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The relationship between customer orientation, emotional labour and job burnout

Xue Wu (China-ASEAN International College, Dhurakij Pundit University, Bangkok, Thailand)
An-Jin Shie (China-ASEAN International College, Dhurakij Pundit University, Bangkok, Thailand)

Journal of Chinese Human Resource Management

ISSN: 2040-8005

Article publication date: 9 October 2017

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Abstract

Purpose

Drawing on the conservation of resources theory, this study aims to apply the emotional labour concept to illustrate about the relationship between customer orientation (CO) and job burnout, further demonstrating how the relationship is established in the hospitality industry. This study intends to find that emotional intelligence moderates the relationship between CO and emotional labour.

Design/methodology/approach

The study uses descriptive statistical analysis and reliability analysis. Then, the study uses confirmatory factor analyses to ensure the model fit and discriminant validity of the measures. Finally, the hypothesised relationship model is tested and analysed via regression analysis.

Findings

The study finds three dimensions of emotional labour all partially mediated the relationship between CO and job burnout. Meanwhile, the study finds that emotional intelligence would moderate the relationship between CO and three dimensions of emotional labour.

Research limitations/implications

First, the respondents in this study come from five-star hotels in Beijing, China. As the results of this study are based on a sample of Chinese five-star hotel employees, the selection of a single service setting and a single country may raise concerns for the issue of generalisability. Thus, the findings of this study may not generalise to other hospitality contexts, other cultures or other times; research in other settings, geographical areas or times might yield different results.

Practical implications

High employee job burnout is a thorny problem in the hospitality industry, so it is a great challenge for hospitality management to solve high employee job burnout. As a personality resource, CO will decrease job burnout. Emotional labour is a common issue in hospitality. The study intends to explore the lived experiences of the frontline employees in hospitality industry to explain the role of CO directives on employee job burnout in an emotional labour perspective. The results give suggestions for the hospitality management.

Social implications

After reviewing of relevant literature, two research gaps are found. First, despite the amount of research showing a negative relationship between CO and job burnout, remarkably little is known about how these relationships are established. Second, a more important gap lies in overlooking the emotional nature of hospitality service work. The results of the study can fill the theoretical gap.

Originality/value

First, the recruitment and selection of frontline employees should incorporate an assessment of the level of CO. Second, hospitality management should teach and train the employees about the proper control of emotional labour. Third, the recruitment and selection of frontline employees should incorporate an assessment of the level of emotional intelligence; meanwhile, it is necessary to strengthen the emotional intelligence training.

Keywords

Citation

Wu, X. and Shie, A.-J. (2017), "The relationship between customer orientation, emotional labour and job burnout", Journal of Chinese Human Resource Management, Vol. 8 No. 2, pp. 54-76. https://doi.org/10.1108/JCHRM-03-2017-0005

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited