This chapter describes and tests the principles of configural theory in the context of hospitality frontline service employees’ happiness-at-work and managers’ assessments of these employees’ quality of work performances. The study proposes and tests empirically a configural asymmetric theory of the antecedents to hospitality employee happiness-at-work and managers’ assessments of employees’ quality of work performance. The findings confirm and go beyond prior statistical findings of small-to-medium effect sizes of happiness-performance relationships. The method includes matching cases of data from surveys of employees (n = 247) and surveys completed by their managers (n = 43) and uses qualitative comparative analysis via the software program fsQCA.com. The findings support the four principles of configural analysis and theory construction: recognize equifinality of different solutions for the same outcome; test for asymmetric solutions; test for causal asymmetric outcomes for very high versus very low happiness and work performance; and embrace complexity. The theory and findings confirm that configural theory and research resolves perplexing happiness–performance conundrums. The study provides algorithms involving employees’ demographic characteristics and their assessments of work facet-specifics which are useful for explaining very high happiness-at-work and high quality-of-work performance (as assessed by managers) – as well as algorithms explaining very low happiness and very low quality-of-work performance.
The authors gratefully acknowledges the permission granted by the publisher, Emerald, to reuse content originating from Po-Hsun Hsiao et al. (2015).
Jaw, C., Po-Hsun Hsiao, J., Huan, T.-C.(.C.). and Woodside, A.G. (2016), "Complexity Theory and Human Resources Management: Transcending Variable and Case-Based Perspectives of Service Employees’ (Un)happiness and Work Performance", Woodside, A.G. (Ed.) Bad to Good, Emerald Group Publishing Limited, pp. 245-292. https://doi.org/10.1108/978-1-78635-334-420161011Download as .RIS
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