Yacht crews’ perceptions of ethical climate, safety climate, psychological capital and psychological well-being in Türkiye

Murat Yorulmaz (Maritime Business Administration Department, Maritime Faculty, Kocaeli Universitesi, Kocaeli, Turkey)
Figen Sevinc Basol (Department of Travel, Tourism and Leisure Services, Bartin University, Bartin, Turkey)

Maritime Business Review

ISSN: 2397-3757

Article publication date: 30 January 2024

320

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to investigate the moderating role of psychological capital (PC) and the mediating role of safety climate (SC) in the relationship between the perception of psychological well-being (PWB) and ethical climate perception (ECP) of yacht crews in commercial yachts.

Design/methodology/approach

This study follows a quantitative approach. Data were obtained from a total of 339 yacht crews in Türkiye. The data were analyzed using SPSS 22 and AMOS 22 statistics package software.

Findings

This study uncovers the role of SC and PC in the causal relationship between the PWB and ECP of yacht crews who are, as tourism and maritime industry employees, expected to exhibit positive organizational attitudes and behaviors. The PWB of yacht crews in the work environment is affected by their SC and PC levels.

Research limitations/implications

Although the holistic model of this study is a strong one, there are some limitations. The sample includes only Turkish yacht crews in yacht organizations in Türkiye. Yacht crews work periodically under harsh conditions. We acquired the research data from the yacht crews who had experienced the challenging environment; hence, the findings are specific to the crews. Ethical perceptions and standards may differ across cultures; for this reason, future research on employees in different organizations may conclude with different results. The significance of this research lies in the fact that it tests a comprehensive model.

Practical implications

This study can guide managers in finding ways to affect the PWB of crews. Ethical and safety climate should be taken into account by yacht organizations to improve the perceptions of yacht crews. The findings show that ECP and SC have a positive effect on the PWB of yacht crews. From this perspective, this study suggests that yacht organizations should involve their crews in their ethical decisions to foster an ECP. Yacht businesses should act consistently in all areas and adopt clear safety and ethical rules and procedures for yacht crews to follow to create a perception of ethical and safety climate.

Social implications

This study contends that yacht crews, who face lengthy shifts and professional duties, are a component of the tourism and maritime industries. The findings indicated the necessity for more study on different perspectives related to the factors that impact PWB in the light of the employees. There are relatively scarce data on yacht crews and the relationship between their PWB, SC, ECP and personality constructs such as PC. This research shows that the PWB of yacht crews in stressful and demanding working environments depends on positive ECP and high PC through SC.

Originality/value

This study is the first to assess the role of SC and PC in the relationship between the ECP and PWB of yacht crews. It further aims to fill the research gaps and build on the tourism and maritime literature on yacht crews and PWB, and climate within the tourism and maritime context.

Keywords

Citation

Yorulmaz, M. and Sevinc Basol, F. (2024), "Yacht crews’ perceptions of ethical climate, safety climate, psychological capital and psychological well-being in Türkiye", Maritime Business Review, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/MABR-07-2023-0057

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2024, Pacific Star Group Education Foundation


Introduction

During the COVID-19 pandemic, modern yachting activities have become more popular through marine tourism in the tourism industry. Yacht tourism has contributed to increased tourism revenues for countries (Elias et al., 2020; Paker and Gök, 2021; Yorulmaz and Sevinc, 2021). By 2027, the worldwide yacht charter industry is predicted to grow to $10.82bn and investments in and demand for yacht tourism can grow more in the foreseeable future (Fortune Business Insights, 2021). Yachts are luxurious, often professionally crewed motor or sailing yachts that are popular and chartered as commercial yachts or for private purposes to experience high standards and comfort (Sevinc and Güzel, 2017). Various activities are available for yacht tourists, including sunbathing, resting, fishing, diving, sailing and swimming around the yacht, while the yacht crews provide transportation safely, steer the direction of the yacht, cook, serve meals and provide housekeeping services to tourists in the limited physical environment of the yacht (Paker and Gök, 2021; Yao et al., 2021). By nature, the limited space during the provision of yachting services enforces high interaction between yacht tourists, yacht crews and nature. Also, certain factors such as weather conditions, service failures and technological malfunctions that affect tourist perceptions may cause concerns about the service environment (Paker and Gök, 2021). Another concern for yacht tourists is avoiding negativities experienced by maritime employees due to long working hours under stressful conditions (Thai et al., 2023; Wong, 2023). That said, yacht crews, who are employees of both the tourism and maritime sector, may be worried about their work environment on the luxury yachts, which offer transportation and accommodation services and recreational activities. The attitudes, behaviors, service quality and psychological conditions of yacht crews may play a pivotal role in attracting tourists to yachting activities.

The hospitality-oriented work environment can be characterized by a heavy workload, long working hours and deeply emotional labor as a profession requiring competence and field experience, and this makes the profession extremely psychological and climatic. Therefore, as yacht businesses promote yachting activities to attract a larger audience, improving their service quality by boosting their employees’ psychological conditions, behaviors and attitudes has become more pivotal (Yorulmaz and Sevinc, 2021). The psychological well-being (PWB) of employees is of critical importance as it is closely linked to employee attitudes and behaviors. For this reason, there has been growing scholarly attention to the PWB and factors that influence the PWB in the work environment. Some studies focus on the well-being of employees in the tourism and maritime literature (Baker and Kim, 2020; Kim et al., 2022; Wong, 2023; Zhang et al., 2020). Further, a relationship between employees’ well-being and ethical climate perception (ECP), safety climate (SC) and psychological capital (PC) has been revealed (Huyghebaert et al., 2018; Tsaur et al., 2019). Indeed, these factors related to PWB may affect the work environment. ECP involves moral obligation and is related to the beliefs of employees about the correct behaviors in their organizations in the work environment. On this point, several scholars argued that the more positive the ECP of employees is, the more satisfied they become with their work environment (Martin and Cullen, 2006; Wang and Hsieh, 2012). Wang and Hsieh (2012) ascertained that ECP may boost employees’ satisfaction, motivation and well-being. PC has been shown to be an individual asset associated with a positive psychological state and considered a potential source of a competitive advantage, which is represented by combined resilience, optimism, self-efficacy as well as hope (Luthans and Youssef, 2004). Some research highlighted the importance of PC and its influence on PWB from various perspectives (Lee and Ravichandran, 2019). Also, Huyghebaert et al. (2018) found that SC as a psychosocial element affects employees’ well-being. SC reflects employees’ perceptions and beliefs related to the safety norms and policies in the work environment. SC emerges as a variable at the environmental level that, to a certain extent, has an impact on the behaviors of employees and plays an important role in reducing potential risks, and mitigating accidents as well (Chen et al., 2023). According to Teoh and Kee (2020), the mediation effect of SC helps PWB, and the researchers further suggest that SC may be examined for well-being, work environment and motivation. Addressing these factors together can be a guide for managing human resources (HR) effectively and efficiently, and they can help cope with crises. More specifically, the ECP, SC, PC and PWB of yacht crews may have dramatic implications. The PWB of yacht crews, who frequently communicate with tourists and managers, can be a handicap to marine tourism development, since it might have a negative effect on the work environment, causing general dissatisfaction. To find out if the link between the aforementioned factors is direct or indirect, we used a quantitative technique in line with the objective of this study that helps address the research problem and tested the proposed six hypotheses. We also used a Google Form survey to obtain the required data because of the inability to perform face-to-face interviews during the COVID-19 pandemic. This research, with a sample of yacht crews, illustrates the variety of tourism and maritime businesses.

Evaluating the elements that impact and play a moderating and mediating role in the PWB of yacht crews, we hope to assist them in increasing their PWB and guiding yacht businesses. This study is of considerable importance as it investigates the simultaneous relationship between the indicators of ECP, SC and PWB associated with PC for building on the relevant literature. The study fills the gap in the literature by providing insights into marine tourism employees. In this study, we intend to determine the role of SC and PC in the relationship between the ECP and PWB of yacht crews. The measurement model in this study was confirmed based on a solid approach, and the methodological gap was filled by evaluating the goodness of fit values, reliability and structural validity of the model. This study highlights the practices and procedures for promoting employees' well-being and allows for the understanding of employees and the importance of HR practices for yacht businesses, which play a paramount role in the economies of coastal countries.

Literature review and hypothesis development

Yachting companies are likely to perform better in a competitive environment if their customer satisfaction improves. However, these companies can have climates that range from highly ethical to highly unethical (Schwepker, 2001). Researchers have argued that the attitudes and behaviors of employees may be affected by perceptions of the work environment (Martin and Cullen, 2006) and suggested that it is necessary to build an ECP in the literature (Schwepker, 2001). The relationship between the ECP and well-being appears as a research topic (Carminati and Gao Héliot, 2023). In the social cognitive theory (Bandura, 1986), the ECP is a part of the organizational culture and includes the ethical qualifications of the organizations, such as organizational norms, procedures, policies and practices (Schwepker, 2001). Employees can feel what is happening in the organization, and ECP helps understand whether behaviors in the organization are considered appropriate or inappropriate by employees. As employees may be faced with an ethical dilemma, their decisions may be affected by the ECP of their organization. Similarly, HR systems can help shape the feelings of employees about the work environment and HR practices have the potential to indicate that the well-being of employees is valued (Chuang and Liao, 2010). Thus, ECP has been presented as a map for ethical decisions and plays a major role in affecting the ethical or unethical behaviors and orientations of employees (Zhao et al., 2022). It also helps employees adopt ethical approaches in making ethical decisions and solving problems; this is related to employees and the work environment, thus boosting their satisfaction, motivation and well-being (Wang and Hsieh, 2012; Pizam, 2020). This validates the social cognitive theory of Bandura (1986) that the behaviors of employees are shaped by the interaction among organizational factors.

ECP may offer a more pleasant work environment and promote ethical values, such as trust and honesty (Schwepker, 2001). Thus, yacht crews identify ethical behaviors and feel safe. From this standpoint, a safe and reliable work environment might positively impact one’s PWB. Unsafe work environments may be regarded as one of the causes of mishaps and ill-being among yacht crews. Yacht crews may think that their true potential and health are jeopardized. For this reason, SC, which affects individual safety behaviors in the work environment, has been a factor that this study focuses on. SC is described as the perceptions of employees toward policies, procedures and safety practices in the work environment (Zohar, 1980). It is considered as a part of the perspective of organizational climate that includes areas such as work practices, technical, training, service and hygiene (Zhou et al., 2008). Huyghebaert et al. (2018) stated that employees may feel undervalued or unappreciated if they perceive that their well-being is not a priority issue worthy of disincentive measures. Therefore, they explored SC, and found that it is a psychosocial element affecting the well-being of employees. Brown et al. (2021) investigated the perceptions of SC and health climate as well as employees' well-being with leadership development during the COVID-19. Akbolat et al. (2022) stated that the mediating role and effect of PWB contributes to the reduction of job stress via the improvement of the SC. Similarly, Tamakloe et al. (2022) investigated the relationship between SC and PWB and stated that building a safe work environment supports the PWB of employees. Yacht services in the travel and hospitality industries demand more specific safety practices. Working conditions and technological innovations in the yacht sector are not sufficient to go on with safety performance. The crew factor is important and plays a critical role in the yacht sector. That said, SC practices may be crucial for the well-being of yacht crews.

The well-being of employees reflects the work environment. This makes PWB another popular and perception-based subject in the tourism and maritime industries. As PWB represents the mental health of employees, it affects the work environment and manager–employee–tourist interactions and recent research has proposed that PWB affects the behaviors of employees (Baker and Kim, 2020; Chen and Chen, 2021). Employees who are hopeful, optimistic, resilient and self-efficacious usually feel good about their work environment. Such employees are expected to be content with their jobs and lives too (Karatepe and Karadas, 2015). If yacht crews are self-efficacious and feel hopeful about their current jobs, they often go through a period of reflection for the right skills, abilities decision-making control and flexibility to exhibit better performance in the workplace. This period is associated with PC, and the crews evaluate SC, ECP and PWB considering the work conditions, and they are affected by them. This indicates that reciprocal expectations affect and materialize interactions. Therefore, PWB is one of the integral factors for this study, as it is also linked to ECP, SC and PC. We believe that yacht crews interact with tourists, captains and shareholders. Since employees involved in yachting activities reflect an organization’s image while engaging with visitors, their perceptions and psychological states are crucial and critical. As such, the ECP and PWB of yacht crews may be shaped by demands and organizations. The demanding, working conditions of the service industry are regarded as one of the key elements affecting employees' well-being (Lee and Ravichandran, 2019). SC may have a mediating function in the PWB of yacht crews in this setting. In light of these findings, this study proposes the following hypotheses:

H1.

The ECP of yacht crews positively affects PWB.

H2.

The ECP of yacht crews positively affects SC.

H3.

The SC of yacht crews positively affects PWB.

H4.

SC plays a mediating role in the relationship between the ECP and PWB of yacht crews.

Although yacht crews are resilient individuals who can easily adapt to yacht conditions, they may be faced with challenging working conditions. Under all conditions, employees are expected to offer quality services. Employees can be supported via experiences, organizational behavior and HR practices. PC can support employees to cope with challenging work conditions and shape employees’ perceptions of trust (Ozturk and Karatepe, 2019). PC is related to the positive approach toward organizational behavior and HR management. Employees with high PC are more interested in their work and happier with their job, career and life (Luthans, 2012). Viseu et al. (2022) argued that SC is positively associated with PC, and PC mediates the relationship between SC and work engagement in part. Darvishmotevali and Ali (2020) examined that with a moderator role, PC helps cope with the negative affect of job insecurity on well-being and employees’ performance. Therefore, the investigation of the moderating role of PC is significant and relevant. The hypothesis 5 is as follows:

H5.

PC plays a moderating role in the relationship between the ECP and PWB of yacht crews.

Many studies have linked PC with positive outcomes and investigated employees' positive perspectives, organizational variables and well-being in the work environment (Darvishmotevali and Ali, 2020; Tsaur et al., 2019), and building on these findings, this study can contribute to the insights about the role of PC with an alternative sample like yacht crews. This study is crucial for it investigates the simultaneous relationship between of the indicators of ECP, SC and PWB associated with PC. The intense work conditions of yacht crews may be considered one of the main reasons for their ill-being and their negative perception toward the organization. The yacht crew’s long time with coordinated work, because of yacht tour schedules, may impact via SC with an indirect effect on PWB, which varies depending on PC levels. Thus, we argue that the well-being of crews is pivotal for ECP, PC levels and that the well-being of crew results in a positive work environment. The hypothesis 6 is presented below:

H6.

The indirect effect of the ECP of yacht crews on PWB via SC differs depending on the PC level.

Today, various reasons, such as pandemic, economic crises and natural disasters, have created uncertainty and unavoidably impacted the lives of employees. Especially following a change or distress, the abilities of yacht crews to adapt and reconnect are a priority in the work environment. In other words, yacht crews are expected to positively cope with and adapt to adversity. PC is a dynamic process that influences employee attitudes to work, performance and actions at work (Newman et al., 2014). Mao et al. (2021) claimed that studies focus on the effects of PC and keep its antecedents in the background. In addition to the efforts of employees, organizations may support increasing PC levels (Rego et al., 2012). PC has been usually investigated as a combined concept that covers psychological resources. We believe that this study can contribute to an in-depth investigation with a holistic approach to ECP, SC with PC for the PWB of employees. PC is related to well-being because it represents the source of a positive psychological state and inherent quality of life. Previous studies have determined that those with high levels of PC can enhance positive psychosocial outcomes, are more satisfied with their jobs, have problem-solving motivations and tend to help their co-workers (Luthans et al., 2007). High PC and happy employees are critical to the success of the tourism and maritime industries. Thus, PC appears to have a moderating role in the promotion and improvement of one’s well-being and the other factors; SC plays a mediating role in employee PWB. Figure 1 shows the study model, which assumes that a climatic and psychological perception process underlying the well-being of yacht crews.

Lastly, yacht tourism has emerged as a luxury tourism activity with particular significance for coastal nations, and yacht activities rely on the selfless contributions of yacht crews. As such, we propose these six hypotheses based on our research model.

Methodology

The study examined yacht crews serving and specializing in yacht activities. Data were obtained from a total of 339 Turkish yacht crews from April to September, 2021, using a Google Form. A social media platform with 9 k followers of yacht crews (Turkish yacht captains and crews’ organizations) supported the data collection process, and those who agreed to take part in the study signed a voluntary consent form. Of the participants, 95.6% were men (n = 324); 51% were graduates of high school (n = 173); 33% were graduates of university (113) and 16% (n = 53) were graduates of elementary school. Also, 72.3% were (n = 245) deck staff, 18% (n = 61) were machinery staff and 9.7% (n = 33) were service staff who worked on yachts. The yacht crews involved in the study had an average age of 32.2 years. (SD = 7.40) and the average tenure in the yachting sector was 11.72 years (SD = 6.45).

This study drew on the one-dimensional scale developed by Schwepker (2001) to measure the ECP of the yacht crew. This scale consists of five items such as “Our company has offices and written ethical rules.” To measure PWB, the one-dimensional six-item scale formed by Zheng et al. (2015) was used. This scale presents items such as “I feel I have grown as a person.” To measure the PC levels of the yacht crew, the scale formed by Luthans et al. (2007), with four dimensions and 24 items, was adapted for this study. The PC scale includes items such as “I think that there are many solutions to a problem.” To measure the SC, the scale formed by Choudhry et al. (2009) with six items and one dimension was adapted to yachts and used in this study. It presents items such as “The necessary tools and equipment for the safe conduct of work are provided in the yacht.” All scales used in the study were designed as a five-point Likert scale (answers varying between 1 = I strongly disagree and 5 = I absolutely agree).

The data obtained through the survey were analyzed using SPSS (v22) and AMOS (v22) package software. Analyses of convergent and discriminant validity were performed through confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) to determine the validity of the alternative structural models as well as the measurement model, and internal consistency was tested using the composite reliability (CR) and Cronbach’s alpha coefficients. The bootstrap (n = 5,000) was used to test the hypotheses and research model; this study also relied on Hayes' (2019) Process macro’s (v3.4) Model 1 for the moderating effect, Model 4 for the mediating effect and Model 14 for the moderated mediation effect.

Findings

Validity, reliability analysis

When the items with factor weights less than 0.50 were excluded from the CFA, which was performed to reveal the measurement model’s the structural validity (ECP, PWB, SC, PC-second order, the resulting goodness of fit indicators were 2/sd (1.817), CFI (0.922), TLI (0.914), RMSEA (0.049) and SRMR (0.061)), all of which are considered acceptable (Hair et al., 2014). The convergent validity of the scales in the measurement model was evaluated using the average variance extracted (AVE) and CR values; the discriminant validity was tested using the average shared variance (ASV) and maximum shared variance (MSV) values, and Table 1 shows the findings.

Table 1 indicates that the standardized factor loadings of all factors in the measurement model were greater than 0.50 and statistically significant (p < 0.001); that the AVE values were greater than the threshold value of 0.50 and that the CR values were both greater than the threshold value of 0.70 and the AVE values, which support the convergent validity of the measurement model. Remarkably, the MSV and ASV values were less than the AVE values and that the Pearson’s correlation coefficients were less than the √AVE values. This supports the discriminant validity of the measurement model. Moreover, the CA and CR coefficients of the factors in the measurement model were greater than 0.70, which means that the measurement model is reliable (Hair et al., 2014).

Table 2 presents the average, standard error, standard deviation, skewness and kurtosis coefficients of the variables in the measurement model, which is considered valid and reliable.

To prevent common method bias that may occur in surveys, the survey first presented the items on the dependent variable of PWB, and then the items on the independent variables of PC, SC and ECP. Further, Harman’s one-factor test was performed to identify any common method bias. The explanatory factor analysis (EFA), the basic components method and the non-rotation analyses revealed a seven-factor structure with eigenvalues greater than 1, a total variance of 64.03%, and a first factor alone explaining 27.50% of the total variance. Accordingly, the EFA analysis without rotation yielded a multiple-factor structure and demonstrated that the first factor could explain less than 50% of the total described variance. In addition, a CFA where all items in the measurement model were loaded into a single factor was performed and the goodness of fit values of the one-factor model (χ2/sd = 5.119; CFI = 0.598; TLI = 0.568; RMSEA = 0.110 and SRMR = 0.118) remained below the acceptable limit; therefore, no common method bias occurred (Podsakoff et al., 2012).

Testing the hypotheses

Table 3 provides the results of the analyses performed using the Hayes (2019) Process macro (v3.4) Model 4 bootstrap method (n = 5,000) to test whether the ECP of yacht crews has an indirect effect on PWB via SC.

Table 3 shows that ECP has a positive effect on both PWB and SC [(B = 0.437; t = 7.071; p < 0.001); (B = 0.038; t = 12.834; p < 0.001), respectively]. Analyzing the effects of SC and ECP on PWB, this study found that SC has a positive effect on PWB while the effect of ECP on PWB continued but at an increasingly lower rate [(B = 0.380; t = 4.487; p < 0.001); (B = 0.2488; t = 3.389; p < 0.001), respectively]. The confidence intervals identified in the bootstrap (n = 5,000) analysis was taken into account to test the mediating role of SC in the relationship between ECP and PWB (MacKinnon et al., 2004). The mediating effect of SC was found as statistically significant (Effect = 0.188; p < 0.05; 95% BCA CI [0.099; 0.281]) given that the corrected bias and the accelerated confidence interval (BCA CI) did not include zero. Also, the results of the Sobel test (z-value = 4.273; SE = 0.044; p < 0.001), indicated that the mediating effect of SC was statistically significant. Thus, Hypotheses 1, 2, 3 and 4 were supported. It is also notable that about 18% of the change in the PWB of the yacht crew (R2 = 0.178), was explained by SC and ECP.

Table 4 offers the results of the analyses performed using the Hayes (2019) Process macro (v3.4) Model 1 bootstrap method (n = 5,000) to test the moderating role of PC in the relationship between the PWB and SC of the yacht crew.

Table 4 demonstrates the model applied to test the moderating role of PC (F (3; 335) = 27.945; p < 0.001), and the impact of the interaction term (SC*PC) on PWB was statistically significant (B = 0.284; t = 2.583 sq; p < 0.05) and 95% confidence interval values (CI) did not include the zero value (95% CI [0.068, 0.500]). The fact that the interaction term was statistically significant in the moderating model indicates that the effect of SC on PWB varies depending on the PC levels of the yacht crew, that is, the existence of a moderating role. The results of the regression test of the one standard deviation below, the mean and above values than the average of the PC were significant, and the values in the 95% confidence interval (CI) did not include zero (p < 0.01; LL < 95% CI < UL) and also the Slope test slopes on Figure 2 were different from zero. All these findings prove the moderating role of PC in the relationship between SC and PWB (MacKinnon et al., 2004). Based on these findings, Hypothesis 5 is supported. Figure 2 shows that as the PC levels of the yacht crew increased, the positive effect of SC on PWB increased.

Table 5 presents the results of the analyses performed using the Process macro (v3.4) Model 14 by Hayes (2019) via the bootstrap technique (n = 5,000) performed to determine the moderated meditation role of PC.

Table 5 indicates that the interaction term (B = 0.258; t = 2.376; p < 0.05) and the index of moderated mediation (Index = 0.128; p < 0.05) were statistically significant, and the values in the 95% confidence interval (CI) did not cover the zero value (BCA CI [0.027; 0.249]). Also, Table 5 indicates that the regression test results of the one standard deviation below the mean of PC value were not significant, and the results of the mean and one standard deviation above the mean were significant; the 95% confidence interval (CI) values did not include zero (p < 0.01; LL <95%CI < UL). Therefore, the indirect effect of ECP on PWB through SC increases when the PC levels of the yacht crew are moderate and high. Based on these findings, Hypothesis 6 is supported.

Discussion and conclusion

Understanding yacht crews and ensuring their well-being are essential, as the tourism and maritime sector involves work discipline, skills and long working hours that may negatively influence one’s perceptions and psychological status. Employee attitudes and behaviors in yacht tourism, where transportation and accommodation services are provided, shape the initial impressions of tourists about their trip. Therefore, more attention should be paid to yacht crews, who serve tourists through constant and intense contact and deal with the technical issues of yachts. Thus, this study addresses yacht crews and offers different viewpoints on tourism and maritime research.

This study uncovers that the ECP of yacht crews has direct and indirect impacts on PWB and PC and plays a moderating role. It also emphasizes that the indirect effect of the ECP of yacht crews on PWB via SC varies depending on the PC levels of yacht crews. The effects of SC on PWB vary according to the yacht crews’ levels of PC. Furthermore, PC appears to have a moderating role in the relationship between SC and PWB. Thus, among the yacht crews with high PC levels, the mediating effect of SC is greater than those with low PC levels. In addition, as the PC level increases, the mediating effect of SC increases. That is, ECP, directly and indirectly, affects PWB. Supporting this finding, Karatepe and Karadas (2015) reported correlations between the well-being and PC of frontline employees. They further ascertained that PC shapes their lives, careers and life satisfaction. The researchers noted that PC is positively related to the well-being of employees. PC of employees is helpful and has a positive impact on their well-being with HR practices (Ngo et al., 2023).

Work environment of the yacht services affects crews, who are in close touch with tourists to meet their demands; perceived climate, PC and PWB remain as important for employees. Considering the relevant literature, there are key areas where organizations need to offer the necessary assistance for employee well-being (Karatepe and Karadas, 2015; Wong, 2023). Today, unpredictable various reasons such as pandemic, economic crises and so on, have allowed us to understand the significance of employees' PC and SC levels. This study empirically confirms that SC plays a mediating role and PC is a moderator in the relationship between the ECP and PWB of yacht crews. The findings from the analyses performed in this study validate each of the six research hypotheses. This study also offers different perspectives for future research and the findings identify some significant factors for businesses to support employees' PWBs. The highlights of this study are SC and ECP, which are a priority for the work environment, the well-being of the employees and their awareness regarding PC.

Theoretical implications

This study intends to add to the tourism and maritime research literature by performing a study on yacht crews that work on yacht crews. The study was designed to test the relationship between the ECP and PWB of yacht crews. It also examined the effect of ECP on the PWB of yacht crews. The ECP of yacht crews has both a direct effect on their PWB and an indirect effect on their SC, and this indirect effect becomes more pronounced as the PC of yacht crews increases. The results showed that the PWB of yacht crews enhances their life energy, fosters their creativity and increases their productivity at work. The way that the well-being of the yacht is generated and improved, and what affects it, is of great importance not only for their social life but also for their professional life and business management. We determined that the ECP of crews within yacht organization positively affects their SC, which is a finding that fills the gaps within the literature and emphasized the SC of crews positively affects their PWB as well. The PWB of yacht crews in the work environment is affected by their SC and PC levels. The results of this study are consistent with the findings of other research (Karatepe and Karadas, 2015; Lee and Ravichandran, 2019; Tsaur et al., 2019). This study further analyzed SC and revealed that PC has a part in the relationship between the ECP and PWB of yacht crews. It contributes to the literature in that it probes into the role of SC and PC in the causal relationship between the PWB of the yacht crew and ECP. This study contends that yacht crews, who face lengthy shifts and professional duties, are a component of the tourism and maritime industries. The findings indicated the necessity for more study on different perspectives related to the factors that impact PWB in the light of the employees. There are relatively scarce data on yacht crews and the relationship between their PWB, SC, ECP and personality constructs such as PC. This research shows that the PWB of yacht crews in stressful and demanding working environments depends on positive ECP and high PC through SC.

Practical implications

This study can guide managers in finding ways to affect the PWB of crews. Ethical and SC should be taken into account by yacht organizations to improve the perceptions of yacht crews. The findings show that ECP and SC have a positive effect on the PWB of yacht crews. From this perspective, this study suggests that yacht organizations should involve their crews in their ethical decisions to foster an ECP. Yacht businesses should act consistently in all areas and adopt clear safety and ethical rules and procedures for yacht crews to follow to create a perception of ethical and safety climate. Hereby, this study points out the practices and procedures to boost the PWB of employees in the tourism and maritime industries.

The study also supports the HR practices of organizations by offering a more comprehensive assessment of the effect of ECP on the PWB of yacht crews via SC. Yacht businesses should constantly maintain corporate atmosphere and employee well-being to emphasize the necessity of qualified HR. This may allow for attracting HR with high PC to the organization and providing effective signals to the employees. The findings are likely to make contributions to understanding of these factors that may affect the PC and well-being of crews. The success of yacht businesses largely depends on the social and technical skills of their crews, their organizational climate perception, and their PC and PWB. Seminars, events, professional development training or psychological consultancy may be offered to crews. The findings support the understanding and importance of HR practices by employees for small–medium enterprises including yacht businesses. For this reason, the study is likely to present significant insights into the collaboration between teams and businesses and to provide HR management, especially in the tourism industry, a different perspective on how the PWB of crews is affected in emerging economies. Individuals are encouraged to see marine tourism in many coastal countries as a remarkable sector with potential opportunities for jobs and careers. This study considers that HR management plays a critical part in the economic performance and profitability of yacht businesses for quality services. Therefore, the relationships between ECP and PWB have been studied thoroughly. The findings show that some variables such as SC and PC are important factors that directly or indirectly affect the PWB of employees. Yacht organizations should consider achieving higher SC to improve service quality and boost the motivation of crews. Given that SC influences the PWB of yacht crews, the findings suggest that organizations should establish SC-specific codes, policies and practices for marine tourism employees regarding what is appropriate or inappropriate behavior in the work environment. That said, we suggest that yacht businesses should benchmark the practices of other tourism and maritime organizations’ practices considered as models of ethical practice. Based on the results of this study, the PC levels of yacht crews should be assessed during recruitment; organizations should make efforts to increase PC levels and improve yacht crews’ perception of organizational climate and PWB. These steps would allow organizations to thrive. Considering the employees’ well-being as a part of organizational culture strengthens the adaptation of employees to the industries, rather than an economic investment. Therefore, in making work-related choices, organizations must take into account all employees' ECP, SC and PWB as well as their PC levels and the effects of the work environment.

Although the holistic model of this study is a strong one, there are some limitations. The sample included only Turkish yacht crews in yacht organizations in Türkiye. Yacht crews work periodically under harsh conditions. We acquired the research data from the yacht crews who had experienced the challenging environment; hence, the findings are specific to the crews. Ethical perceptions and standards may differ across cultures; for this reason, future research on employees in different organizations may conclude with different results. The significance of this research lies in the fact that it tests a comprehensive model. Future research may test this model with various tourism workers. Future studies may also investigate these links using a multilevel approach to further our knowledge of tourism employees.

Figures

Research model

Figure 1

Research model

Slope of SC and PC interaction

Figure 2

Slope of SC and PC interaction

Cronbach’s alpha, composite reliability, Pearson’s correlations, convergent and discriminant validity

FactorsCACRAVEMSVASVStd. β***1234
1. ECP0.8930.8950.6320.3280.1810.735–0.8600.7940.573**0.296**0.359**
2. SC0.8360.8590.5050.3280.2200.670–0.784 0.7100.428**0.388**
3. PC0.8500.8780.6460.1830.1270.694–0.906 0.8030.332**
4. PWB0.9040.9030.6090.1500.1290.652–0.832 0.780

Note(s): **p < 0.01 and ***p < 0.001; Values in diagonal are the square root of AVE of each variable

Source(s): Authors’ own work

Means, std. dev., std. err., Skewness and Kurtosis

FactorsMeanStd. Dev.SkewnessStd. Err.KurtosisStd. Err.
1. ECP3.8180.784−1.1640.1321.7980.264
2. SC3.8000.678−0.6960.1320.2980.264
3. PC3.7660.510−1.1860.1322.6140.264
4. PWB3.2590.955−0.4870.132−0.3440.264

Source(s): Authors’ own work

Mediation effect of SC

VariablesPWBSCPWB
BSEtBSETBSEt
Constant1.7010.2536.719***2.0090.15812.719***0.9360.2993.124**
ECP0.4370.0617.071***0.4950.03812.834***0.2480.0733.389***
SC0.3800.0844.487***
Model Summ.R2 = 0.129; F(1; 337) = 50.008; p < 0.001R2 = 0.328; F(1; 337) = 164.72; p < 0.001R2 = 0.178; F(2; 336) = 36.469; p < 0.001
Bootstrap indirect effectEffect = 0.188; BootSE = 0.047; p < 0.05; 95% BCA CI [0.099; 0.281]
Sobel test for indirect effectz-value = 4.273; SE = 0.044; p < 0.001

Note(s): **p < 0.01 and ***p < 0.001

Source(s): Authors’ own work

Moderating effect test of PC

95% CI
VariablesBSETLLUL
Constant3.4170.04969.255***3.3203.514
SC0.4320.0765.674***0.2820.582
PC0.4570.1054.342***0.2500.665
SC*PC0.2840.1092.583*0.0680.500
Effect
Conditional effectLow (mean - SD)0.2870.0923.108**0.1050.469
M (mean)0.4320.0765.674***0.2820.582
High (mean + SD)0.5770.0965.967***0.3860.767
Model summaryR2 = 0.200; F (3; 335) = 27.945; p < 0.001
(SC*PC) ΔR2 = 0.016; F (1; 335) = 6.673; p < 0.05

Note(s): **p < 0.01 and ***p < 0.001; Dependent variable, PWB

Source(s): Authors’ own work

Moderated mediation effect of PC

95% CI
VariablesBSEtLLUL
Constant2.5450.2928.703***1.9703.120
ECP0.2180.0723.024**0.0760.359
SC0.2930.0883.333**0.1200.467
PC0.4300.1044.113***0.2240.635
SC*PC0.2580.1082.376*0.0440.473
Effect
Conditional effectL (mean - 1SD)0.1610.1001.610−0.0350.359
M (MEAN)0.2930.0883.333**0.1200.467
H (mean + 1SD)0.4250.1073.947***0.2130.638
Index of moderated mediationIndex = 0.128; BootSE = 0.056; p < 0.05
95% BCA CI [0.027; 0.249]
Model summaryR2 = 0.221; F (4; 334) = 23.756; p < 0.001
(SC*PC) ΔR2 = 0.013; F (1; 334) = 5.649; p < 0.05

Note(s): *p < 0.05, **p < 0.01 and ***p < 0.001; Dependent variable, PWB

Source(s): Authors’ own work

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Corresponding author

Figen Sevinc Basol is the corresponding author and can be contacted at: fsevinc@bartin.edu.tr

About the authors

Murat Yorulmaz is Associate Professor in the Department of Maritime Business Administration at Maritime Faculty, Kocaeli University, Türkiye. He is interested in ship management, maritime business and organizational behavior in the maritime.

Figen Sevinc Basol is Assistant Professor of Tourism and Travel Services at the Department of Travel, Tourism and Leisure Services, Bartın University, Türkiye. Her research interests include sustainable marine tourism and organizational behavior.

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