Frontline employees’ motivation to align with value propositions

Helena Liewendahl*, Kristina Heinonen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Purpose: Customer value creation is dependent on a firm’s capacity to fulfil its brand promises and value propositions. The purpose of this paper is to explore frontline employees’ motivation to align with value propositions.

Design/methodology/approach: The paper explores frontline employees’ motivation to align with a firm’s value propositions as operationalised brand promises. A longitudinal, three-phase case study was conducted on a B2B company in the building and technical trade sector.

Findings: This study reveals factors that foster and weaken employees’ motivation to align with a firm’s brand promises and value propositions. The findings show that co-activity and authentic, practice-driven promises and value propositions foster frontline employees’ motivation to uphold brand promises and value propositions, whereas an objectifying stance and power struggle weaken this motivation.

Practical Implications: The study indicates that a bottom-up approach to strategising is needed and that frontline employees are to be engaged in traditional managerial domains, such as in developing value propositions. By creating space and agency for frontline employees in the strategising process, their motivation to align with value propositions is fostered. Four motivational modes are suggested to support bottom-up strategising.

Originality/value: The paper is unique in its focus on frontline employees’ motivation. Developing value propositions traditionally falls within the domain of management strategising, while employees are ascribed the role of enactment. Contrary to the established norm, this paper highlights employees’ active role in strategising and developing value propositions.
Original languageEnglish
Peer-reviewed scientific journalJournal of Business & Industrial Marketing
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)420-436
Number of pages17
Publication statusPublished - 13.02.2020
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article - refereed


  • 512 Business and Management
  • autonomy
  • value propositions
  • bottom-up strategizing
  • co-activity
  • co-workership
  • frontline employee motivation
  • Marketing Logics and Strategizing

Sustainable Development Goals

  • GOAL 09: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure

Areas of Strength and Areas of High Potential (AoS and AoHP)

  • AoS: Competition economics and service strategy - Service and customer-oriented management


Dive into the research topics of 'Frontline employees’ motivation to align with value propositions'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this