Fuel the service fire The effect of leader humor on frontline hospitality employees' service performance and proactive customer service performance

Long-Zeng Wu (First Author), Ho Kwong Kwan (Participant Author), Yijiao Ye (Participant Author), Yijing Lyu (Participant Author), Xuan-Mei Cheng (Participant Author)

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal

33 Citations (Web of Science)

Abstract

Purpose Drawing from self-determination theory, this study aims to examine the effect of leader humor on frontline hospitality employees' service performance and proactive customer service performance (PCSP) via harmonious passion (HP) for work with employee neuroticism as the moderating mechanism. Design/methodology/approach This study controlled for the nested effect and tested all the hypotheses with Mplus 7.0 using a time-lagged three-wave survey of 232 Chinese supervisor-subordinate dyads. Findings The results indicated that leader humor promotes frontline hospitality employees' service performance and PCSP by enhancing their HP. Furthermore, neuroticism was shown to strengthen the direct impact of leader humor on employee HP and its indirect impact on employee service performance and employee PCSP through HP. Originality/value First, this research contributes to the leader humor literature through exploring its impact on the service performance and PCSP of frontline hospitality employees. Second, this research develops a new framework to explain the leader humor-employee service outcomes relationship using self-determination theory. Finally, the focus on the moderating role of neuroticism helps to explain the "when" question of leader humor.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1755-1773
JournalInternational Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management
Volume32
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Corresponding author email

may1981@zjut.edu.cn

Keywords

  • Harmonious passion
  • Leader humor
  • Neuroticism
  • Proactive customer service performance
  • Service performance

Indexed by

  • ABDC-A
  • Scopus

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