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EMAC 2020 Annual Conference

Employee Inspiration: Conceptualization and Identification of Drivers

Published: May 27, 2020


Kathrin Neumueller, University of St.Gallen; Kristina Kleinlercher, Institute of Retail Management, University of St.Gallen; Heiner Evanschitzky, Aston University; Thomas Rudolph, University of St. Gallen, Institute of Retail Management


Inspiration; Frontline Employees; Sources


Employee inspiration is often conceptualized quite narrowly – for example, within the context of inspirational leadership techniques. But inspirational leadership is just one element among many within the construct of employee inspiration. Indeed, extensive research in social psy-chology suggests that feeling inspired depends both on the source of inspiration as well as the recipient of inspiration. This research stresses the importance of investigating inspiration and its drivers within the organizational context. Drawing on a literature review and a qualitative study among 24 frontline employees and managers, we determine the meaning of inspiration from an employee’s perspective and identify its sources. We extend previous work on em-ployee behavior, by proposing employee inspiration as a new construct in the service market-ing literature. Our research contributes to the fields of marketing and service management by offering alternative ways to motivate frontline employees to bring their best to work every day.