Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Envious employees can turn hospitality industry hostile

Date:
September 28, 2010
Source:
Penn State
Summary:
Guest relationships can become collateral damage when hotel employees envy the relationships co-workers have with their bosses, according to new research.

Guest relationships can become collateral damage when hotel employees envy the relationships co-workers have with their bosses, according to an international team of researchers.

In the study of front-line hotel employees -- desk staff, food and beverage workers, housekeepers -- workers who have poor relationships with their bosses were more likely to envy co-workers with better relationships with supervisors, said John O'Neill, associate professor, School of Hospitality Management, Penn State. The study showed that the envious workers were also less likely to help co-workers or to volunteer for additional duties. The researchers report their findings in the current issue of International Journal of Hospitality Management.

"People who are less envious often go above and beyond their normal job duties to do things like cover for an employee who has gone home to help a sick family member," said O'Neill. "Conversely workers who are more envious are less willing to perform these additional duties."

Front-line employees are typically hourly employees who interact directly with guests. Since these employees have personal contact with guests, people staying at hotels become the unintended victims of on-the-job envy, according to O'Neill, who worked with Soo Kim, assistant professor, management and information systems, Montclair State University, and Hyun-Min Cho, tourism policy research division, Culture Contents Center, Republic of Korea.

"Guests often need hotel workers to go above and beyond their normal job duties, even if it's just making a cup of coffee when the restaurant is closed," said O'Neill. "Performing these extra duties for guests, in turn, creates guests who are loyal to the hotel."

O'Neill said that the study established a path linking workplace envy with hotel success.

"Limiting envy is crucial not just to the success of the employee in his or her career, but it's crucial to the success of the hotel itself," said O'Neill. "The success of a hotel lies in how it treats its guests."

In the study, researchers surveyed 233 employees from four full-service hotels on their relationships with their supervisors and fellow workers. Those who answered questions indicating low-quality relationships with bosses were significantly more likely to envy co-workers. The study showed that poor relationships between supervisors and workers accounted for 41 percent of the envy expressed by workers. The presence of envious feelings toward co-workers, then, significantly predicted uncooperative behavior. Envy accounted for 26 percent of the lack of cooperation with co-workers.

To combat envy in the workplace, O'Neill suggested hotel organizations develop a formal structure to establish and guide relationships between employees and supervisors. O'Neill said that supervisors, who typically manage between six and 10 workers, can establish bonds by using techniques such as formal employee reviews and open-door management practices.

"While it can be a challenge for leaders to establish these relationships, it's in their best interest to have a relationship with each of their employees," O'Neill said. "It's really about establishing trust and having a dialogue with all of your workers."

Despite previous research indicating that gender, age and length of service played important roles in on-the-job behavior, the study did not find that those variables contributed significantly to workplace envy and uncooperative behavior.

"The behavior went across ages and genders," O'Neill said. "Whether it was different ages, or men or women, the more envious the employees were, the less likely they were to do things above and beyond their job descriptions."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Penn State. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Penn State. "Envious employees can turn hospitality industry hostile." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 September 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100928101435.htm>.
Penn State. (2010, September 28). Envious employees can turn hospitality industry hostile. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100928101435.htm
Penn State. "Envious employees can turn hospitality industry hostile." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100928101435.htm (accessed April 23, 2014).

Share This



More Science & Society News

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Air Force: $4.2B Saved from Grounding A-10s

Air Force: $4.2B Saved from Grounding A-10s

AP (Apr. 23, 2014) Speaking about the future of the United States Air Force, Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh says the choice to divest the A-10 fleet was logical and least impactful. (April 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Nuclear-Level Asteroids Might Be More Common Than We Realize

Nuclear-Level Asteroids Might Be More Common Than We Realize

Newsy (Apr. 23, 2014) The B612 Foundation says asteroids strike Earth much more often than previously thought, and are hoping to build an early warning system. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
High Court to Hear Dispute of TV Over Internet

High Court to Hear Dispute of TV Over Internet

AP (Apr. 22, 2014) The future of Aereo, an online service that provides over-the-air TV channels, hinges on a battle with broadcasters that goes before the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday. (April 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Is North Korea Planning Nuclear Test #4?

Is North Korea Planning Nuclear Test #4?

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) South Korean officials say North Korea is preparing to conduct another nuclear test, but is Pyongyang just bluffing this time? Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins