Linking Employee Perceptions of Collective Efficacy in Self-managing Service Teams with Customer-perceived Service Quality: A Psychometric Assessment

Ad de Jong*, Martin Wetzels, Ko de Ruyter

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to investigate the linkage between self-managing team (SMT) member perceptions of collective efficacy and customer-perceived service quality, and the most cost-efficient way to reliably assess collective efficacy and customer-perceived service quality, using generalizability theory (G-theory). Design/methodology/approach - Longitudinal design; employee and customer survey data from 52 teams of a major financial services institution were collected at two points in time. Findings - First of all, results of OLS regression analysis show a positive effect of collective efficacy on customer-perceived service quality. In addition, taking a G-theory approach, the results indicate that collective efficacy possesses a higher psychometric quality than customer-perceived service quality and that the costs of reliably comparing SMTs on collective efficacy are considerably lower compared to customer-perceived service quality. Finally, for both constructs, the results reveal subtle but relevant differences in psychometric quality and costs of data collection across different types of service (routine versus non-routine) settings. Practical implications - To begin with, as a linkage construct, collective efficacy provides managers a mechanism for team intervention by means of task-focused team building, role-play exercises, and using feedback to increase service employee confidence. Secondly, when deciding to use survey data as one means to compare performance of organizational units, managers should first determine to what extent the distinct measurement design facets (e.g. items, persons, and occasions) account for variance in measures and sample correspondingly to save money on data collection. In doing so, they should explicitly take into account the type of service context and type of respondent. Originality/value - This study identifies collective efficacy and customer-perceived service quality as a set of service SMT performance measures that meaningfully connects employee and customer perceptions at the group level. Secondly, a G-theory approach was used to assess the psychometric quality of these two measures and how data collection costs can be minimized to achieve a desired level of generalizability.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Service Industry Management
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)353-378
Publication statusPublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Customer services quality
  • Employee attitudes
  • Autonomous work groups

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