Effects of Gender and Personality Traits of Front-Desk Employees on Customers' Assessment of Service Quality: Evidence from Islamic Banks in the UAE

  •  Saeed Al-Mutawa    
  •  Mohamed Ibrahim    



This paper examined the effects of front-desk employees’ personality traits and their gender on customers’
assessment of Islamic banks' service quality in the United Arab Emirates. We used a sample of 104 front-desk
employees and 454 customers. The Mini-Markers instrument was used to assess personality traits and the
SERVPERF instrument to collect data on service quality for a pair-matching sample design. We used regression
analysis to determine the relationship between the five factors of personality of front-desk employees, their
gender, and the overall bank service quality as well as each of its dimensions.

The paper provided evidence indicating that personality traits do not have their own independent effects on
customers’ perceptions of Islamic banks' service quality. Although Lin, Chui and Hsieh (2001) found supporting
results for such linkages when they studied service quality in four service sectors (not including banks) in
Taiwan, we concluded that these effects may be dependent on other factors such as culture, research design, or
industry characteristics. However, employees’ gender was found to have significant effects on the empathy
dimension of service quality.

The originality of this paper lies in its attempt to link personality traits of front-desk employees of banks to
customers’ perceptions of service quality in the UAE. It is the first study that uses the Mini-Markers and
SERVPERF together in the UAE to achieve its purpose. Its value lies in its contribution to the settlement of the
debate about possible linkages between employees’ personality traits and service quality perceptions.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.