;This study attempts to investigate how cross-level psychological empowerment stimulates brand behavior via key mediators within the service industry, and affect customer brand equity. Our research model across organizational, employee and customer levels, in order to explore how psychological empowerment stimulates brand behavior through the key mediating roles of positive training transfer, and the brand behavior of employee will affect customer brand equity in advance. The present study adopts hierarchical liner modeling to assess the hypotheses. In total, 740 surveys were distributed, and a total of 555 valid samples were retrieved from 33 famous brands of service industry in Taiwan (employee sample size: 277; customer sample size: 278; a valid response rate of 75%).
According to the suggestion of researchers, our study divides psychological empowerment into individual and team psychological empowerment, therefore, the study is divided into four parts to discuss. First, we examine the effect of individual employee positive training transfer on the individual employee brand behavior (H1). Second, we examine the mediating effect of individual employee positive training transfer in the relationship between individual-level psychological empowerment and in the individual employee brand behavior (H2). Third, the mediating effect of individual employee positive training transfer in the relationship between organizational-level psychological empowerment and in the individual employee brand behavior (H3). Finally, we examine the effect of individual employee positive brand behavior on the customer-level customer brand equity (H4). All of the results showed to support the hypotheses, exclude H4 that employee positive brand behavior is not significantly related to customer brand equity.
This study contributes to research in three aspects. First, the concept of the brand is included in our research to extend the training transfer to frontline service employees, and examine how training transfer effect on brand behavior. In addition, we examine how cross-level psychological empowerment facilitate training transfer, and as a key mediating role to affect brand behavior. Second, we crossed to customer level and proved that brand behavior is not significantly related to customer brand equity. We manifested the importance of some employee behavior factors may influence the brand behavior and customer brand equity. Third, we employed hierarchical liner modeling to analyze the hypotheses through a cross-level approach. Hierarchical liner modeling analyzed the cross-level relationships between the organizational, employee, and customer level effectively and accurately. Besides, we use the mediating mechanism to examine our hypotheses.