Promoting Boundary-Spanning Behavior Among Service Personnel

Publication Date


Document Type



Jaewon (Jay) Yoo, Todd J. Arnold, Gary L. Frankwick, (2014) "Promoting boundary-spanning behavior among service personnel", European Journal of Marketing, Vol. 48 Issue: 9/10, pp.1626-1647, https://doi.org/10.1108/EJM-10-2012-0610


Purpose – The purpose of this model is to explain how person – organization fit (P – O fit) and competitive intensity, conceptualized as a job resource and a job demand, respectively, ultimately affect the development of frontline employee boundary-spanning behavior (BSB).

Design/methodology/approach – A survey methodology was used in collecting data from a sample of bank employees in South Korea. To analyze the data, a structural equation model procedure using LISREL 8.5 was used (Jöreskog and Sörbom, 1996).

Findings – Results suggest that a frontline employee’s P – O fit decreases emotional exhaustion and increases achievement-striving motivation. Competitive intensity significantly reduces achievement-striving motivation. Results also show that competitive intensity significantly attenuates the positive relationship between P – O fit and employee achievement-striving motivation, highlighting the importance of contextual industry stressors upon internal organizational behaviors. Both emotional exhaustion and achievement-striving motivation are found to ultimately affect BSBs except for the link between emotional exhaustion and service delivery.

Originality/value – The current study applies the job-demands resources model to demonstrate how both an externally initiated job demand (competitive intensity) and an internally oriented job resource (person – organization fit) influence employee experience of emotional exhaustion and achievement-striving motivation. Interaction effects of P – O fit and competitive intensity on employee’s psychological states (emotional exhaustion and achievement-striving motivation) are also examined. Further, it is demonstrated that both emotional exhaustion and achievement-striving motivation will directly influence service employee boundary-spanning behaviors, but in differential manners. This highlights the importance of exhaustion and motivation as mediators for the ultimate effect of a job resource (P – O fit), answering a call for such understanding of the developmental process for BSBs (Podsakoff et al., 2000). This is the first empirical study to link both internal and external elements to illuminate the process for developing job demands and resources, as well as boundary spanning behaviors.