Date of Award

8-2017

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Major

Retail, Hospitality, and Tourism Management

Major Professor

Sejin Ha

Committee Members

Hejin Lim, Jeremy Whaley, Russell L. Zaretzki

Abstract

Despite vast research regarding the JD-R model, little is known about the roles of personal resources within it. Therefore, a nomological model that builds on the JD-R model and integrates implicit-belief (from the theory of implicit-beliefs) as a personal resource is proposed to understand frontline employees’ (FLEs’) attitudes and behavior in the context of the hospitality and retail industries. Data are collected in two phases−a pilot test and a main test. A sample of 168 FLEs in the hospitality and retail industries are hired for the pilot test. Using exploratory factor analysis (EFA), the pilot test confirms the dimensionalities of constructs and refines the measurement items.

The main test uses 701 FLEs and performs confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) and structural equation modeling (SEM). The CFA results confirm that the data fit a hypothesized measurement model. Structural equation modeling (SEM) is performed to estimate the relationships between antecedents (supervisor support, customer workload, and implicit-beliefs), mediators (engagement and burnout), and FLE job outcomes (service performance, satisfaction, and turnover intentions).

Overall, the SEM analysis results support the hypothesized model. Specifically, findings demonstrate that (a) supervisor support affects engagement and burnout, and customer workload influences burnout, (b) engagement and burnout clearly influence job outcomes, and (c) the entity theory of implicit-beliefs determines FLE burnout and satisfaction. However, entity theory does not determine engagement, performance, and turnover intentions. These results advance understanding of how job demands and resources affect FLEs in the hospitality and retail industries, showing how supervisor support and customer workload influence engagement and burnout, how FLEs respond to burnout and engagement, and what type of role personal resources play concerning FLEs at work.

This research contributes to the body of FLE research, in the context of hospitality and retail, by incorporating the theory of implicit-beliefs and various job outcome variables. It also shows the possible utility of the theory of implicit-beliefs, which has not previously been used to explain FLEs’ attitudes and behavior. The findings suggest that managers need to foster their interpersonal skills and design workflows to fit FLEs’ characteristics.

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