L’incidenza della professionalità sul valore percepito dal cliente e sulla sua soddisfazione durante il service encounter (The impact of professionalism on the value perceived by the client and on his satisfaction during the service encounter)

  • Angelo Bonfanti
  • Giorgia D'Allura
Keywords: professionalism, service human resource management, customer perceived value, customer satisfaction, customer orientation


Purpose of the paper: The paper suggests a conceptual framework to advance the understanding about how the professionalism (independent variable) influences the customer’s value (first dependent variable) and the level of satisfaction (second dependent variables).
Methodology: Our analysis is grounded on the literature review on professionalism from the service human resource management perspective.
Findings: From a theoretical point of view our paper explains the professionalism concept and provides a first definition of the drivers of this construct. Moreover, we analyze the influence of professionalism on both the customer perceived value and customer satisfaction during the service encounters.
Research limitations: Our conceptual framework is not yet empirically validated.
Managerial implications: The model proposed presents some managerial implications. It allows: 1) to test the level of service provider’s professionalism; 2) to investigate how the company's customer orientation moderates the relationship between perceived value and professionalism along with the satisfaction level; 3) to create actions to monitor and improve customer orientation as well as use the same indication in the recruiting process.
Originality of the paper: This paper is one of the first efforts in order to provide a theoretical analysis of the professionalism concept with the aim to assess the role of the service provider on the customer perceived value and customer satisfaction.


ADAMS K.F. (2012), “The Discursive Construction of Professionalism: An Episteme of the 21st Century”, Ephemera: Theory and Politics in Organization, vol. 12, n. 3, pp. 327-343.

ANDERSON-GOUGH F., GREY C., ROBSON K. (2002), “Accounting Professionals and the Accounting Profession: Linking Conduct and Context”, Accounting and Business Research, vol. 32, n. 1, pp. 41-56.

ARNOLD L. (2002), “Assessing Professional Behavior: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow”, Academic Medicine, vol. 77, pp. 502-515.

BACCARANI C., CASTELLANI P. (2006), “Planning and Improvisation in Services”, Proceeding of the 9th Toulon Verona Conference - Excellence in Services, University of Paisley, 7-8 September, pp. 46-53.

BACCARANI C., GOLINELLI G.M. (2003), “L’impresa inesistente: relazioni tra immagine e strategia”, Sinergie, n. 61-62, pp. 213-225.

BACCARANI C., UGOLINI M., BONFANTI A. (2010), “A Conceptual Service Quality Map: The Value of a Wide Opened Perspective”, Organizational Excellence in Service Conference Proceedings 13th Toulon-Verona Conference, University of Coimbra, Portugal, 2-4 September 2010, pp. 1-20.

BARTOL K.M. (1979), “Professionalism as a Predictor of Organizational Commitment, Role Stress, and Turnover: A Multidimensional Approach”, Academy of Management Journal, vol. 22, n. 4, pp. 815-821.

BEER M., SPECTOR B., LAWRENCE P., QUINN MILLS D., WALTON R. (1984), Managing Human Assets, The Free Press, New York.

BENVENISTE G. (1987), Professionalising the Organization, Josey Bass, San Francisco.

BERMAN E.M. (1999), “Professionalism among Public and Nonprofit Managers: A Comparison”, American Review of Public Administration, vol. 29, n. 2, pp. 149-66.

BETTENCOURT L.A., GWINNER K. (1996), “Customization of the Service Experience: The Role of the Frontline Employee”, International Journal of Service Industry Management, vol. 7, n. 2, pp. 3-20.

BEVERLAND M., FARRELLY F., WOODHATCH Z. (2004), “The Role of Value Change Management in Relationship Dissolution: Hygiene and Motivational Factors”, Journal of Marketing Management, vol. 20, n. 9/10, pp. 927-939.

BITNER M.J. (1992), “Servicescapes: The Impact of Physical Surroundings on Customers and Employees”, Journal of Marketing, vol. 56, n. April, pp. 57-71.

BLOCK D. (2004), “Professionalism and the Physician Leader”, The Physician Executive, n. November-December, pp. 50-53.

BLOOM J.R., O’REILLY C.A., PARLETTE G.N. (1979), “Changing Images of Professionalism: The Case of Public Health Nurses”, American Journal of Public Health, vol. 69, n. 1, pp. 43-46.

BONFANTI A. (2009), Le Banche di Credito Cooperativo un futuro che viene da lontano, Giuffrè, Milano.

BOWEN D.E., SIEHL C., SCHNEIDER B. (1989), “A Framework for Analyzing Customer Service Orientations in Manufacturing”, Academy of Management Review, vol. 14, n. 1, pp. 75-95.

BOYT T.E., LUSCH R.F., NAYLOR G. (2001), “The Role of Professionalism in Determining Job Satisfaction in Professional Services: A Study of Marketing Researchers”, Journal of Service Research, vol. 3, n. 4, pp. 321-330.

BROOKS I. (1999), “Managerialist Professionalism: The Destruction of a Non-conforming Subculture”, British Journal of Management, vol. 10, n. 1, pp. 41-52.

BROWN T.J., MOWEN J.C., DONOVAN D.T., LICATA J.W. (2002), “The Customer Orientation of Service Workers: Personality Trait Effects on Self- and Supervisor Performance Ratings”, Journal of Marketing Research, vol. 39, n. 1, pp. 110-199.

CAROLI M. (2013), “Le risorse e le competenze distintive nel sistema impresa”, in Fontana F., Caroli M., Economia e gestione delle imprese, McGraw-Hill, Milano.

CARR-SAUNDERS A.M., WILSON P.A. (1964), The Professions, Frank Cass & Co. Ltd, London.

CHAND M., KATOU A. (2007), “The Impact of HRM Practices of Organisational Performance in Indian Hotel Industry”, Employee Relation: An International Journal, vol. 29, n. 6, pp. 576-594.

CHANG T.-I.S., ZHU W. (2011), “Enhancing Corporate Reputation for Market Expansion in China: Customer Orientation and the Mediating Effect of Product and Service Quality”, Journal of Strategic Marketing, vol. 19, n. 2, pp. 153-170.

CHAO G.T., O’LEARY-KELLY A.M., WOLF S., KLEIN H.J., GARDNER P.D. (1994), “Organizational Socialization: Its Contents and Consequences”, Journal of Applied Psychology, vol. 79, n. 5, pp. 730-743.

CHASE R.B., HAYES R.H. (1991), “Beefing up Operations in Service Firms”, Sloan Management Review, vol. 33, n. 1, pp. 15-26.

CHURCHILL G.A., SURPRENANT C. (1982), “An Investigation into Determinants of Customer Satisfaction”, Journal of Marketing Research, vol. 19, n. November, pp. 491-504.

COCKBURN-WOOTTEN C. (2012), “Critically Unpacking Professionalism in Hospitality: Knowledge, Meaningful Work and Dignity”, Hospitality & Society, vol. 2 n. 2, pp. 215-230.

DAY G. (2000), “Managing Market Relationships”, Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, vol. 28, n. 1, pp. 24-30.

DONOVAN D.T., BROWN T.J., MOWEN J.C. (2004), “Internal Benefits of Service-Worker Customer Orientation: Job Satisfaction, Commitment, and Organisational Citizenship Behaviors”, Journal of Marketing, vol. 68, n. 1, pp. 128-146.

EVANS L. (2011), “The ‘Shape’ of Teacher Professionalism in England: Professional Standards, Performance Management, Professional Development and the Changes Proposed in the 2010 White Paper”, British Educational Research Journal, vol. 37, n. 5, pp. 851-870.

EVETTS J. (2011), “A New Professionalism? Challenges and Opportunities”, Current Sociology, vol. 59, n. 4, pp. 406-422.

FOGARTY T.J., KALBERS L.P. (2000), “An Empirical Evaluation of the Interpersonal and Organisational Correlates of Professionalism in Internal Auditing”, Accounting and Business Research, vol. 10, n. 1, pp. 125-136.

FOUCAULT M. (1991), “Politics and the study of discourse”, in Burchell G., Gordon C., Miller P. (eds.), The Foucault Effect: Studies in Governmentality, The University of Chicago Press, Chicago.

GINSBURG S., REGEHR G., HATALA R., MCNAUGHTON N., FROHNA A., HODGES B., LINDGARD L., STERN D. (2000), “Context, Conflict, and Resolution: A New Conceptual Framework for Evaluating Professionalism”, Academic Medicine, vol. 75, n. 10, pp. S6-S11.

GOLEMAN D. (1996), Intelligenza emotiva, Rizzoli, Milano.

GRÖNROOS C. (2007), Service Management and Marketing: Customer Management in Service Competition, John Wiley & Sons, Chirchester, UK.

GRÖNROOS C., (1997), “Value-Driven Relational Marketing: From Products to Resources and Competencies”, Journal of Marketing Management, vol. 13, n. 5, pp. 407-419.

GRÖNROSS C. (1984), “A Service Quality Model and Its Management Implications”, European Journal of Marketing, vol. 18, n. 4, pp. 36-44.

GUMMESSON E. (2002), Total Relationship Marketing, Butterworth-Heinemann, Oxford.

HAGA W.J. (1976), “Managerial Professionalism and the Use of Organization Resources”, The American Journal of Economics and Sociology, vol. 35, n. 4, pp. 337-348.

HALL R.H. (1968), “Professionalization and Bureaucratization”, American Sociological Review, vol. 33, n. 1, pp. 92-104.

HANION G. (1998), “Professionalism as Enterprise: Service Class Politics and the Redefinition of Professionalism”, Sociology, vol. 32, n. 1, pp. 43-63.

HAYWOOD-FARMER J., STUART F.I. (1990), “An Instrument to Measure the ‘Degree of Professionalism’ in a Professional Service”, The Service Industries Journal, vol. 10, n. 2, pp. 336-347.

HESKETT J.L., SASSER W.E., SCHLESINGER L.A. (1997), The service profit chain, Free Press, New York.

HOCHSCHILD A. (1983), The Managed Heart, Commercialization of Human Feeling, University of California Press, Berkeley.

HOFFMAN K.D., BATESON J.E.G., IASEVOLI G. (2007), Marketing dei servizi, Apogeo, Milano.

HOGAN J., HOGAN R., BUSCH C.M. (1984), “How to Measure Service Orientation”, Journal of Applied Psychology, vol. 69, n. 1, pp. 167-173.

HOMBURG C., HOYER W.D., FASSNACHT M. (2002), “Service Orientation of a Retailers’ Business Strategy: Dimensions, Antecedents and Performance Outcomes”, Journal of Marketing, vol. 66, n. 4, pp. 86-101.

HOWARD J.A., SHETH J.H. (1969), The Theory of Buyer Behavior, John Wiley and Sons, Inc., New York.

HUMPHREYS K.K. (2002), “What Constitutes Professionalism?”, Cost Engineering, vol. 44, n. 2, p. 13.

HUNT K. (1991), “Consumer Satisfaction, Dissatisfaction, and Complaining Behavior”, Journal of Social Issues, vol. 47, n. 1, pp. 109-110.

JOHN J., GROVE S.J., FISK R.P. (2006), “Improvisation in Service Performances: Lessons from Jazz”, Managing Service Quality, vol. 16, n. 3, pp. 247-268.

JOHNSON M.D., SELNES F. (2004), “Customer Portfolio Management: Toward a Dynamic Theory of Exchange Relationships”, Journal of Marketing, vol. 68, n. 2, pp. 1-17.

KALBERS L., FOGARTY T. (1995), “Professionalism and its Consequences: A Study of Internal Auditors”, Auditing: A Journal of Practice Theory, vol. 14, n. 1, pp. 64-86.

KEANE J.G. (1974), “On Professionalism In Advertising”, Journal of Advertising, vol. 3, n. 4, pp. 6-12.

KERR S., VON GLINOW M., SCHRIESHEIM J. (1977), “Issues in the Study of ‘Professionals’ in Organizations: The Case of Scientists and Engineers”, Organizational Behavior and Human Performance, vol. 18, pp. 329-345.

KOLSAKER A. (2008), “Academic Professionalism in the Managerialist Era: A Study of English Universities”, Studies in Higher Education, vol. 33, n. 5, pp. 513-525.

KOTLER P., KELLER K.L. (2006), Marketing Management, 12th edition, Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, NJ.

LOVELOCK C., WIRTZ J. (2007), Marketing dei servizi. Risorse umane, tecnologie, strategie, Pearson, Milano.

LOVELOCK C.H. (1995), “Managing Services: The Human Factor”, in Glynn W.J., Barnes J.G., Understanding Services Management, John Wiley & Sons, Chirchester, UK.

LUI S.S., NGO H.-Y., TSANG A.W.-N. (2003), “Socialized to be a Professional: A Study of the Professionalism of Accountants in Hong Kong”, International Journal of Human Resource Management, vol. 14, n. 7, pp. 1192-1205.

LYNCH D., SURDYK P., EISER A. (2004), “Assessing Professionalism: A Review of the Literature”, Medical Teacher, vol. 26 n. 4, pp. 366-373.

LYTLE R.S., TIMMERMAN J.E. (2006), “Service Orientation and Performance: An Organizational Perspective”, Journal of Services Marketing, vol. 20, n. 2, pp. 136-147.

MATHIEU J.E., HAMEL K. (1989), “A Causal Model of the Antecedents of Organizational Commitment among Professionals and Non Professionals”, Journal of Vocational Behaviour, vol. 34, pp. 299-317.

MAURI A.G., MINAZZI R., MUCCIO S. (2012), “Comunicazione e competizione, due elementi per un’integrazione del modello dei gap sulla qualità dei servizi”, Sinergie, n. 89, pp. 231-254.

MINER J.B., CRANE D.P., VANDENBERG R.J. (1994), “Congruence and Fit in Professional Role Motivation Theory”, Organization Science, vol. 5, n. 1, pp. 86-97.

MOHINDER C. (2004), “Human Resource Strategies and Global Competitiveness: A Study of Indian Small and Medium Sized Tourism Enterprises”, International Conference on Creating Global Competitive Advantage, Laxpara Foundation, India.

MORROW P.C. (1993), The Theory and Measurement of Work Commitment, JAI Press, Greenwich, CT.

MORROW P.C., GOETZ J.F. (1988), “Professionalism as a Form of Work Commitment”, Journal of Vocational Behavior, vol. 32, n. 1, pp. 92-111.

NARVER J., SLATER S. (1990), “The Effect of a Market Orientation on Business Profitability”, Journal of Marketing, vol. 54, n. 2, pp. 1-18.

NORMANN R. (1984), “Getting People to Grow”, Service Management, John Wiley, New York.

NORMANN R. (1997), “Services in the Neo-Industrial Economy”, Sinergie, n. 42, pp. 1-5.

OLIVER R.L. (1980), “A Cognitive Model of the Antecedents and Consequences of Satisfaction Decisions”, Journal of Marketing Research, vol. 17, n. November, pp. 460-469.

OLUFS D.W. (1985), “The Limits Of Professionalism”, Public Administration Quarterly, vol. 9, n. 1, pp. 26-46.

ORDANINI A. (1999), Servizi alle imprese e vantaggio competitive, Egea, Milano.

PARASURAMAN A., BERRY L.L., ZEITHAML V.A. (1991), “Refinement and Reassessment of the SERVQUAL Scale”, Journal of Retailing, vol. 67, n. Winter, pp. 420-450.

PARASURAMAN A., ZEITHAML V.A., BERRY L.L. (1985), “A Conceptual Model of Service Quality and Its Implications for Future Research”, Journal of Marketing, vol. 49, n. Fall, pp. 41-50.

PARKAN B. (2008), “Professionalism: A Virtue or Estrangement from Self-activity?”, Journal of Business Ethics, vol. 78, n. 1/2, pp. 77-85.

PASSERINI W., TOMATIS A.A. (2003), Management dell’ascolto, Franco Angeli, Milano.

PAWLSON G., O’KANE M.E. (2013), “Professionalism, Regulation, And The Market: Impact On Accountability For Quality Of Care”, Health Affairs, vol. 21, n. 3, pp. 200-207.

PELLICELLI G. (1997), Il Marketing dei Servizi, Utet, Torino.

PENCARELLI T. (2013), “Processi di Service Management”, in Baglieri D., Dagnino G.B., Faraci R., (a cura di), Management dell’impresa, ISEDI, Torino, pp. 321-354.

PENCARELLI T., BURATTI A. (2013), “L’implementazione dei servizi in iGuzzini illuminazione”, Sinergie, n. 92, pp. 159-181.

POPOVA I.P. (2006), “Is Professionalism the Way to Success? The Social and Professional Characteristics of the Rich and the Poor”, Sociological Research, vol. 45, n. 1, pp. 41-58.

PUGH S.D., DIETZ J., WILEY J.W., BROOKS S.M. (2002), “Driving Service Effectiveness Through Employee-customer Linkages”, Academy of Management Executive, vol. 16, n. 4, pp. 73-85.

RAIMONDO M.A., MICELI G.N. (2005), “La concettualizzazione e la misurazione del valore per il cliente”, Mercati e competitività, vol. 2, pp. 75-104.

RAIMONDO M.A., MICELI G.N. (2009), “Un modello formativo per la misurazione del valore per il cliente”, Mercati e competitività, vol. 2, pp. 83-103.

RAVALD A., GRÖNROOS C. (1996), “The Value Concept and Relationship Marketing”, European Journal of Marketing, vol. 30, n. 2, pp. 19-30.

RAZ A.E., BLANK E. (2007), “Ambiguous Professionalism: Managing Efficiency and Service Quality in an Israeli Call Centre”, New Technology, Work and Employment, vol. 22, n. 1, pp. 83-97.

RIGGS R.R. (1981), “Toward a Professionalism Model for Public Administration: Upgrading Corrections in Kansas”, Southern Review Public Administration, vol. 5, n. Fall, pp. 282-313.

ROBERTS J., DIETRICH M. (1999), “Conceptualizing Professionalism: Why Economics Needs Sociology”, American Journal of Economics & Sociology, vol. 58, n. 4, pp. 977-998.

RUST R., ZAHORIK A. (1993), “Customer Satisfaction, Customer Retention, and Market Share, Journal of Retailing, vol. 69, n. 1, pp. 193-215.

SCHLESINGER L.L., HESKETT J.L. (1991), “Breaking the Cycle of Failure in Services”, Sloan Management Review, vol. 32, n. 3, pp. 17-28.

SCHNEIDER B. (1994), “HRM - A Service Perspective: Towards a Customer-Focused HRM”, International Journal of Service Industry Management, vol. 5, n. 1, pp. 64-76.

SCHNEIDER B. (2004), “Welcome to the World of Services Management”, Academy of Management Executive, vol. 18, n. 2, pp. 144-150.

SCHNEIDER B., BOWEN D.E. (1985), “Employee and Customer Perceptions of Service in Banks: Replication and Extension”, Journal of Applied Psychology, vol. 70, n. 3, pp. 423-433.

SCHNEIDER B., BOWEN D.E. (1993), “The Service Organisation: Human Resource Management is Crucial”, Organizational Dynamics, vol. 21, n. 4, pp. 39-52.

SCHNEIDER B., SCHECHTER D.S. (1991), “Development of a Personnel Selection System for Service Jobs”, in Brown S., Gummesson E., Edvardsson B., Gustavsson B. (Eds.), Service quality, Lexington Books, Lexington, MA.

SCICUTELLA M. (1993), Produzione e logistica nella gestione d’impresa, Cacucci, Bari.

SIDDIQI M.A., SAHAF M.A. (2009), “Customer Orientation of Service Employees and Organizational Performance: Empirical Evidence from Indian Banking”, Decision, vol. 36, n. 2, pp. 133-153.

SIEG J.H., FISCHER A., WALLIN M.W., VON KROGH G., (2012), “Proactive Diagnosis: How Professional Service Firms Sustain Client Dialogue”, Journal of Service Management, vol. 23, n. 2, pp. 253-278.

SLATER S.F. (1997), “Developing a Customer Value-Based Theory of the Firm”, Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, vol. 25, n. 2, pp. 162-167.

SNIZEK W.E. (1972), “Hall’s Professionalism Scale: An Empirical Reassessment”, American Sociological Review, vol. 37, pp. 109-113.

SOLOMON M.R. (1998), “Dressing for the Part: The Role of Costume in the Staging of the Servicescape”, in Sherry J.F., Servicescapes: The Concept of Place in Contemporary Markets, NTC Business Books, Chicago, pp. 81-108.

SPRUILL D.A., BENSHOFF J.M. (1996), “The Future is Now: Promoting Professionalism Among Counselors-In-Training”, Journal of Counseling & Development, vol. 74, n. 5, pp. 468-471.

STORBACKA K., STRANDVIK T., GRÖNROOS C. (1994), “Managing customer relationships for profit”, International Journal of Service Industry Management, vol. 5, n. 5, pp. 21-28.

SURPRENANT C.F., SOLOMON M.R. (1987), “Predictability and Personalization in the Service Encounter”, Journal of Marketing, vol. 51, n. 2, pp. 86-96.

SWAILES S. (2003), “Professionalism: Evolution and Measurement”, The Service Industries Journal, vol. 23, n. 2, pp. 130-149.

TANSIK D.A. (1990), “Balance in Service Systems Design”, Journal of Business Research, vol. 20, n. 1, pp. 55-61.

TENG C.C., BARROWS C.W. (2009), “Service Orientation: Antecedents, Outcomes, and Implications for Hospitality Research and Practice”, The Service Industries Journal, vol. 29, n. 10, pp. 1413-1435.

ULAGA W., EGGERT A. (2006), “Value-Based Differentiation in Business Relationships: Gaining and Sustaining Key Supplier Status”, Journal of Marketing, vol. 70, n. 1, pp. 119-136.

VALDANI E. (2009), Cliente & Service Management, Egea, Milano.

VAN ZANDT C.E. (1990), “Professionalism: A Matter of Personal Initiative”, Journal of Counseling and Development, vol. 68, pp. 243-245.

WEICK K.E. (1999), “Il jazz e l’improvvisazione organizzativa”, Sviluppo & Organizzazione, vol. 175, pp. 93-111.

WHITTINGTON R., WHIPP R. (1992), “Professional Ideology and Marketing Implementation”, European Journal of Marketing, vol. 26, pp. 52-63.

WILLIAMS D.H. (1979), “Defining Professionalism”, Financial Analysts Journal, January-February, p. 16.

WOODRUFF R.B. (1997), “Customer Value: The Next Source for Competitive Advantage”, Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, vol. 25, n. 2, pp. 139-153.

WYATT A.R. (2004), “Accounting Professionalism - They Just Don’t Get It!”, Accounting Horizons, vol. 18, n. 1, pp. 45-53.

YEAGER S.J. (1981), “Fostering the Development of Professionalism: An Exchange Theory Perspective of the Decision to Join a Professional Association”, Southern Review Public Administration, vol. 5, pp. 314-338.

YOON S.J., CHOI D.C., PARK J.W. (2007), “Service Orientation: Its Impact on Business Performance in the Medical Service Industry”, The Service Industries Journal, vol. 27, n. 4, pp. 371-388.

ZEMKE R., ANDERSON K. (1990), “Customers from Hell”, Training, vol. 26, n. February, pp. 25-31.