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Can customer participation promote hospitality frontline employees’ extra-role service behavior?

Angela J. Xu (School of Management, Jinan University, Guangzhou, China)
Ting Ting Zhu (School of Management, Jinan University, Guangzhou, China)
Raymond Loi (Department of Management and Marketing, University of Macau, Macau SAR, China)
Cheris W.C. Chow (Department of Management and Marketing, University of Macau, Macau SAR, China)

International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management

ISSN: 0959-6119

Article publication date: 23 August 2022

Issue publication date: 2 January 2023

223

Abstract

Purpose

Drawing on and extending the socially embedded model of thriving, this paper aims to investigate how and when customer participation promotes hospitality frontline employees’ engagement in extra-role service behavior.

Design/methodology/approach

A two-wave questionnaire survey was carried out among frontline service employees and their immediate supervisors in a four-star business hotel in Eastern China. Path analysis using Mplus 8.3 examined a multilevel moderated mediation model.

Findings

Customer participation has a positive effect on frontline employees’ experience of thriving, which in turn promotes their engagement in extra-role service behavior. Nevertheless, supervisors’ negative affect weakens the positive effect of customer participation.

Practical implications

Hotels could implement employee assistance programs, arrange training on emotional regulation and positive psychology and create a fun work environment to help alleviate supervisors’ experience of negative affect so as to lessen its adverse effect on frontline employees’ perception of customer participation.

Originality/value

First, this work is one of the few studies exploring how customer participation affects frontline employees’ well-being (in terms of thriving) and extra-role service behavior, which advances extant value co-creation literature. Second, the moderating role of supervisors’ negative affect enriches the limited understanding of when customer participation might not bring firm benefits. Third, by uncovering customer participation as an antecedent of employee thriving, this study extends thriving research that only attends to contexts located within organizations.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors gratefully acknowledge financial support from research grants provided by National Natural Science Foundation of China [No. 71902070], Guangdong Basic and Applied Basic Research Foundation [No. 2019A1515011592], and Guangdong Planning Office of Philosophy and Social Science [No. GD18YGL08].

Citation

Xu, A.J., Zhu, T.T., Loi, R. and Chow, C.W.C. (2023), "Can customer participation promote hospitality frontline employees’ extra-role service behavior?", International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, Vol. 35 No. 1, pp. 218-234. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJCHM-11-2021-1413

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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