The effect of illegitimate tasks on hospitality employees’ service performance: a conservation of resources perspective

Lijing Zhao, Phillip M. Jolly, Shuming Zhao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

Purpose: This study aims to investigate the influence of illegitimate tasks on frontline hospitality employees’ in-role and extra-role performance via the mediating role of thriving at work and the moderating role of work centrality. Design/methodology/approach: Survey data were collected from 264 supervisor–subordinate pairs from three hotels in Jiangsu, China and analyzed using structural equation modeling. Findings: Illegitimate tasks negatively affected hospitality employees’ in-role and extra-role performance by inhibiting thriving at work. In addition, work centrality strengthened the impact of illegitimate tasks on thriving at work and their indirect effect on in-role and extra-role performance via reduced thriving at work. Practical implications: First, managers should avoid assignment of unnecessary tasks. However, many tasks that could be viewed as illegitimate must still be performed; the results demonstrate that managers must be mindful of how such tasks are assigned and to whom, and should take steps to minimize and/or manage potential negative reactions to illegitimate tasks. Originality/value: This study enriches the illegitimate tasks literature by examining its influence on the frontline hospitality employees’ in-role and extra-role performance and highlights a novel mediating mechanism linking illegitimate tasks and employee performance using conservation of resource theory. In addition, this reveals the novel moderating effect of work centrality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalInternational Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management

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