Goltz appears correct in highlighting the point that customer service is a key advantage that small businesses have over larger businesses. The nature of large corporations entails that usually a manager, who is distanced from customers, must deal with customer service complaints. (Logenecker et al, 2011, p. 380) In contrast, a smaller business can give authority to employees to directly address customers, whereas the structure of the organization allows for quick resolution of potential problems. (Logenenecker et al. 2011, p. 380) By stressing that the advantage of the small business is its commitment to customer service, Goltz is thus consistent with the claims in the academic literature.
On the other hand, Goltz’s emphasis on customer service and management style places the customer over the employee and therefore creates an unhealthy work environment. If every worker knows that he or she is expendable and will be terminated in favor of the client, this does not entail a healthy organizational culture, where team members feel a valued part of the company. For these reasons, I would not want to work with Goltz, since I assume from his description of his operation that he would always favor the customer over the employee in possible disputes. Certainly, it could be argued that Goltz at least is direct about his commitments, but this does not help the employee who is dependent upon an employer who does not appear to be employee friendly and subscribes to the doctrine of the “customer is always right”, even when the customer is wrong.
I would recommend that Goltz continues to emphasize the commitments to customer service, since this is a strength of small businesses and one of the few areas in which they can compete with mega-firms. However, I would advise him to consider also establishing healthy relationships with employees to establish a strong and integrated organizational culture, where employees feel valued.
- Longenecker, J.G.et al. (2011). Small Business Management: Launching and Growing Entrepeneurial Ventures. Boston, MA: CENGAGE.