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Examining the cross-level mechanisms of the influence of supervisors’ job crafting on frontline employees’ engagement and performance

Xinyuan (Roy) Zhao (School of Liberal Arts, Macau University of Science and Technology, Macau, China)
Jiale Wang (Business School, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, China)
Anna Mattila (School of Hospitality Management, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania, USA)
Aliana Man Wai Leong (School of Liberal Arts, Macau University of Science and Technology, Macau, China)
Zhenzhen Cui (School of Social Education, Guangzhou Open University, Guangzhou, China)
Zaoning Sun (Business School, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, China)
Chunjiang Yang (School of Economics and Management, Northwest University, Xi'an, China)
Yashuo Chen (Business School, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, China)

International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management

ISSN: 0959-6119

Article publication date: 21 April 2023

Issue publication date: 8 November 2023

548

Abstract

Purpose

Frontline employees’ proactive behaviors (i.e. job crafting) are critical to satisfying customers’ idiosyncratic needs. If the supervisors practice job crafting, their subordinates are more likely to mimic such behaviors. However, there has been limited research on how leaders’ job crafting can influence subordinates’ job crafting. This study aims to examine the cross-level mechanisms (i.e. trickle-down effects) of supervisors’ job crafting on the subordinates’ attitudes and performance. Specifically, such trickle-down effects can be explained via two cross-level mechanisms of the supervisors’ job crafting on the subordinates’ work engagement and performance: social learning mechanism and job demands-resources mechanism.

Design/methodology/approach

A three-wave cross-lagged study was conducted in two-week intervals. The valid responses from 67 supervisors and their 201 subordinates were collected. The data set was analyzed using multilevel Structural Equation Modeling.

Findings

The results demonstrated that the social learning and job demands-resources mechanisms are not independent. The supervisor’s job crafting improves employment relationships, subsequently encourages subordinates’ job crafting and ultimately enhances work engagement and work performance.

Practical implications

The findings suggested that hospitality organizations should encourage job crafting among supervisors and managers. A proactive hotel manager can establish strong employment relationships, motivate subordinates to work proactively and obtain positive work outcomes.

Originality/value

The findings enrich the knowledge about the trickle-down effects of supervisors on subordinates in terms of job-crafting behaviors. In particular, this study found a new theoretical perspective that the job demands-resources and social learning mechanisms may not be independent, and the subordinates’ perception of the employment relationship plays a critical role.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors are grateful for the financial support from the National Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 71872191, 72172161,72001052, 71572170, 72172137), Chinese Ministry of Education (Grant No. 21YJA630103) and the Natural Science Foundation of Guangdong Province (Grant Nos. 2021A1515011978).

Declarations of interest: The author(s) declared no potential conflicts of interest with to the research, authorship, or publication of this article.

Citation

Zhao, X.(R)., Wang, J., Mattila, A., Leong, A.M.W., Cui, Z., Sun, Z., Yang, C. and Chen, Y. (2023), "Examining the cross-level mechanisms of the influence of supervisors’ job crafting on frontline employees’ engagement and performance", International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, Vol. 35 No. 12, pp. 4428-4450. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJCHM-08-2022-1028

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2023, Emerald Publishing Limited

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