Antecedents of Employee Guardianship Behaviour within the Retail Context
Retail crime has a significant financial impact on the supermarket retail sector which results in economic, social and psychological loss. In New Zealand alone, in 2017 the financial losses were estimated to be at $1.1 billion. The ever increasing year-on-year retail crime figures suggest that the existing measures of retail crime prevention are not completely adequate. These include Closed-circuit Televisions (CCTVs), Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags, Geographical Information System (GIS) tags, Geographical Positioning System (GPS) tags, and burglar alarms. The importance of finding other softer prevention measures is paramount. As key stakeholders, employees could potentially adopt the role of human guardians in relation to supermarkets and their contents. Therefore, this research investigates the motivators of employee guardianship behaviour within the retail sector. The research framework comprises two key stages. Initially, exploratory interviews were conducted with twenty-nine shop-floor employees of two national supermarket chains in a New Zealand conurbation. This was prior to a quantitative survey comprising a total of 507 shop-floor employees from a total of thirty-five stores across the South Island of New Zealand franchised under Company-A*, one of the two major food supplier companies in New Zealand. The findings suggest that the employee perceptions of internal Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) practices; employee psychological ownership of their workplace; and employee moral beliefs, contribute to their guardianship behaviours and specifically, the propensity to intervene with respect to preventing shoplifting. The findings of this research offer two significant contributions. Conceptually, the findings are consistent with a causal relationship between the guardianship behaviour on the part of employees and the potential motivators. These include employee perceptions of internal CSR, their psychological ownership and moral beliefs. Secondly, from a managerial perspective, the findings suggest that embedding a higher degree of employee focus along with devising the appropriate delivery and communication of internal CSR policies, in order to ensure standard frequent training on retail loss prevention is available. This is primarily to engender a positive organizational culture for employees which is deemed necessary to motivate retail employees so they are prepared to intervene to prevent shoplifting incidents from occurring. * A pseudo name is used for the actual food supplier company to maintain its anonymity as per a confidentiality agreement between the University of Otago and the respective food franchisor.
Advisor: Garry, Tony; Guthrie, John; Gnoth, Juergen
Degree Name: Doctor of Philosophy
Degree Discipline: Marketing
Publisher: University of Otago
Keywords: Employee Perceptions of CSR; Employee Engagement; Psychological Ownership; Moral Beliefs; Shoplifting Prevention; Exploratory Interviews; Thematic Analysis; Structural Equation Modelling; Mixed Methodology; Supermarkets; Retail Crime; New Zealand; Shrinkage; Relationship Quality; Oraganizational Citizenship Behaviour; Situational Crime Prevention; Routine Activities Theory
Research Type: Thesis