Customer service-orientation of small retail business owners in Austria, The Czech Republic, Hungary, Latvia, Slovakia, and Slovenia

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Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to test the feasibility of using a biodata inventory to measure service-orientation - one's disposition to be helpful, thoughtful, considerate, and cooperative - across cultures in a sample of 1,324 owners of businesses. Design/methodology/approach - Subjects in Austria, The CzechRepublic, Hungary, Latvia, Slovakia, and Slovenia are given the inventory in order to predict their on-the-job service-oriented performance. Findings - Within the samples, the service-orientation ratings are highly correlated with extroversion and openness to experience in all six countries, and agreeableness in five countries and conscientiousness in four countries. The correlations of these scales with service-orientation are as high as or higher than those generally obtained with measures of service-orientation with customer service representatives. Research limitations/implications - The analysis lends credence to the notion that service- orientation may be effectively measured bybiodata within small organizations across multiple cultures. Originality/value - This paper examines the utility of a personality-oriented biodata inventory for explaining levels of customer service-oriented performance across six countries. Little cross-country research has been done on the owners of business thus this paper helps to fill in gaps in the literature dealing with business owners and the importance of personality attributes to explain service-oriented performance. © Emerald Group Publishing Limited.

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Baltic Journal of Management

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