Generating Employee Commitment through Noneconomic Factors: A Focus on the Frontline Employees in Service Organizations

Victoria Martinussen Vikner

Student thesis: Master thesis


Due to an increase in market demands for service-oriented output, the role of the frontline employees becomes increasingly important in order for organizations to stay competitive. They embody the external portrayal of the entire organization and are hereby conclusively influential for how customers judge the received service and the organization as a whole. Loosing employees, who represent the brand accurately to customers and have an inclination for delivering quality service, can affect the organizational revenue negatively. Employee turnover is not only expensive in terms of hiring and training – it also affects the overall employee morale and negatively impacts the service delivery and hereby the brand reputation. In order for organizations to retain their frontline employees, the aim was to investigate the underlying factors for employee commitment, as people make decisions based on noneconomic, psychological factors. This academic exploration was approached inductively, as the theoretical foundation was not obtainable for deductive, empirical verification. Theories on the noneconomic, psychological factors for generating employee commitment was explored and expanded throughout this thesis, with a methodological anchoring in the concept of generating external organizational citizenship behavior. It was found that an academic theoretical analysis of the frontline employees and the premises of their employment, gave a multileveled understanding of their noneconomic, psychological influential factors for organizational employee commitment. This resulted in a layered understanding of five different themes, influencing the perceptions, feelings and behavioral traits of the employees: HR activities, communication, leadership, culture & structure. These five themes where furthermore identified as interdependent on and affecting one another. The understanding of these connections was further developed into a conceptualized representation of how organizations can generate employee commitment. This representation is not only hypothesized to affect the employee turnover rate positively – this understanding of the frontline employees and their personal identification with the organizations, should furthermore positively impact the service delivery. Investing in understanding the frontline employees and the challenges of their organizational position should therefore help lower costs associated with employee turnover, both directly and indirectly, while simultaneously affecting the service-generated revenue positively.

EducationsMSocSc in Service Management, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2018
Number of pages76
SupervisorsMogens Bjerre