This research specifically examines the direct and indirect effects of job specific training and training in quality management techniques, on service system performance. To further explicate these relationships and to provide more specific managerial relevance, we examine these relationships across two common, but under-researched types of service processes, i.e., mass services and service shops. Survey data collected from 281 service firms in China was analyzed utilizing a Partial Least Squares (PLS) approach to structural equation modeling and multi-group model comparisons. Our results indicate that in generic service settings, quality management related training has a larger positive impact on service system performance than does job specific training. However, this effect is not universal. In “Service Shop” settings, job specific training was found to have a larger impact on service system performance, while in “Mass Service” settings quality management training was found to have the higher total impact on service system performance. This study is the first to distinguish between job specific training and quality management training and their differential effects on employee capability and service system performance. Additionally, through examining these relationships across two under-researched service process types, not only are greater managerial insights gained, but also the context-specific nature of our findings is further explicated. Finally, the emerging importance of China in global operations makes this study all the more important.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/alan_w_mackelprang/9/