The contingency effect of service employee personalities on service climate: Getting employee perceptions aligned can reduce personality effects

Seigyoung Auh, Bulent Menguc, Michelle Fisher, Abeer Haddad

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Scopus citations


This study draws on the service climate and Big Five personality literature to examine the association between a service employee's personality and perception of service climate. The authors further explore the moderating role of employee involvement climate strength on the personality trait-perceived service climate relationship based on situational strength theory. Hypotheses are tested against data collected using a multiple respondent (i.e., employees and customers) method from a national chain of 66 specialty retail stores in fashion and apparel, footwear, accessories, and sports equipment. Findings indicate that an employee who is conscientious, open to experience, and agreeable perceive the service climate to be more positive. Results also suggest that under a strong employee involvement climate, an employee who is conscientious, emotionally stable, and agreeable has a perception of service climate that is less positive. Finally, employees' perception of service climate was positively related to customers' satisfaction with decision to visit the store. Findings have practical implications for hiring and promoting employees with certain personalities that are more conducive to forming a positive perception of service climate. Further, results suggest that when retail stores have a weak employee involvement climate, stores benefit from possessing employees that are conscientious, emotionally stable, and agreeable.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)426-442
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Service Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 1 2011



  • Big Five personality
  • customer satisfaction to visit store
  • employee involvement climate
  • service climate
  • situational strength theory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management

Cite this