Proactive Customer Service Performance: Relationships With Individual, Task, and Leadership Variables

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Despite the increasing interest in specific forms of proactive employee behavior in domains such as career development and organizational change, little research has investigated proactive behavior in the realm of customer service. Based on a review of the literatures on proactive behavior, customer service, and job performance, this study investigated relationships between a relevant set of individual and situational predictor variables and proactive customer service performance (i.e., individual service employees' self-started, long-term-oriented, and persistent service behavior that goes beyond explicitly prescribed requirements). Field survey data from 186 supervisor-subordinate dyads working in a large financial services organization demonstrated that proactive service performance, as rated by supervisors, was factorially distinct from prescribed task performance. Multiple regression analysis revealed that proactive service performance was significantly and positively associated with employee ratings of trait personal initiative, affective organizational commitment, task complexity, and participative leadership. The task and leadership variables explained incremental variance in proactive service performance beyond the individual predictors.

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Human Performance, v. 20, issue 4, p. 363-390