讲座主题：The Effect of Relational Investment on Employee Productivity: Evidence from a Franchised System
主讲人：唐振, Assistant Professor, Department of Marketing and Business Law, Loyola Marymount University
In many B2C service contexts, employees have to allocate their efforts towards two performance dimensions: generating more current revenue (which we term as quantity performance) and enhancing customer satisfaction to foster long-term repeat purchase (which we term as quality performance). Whereas quantity performance is easily verifiable, quality performance is usually not readily observable to the employers; as such, motivating the employees to balance their efforts between these two equally essential performance dimensions is a challenge for the employers.
In this research, we show how the employers (franchisees in our case) could overcome this challenge by making relational investment – i.e., non-monetary investments that focus on improving the employees’ welfare. We contend that such relational investment could improve the employees’ performance through two mechanisms. The first mechanism is a calculative mechanism wherein employees view the employers’ relational investment as an informal exchange for their productivity and thus reciprocate with more effort; however, they will only allocate the effort to performance dimensions that are observable to the employers, i.e., quantity performance. The second mechanism is a reciprocal norm mechanism wherein employees feel obligated to the employers for making such an investment and the resultant moral imperative to repay drives the employees to work harder on all performance dimensions that are desired by the employers, including quality performance. We further contend that the employers’ monitoring of quantity performance would strengthen the effect of calculative mechanism but weaken the effect of reciprocal norm mechanism. The proposed effects are tested using proprietary data obtained from a franchised barbershop chain.
The research illustrates the value of relational investment in motivating employees’ effort, especially when some performance dimensions are not easily observable by the employer. Furthermore, the research also highlights the interaction between formal control mechanisms (e.g., monitoring) and informal ones (e.g., relational investment). Rather than treating these mechanisms as purely complementary or substitutes, we show that monitoring and relational investments could either complement or substitute with each other depending on the nature of the performance and relationship under study.
唐振（Zhen (Richard) Tang），美国洛约拉马利蒙特大学市场营销和商务法学系讲师。在澳门金莎娱乐网站获得市场营销专业学士和硕士学位，在亚利桑那大学获得博士学位，主要研究方向包括销售管理、企业间关系、服务营销、特许经营和组织经济学等。在Service Science等期刊发表论文多篇，并有多篇论文在Journal of Marketing等顶级期刊评审。