insights, this dissertation addresses two research questions: 1) What are the dimensions of FLE empowerment in an analytics-driven environment; and 2) What is the influence of FLE empowerment on dynamic capabilities and firm performance?

FoR codes (2008)

150501 Consumer-Oriented Product or Service Development, 150503 Marketing Management (incl. Strategy and Customer Relations), 150310 Organisation and Management Theory, 080609 Information Systems Management



Unless otherwise indicated, the views expressed in this thesis are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the University of Wollongong.