Robots can’t take my job: antecedents and outcomes of Gen Z employees’ service robot risk awareness

Heyao Yu, Cass Shum, Michelle Alcorn, Jie Sun, Zhaoli He

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Purpose: There has been a dramatic increase in the adoption of service robots in hotels, potentially replacing the human workforce. Drawing on Social Amplification of Risk Framework, this study aims to examine the moderating effect of transformational leadership on the indirect relationships between Gen Z employees’ tech-savviness and social skills on industry turnover intention via service robot risk awareness (SRRA). Design/methodology/approach: This study collected two-wave time-lagged multilevel data of 281 frontline Gen Z hotel employees from 54 departments in China. Participants were asked to rate their tech-savviness, social skills and SRRA in the first survey. They rated their supervisor’s transformational leadership and industry turnover intention one week later. Findings: Multilevel path analysis results showed SRRA mediates the negative indirect relationship of Gen Z employee’s tech-savviness and social skills on industry turnover intention. Transformational leadership weakened the positive effect of SRRA on industry turnover intention. Originality/value: This study contributes to the growing literature on service robots by investigating the antecedents and outcomes of employees’ SRRA. To the best of the authors’ knowledge, it is one of the first empirical studies investigating the role of leadership to mitigate the negative consequences of employee’s SRRA. Managers can use the results of this study to implement training programs and ensure that employees and service robots successfully coexist in the workplace.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2971-2988
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management
Issue number8
StatePublished - Jul 26 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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