PhD Studentship: Exploring the Influences of Customer Experiences on Frontline Employee Experiences

Loughborough University

Start date: 01 January 2018


Primary supervisor: Professor Thorsten Gruber

Secondary supervisor: Dr Kemefasu Ifie

Intro (standard):

Loughborough University is a top-ten rated university in England for research intensity (REF2014) and an outstanding 66% of the work of Loughborough’s academic staff who were eligible to be submitted to the REF was judged as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’, compared to a national average figure of 43%.

In choosing Loughborough for your research, you’ll work alongside academics who are leaders in their field. You will benefit from comprehensive support and guidance from our Graduate School, including tailored careers advice, to help you succeed in your research and future career.

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Project Detail:

Recent research has highlighted the importance of frontline experiences for understanding and predicting relationship outcomes of value to firms. However, surprisingly much of the current focus in the literature is still on how employees influence customers to create memorable customer experiences. There is still much unknown about how customers influence frontline employees experiences before, during and after service encounters or what mechanisms underlie this influence. This research will focus on exploring key issues relating to this phenomenon, develop and operationalise the concept of frontline employee experience (FLEE) and investigate how customers’ experiences affect frontline employees experiences, attitudes and behaviours and subsequently organisational performance.

For this purpose, the research will draw upon recent work on shared frontline experiences in the service marketing and management literatures and state-of-the art research in the social and organisational psychology literature. The research will use dyadic data from frontline employees and customers. Furthermore, it will utilize both qualitative (for the conceptualisation of FLEE) and quantitative (for the measurement of the impact of FLEE on various variables) research methods.

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Entry requirements:

Masters degree (with average programme mark of no less than 65%) or equivalent. English Language requirement of IELTS band 7.0 or above with not less than 7.0 in each component.

Funding information:

The studentship provides a tax free stipend of £14,553 per annum for the duration of the studentship plus tuition fees at the UK/EU rate. International (non EU) students may apply however the total value of the studentship will be used towards the cost of the International tuition fee in the first instance.

Contact details:

Name: Professor Thorsten Gruber

Email address:

Name: Dr Kemefasu Ifie

Email address:

How to apply:

All applications should be made online at Under programme name, select Business School.

Please upload all the supporting documents listed below:

  • A curriculum vitae
  • A 500 word personal statement explaining your interest in, and aptitude for, the topic of this research project. In particular we would like to learn about what qualities do you feel you can bring to the project.
  • A 2,000 word research proposal addressing the topic of the studentship.
  • 2-3 samples of writing such as MSc dissertation, journal or conference article, essays from your MSc degree
  • Copies of your transcripts/certificates
  • Two academic references.

Please quote reference number: SBE-KITG17

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Midlands of England