Hospitality Management 20 (2001) 187-199
Control and role conﬂict in food service providers
Androniki Papadopoulou-Baylissa, Elizabeth M. Inesonb,*, Derek Wilkiec
aHuman-IT Ltd., Cambridge, UK bHospitality and Tourism Management, Hollings Faculty, The Manchester Metropolitan University,
Old Hall Lane, Manchester M14 6HR, UK cStuart Robertson & Associates, The Manchester Metropolitan University, Old Hall Lane,
Manchester M14 6HR, UK
Food service jobs are perceived as involving limited control and high role conﬂict, attributable to their relatively low status and the boundary-spanning nature of their activities. Following on from job analyses pertaining to service provision, 161 students with service
provision work experience completed the Customer Contact Styles Questionnaire and a self- report instrument. Each student's performance was assessed by two restaurant supervisors. Correlational analyses identiﬁed the personality requirements that the supervisors associated
with good service provision performance in the context of planning, decision-making and serving. It was concluded that dependable and low-proﬁle individuals are most appreciated by their supervisors. # 2001 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.
Keywords: Food service; Service provider; Performance; Control; Role conﬂict; Personality
Food service providers occupy organisational roles incorporating certain characteristics, namely, 'boundary-spanning' and 'subordinate', which are believed to be particularly problematic for the well-being of the individual and the organisation (cf. Weatherly and Tansik, 1992). Boundary-spanning roles were deﬁned by Thomson (1962) as the roles that link the organisation with its environment through interaction between a member of the organisation and a non- member. Subordinate service roles, for example, waiter/waitress, receptionist, taxi- driver, bank-teller, sales-assistant, are found typically in organisations that have no
*Corresponding author. Tel.: +44-161-247-2741; fax: +44-161-247-6334.
E-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org (E.M. Ineson).
0278-4319/01/$ - see front matter # 2001 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved. PII: S 0 2 7 8 - 4 3 1 9 ( 0 0 ) 0 0 0 5 2 - 9
intention of changing their relationship with their customers, whose employees are not commonly considered as professionals or 'experts', and where the customers' participation is voluntary. As a result of the above, the status of the service providers in such organisations is lower than that of the customer.
The combination of boundary-spanning and subordinate elements that is found in food service roles has been shown to contribute to role conﬂict (Parkington and Schneider. 1979; Shamir, 1980; Lockwood and Jones, 1984; Ross and Boles, 1994), which is related to organisational stress and job performance (Kahn and Byosiere, 1992; Fried et al., 1998). Role conﬂict is the degree of...