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Are robots stealing our jobs? Examining robot-phobia as a job stressor in the hospitality workplace

Chun-Chu (Bamboo) Chen (School of Hospitality Business Management, Washington State University Vancouver, Vancouver, Washington, USA, and)
Ruiying Cai (School of Hospitality Business Management, Washington State University, Pullman, Washington, USA)

International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management

ISSN: 0959-6119

Article publication date: 30 April 2024

278

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to explore robot-phobia as a source of occupational stress among hospitality employees in the context of increasing robotization in the industry.

Design/methodology/approach

The study sampled 321 lodging employees and 308 food service employees in the USA. An online panel company recruited the participants and administered an online survey. The study used various analytical methods, including structural modeling, t-tests and multi-group analyses.

Findings

The study results reveal that hospitality workers experience robot-phobia regardless of their sector or position. Robot-phobia causes job insecurity and stress, which increases turnover intention. These negative outcomes are more pronounced for those who interact more frequently with robots.

Practical implications

The study findings suggest that hospitality workers fear being replaced by robots in the near future. Therefore, hospitality organizations should offer adequate training and education on the advantages and drawbacks of robots and establish a supportive and collaborative work environment that values human–robot interaction.

Originality/value

This study offers new insights regarding human–robot interaction from the employee perspective by introducing the concept of robot-phobia in the hospitality workplace. A comprehensive picture of how hospitality employees confront the increasing presence of robots is provided in this study.

Keywords

Citation

Chen, C.-C.(B). and Cai, R. (2024), "Are robots stealing our jobs? Examining robot-phobia as a job stressor in the hospitality workplace", International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJCHM-09-2023-1454

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2024, Emerald Publishing Limited

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