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How do illegitimate tasks affect hospitality employees’ adaptive performance? An explanation from the perspective of cognitive-affective system theory of personality

Pengbo Li (School of Tourism Sciences, Beijing International Studies University, Beijing, China)
Yina Lv (School of Tourism Sciences, Beijing International Studies University, Beijing, China)
Runna Wang (School of Business, Beijing Institute of Fashion Technology, Beijing, China)
Tao Chen (School of Tourism Sciences, Beijing International Studies University, Beijing, China)
Jing Gao (School of Tourism Sciences, Beijing International Studies University, Beijing, China)
Zixin Huang (School of Tourism Sciences, Beijing International Studies University, Beijing, China)

International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management

ISSN: 0959-6119

Article publication date: 7 December 2023

463

Abstract

Purpose

Guided by the cognitive-affective system theory of personality (CAPS), this study aims to investigate the parallel mediating effects of cognitive and affective cynicism on the relationship between illegitimate tasks and employees’ adaptive performance. It also proposes growth need strength as a moderating variable for relationships between illegitimate tasks and employees’ adaptive performance.

Design/methodology/approach

Using a time-lagged design, data were gathered from 330 frontline hotel employees in China.

Findings

The authors found that the presence of illegitimate tasks is negatively associated with employees’ adaptive performance, this relationship being mediated by cognitive and affective cynicism. Growth need strength weakens the negative impacts of cognitive and affective cynicism on employees’ adaptive performance. In addition, the indirect effect of illegitimate tasks on employees’ adaptive performance via cognitive and affective cynicism is stronger for employees with lower levels of growth need strength.

Practical implications

Hotel managers must heed the negative impact of illegitimate tasks. Furthermore, they should underscore the importance of promoting a harmonious and positive organizational culture and atmosphere. Naturally, hotel managers must also establish effective communication with employees, assisting them in fostering a desire for excellence in their work.

Originality/value

This study provides valuable insights for the hospitality industry by investigating how illegitimate tasks hold sway over hotel employees’ adaptive performance. The study uses a moderated dual-path model to uncover the mechanisms behind this impact and the influence of boundary conditions, thereby expanding the understanding of the topic.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

Since submission of this article, the following authors has updated their affiliations: Zixin Huang is at the School of Labor and Human Resources, Renmin University of China, Beijing, China.

Funding: This research was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (grant nos. 72332010 and 72132009]; Ministry of Education of the People’s Republic of China Humanities and Social Sciences Youth Foundation (grant no. 21YJC630065); 2022 Outstanding Young Talents of Teacher Team Building Support Program for Colleges and Universities under Beijing Municipality (grant no. BPHR202203141); 2023 Young Academic Talent Program Project of Beijing International Studies University (grant no. QNYC23A002); The 2023 Key Project of Postgraduate Research of Beijing International Studies University (BISU): Research on Employee Work Remodeling Oriented by Value Co-Creation in the Context of Culture and Tourism Integration; and Beijing Institute of Fashion Technology Special Funds for the Construction of High-level Teacher Team (grant no. BIFTXJ202241). Ministry of Education’s First Batch of New Humanities Research and Reform Practice Projects (grant no. 2021140009).

Citation

Li, P., Lv, Y., Wang, R., Chen, T., Gao, J. and Huang, Z. (2023), "How do illegitimate tasks affect hospitality employees’ adaptive performance? An explanation from the perspective of cognitive-affective system theory of personality", International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJCHM-04-2023-0538

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2023, Emerald Publishing Limited

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