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Title: An Investigation of the role of knowledge brokers during service encounters: the context of Jordanian commercial banks
Authors: Al Hawamdeh, Nayel
Advisors: Hackney, R
Kamal, M
Keywords: Customer knowledge;Knowledge brokering;Frontline employees;Absorptive capacity;Knowledge creation
Issue Date: 2018
Publisher: Brunel University London
Abstract: Obtaining customer knowledge represents a key task across all firms given its importance for potential competitive advantage, improving service quality and achieving long-term relationships with agents. However, despite the fact that the interaction between customers and frontline employees during service encounters is considered a valuable source of customer knowledge, our understanding of the role of frontline employees as brokers in this respect remains embryonic. The purpose and motivation of this research are to explore the factors—namely, enablers and barriers—that influence frontline employees’ motivation to serve as knowledge brokers. The process through which knowledge brokers transfer customer knowledge during service encounters is also considered important. This study further contributes to the theory of knowledge management by formulating a valid conceptual framework that illustrates the process of knowledge-brokering during these service encounters. This thesis adopted a qualitative research approach using an in-depth multiple case study analysis. In total, 30 semi-structured interviews with different informants (i.e. managers and employees) from three top commercial banks in Jordan were undertaken. In addition, other data sources, including documents and observations, were also informed the primary data collection. Contextually, Jordan’s service-oriented economy combined with its developing nature provided a rich research environment for exploring these issues. The study reveals that frontline employees engage in knowledge-brokering during service encounters transfer through three types of customer knowledge, namely, knowledge about customers, knowledge for customers, and knowledge from customers. Furthermore, the main findings demonstrate four critical sets of factors facilitating or impeding knowledge-brokering during these events, i.e.; organisational-level factors (e.g. organisational culture, organisational structure, and organisational support), individual-level factors (e.g. job experience, prior customer knowledge, ability to understand customer knowledge, self-efficacy, and workload), technological-level factors (e.g. bank information system and a lack of a customer-relationship management system) and knowledge-level factors (e.g. tacit or explicit). It was also found that the process of knowledge-brokering during service encounters is accomplished in two ways: knowledge-brokering for the customer and knowledge-brokering for the organisation. This study also reports a set of managerial implications that provide a better understanding of the influential factors inherent in establishing and seeking to succeed in knowledge-brokering during the course of frontline bank employees’ interactions during service encounters. Keywords: knowledge-brokering, frontline employees, customer knowledge, service encounters.
Description: This thesis was submitted for the award of Doctor of Philosophy and was awarded by Brunel University London
Appears in Collections:Business and Management
Brunel Business School Theses

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