Examining Accession and Retention and the Role of Relationship Marketing in Public Service Organizations: Three Studies Public Deposited

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  • March 19, 2019
  • Landale, Karen
    • Affiliation: Kenan-Flagler Business School
  • Employee accession and retention are important topics, particularly in post-industrial countries like the United States, where service-based organizations are a large segment of the overall market. Those in the services industry rely on talented employees to bolster their brand image and market value by providing exceptional service and creating exciting innovations. Despite the plethora of studies regarding employee accession and retention, very few studies have examined which service competencies and service inclinations are essential for high quality public servants. Public servants are employees of governmental and non-governmental organizations whose jobs involve a high level of personal risk. For example, the military services of the Department of Defense (i.e., the Army, Navy, Marines, and Air Force), Doctors Without Borders, the Red Cross, and the World Health Organization are all public service organizations that operate in hostile environments. For these organizations, performance quality is a matter of life and death, and poor performance in particular can have far-reaching political, social, and economic effects. This paper uses Army Special Forces as a case study organization to examine the effects of both service competencies (e.g., cognitive ability, navigational ability, and physical abilities) and service inclinations (e.g., general likeability) on training success and retention. Specifically, the results show that cognitive ability, navigational ability, physical strength, and likeability are important for Special Forces training success. When it comes to retention, the results show that cognitively- and navigationally-gifted soldiers are the first to leave Army service, while those with less physical ability remain until retirement. Finally, a new, internally-focused conceptualization of relationship marketing is developed to examine how workplace relationships affect employee commitment and retention. The meta-analytic structural equation modeling results show that organizational commitment and retention are increased when organizations foster strong interpersonal relationships among their employees, when they provide ample opportunity for training and development, and when they exhibit goals, values, and beliefs that are similar to those of their employees. The results of the studies are combined to provide overall results and recommendations.
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Rights statement
  • In Copyright
  • Steenkamp, Jan-Benedict
  • Woodruff, Todd
  • Gielens, Katrijn
  • Zeithaml, Valarie
  • Guo, Shenyang
  • Doctor of Philosophy
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Graduate School
Graduation year
  • 2014
Place of publication
  • Chapel Hill, NC
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