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Employees’ challenge-hindrance appraisals toward STARA awareness and competitive productivity: a micro-level case

Li Ding (Institut Paul Bocuse, Ecully, France)

International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management

ISSN: 0959-6119

Article publication date: 8 July 2021

Issue publication date: 15 September 2021




This study aims to examine the effect of restaurant employees’ challenge-hindrance appraisals toward smart technology, artificial intelligence, robotics and algorithms (STARA) awareness on individual competitive productivity (ICP) and explore the mediating roles of employees’ work engagement and organizational commitment on the relationship between challenge-hindrance appraisals and ICP.


Data were collected through an online survey. One hundred and ninety employees who worked at full-time and non-management positions in the USA quick-service restaurants participated. Partial least squares structural equation modeling was used for the data analysis.


The study identified that restaurant employees’ challenge appraisals toward STARA awareness positively influenced ICP. This relationship is positively mediated by employees’ work engagement.

Practical implications

This study makes practical contributions to human resource practices in restaurants. Employees’ challenge appraisals toward STARA awareness transmit the job insecurity stressor to a higher level of ICP. Restaurant managers should provide employees with adequate resources and support for non-management employees’ professional competency growth. Quick-service restaurants can enjoy a competitive advantage in the market by enhancing employees’ CP.


This study enriches the literature on the CP model, cognitive appraisal theory and person-environment fit theory. The study investigated employees’ challenge and hindrance appraisals toward emerging STARA awareness and emphasized their distinct characteristics to drive ICP in the quick-service restaurant sector.



The authors would like to thank Dr Hailin Qu’s comments and suggestions on this study and thank the reviewers and editor for their thoughtful comments toward improving our manuscript.

Dr Hailin Qu is the Regents Professor Emeritus and William E. Davis Distinguished Chair Emeritus at Oklahoma State University.

The author is reporting that external funding is not received in the enclosed paper.


Ding, L. (2021), "Employees’ challenge-hindrance appraisals toward STARA awareness and competitive productivity: a micro-level case", International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, Vol. 33 No. 9, pp. 2950-2969.



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