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Linking IMO with employees' fit with their environment and reciprocal behaviours towards the firm

Boukis, Achilleas and Gounaris, Spiros (2014) Linking IMO with employees' fit with their environment and reciprocal behaviours towards the firm. Journal of Services Marketing, 28 (1). 10 - 21. ISSN 0887-6045

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Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to integrate the fit theory and the equity theory in order to stress the importance of retail supervisor's IMO adoption for enhancing contact employees' fit with their environment and for shaping positive employee extra-role behaviours towards their firm and their supervisor. A hierarchical research design is employed with evidence from 89 from retail store supervisors through personal interviews and 417 contact employees. This study contributes by suggesting IMO as a mechanism which can raise employees' fit with their organization and their supervisor. Another finding of this study lies on the role of IMO for positive employee-outcomes such as higher patronage and motivation to report service complaints. Additional research is necessary to identify whether different individual characteristics and background influence employees' fit with their organization or their supervisor. The results presented in this study clearly suggest an important first step in understanding the importance of IMO adoption for employees' better fit with their environment. Considering that supervisor's level of IMO accounts for a significant portion of contact employees' IMO adoption, it is imperative that top management must first sell the organization itself especially to middle level managers before implementing an internal marketing program across the whole firm. As IMO increases employees' fit with their environment, this paper departs from the view that managers can mainly achieve “fit” into their organization and avoid misfit only by carefully attracting and selecting individuals. moreover, managers should take into account that IMO increases employees' willingness to report service complaints to their supervisor. This study is intended to be a key step in bringing internal marketing and fit research together while also formally including IMO into multilevel marketing research and providing an important shift for extant research by discussing how interpersonal interactions between different organizational groups shape IMO adoption. From a theoretical view, the paper extends fit theory by establishing IMO implementation as a key strategy for recovering or increasing employees' fit with their environment.