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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

1. Introduction

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: (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 -...