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Getting Smart: Learning From Technology-Empowered Frontline Interactions

Marinova, D., de Ruyter, K., Huang, M. , Meuter, M. & Challagalla, G. (2017). Getting Smart: Learning From Technology-Empowered Frontline Interactions. Journal of Service Research, 20(1), pp. 29-42. doi: 10.1177/1094670516679273


Smart technologies are rapidly transforming frontline employee-customer interactions. However, little academic research has tackled urgent, relevant questions regarding such technology-empowered frontline interactions. The current study conceptualizes (1) smart technology use in frontline employee-customer interactions, (2) smart technology–mediated learning mechanisms that elevate service effectiveness and efficiency performance to empower frontline interactions, and (3) stakeholder interaction goals as antecedents of smart technology–mediated learning. We propose that emerging smart technologies, which can substitute for or complement frontline employees’ (FLEs) efforts to deliver customized service over time, may help resolve the long-standing tension between service efficiency and effectiveness because they can learn or enable learning from and across customers, FLEs, and interactions. Drawing from pragmatic and deliberate learning theories, the authors conceptualize stakeholder learning mechanisms that mediate the effects of frontline interaction goals on FLEs’ and customers’ effectiveness and efficiency outcomes. This study concludes with implications for research and practice.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: Copyright Sage 2017
Publisher Keywords: smart technology, learning, frontline, interaction, smart performance, service, goal orientation
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
Departments: Bayes Business School > Management
Text - Accepted Version
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