A multilevel investigation of the impact of error management culture on restaurant employee voice

Yidan Huang, Heyao Yu, Amit Sharma, Ziang Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: This study aims to examine the relation between error management culture and restaurant employee promotive and prohibitive voices. Drawing on socially desirable responding theory, the authors also propose a dual-mediation mechanism underlying the impact of error management culture on employee voice: psychological empowerment, as the agentic motive, and psychological safety, as the communal motive. Design/methodology/approach: The authors recruited 223 participants working in 37 restaurants in China for the two-wave surveys with a one-week interval. The authors use a multilevel modeling paradigm to test the study hypotheses. Findings: This research examines a multilevel model suggesting that error management culture can boost employee promotive voice and prohibitive voice via the mechanisms of psychological safety and empowerment. In addition, the results suggest that psychological empowerment (vs psychological safety) has a strong mediation effect between error management culture and promotive voice, but the authors find no difference in mediating effects between error management culture and prohibitive voice. Practical implications: Restaurants can encourage employee voice by developing and maintaining an error management culture. Organizations can also consider motivating employees from both agentic and communal perspectives. Moreover, managers should focus more on empowering employees in areas characterized by Confucianism or collectivism. Originality/value: The current research adds to the voice literature by identifying an organizational cultural antecedent of employee voice–error management culture. Agentic and communal motives are two motivational paths of employee voice. It also extends the social desirability theory by highlighting the role of the agentic motive in the Chinese restaurant context.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalInternational Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management
StateAccepted/In press - 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management

Cite this