Skip to main content
Service leadership for adaptive selling and effective customer service teams
Industrial Marketing Management
  • Shiu Ho, Alfred WONG, Department of Management, Lingnan University
  • Ying LIU, School of Public Administration, Renmin University, China
  • Dean William TJOSVOLD, Department of Management, Lingnan University
Document Type
Journal article
Publication Date
Elsevier Inc.
  • Service leadership; Adaptive selling; Customer orientation; Service recovery; In-role performance

Companies are increasingly relying on customer service teams to deliver quality service critical for repeat business and profitability. But these teams need leadership to be effective. This study proposes that service leaders promote quality customer service by encouraging teams to develop adaptive selling capabilities. Data were collected from 113 customer service team leaders and 285 team members from a sample of consumer electronics retailing firms in Beijing, China. Data support the reasoning that by espousing service values, listening to customers, and encouraging improvements, service leaders help their teams become capable adaptive sellers. Results further suggest the contribution of team adaptive selling on customer team task performance, orientation to customers, and ability to recover from shortcomings in service. Findings extend recent research that leaders can have substantial impact by strengthening teamwork among followers by finding that service leaders develop customer service teams to be effective adaptive sellers.

Funding Information
This work has been supported by the Victor & William Fung Foundation and the General Research Fund (Project No: 342012) awarded by the Research Grants Council of Hong Kong.
Publisher Statement
Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Full-text Version
Publisher’s Version
Citation Information
Wong, A., Liu, Y., & Tjosvold, D. (2015). Service leadership for adaptive selling and effective customer service teams. Industrial Marketing Management, 46, 122-131. doi: 10.1016/j.indmarman.2015.01.012