Focus group exploration of firm-employee relationship strength

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Title Focus group exploration of firm-employee relationship strength
Author Herington, Carmel Ann; Scott, Don; Johnson, Lester W.
Journal Name Qualitative Market Research: An international journal
Year Published 2005
Place of publication Bradford, England
Publisher Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Abstract Purpose - To present the results of exploratory research which analysed firm-employee relationship strength from the employee perspective. Three main research questions were explored: What indicators should be used to measure strong firm-employee relationships? How important do employees see relationships to be in the work environment? and how do employees define relationship strength? Design/methodology/approach - Qualitative research in the form of focus groups was utilised. Four focus groups of employees from medium to large regional and national Australian companies were held in a large Australian regional city. Findings - Employees view relationships as being very important in the work environment. The findings revealed a greater degree of consistency between employees' viewpoints about important relationship elements and non-marketing literature. Important elements found were co-operation, empowerment, communication, attachment, shared goals and values, trust and respect. The emphasis on commitment as a key relationship indicator was not supported by the findings. The findings are summarised in a proposed model of relationship strength, positing commitment as a relationship strength outcome. Employees defined relationship strength in terms of the identified elements. Research limitations/implications - This research enables commencement of examination of the value of internal relationships through empirical examination of the proposed model. Practical implications - Management is informed as to what makes the best work environment from the perspective of employees. Originality/value - Fulfills an identified gap in the literature in relation to the ability to measure internal firm relationships. It also clarifies the confusing literature on relationship elements, and it posits a model for the empirical assessment of firm-employee relationship strength.
Peer Reviewed Yes
Published Yes
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Copyright Statement Copyright 2005 Emerald: Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the publisher version for access to the definitive, published version.
Volume 8
Issue Number 3
Page from 256
Page to 276
ISSN 1352-2752
Date Accessioned 2006-02-16
Language en_AU
Faculty Griffith Business School
Subject Marketing and Market Research
Publication Type Journal Articles (Refereed Article)
Publication Type Code c1

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