Front-line service employees' service recovery performance: a practice theory-based study into customer complaint handling in the Abu Dhabi Police Force

Alameri, A., 2018. Front-line service employees' service recovery performance: a practice theory-based study into customer complaint handling in the Abu Dhabi Police Force. DBA, Nottingham Trent University.

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Abstract

Research Justification: Since 2011, the United Arab Emirates' federal government launched several programs emphasising high-quality service to customers. Subsequently, all federal and local agencies, including the Abu Dhabi Police, are now required to improve service recovery and customer complaint handling. Moreover, many scholars have focused on the relationship between service recovery and customer satisfaction and on the public's goodwill, trust, compliance, cooperation and commitment in public services.

Research Objective: The primary objective of this paper is to explore and determine the effect of various police social structure aspects and managerial action on front-line service employees' service recovery performance. Moreover, the researcher aims to use these findings to complete his review of service recovery and complaint handling with the Abu Dhabi Police from the management, customer and front-line service employees' perspectives.

Practice Theory: Based on Chan's (1996) field and habitus framework (which has been used extensively to understand change within police organisations), the researcher adopted the concepts of habitus, field and capital from Bourdieu's practice theory to understand the effect of each factor on front-line service employees' performance in service recovery and complaint-handling procedures.

Methodology: The researcher adopted a critical realist research philosophy. The stratified ontology of the critical realism allowed the researcher to explore not only events and experiences but also associated causal mechanisms. In turn, these helped in further understanding service recovery and complaint-handling procedures within the Abu Dhabi Police. A qualitative strategy was adopted, using interviews to the double with practice participants and in-depth interviews with practice observers.

Research Design: In this study, interview responses come from both front-line service employees and practice observers working in the Directorate of Traffic and Patrols (DTP) Department within the Abu Dhabi Police. As there are two sets of interviews, the researcher developed an interview guide specifically for each set. The researcher fulfilled the ethical requirements for the Research Ethics Committee at NTU. All interviews with practice participants and practice observers were conducted in Arabic at the interviewees' workplaces. The researcher adopted Atlas.it to help in the thematic analysis of the interview transcripts.

Data Analysis: The research findings were derived from 42 interviews: 25 were conducted with participants using interviews to the double and 17 were conducted with practice observers. The analysis of the interview transcripts was completed in three stages. First, the researcher analysed the interviewees' instructions to the double, which was used to identify the experiences and events from the empirical and actual domains, respectively. Second, a thematic analysis of both the interviews to the double and in-depth interviews with the practice observers was performed. This was used to explore and identify the mechanism from the real domain of reality. Third, the researcher used a retroductive backward reasoning from the experiences and events from the empirical and actual domains, respectively, to the causal mechanisms from the real domain.

Findings: Based on the literature review and research findings, the researcher identified nine factors affecting front-line service employees' service recovery performance within the Abu Dhabi Police as follows: police cultures, the social structure of the field, leadership style, employee empowerment service strategy, the nature of service, the national culture, multicultural society, and human resource practices. Moreover, the research findings showed that there is an inconsistency in the service recovery and complaint-handling procedures within the DTP, due to the differentiation and of front-line service employees' service recovery performance. The differentiation and inconsistency of front-line service employees' service recovery performance was caused by several of these factors.

Based on the research findings, the researcher argues that the adopted combination of transformational and transactional leadership styles by some officers in charge within the DTP would negatively influence customers' satisfaction with service recovery and complaint-handling procedures in the Abu Dhabi Police Force through affecting the public's goodwill, trust, compliance, cooperation and commitment, which are essential to police services. Additionally, the researcher argues that for the service recovery and complaint-handling procedures within the Abu Dhabi Police to change, the change should be aimed at all police sub-cultures (habitus) within the Abu Dhabi Police, and not just at those of the front-line service employees.

Item Type: Thesis
Creators: Alameri, A.
Date: March 2018
Divisions: Schools > Nottingham Business School
Depositing User: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 08 Jun 2018 15:23
Last Modified: 08 Jun 2018 15:37
URI: http://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/33838

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