Monash University

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Perceived self-transparency: the performer’s regulator

posted on 2017-02-06, 02:53 authored by Glinoga, Maria Vi-Anne
This research investigates the sources and implications of Perceived Self-Transparency of service workers. Sociologists have established perceived self-transparency to have a powerful influence on individuals’ self-regulation, well-being and management of self-presentation. Such implications have been the on-going managerial concerns of the impacts on employee performance, workplace behaviour and customers’ evaluation of service quality. Therefore, perceived self-transparency can be considered an important construct to include in the realm of services marketing research which have long argued that the self-presentation and impression management of employees serves a vital key to business profitability. To date, this construct has not been included in marketing research which motivated this study to initiate the discussion. The findings of this study show that perceived self-transparency increases the service worker’s self-efficacy, task engagement and improvisation. The sources of perceived self-transparency have been identified based on the elements of Service Theatre. The perceived visibility to supervisors, co-workers and customers positively influences perceived self-transparency. This research also introduces the concept of front-stage affect, which reflects on the service workers’ affective response when being watched by customers whilst performing task. This research theorises that task performances and perceived self-transparency depend upon how a service worker thrives under the watchful eyes of the customers. The results show that an increase in front-stage affect of service workers significantly increases perceived self-transparency of desirable qualities and engagement but does not reduce the negative effects of role conflict. Based on the findings, front-stage affect has been considered as a useful human resource tool to identify the appropriate front-stage service actor. In order to address the research problem, a cross-sectional online survey was conducted Australia- wide. The final data was filtered and only respondents that answered the survey in full were retained for further data analysis. This decision was made to minimise the likelihood of bias in the data due to missing data. There are 801 respondents. Methodological rigour is demonstrated by steps taken to construct the survey instrument and validation of the measures. Measures are validated using confirmatory factor analysis to check for internal reliabilities and construct validity. There are two stages in the pre-test of instrument. The first stage mimicked the intended survey whereby respondents addressed the survey without the presence of the researcher. The second stage consisted of interviews to identify potential sources of bias such as questionnaire length. Post hoc analysis was conducted to check for common method variance using Harmon’s common factor and marker variable techniques. The first stage of data analysis consisted of a series of multiple regressions to specifically examine each element of perceived self-transparency and to test for moderation. Following this, Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) was conducted to verify the relationships established in the multiple regressions and present a holistic picture of the study relationships. The study makes a contribution to literature through the development and validation of measures. The study attempts an empirical verification of relationships that are often only investigated using qualitative approaches. The study triangulates the finding by examining the hypotheses using multiple regressions, SEM and by closely examining possible mediators and moderators. The findings suggest perceived self- transparency should be conceptualised as a mediator. Perceived self-transparency was found to fully mediate the relationships between perceived visibility and self-efficacy, between perceived visibility and engagement and between perceived visibility and improvisation. The study further makes a contribution to literature by identifying some antecedents to perceived self-transparency such as perceived visibility, type of the observer, their gender. The managerial implications of the study are that service workers are energised by visibility and self- transparency to customers and co-workers. This results in self-efficacy, engagement and improvisation. On the other hand visibility to supervisors appears to have negative implications for self-transparency as it may suggest close supervision (micro-management).The situation is rather complex in that visibility to supervisors is positively related to perceived self-transparency of skills and positive emotions but not to work attitude. Businesses go to great length in developing role costume but this does not appear to influence perceived self-transparency.


Campus location


Principal supervisor

Felix Tino Macondo

Additional supervisor 1

Raymond Fisk

Year of Award


Department, School or Centre



Doctor of Philosophy

Degree Type



Faculty of Business and Economics

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