Jae Won Yoo


In this study, the author develops and tests a model that incorporates the mediating effects of two frontline employee psychological variables (emotional exhaustion and intrinsic motivation) based on job demand and resource model. As a form of environmental resource, person-organization fit was proposed as a leading factor of frontline employee boundary spanning behavior through emotional exhaustion and intrinsic motivation. All measures were adapted from or developed based on prior research. Data for the study were collected from a cross-sectional sample of retail bank employees in South Korea. Questionnaires were distributed to 500 frontline employees across several banks. Of these, 322 usable questionnaires were returned. To analyze the data, a structural equation model procedure using LISREL 8.5 was employed. Results show that an employee`s perceived fit with his/her organization enhances intrinsic motivation and reduces emotional exhaustion. These mechanisms, in turn, increase the employee`s boundary spanning behavior. These results support the notion that person-organization fit should be one of the factors affecting motivation, affect and attachment, and extends such an understanding to a purely service-based environment among customer contact employees. Results also confirms that P-O fit can be viewed as environmental resources, and the JD-R model provides a theoretical base in further studying the antecedent role of P-O fit on frontline employees`s boundary spanning behavior through intrinsic motivation and emotional exhaustion. These results suggest that organizations have to do their best to manage P-O fit, be it through employee screening or training and workshops to try and align organization and employee values and objectives. If managers of organizations are positively evaluated by the employees, it will be easier for them to, give things of value to employees, such as sense of direction, values, and recognition, and receive other things in return such as esteem and responsiveness. Consequently, organizational leaders are not only able to manage employee experiences, but also their fit with the organization. Even if a manager cannot control employee P-O fit, this research suggests, that a focus on reducing emotional exhaustion rather than increasing intrinsic motivation seems optimal. This research also supports the idea that motivation has a direct association with a frontline employee`s boundary spanning behavior. Even in situations where emotional exhaustion cannot be reduced, organizations may still influence frontline behaviors through motivation.

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