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The mobilization of employees’ psychological resources: how servant leadership motivates pro-customer deviance

Jiajing Hu (Business and Tourism School, Sichuan Agricultural University, Chengdu, China)
Lin Xiong (Research Institute of Economics and Management, Southwestern University of Finance and Economics, Chengdu, China)
Mengying Zhang (School of Business Administration, Southwestern University of Finance and Economics, Chengdu, China)
Chen Chen (Business and Tourism School, Sichuan Agricultural University, Chengdu, China)

International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management

ISSN: 0959-6119

Article publication date: 25 August 2022

Issue publication date: 2 January 2023

201

Abstract

Purpose

Drawing on social learning theory and conservation of resources theory, this study aims to investigate how servant leadership (SL) is linked to employees’ pro-customer deviance (PCD) through the serial mediating effects of perceived organizational support for creativity (POS) and creative self-efficacy (CSE), work autonomy (WA) and CSE.

Design/methodology/approach

This study used an online questionnaire survey platform to accurately distribute the questionnaire to the target population. Data were collected from 439 frontline employees working in hotels. The data were analyzed with a structural equation modeling approach to identify the complex relationship.

Findings

Using an online survey, this study demonstrated the significant positive effect of SL on PCD and further revealed the two serial mediating paths (POS → CSE; WA → CSE) of the SL effect.

Practical implications

The findings of this research generate valuable implications for practitioners and managers. Managers need to be aware of the objectivity and universality of PCD in service delivery scenarios and fully understand how their leadership style influences the internal motivation and external performance of employees engaged in this behavior.

Originality/value

This study makes a prominent contribution to the hospitality literature by focusing on PCD. This study enriches the research on the antecedents of PCD, constructs a cross-level multipath mechanism model of PCD in the context of SL and reveals the rationalization process and nature of employees’ PCD.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This research was supported by a grant from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 72002145).

Citation

Hu, J., Xiong, L., Zhang, M. and Chen, C. (2023), "The mobilization of employees’ psychological resources: how servant leadership motivates pro-customer deviance", International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, Vol. 35 No. 1, pp. 115-136. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJCHM-02-2022-0198

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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