Journal of Applied Psychology 1992, Vol. 77, No.

5, 705-716

Copyright 1992 by the American Psychological Association, Inc. 0021-9010/92/S3.00

A Passion for Service: Using Content Analysis to Explicate Service Climate Themes
Benjamin Schneider, Jill K. Wheeler, and Jonathan F. Cox University of Maryland at College Park

Climate is conceptualized as employee perceptions of one or more strategic imperatives made manifest through work place routines and rewards. Service was the strategic imperative studied here. Notes from 97 panel interviews with 350 financial service company employees were analyzed for content to explicate the themes panelists use when asked to discuss the service climate of their organization. Quantitative analyses of the 33 coded themes revealed the routines and rewards most strongly related to service passion: responsiveness to consumers, hiring procedures (who and how), training (availability and content), and the way service is delivered. Some themes were also significantly related to a survey measure panelists completed giving their perceptions of customer views of service. Both the substantive findings and the content analysis methodology are discussed and implications for future climate research are identified.

The goal of the present research was to capture a broad range of issues that might be related to service climate. A qualitatively oriented methodology, content analysis, was chosen for this task. In what follows, first, we briefly review the literatures on general organizational climate and climate for service. Next, we present the role of content analysis in qualitative organizational research. We follow this overview of the methodological foundation for the present research by a description of the research and results.

Lewin, Lippitt, & White, 1939; McGregor, 1960). Recent studies suggest, however, that strategically focused climate measures produce stronger relationships with specific organizational outcomes than less-focused measures (e.g., Pritchard & Karrasick, 1973; Schneider & Bowen, 1985; Zohar, 1980). For example, Schneider and Bowen (1985) showed that employee perceptions of service climate were more strongly related to customer perceptions of service than were employee perceptions of the general human resources practices under which they worked.

Climate Defined
Employees' perceptions of the events, practices, and procedures as well as their perceptions of the behaviors that are rewarded, supported, and expected constitute the climate of the work setting (cf. Schneider, 1990; Schneider & Rentsch, 1988). Just as different climates can exist for each organization, job, or work group, different climates can also exist for various organizational goals or organizational imperatives. For example, there are climates for safety, climates for productivity, and climates for service (Schneider & Gunnarson, 1990). Early climate research typically did not have a specific focus; instead, it considered broad organizational issues such as leadership and interpersonal relationships (e.g., Fleishman, 1953;

Climate for Service
There is a growing literature concerning the management of service organizations (cf. Bateson, 1989; Lovelock, 1988; Zeithaml, Parasuraman, & Berry, 1990). This literature emerges from a consideration of the ways services and goods may differ along a number of continua. These continua include the relative intangibility of services compared with goods, the more simultaneous nature of the demand for and production of services, and the relatively greater participation of customers in producing their own services than in producing the goods they purchase (Parasuraman, Zeithaml, & Berry, 1985). These contrasts between services and goods have led researchers to argue that organizations can foster a service climate by establishing practices that facilitate service delivery and by expecting and rewarding service excellence (Bowen & Schneider, 1988; Schneider, 1990; Schneider & Bowen, in press). This argument is based on the idea that employees will deliver excellent service to customers when the organization provides them with the resources (logistical, administrative, equipment, and managerial support; Schneider & Bowen, 1985) to deliver effective service and when the organization treats them as it would want them to treat customers (Schneider & Bowen, 1985). When these conditions hold, a positive climate for service is said to exist.
705

We appreciate the cooperation of the three organizations studied. They made participants available to us and coordinated the internal chores associated with this project. We thank our two terrific coders, Teresa Bruno and Amy Simoneau LeVoci, without whom these data would probably still be languishing in a file drawer. We also thank Sarah Gunnarson, Rick Guzzo, Paul Hanges, Katherine Klein, and the three anonymous reviewers who provided valuable feedback on earlier versions of this article. Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Benjamin Schneider, Department of Psychology, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland 20742.

qualitative interview data are not usually used directly for climate research. With regard to the first reason. though not focused explicitly on service delivery. confusing. given our general familiarity with the content of the panel interviews. 1990). AND J. we used content analysis to identify and code the themes underlying employees' descriptions of the service climate in their organizations. 1991. Groups. Schneider & Bowen. customer-centered). if a panel reported that their organization was customer-focused.706 B. This measure of service quality has been widely used in business and industry (Zeithaml et al. We asked them to report only their perceptions of how their customers view the service they receive. Schneider et al. 1990). we expected that actual routines reflecting service. such as attempts to take customers into account when making decisions. When used with customers. we hypothesized that employees would indicate that service delivery depends on a broad range of routines and rewards. we wished to establish the relationship between the themes employees Content Analysis Content analysis is a methodology that falls midway between the quantitative survey and the qualitative observation or interview. we knew that employee comments regarding influences on service would range across many organizational subsystems (Katz & Kahn. interviewers returned to each descriptor seeking information about the routines and rewards on which participants based their comments. The procedure yields data in a form amenable to quantitative manipulation. 1969. customers' opinions of how the service facility should perform are obtained. 1961). pressured.e. First. To focus the group and to initiate discussion. For example. Interviewee comments were then rated and the ratings were quantitatively explored to identify the more important themes related to a global service climate imperative.. Interviewers encouraged as many general descriptions of the organization and the role of service as the group wished to provide. SERVQUAL data were collected for two reasons: to follow up on earlier research and to provide a kind of multimethod check on the coding of themes from the content analysis. Second. we also predicted that our thematic analysis would include issues not typically considered in relation to service and not typically discussed in the service literature. friendly. found that service climate data from employees were more strongly related than general climate data from employees to customer perceptions of service quality. Although interviews are often used to help specify survey items. ranging in size from 1 to 8 (the typical group had 5 interviewees with some single interviews also included fora total of about 350 interviewees). The SERVQUAL measure emerged from a 5-year research program conducted in five industries to identify a common set of factors that constitute service quality (Parasuraman et al. Climate data are typically obtained through questionnaires.g. training coders.. the 26-item SERVQUAL survey is designed to be administered in two steps. Sample items from SERVQUAL are presented later. For example. 1980). 1985. Thus. Parkington. Schneider & Bowen. the interview was structured by using standard probes to clarify the issues. group) interviews conducted in three financial services organizations. Schneider. 1979. 1985). secretaries and salespeople were not interviewed as a group. customers of the branches report receiving higher quality service (Parkington & Schneider. In the present study. coding the material of interest. 1991. participants were asked to describe the climate of their organization and the role of service in it. Wiley. Zeithaml. "Could you tell me the kinds of things that happen that lead you to the conclusion that your organization is customer-focused?" Just before the end of each interview. content analysis is a multistep process that requires developing categories for coding thematic content. Summary and Hypotheses The purposes of the present study were to identify the themes that constitute a climate for service for employees and to develop and use a formal content analysis protocol to relate aspects of organizational climate to service excellence. 1980) have found strong relationships (rs exceeding . 1989). Schneider. Krippendorff. 1985... COX Support exists for the importance of these prerequisites to service excellence. In the present study.65 across more than 20 branches of a bank) between employee perceptions of the quality of service customers obtain and customer reports of the quality of service they actually receive.g. 1980). participants in 92 of the 97 panels were asked to complete a modified form of the SERVQUAL survey (Parasuraman. have also been shown to be related to customer perceptions of service quality and customer satisfaction (Paradise-Tornow. 1978). service-oriented. After exhausting the general descriptions. on service climate. customers record their perceptions of how the firm actually does perform. primarily by marketing professionals interested in the measurement of customer service. Schneider and Bowen (1985). we expected certain categories of themes to be most strongly related to a concern for service. & Buxton. Content analysis is a formal procedure for classifying the qualitative information contained in written and oral materials (Holsti. Schneider and his colleagues (Schneider & Bowen. Schneider and his colleagues have shown that when employees in bank branches describe their work place as one that is characterized by service-focused routines and rewards. This general question typically elicited some global descriptions of the organization (e. Second. General measures of human resources climate. & Berry. 1991). 1985. would emerge as the major influence . In the present research we used content analysis of interviews to capture more directly employees' views on the variety of organizational routines and rewards that comprise the service climate in their organizations. In the present study. Tornow & Wiley. consistedof individuals who performed similar tasks and who were at the same level in the organizational hierarchy. we modified the survey for use with employees. Interview Procedure A semistructured interview format was used. Also known as thematic analysis (e. however. First. McClelland. SCHNEIDER.. Third. and managers and their subordinates were not interviewed together. and statistically analyzing the resultant data. the interviewer would follow with a question such as. Method Sample The sample consisted of 97 panel (i. Although we could not predict exactly which themes would be included in the final coding protocol. At this point. we had several expectations concerning the content of the protocol and the relationships that would emerge. For example.. on the basis of prior research and theory (cf. J. WHEELER. For example.

(Further discussion about the reliability indices is provided in the Results section. but the coders also considered their global impressions of the interview. In other words. The passion index was useful for capturing both the centrality of the theme and the affect of the theme that emerged in the interviews. The frequency scale measured the degree to which each theme was reflected in an interview. Benjamin Schneider and Jill K. emerged consistently from the reports and the research. This scale consisted of six codes. the survey data were used as a check on content coding. Note takers also wrote summaries of their notes at the conclusion of the sessions. double note taking was used as a reliability check. Later we formalized our review of the source materials to develop a comprehensive list of themes for content analysis. Team discussion guided further refinement of the taxonomy. A passion for service. Once we had generated a comprehensive taxonomy of themes through this review process. Our review of the feedback reports and the literature enabled us to develop a preliminary list of the themes that might be represented in the total interview data set. The transcribed exemplars in each theme decided the codes assigned for frequency and favorability. scores closer to 11 indicated high positive passion. did not clearly fit into any of the existing themes. Wheeler participated in the collection of the source material analyzed here. Training continued until the two coders and Jill K.g. why certain classification decisions should be made. This double coding of interviews enabled us to directly assess interrater reliability. frequency of 1). Coding dimensions. The Content Analysis Process Theme development. the favorability scale was a nominal scale with ordinal characteristics. Each of the 97 interviews was coded independently. They first read the interview materials without making any notes. including notes taken during the course of an interview.g. our 16th iteration incorporating 6 metathemes with a total of 33 specific themes. Furthermore. The final coding taxonomy. the frequency and favorability ratings were combined into a summary rating of passion for each theme. These are two classic codes assigned to verbal and written materials (Krippendorff. To minimize category drift. A sixth code or category was assigned when there was no information coded under a theme (i. Discussion concerned issues such as which themes should contain particular kinds of interview information. Some interview information. Wheeler and Jonathon F. Thus. high frequency with high favorability. On conclusion o f the interview process for each of the three organizations. Assigning the frequency and favorability codes to each of the 33 themes was the last step in the content analysis of each interview. as did themes with strong negativity or positivity but low frequency. Two coders were trained for 50 hr over a 2'/2week period. Training and coding. The favorability scale assessed the positivity or negativity of the comments coded into each theme. Cox achieved consistent interrater reliability on both the frequency and the favorability ratings. Training consisted of reading about content analysis (e. drove the final set of metathemes and the 33 themes that were eventually coded. as were the second set of interview notes that were available for 27 of the 97 interviews.. For the correlational analyses reported later. We began developing our taxonomy by reviewing the feedback reports provided to the three organizations and the existing literature on service organization climates (see Schneider. The first stage of content analysis requires developing a coding taxonomy. Passion was used rather than either frequency or favorability alone to index the overall directionality and intensity of each theme for interviewees. that is. Pilot coding also made it apparent that coders interpreted certain categories differently. The passion scale ranged from 1 to 11. 707 Source Materials The content analysis conducted for this project used three levels of source materials. one double-coded interview was thoroughly discussed after each calculation of interrater reliability. With regard to the multimethod convergence issue.) Coders had access to the original interview notes and the summaries. As shown in Table 1.e. with 1 indicating the theme was not mentioned at all and 5 indicating the theme was mentioned to a great extent. Results The 6 Metathemes and 33 Themes Table 1 presents the 33 themes used by coders for summarizing and rating the interviews. We randomly selected three interviews and attempted to code them with the existing taxonomy. such as staffing practices. Next.SERVICE PASSION raised in the panel interviews and the quality of service they felt they delivered. with scores closer to 1 indicating that the panel had a lot to say about a particular theme and said it negatively (high frequency and high negativity). or gradual changes in coders' interpretations of categories. we expected that coding of the themes for each panel would be related to the responses the panel provided to the survey items. Values 1 to 5 formed a continuous scale. Summaries were written to distill the interview content into a more manageable format and to clarify comments made by the interviewees. Themes with moderate favorability and moderate frequency received scores between 5 and 7. 1985). and feedback reports provided to the three organizations. with 1 indicating that comments for a particular theme were predominantly negative in affective tone and 5 indicating that comments were predominantly positive. 26 of the 124 total interviews (97 plus 27) were independently coded by both coders. For 27 of the 97 panels there were two note takers. The scale ranged from 1 to 5. and performance feedback. The goals of the present research required capturing both the relative importance of issues raised by panelists and the affect associated with them. Interrater reliability was monitored approximately every 10 days throughout the entire coding process (which took approximately 3 months to complete). practice coding. and which frequency and favorability codes should be assigned. Other themes emerged only from the reports (e. Interviewers attempted to record everything that was said by all the focus-group participants. Jones. The interviews. We then elaborated and refined this list over several months by reviewing randomly selected interview notes and summaries. development moved into a testing phase. interunit interactions). 1980). for example. proved to be both comprehensive and reliably coded. summaries written at the conclusion of the interviews. a feedback report was written summarizing the findings from the interviews. the extremes of passion required both high frequency and high positivity or negativity. for a review of this literature). the 33 . 1990. That is. This attempt made it apparent that the taxonomy still needed further refinement.. Therefore. Coders then used the transcribed comments in each theme as cues or exemplars. The key issues listed in the feedback reports represented our first attempt to identify the themes underlying interviewee comments. Each report listed key issues raised by employees and contained numerous quotations presenting the information in the language of the employees. Interviewers took copious notes (on average 8 to 10 handwritten pages) during the focus-group sessions. This is important to note because we had no a priori coding system we were attempting to validate or otherwise support. they transcribed the interviewers' notes into the 33 relevant themes.. we developed two rating scales. not the feedback reports or the research literature. Certain themes.

20. and support between functional units or levels of management within the unit. (d) service. and support between functions in the unit and between functions and entities outside the unit (e. anticipation of problems). 4. 2. The performance appraisal process. Amount of turnover (e. Characteristics of the larger environment/market surrounding the organization (e. Automation systems/computers/management information systems and instruction manuals for the systems.g. Emphasis on service demonstrated by things that are done or said by people or levels outside of this location. Experienced pressure. we chose the coefficient Kappa (Cohen.g. others only 13) and because the scale was not precisely ordinal.g. Individual supervisor-subordinate relationships. Individual co-worker relationships. Equipment and instruction manuals for the equipment. WHEELER. 6.. (e) human resources. unhappy).. truncated theme labels are used in subsequent tables. the scale also included a rating that did not fall on the continuum for those instances in which there was no information. appropriateness. however. Organizational/managerial planning (e.. and support within the work group (e. Communication. Other resources 29. and (0 other resources.g. an index of interjudge agreement for nominal scales. 32. Staffing levels (quantity and sufficiency). 19. changing. Service 11. Reliability of Coding We monitored the reliability of frequency and favorability ratings as a metatest of the reliability of the content analysis process as a whole. 24. Favorability ratings formed a continuum ranging from positive to negative affect. coordination. 14. Office conditions and facilities. Opportunities for career development and advancement. frustration. interdepartmental relationships). 9. COX Table 1 Themes and Definitions Used in the Content Analysis and Coding of the Interviews Metatheme/theme Environment 1. as noted earlier.g. 31. a conventional Pearson product-moment correlation was used to assess the interrater reliability of frequency ratings. satisfied. or pleasure (from specific sources or incident). SCHNEIDER.g.. The complete form of each theme as used in the coding process is included in Table 1. hours worked. 10. 21. descriptions such as competitive or slow). Communication. hours worked. Communication. and content).. cooperation.. Internal equity or fairness of compensation including salary. and fringe benefits.. 28. 1960). 30. guidelines. enjoyment. 15. Rules. Emphasis on service demonstrated by things that are done or said at this location (including supervisory and systems/clerical support). cooperation. Summary judgment or attitude about the job (e. 18. themes are further classified into six metathemes: (a) the environment.. 17. Quality of new recruits and staff. 22. to estimate the reliability of the favorability ratings. Interpersonal relationships (socioemotional rather than task-oriented) 8. Coordination 3. between the branch and the home office or between branches).. 12. Job security. among peers or task group members). 25. flexible. J.g. however. External equity (or market competitiveness) of compensation. 23. 26. Supplies (adequacy. The product offered to customers. Training programs (availability.g. 7. attrition. . 13. rigid). coordination. cooperation. (b) coordination. and availability). some mentioned 30 themes. The process of giving service and the service customers receive in terms of service quality. timing.708 B. (c) interpersonal relationships. 33. Characteristics of the larger organization (e.g. including salary. Performance feedback or rewards other than pay or fringe benefits. Solicitation and responsiveness to customer opinions on service delivery. coordination. layoffs). Hiring procedures (who and how). Because there was a great deal of variability in the themes that were mentioned in different interviews (e. Availability of monetary (budget) resources. Consequently. AND J. Human resources 16. and general procedures governing the work. and fringe benefits. Frequency ratings between 1 and 5 were assigned to every theme in every interview. 27. 5. Group-level relationships (e.

The passion means provided in Table 2 (column 5) range from 3. the most stringent test. Finally.42 (co-worker relationships). interrater-intersource reliability was assessed by having two coders code two different sets of notes from the same interview. all but one (supplies) falls within the human resources metatheme. the psychological outcomes. with higher numbers indicating greater frequency and favorability. both in terms of the codes assigned and the notes taken during the panel interviews. This occurred 30 times during coding. there were eight times in which one coder coded the two sets of notes from the same interview. with 1 indicating very unfavorable information presented with high frequency and 11 indicating very favorable information presented with high frequency.) The data in Table 2 show that the service passion theme has several specific correlates. During coding. frequency rating of approximately 3.89.73 with a range of . and interrater-intersource reliability (N= 30). intersource. and supplies. Of these. four themes were discussed often (i. and training (r = . Only three themes (task-related interactions within the work group. These frequently mentioned themes concern coordination issues (rules. intersource reliability (N = 27) averaged . The issues discussed most negatively. Of the five nonservice themes most strongly correlated with a service passion. The most negative passion was associated with the human resources metatheme. others were discussed much more frequently. Kappa coefficients for all three indices of favorability reliability were significant at the . Regarding service themes. averaged . we concluded that sufficient reliability existed in these data. That is.71 to . this was the most stringent test of reliability.83 with a range of . Also. and grouplevel relationships) and other resources (supplies and budget). The five least frequently mentioned issues concern interpersonal relationships (supervisor-subordinate. Correlates of a Passion for Service The goal of the present research was to identify the routines and rewards that are associated with a service passion. and procedures and task-related interactions between functional units or levels of management) and service issues (service process and emphasis on service at location). These means are the result of averaging across the panel interviews (in which one participant's negative views may have been canceled by another participant's positive views). co-worker relationships..e. guidelines. and internal equity of compensation themes.94. some of them having to do with service and the others having to do with human resources practices. (Note that this is greater than the number of interviews for which there were two note takers because several interviews were coded twice. recall that the passion index ranged from 1 to 11. specifically. Whereas some issues were rarely discussed in the panels. and when the unit is in a setting that is connected to a larger organization that emphasizes outside service^ =. (Correlations are not provided when fewer than 20 panels mentioned a theme. However. Descriptive Statistics Table 2 presents the mean frequency.38). staffing levels. is related to passion regarding the other 32 themes.75) by participants. Our experience is that panels like these tend to assume that the outside researchers and consultants are there to discuss the organization's problems. we were interested in the relationships of interviewees' comments concerning the emphasis on service where they worked (Theme 13 in Table 2) to the other themes they discussed. In addition. it was appropriate to continue with our analyses and to combine the frequency and favorability ratings into a composite scale.05 level or better. even the passion score for a specific theme fails to inform researchers about the relationship between the theme and the passion for service.64).80 with a range of . performance appraisal process.14 (internal equity of compensation) to 7. although participants addressed a variety of issues in both positive and negative terms.93. On the basis of these reliability analyses. as mentioned earlier. We turn to these relationships next. Column 8 in Table 2 shows how Theme 13. were psychological outcomes. Interrater reliability was determined by comparing ratings across the 33 themes for the 26 interviews that were coded by two different coders. staffing levels. a passion for service.37 to . Consequently. not all panels addressed all issues.70 or higher. performance feedback (r = .47). Clearly. For frequency ratings. with favorability ratings lower than 1. job security. internal equity of compensation (r = . interrater reliability (7V= 26) averaged . panelists appear to describe their unit as having a service passion (Theme 13) especially when the unit solicits and is responsive to customer opinion (r = . The most positive passion in these data concerns themes regarding task-related interactions within the work group.50. co-worker. the passion scores are skewed toward negative passion. This is important to remember because it is clear that. Therefore. turnover.43).40). job security. at least partly because of the nature of the interviews. and interrater-intersource.) Reliability here required not only agreement between the two coders but also agreement on the notes taken by the two note takers. four concern human resources issues: hiring procedures (r = .63 to .SERVICE PASSION 709 Three indices of reliability were assessed for both ratings: interrater. The theme regarding task-related interactions between functional . and passion ratings for each of the 33 themes. co-worker relationships. and themes varied in the passion with which they were raised. This analysis provided an estimate of how well the ratings of two different coders agreed when they were coding the same notes.72). As Table 2 shows. favorability. Table 2 also presents the favorability ratings of the themes. Reliability analysis of these eight interviews provided a test of the extent to which two note takers captured the same information from an interview panel. when it establishes procedures for delivering service (r = . internal equity of compensation. much of what the groups said was negative. and product offered. Intersource reliability was assessed by having one coder code two sets of notes from the same interview.46). Recall that for 27 of the interviews the interviewer and another person took notes. Recall that frequency and favorability were scored on 5-point scales. and product offered) had average favorability ratings of 3.

46 .42 0.11 .39* .42 5. Internal equity of compensation 28.49 2.33 .00 1.97 1.07 . Task-related interactions between branch and other locations Interpersonal relationships 8. Performance feedback 27.74 1.21 2.79 1. Favorability.79 2.92 .08 1.21 0.68 2.42 2.72 1.98 1.00 0. Staffquality 19. Supervisor-subordinate relationships 9.00 3.95 5.12 3.85 1. * Correlations based on fewer than 20 groups are not presented.14 4.38* . human resources (overall job attitudes.56 2.65 3.93 1. 3 = somewhat. Solicitation and responsiveness to customer opinions Human resources 16.37 1.06 1.78 1.00 4.37 0. coordination (organizational planning).13 4.38 2.00 2.00 0.39 1.37 SD 1.10 1.63 1.40* .54 1.15 1.00 2.16 1.12 1.77 1.16 1.90 1. External equity of compensation Other resources 29.43 6.66 1.36 2.24 1.37 4.04 3.72 2.20 4.44 1.43 0. 5 = to a great extent. with 1 indicating very unfavorable information presented with high frequency and 11 indicating very favorable information presented with high frequency.04 1. Group-level relationships Service 11.43 3. 2 = more negative than positive or neutral.06 5.50 4.08 2.95 4.73 2. Training 23. and procedures 5.39).39 1.81 1.53 SD 1.77 3.43 3. COX Table 2 Means and Standard Deviations for Frequency.31* .35 2.34* .77 1. Rules.18 2. 3 = equally positive and negative or predominantly neutral. Factor analysis was considered as a way to assess the clustering of the 33 themes.33 0. Emphasis on service at location (passion for service) 14.74 1.69 2.20 1.93 4.11 2.47 1. For example.72 1.46 3. and other resources (office conditions and facilities).22* .92 1. Staffing levels 21. factor analysis is inappropriate due to the unfavorable 1:3 (themerpanel) ratio.04 2. AND J. WHEELER.49 1.27 2.53 7.00 5.51 1.55 4. Overall job attitudes 18. Staffquality.96 6.91 1. Career development opportunities 24.61 1.71 2.30 2.23* — — — .92 3.12 4.27 1. Environmental characteristics Coordination 3. Task-related interactions between functional units or levels of management 7. Turnover 22.40 SD 1.51 .46* .95 6. However.47 2.29 0.39 5.90 1.27* — — " Frequency scale: 1 = none.78 5.00 1.62 0.18 4.79 1. d Passion scale ranged from 1 to 11.34 1.58 3.10 0.04 4. Performance appraisal process 26.38 1.28 1.36 1.24 2. units or levels of management also has a fairly strong relationship with service emphasis (r = .27 1.39 0.42 2.28* — .46 1.94 2.20 M 5. Emphasis on service outside location 15.41 1.24 0.20 4.38 3.42 0.48 0.87 1.38 .39 1.75 2. and Passion and Correlations of Passion for Service (Theme 13) With All Other Themes Frequency"-1 Metatheme/theme Environment 1. Automation systems 32. Hiring procedures 20.32* .710 B.34 . Supplies 33.17 . These metathemes include environmental issues (organizational characteristics).00 33 28 43 6 16 .61 N 77 43 42 88 41 94 66 8 12 4 93 49 92 43 23 86 37 82 23 70 66 74 41 25 23 68 70 30 . Interestingly.34 2.11 0.19 5.28 1.19 2. Product offered 13.69 1.01 1.34* .34* .46 1.50 1.92 4.69 2. Co-worker relationships 10.17 2.00 0.74 3.30 2.17 1.07 1.54 1.43* .37 3.35 1. Task-related interactions within the work group 6. Office conditions and facilities 30.37 0. whereas .66 3.48 4.33 6.36 1. 5 = predominantly positive. SCHNEIDER.98 1.55 2. J.60 .16 .68 0.46 0. Organizational characteristics 2.63 1.94 1.09 .72 M 2.35 1. b Frequency scale means are based on TV = 97.14 4.47* .03 . 4 = quite a bit.54 1. Budget Favorability0 Passiond M 2. Perhaps equally serious was the great variability in the number of panels in which a theme emerged. and perfor- mance appraisal process).00 3.75 1.64* .25 1. Job security 25.30 1.54 1.44 0.13 7. Equipment 3 1 .50 2.86 4.53 2. 2 = not much.94 1.22 1.38* . c Favorability scale: 1 = predominantly negative.76 1. some themes were mentioned by as few as four panels.72 1.19 .36* . guidelines.15 3.72* . Psychological outcomes 17.50 1. another six themes have moderately strong relationships with a passion for service.64 1. They represent a diverse set of metathemes that characterize organizational functioning. 4 = more positive than negative or neutral.20 1.70 1. as shown in Table 2.57 1.32 2.52 1. Organizational planning 4.10 1.27 2. Service process 12.11 0.38 3.

88). More specifically. training. the strongest correlate of a climate for service was actually soliciting and paying attention to customer opinions and the next strongest correlate was having in place hiring procedures for . alpha = . Also shown in Table 4 is the relationship between each of the 33 themes and the SERVQUAL composite score (called "Total" in Table 4. and pay equity). 1989) asking them how their customers would rate them on various service-related issues. Recall that the probes used by the interviewers were intended to elicit thoughts about routines and rewards that might touch on a broad but not predetermined range of organizational issues. the strongest correlate of Equipment/Facilities is Theme 29 (office conditions and facilities. a complex set of issues concerning organizational functioning was shown to be related to an independently coded passion for service.SERVICE PASSION 711 others were mentioned by almost all panels.88) such as "When [the company] promises to do something by a certain time. were robust enough to survive major differences in both method and response set. r = . This factor included 10 items (alpha = . Also. these qualitative data demonstrate that a service climate is not caused by only service-specific activities. Perhaps most interestingly.45). our qualitative approach produced results that converged with a conventional. The relationships between the content analysis and SERVQUAL results suggest that the interviews were successful in uncovering service-related information and that the passion ratings captured this information.. included three items (alpha = . service passion. issues tends to emerge in a similarly positive fashion. r = . the strongest human resources correlate of service passion was the hiring procedures theme (Theme 19). included eight items (alpha = . This goal appears to have been achieved. Qualitative Data Table 3 reproduces the notes transcribed by the coders from the original interview notes and the ratings assigned to the themes by coders for these two panels. r = . and the strongest correlates of the total SERVQUAL score are Themes 15 (solicitation and responsiveness to customer opinions. The correlations presented in Table 2 reveal. 1989). analysis of the coded themes suggests that several themes are significantly correlated with a service climate (or passion for service).51). These relationships tend to support the content and construct validity of our coding system. but in these data the level of diversity precluded factor analysis. a range of other. Whereas we learn from the quantitative data which facets of a theme contribute to the rating. That is. That is. What these qualitative examples add to the analysis is detail and specificity. Personal Attention/ Helpfulness. The third factor. 26.45) and 19 (hiring procedures. and 27). The data in Table 3 support our expectation that when panelists address the service theme positively and at length (yielding a passion rating of 11). under closer scrutiny. Parasuraman et al. These kinds of convergence are particularly interesting given the different response sets created by the two data-gathering techniques. Previous factor analyses of the SERVQUAL measure identified five factors (Parasuraman et al. whereas the interviews probed for employees' direct perceptions of diverse issues in their units. it does so" and "Customers feel secure in their dealings with [the company]. then. Discussion Climate for Service A goal of the present research was to establish the correlates of a climate for service. we learn from the qualitative data what we might change about those facets to bring about a change in service passion. These issues included themes ranging from soliciting customer opinions to having in place appropriate hiring procedures and from internal equity of compensation to organizational planning. The SERVQUAL measure focuses only on service outcomes that potentially reveal an organization's service orientation. the convergence of the two techniques suggests that the findings of our coding process are not artifacts of the content analysis method per se. the strongest correlate of Dependability/Trust is Theme 19 (hiring procedures.78) such as "[The company] does not give customers personal attention" and "Employees at [the company] are not always willing to help customers. performance appraisal. This is followed by interviewee comments regarding the five strongest nonservice correlates of service passion (Themes 6." and "The appearance of the physical facilities of [the company] is in keeping with the type of service provided. Equipment/Facilities." Table 4 provides the correlations between the 33 themes from the panel interviews and the SERVQUAL factors. For example. that the strongest correlates of a climate for service concerned doing things that were explicitly tied to service (responsiveness to consumer input and concern for the service delivery process) and human resources practices (selection." The second factor. the strongest correlate of a service passion in the data from the content analysis concerned Theme 15 (solicitation and responsiveness to customer opinions) and this theme was also the strongest correlate of the total SERVQUAL service index. Our analysis yielded three strong factors based on the group-level aggregated responses of 312 participants into the 92 panels that completed SERVQUAL." This factor was comprised of eight of the nine negatively worded items. r = . Theme 19 is also the strongest human resources correlate of the total SERVQUAL service index.54). Like the quantitative data presented earlier. the strongest correlate of Personal Attention/Helpfulness is Theme 15 (solicitation and responsiveness to customer opinions. 22. SERVQUAL Correlates of Coded Themes At the conclusion of each panel. Fourteen of the coded themes correlated significantly with at least one of the four SERVQUAL columns. Several relationships.42). quantitatively oriented questionnaire. Table 3 first presents information regarding Theme 13.19. Diversity in sample sizes is acceptable to a point. We called the first factor Dependability/Trust. primarily human resources. Thus." "[The company's] facilities are visually appealing. Furthermore. SERVQUAL asked interviewees to describe how customers would perceive the service quality delivered by their units. r = . participants completed a survey (SERVQUAL.66): "[The company] has up-todate equipment.

It doesn't make sense that we don't work together to get the work done. pizza. this is considered a lack of communication. Frequency = 5 Favorability = 1 Passion = 1 6. People we try to hire need good common sense. Tries to hire those who have an emphasis on customer service. demonstrated by things that are done or said. Communication. hours worked. but should follow up better. they haven't told us about it. Tells employees good job. Cross-training: Try to have people do as many tasks as possible. They treat us like we're not trusted. Manager treats his clients like he wants his employees to treat them. Training programs (availability. Processors and closers must work together. and content) Frequency = 3 Favorability = 1 Passion = 3 Sometimes we get things. be supportive. and support between functional units or levels of management within the interviewees' unit. Emphasis on service. Frequency = 5 Favorability = 5 Passion = 11 This study. Very responsive/good relations. Income is based on size of loans. Only bad service is noticed. understand. Frequency = 5 Favorability = 4 Passion = 10 27." We get memos. Loan officer makes a higher commission than those doing the dirty work. . People are cooperative and friendly here. timing. Training programs (availability. We don't hear why we do special projects or the results of those projects. cooperation. and content).712 B. Doesn't make sense to put up a wall between them and us. We must get along and work together as a group. We want people to come here and be treated the best. Frequency = 2 Favorability = 1 Passion = 4 Negative service passion 13. Communication. lets them see customer survey. The manager finds out things after the fact. Frequency = 3 Favorability = 3 Passion = 6 26. doughnuts for good work. coordination. and support between functional units or levels of management within the interviewees' unit. but no messages about why it is important. The message is getting out—"Service pervades the whole job. They are becoming more responsive in getting us the information we need. SCHNEIDER. Hiring procedures (how and whom) Frequency = 1 No favorability or passion ratings 22. Performance feedback or rewards other than pay or fringe benefits. demonstrated by things that are done or said. Job is appreciated and praised. Interviewee's statement or example 19. Hiring procedures (how and whom). we made more of a big deal out of customer service. We need more training. Manager is very responsive to our questions and concerns. Beginning last year. COX Table 3 Interviews Revealing Positive and Negative Passion for Service Theme/ratings Positive service passion 13. Little is being done to facilitate service. We deal effectively with underwriting. Don't make mistakes or you'll go on report. Supervisor and VP want to control everything. but aren't trained how to use it. show empathy. but can't focus on it for fear of mistakes. AND J. timing. Because of pressure. people don't take the time to understand what's going on in the new system. The branch manager keeps his door open and is active in daily conversation. We have holiday parties and family get-togethers. Frequency = 5 Favorability = 5 Passion = 11 6. Loan officer tries to be upbeat. J. Marketing people are not aware of what is going on. Emphasis on service. Occasionally buy lunch. cooperation. The key is references. are sharp thinkers. coordination. Frequency = 5 Favorability = 1 Passion = 1 They tell us service is important. Frequency = 2 Favorability = 5 Passion = 8 22. at this location (including supervisory and system/clerical support). We have trainer slides. They don't communicate bad news when it shows up in a letter. 19. WHEELER. Person gets plaque or letter if mentioned in survey. and fringe benefits. Verbally understand that service is important. Internal equity or fairness or compensation including salary. and think ahead. We get incentives for giving good customer service. at this location (including supervisory and system/clerical support). If they are doing something about the understaffing. Company offers rewards. Operations officer won't let me talk directly with marketing.

they showed that the strongest correlate of customer perceptions concerned employee perceptions of the service-oriented practices and procedures of the unit followed by employee perceptions of the human resources practices under which they worked. Internal equity or fairness of compensation including salary. different coded themes—especially themes having to do with solicitation and responsiveness to customer opinions. Three more human resources issues also emerged as important: training. 1989). However. the latter is actually a consequence of diverse issues. Performance feedback or rewards other than pay or fringe benefits. These results map quite well onto results presented by Schneider and Bowen (1985) in their research on customer and employee perceptions. even though the data were collected in quite different ways.20. The results from an exploration of the relationships between the coded themes and the SERVQUAL data further support this conclusion. If we make mistakes. promoting service requires supporting a multifaceted climate in which delivering service quality can occur. This means that when a number of different themes are related to the passion for service theme. and expected (rewards) in organizations that send the message that a particular strategic imperative requires employee energies and competencies. never about what we do well. pay.. staffing the unit. they spoke of a rational and structural frame and a symbolic frame through which organizational behavior has been studied. inspection of the 33-theme intercorrelation matrix (available from Benjamin Schneider) reveals that the average intercorrelation of the passion indices was about . Those data revealed that when employees are asked to estimate customer opinions of service quality. and the equity of pay and benefits. Thus. In our analysis. Also important were the processes and procedures in the unit for actually delivering service to customers. How the subsystems function and at what the subsystems are targeted serve as literal communication to organizational members about the imperatives or goals of the organization. The utility of the present approach was that it identified the themes that are reflected in service passion. Slightly more than one half of the coded themes were significantly correlated with service passion (see Table 2). who used actual customer data as the criterion rather than the employee perceptions of what customers would report used here. Frequency = 2 Favorability = 1 Passion = 4 We get charged $250 for errors. These results also support a systems perspective on climate. In that work. On Lenses and Frames for Understanding Organizations We began this article with a definition of climate that focused on the practices and procedures (routines) and the behaviors that get rewarded. in the present case a service climate. These results support a complex view of the variety of issues requiring active management if employees are to believe their employing organization has a particular strategic objective. hiring procedures. the meaning of the . we focused on the way routines and rewards were related to a service emphasis or a passion for service. Not all of the themes coded in the present effort were related to service passion (indeed some were rarely mentioned at all). From this perspective. these might be thought of as the themes to which one might want to pay particular attention if one were interested in creating a service climate. In the symbolic approach to understanding organizations. Decision making. researchers and practitioners view the organizational world as a rational place in which objectivity is the focus. we have taken two lenses or frames for viewing organizations and shown their relationship. Frequency = 4 Favorability = 1 Passion = 2 27. and fringe benefits. supported. Punishment for mistakes. That is.SERVICE PASSION 713 Table 3 (continued) Theme/ratings Interviewee's statement or example Negative service passion (continued) 26. 1978). it is possible that the coding system would produce data that are highly intercorrelated merely as a result of coders' making rating judgments after reviewing an entire interview. To use Bolman and Deal's (1984) language. because service quality itself is a multifaceted construct (Parasuraman et al. personnel selection. hours worked. we go on report. performance appraisal. The same pattern has emerged in the present data. The results presented here are virtually identical with those presented in Schneider and Bowen (1985). We hear only about our mistakes. One might question whether the service-related and human resources-related metathemes are really getting at different issues. and so forth are viewed as rationally based. In the rational and structural approach. New people are hired and make more money than we do. multicaused attribution employees make about what is important in organizations. suggesting that everything is not tied to the creation and maintenance of a service climate. one that suggests the numerous subsystems of organization require simultaneous attention by management for the entire organization to function effectively (Katz & Kahn. Thus. and the nature of facilities and equipment—are significant correlates. is a function of many facets of organizational life operating relatively simultaneously and independently but all determinant of a particular organizational imperative. climate is a multifaceted. Our interpretation of this finding is that the creation and maintenance of a climate.

17 .25 -. Staffing levels 21.11 .02 .06 .05 .40* — — ' Correlations based on fewer than 20 groups are not presented. Psychological outcomes 17.40* . Performance appraisal process 26. Organizational planning 4.06 .31* — — .06 . and procedures 5.19 .01 . Equipment 3 1 .07 -. Product offered 13. Supervisor-subordinate relationships 9.16 . WHEELER. Our results indicate.18* -. rational decisions and actions is considered to be of primary importance.27 .17 .08 . Here.21 .28 .22 .19 . Performance feedback 27. b Total is a scale score across all SERVQUAL items. SCHNEIDER.02 . In our analyses. The methodology used here is generalizable to other climates of interest.07 .03 .26* . Emphasis on service outside location 15.16 .02 .02 . Emphasis on service at location (passion for service) 14.24* .714 B.13 .02 .09 . Turnover 22.13 .40* .15 .24 . The difficulty we had points to potential problems with the reliability of inferences .36* . AND J.51* .20 Depend .16 . Environmental characteristics Coordination 3.23* — — — . Rules. this research demonstrates both the usefulness and the difficulty of designing and implementing reliable content analysis procedures. Content Analysis and Climate Research Methodologically. what these issues are. it was possible. Supplies 33. Staff quality 19.04 . Task-related interactions between branch and other locations Interpersonal relationships 8.01 .31 .36* . Solicitation and responsiveness to customer opinions Human resources 1 6.14 .14 . Automation systems 32. Hiring procedures 20.14 -. * p < .07 — — — -.23 .30 . External equity of compensation Other resources 29. J.21 .18* -. Office conditions and facilities 30. guidelines.03 .03 .09 .13 -.14 .27* . Budget N 74 42 40 84 39 90 62 7 12 4 88 47 89 39 22 83 35 78 22 68 63 72 40 24 23 66 67 29 32 28 43 6 15 Total" .19 . there are many rational and structural activities in organizations that have symbolic meaning for service.10 .07 .26* .04 -. Depend = Dependability/Trust.54* .08 -.14 .27 .04 .12 .35* -. Equip = Equipment/Facilities.40* .23* -. Schein. What are the rational and structural issues in organizations that give symbolic meaning so far as service is concerned? The answer to this question appears to be "many".04 .01 .24 .26* .11 .15 .10 — — — . we crossed the rational and structural and the symbolic.02 -.25 — — .08 Help Equip -.12 . Service process 12. asking the question.11 .42* -. Group-level relationship Service 1 1 . research on organizational culture would be seen as a candidate for inclusion (cf.05 .45* .19* .02 .29* . Although it was difficult to design a reliable coding scheme. Internal equity of compensation 28.04 — — — .03 .04 -.29* .35* — — -.09 .02 . Co-worker relationships 10.45* -.11 . Career development opportunities 24. Help = Attention/Helpfulness. Task-related interactions within the work group 6. Training 23.27* .32 . Organizational characteristics 2. for the sample studied. Task-related interactions between functional units or levels of management 7.01 . 1985).05.05 -.31* .12 .28* . Job security 25. COX Table 4 Theme Correlations With SERVQUAL Measure SERVQUAL correlations" Metatheme/theme Environment 1 .15 -.04 . Overall job attitudes 18.31* .

Holsti. 49. E. Van Maanen. 37-46. Greenwich. 20. K. A. 1979). The meaning of organizations: The role of cognition and values. this procedure yielded reliabilities in the . M. it is not what the themes are that is important for understanding climate. O. (1978). A conceptual model of service quality and its implications for future research. The achieving society. L. Zeithaml. L. References Bateson. (1988). operations. L. (1985). A. R. (1984). Services marketing and management: Implications for organizational behavior. As noted in the introduction. J. 43-80). Personnel Psychology. D. If our results are typical. the system used to code the notes is what is suspect until proven otherwise. Lippitt. A coefficient of agreement for nominal scales. CT: JAI Press. In short. At one level. V A. 14. G. & Kahn. Chicago: Dryden. Parasuraman. structured coding scheme can agree on the meaning of the notes taken in the interview panels. Parasuraman. K. hopefully capturing all of the issues raised in the interview (cf. (1939). L. P. Cummings (Eds.. D. and supervisory behavior. D.. MA: Addison-Wesley. Patterns of aggressive behavior in experimentally created "social climates. New York: McGraw-Hill. K. New York: Wiley. Journal of Marketing. Our first attempts at coding were to read the notes and make some ratings. the content coding system. human relations training. (1991). 1980). In B.. & White. 41-50. G. Leadership climate. B. (1985). yield a rich picture of the climate for service in organizational settings. J. Paradise-Tornow.50 range. then. Englewood Cliffs. NJ: Prentice-Hall...). it is with what the themes are correlated that focuses employee efforts and competencies and creates the climate of interest. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. On this last issue. given that the 33 themes emerging from the present study cover a broad range of the metathemes one might find in any climate study. Schein. Reading. Schneider & Gunnarson.. then one-researcher conclusions based on unstructured analysis of notes taken in the field may be suspect regardless of the richness or empathic description such data appear to yield.g. The human side of enterprise. Content analysis proved useful in that a number of interesting relationships were established. If the theme of interest in our research effort had been the passion for employee well-being. & Schneider. Krippendorff. E. Zeithaml. compared with surveys. Therefore. structured. Beverly Hills. Bowen. SERVQUAL: A multiple item scale for measuring consumer perceptions of service quality. Sunderland. (1960).). L. Content analysis for the social sciences and humanities. & Deal. Staw & L. D. L.. is not whether the 33 themes identified here would emerge in other studies but with what kind or kinds of climate would the themes correlate. K. & Ashe. when combined with the qualitative "feel" provided by the interviews themselves. as James. Parkington. In this mode. Fleishman. A. (1960). they have generally failed to address issues concerning the reliability of their data. L. qualitative approaches to climate research have been rare. A.. James. With regard to content analysis. what is so unique about service? Our answer to this question is that climate in organizations appears to represent different imperatives. In B. Finally. Lewin. This last point is difficult to overemphasize. & Schneider. 1990). (1989). Research methods in the social and behavioral sciences. T. Journal of Retailing.). C. Would two different people hearing the same interview take the same notes or reach the same conclusions about what the interview meant? The present analytic technique provides some answers to these questions. (1990). 6. V A. 64.. L. (1953). Katz & Kahn. H. Cohen.129-140. Modem approaches to understanding and managing organizations. New York: Van Nostrand. 205-222. The issue. 10. we have shown that reliable procedures for coding qualitatively collected climate data can be developed. & Berry. Content analysis: An introduction to its methodology. content analysis scheme is not used to illuminate the meaning in qualitatively collected data. although culture researchers have been champions of the richness of the qualitative approach (cf. Recall that it took 16 versions of the coding scheme before we achieved satisfactory comprehensiveness and reliability. R. Some correlates of experi- . climate for safety or climate for innovation. the results of the coding raise an interesting question: How different would the list of themes be if the study had concerned the climate for safety or the climate for innovation? That is. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. & Berry. Research in organizational behavior (Vol. and human resources. 1978) and some of these are correlated with a passion for employee well-being whereas others might be correlated with a passion for service. Managing services: Marketing. climate concerns the well-being of employees—what we might call a climate for well-being. C. Human Resource Planning. MA: Sinauer. yielded very specific routines and rewards amenable to change in an effort to design or redesign an organization with a passion for service. R. A. D. some of which confirmed and some of which extended prior research using survey designs. We believe that a similar procedure is useful for studies of other kinds of climate (e. C. Katz. 1985. Krippendorff. Managing services marketing: Text and readings. E. service quality and organizational performance in banks. CA: Sage. (1969). the 33 themes coded in our system covered a broad range of issues. L. pp. It is important to state here that the results we have presented suggest that it is not the notes that are unreliable. (1961). James. and no examples of content analysis of qualitatively collected data were found in the climate literature. Schneider (Ed. Such procedures yield data that are quantitatively useful and. Bolman. J.. A. In addition. McClelland. (1988). Jones. The social psychology of organizations (2nd ed. including the reliability associated with the meaning of the data. Organizational climate and culture (pp." Journal of Social Psychology. (1979).SERVICE PASSION 715 drawn when a formal.. Educational and Psychological Measurement. and Ashe (1990) argued. 40-84). B. then different themes than those we found to be significant correlates of service passion might have been identified. M.. cf. (1980). R. 10.12-40. Lovelock. our demonstration of intersource reliability in coding indicates that reliably similar notes appear to have been taken in the interview panels and that trained coders using a formal. Management effectiveness. E. all organizations have reward and performance appraisal systems and equipment and coordination problems (cf. (1989). That is. Thus. 271-299. James.. R. climate concerns the organizational imperatives regarding the welfare of employees. McGregor. R.

or figures. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. and on paper of good quality. Applying psychology in business: The manager's handbook (pp. Human Resource Planning. Managing climates and cultures: A futures perspective. J.117-128. B.105-116. metrics. V A. (1980). These limits do not include the title page.).. set the character and space limit at 60 characters per line and do not exceed 410 lines for text plus references. APA policy prohibits an author from submitting the same manuscript for concurrent consideration by two or more publications. Schneider. do not exceed 960 characters and spaces in the abstract. Pritchard.) Masked reviews are optional. 65.. W (1991). Van Maanen. tables. author note footnotes. all manuscripts are subject to editing for sexist language. 383-412). and abstracts appear in the Manual. Authors can refer to recent issues of the journal for approximate length of regular articles. & Rentsch. as for regular manuscripts. Rowland & G. Human Resource Planning. 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