The Black Sheep in Hospitality Organizations: How and When Coworker Service Sabotage Hinders Employee Service Creativity

Yijing Lyu, Hong Zhu*, Emily G. Huang, Yuanyi Chen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to propose a research model in which coworker service sabotage influences hospitality employees’ service creativity via work engagement. It also aims to test the moderating effect of sensitivity to the interpersonal mistreatment of others (SIMO).

Design/methodology/approach: A time-lagged questionnaire study was performed in hotels in China. The hypotheses were tested via hierarchical multiple regression.

Findings: Coworker service sabotage is indirectly associated with hospitality employees’ service creativity via work engagement. The trait of SIMO buffers the harmful effect of coworker service sabotage.

Research limitations/implications: Although our research design helps mitigate common method bias, it could still exist. Other coworker behaviors that might influence employees were not included in this research. The findings may also be biased due to the restricted sample from China.

Practical implications: Hospitality organizations should take measures to curb service sabotage. Organizations could also provide supportive resources to suppress the negative impacts of coworker service sabotage. Moreover, organizations should motivate those low in SIMO to care more about customers.

Originality/value: The research takes the lead in investigating the outcomes of service sabotage from a third-party perspective. Work engagement is identified as the mechanism for transmitting the impact of coworker service sabotage to employees. Moreover, a new moderator that attenuates the negative effects of coworker service sabotage is found.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)312-328
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management
Volume36
Issue number1
Early online date28 Apr 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2024

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management

User-Defined Keywords

  • Coworker service sabotage
  • Sensitivity to the interpersonal mistreatment of others
  • Work engagement
  • Service creativity

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