Linking customer-employee exchange and employee innovative behavior

Minglong Li, Cathy Hui-chun Hsu

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

61 Citations (Scopus)


Employee innovative behaviors lay the foundation for organizational innovation and are of importance to business success, especially for service firms. Although these innovative behaviors are performed at the individual level, employees still need to have frequent exchanges with others, such as customers. As there is little research investigating customer-employee exchange (CEX) and its influence on employee innovative behavior in services, this study aims to fill this gap in a hotel context. The results of a survey with 180 respondents indicate that both the solidarity and harmonization components of CEX have positive effects on employee innovative behavior, yet the information exchange between customers and employees does not significantly influence employee innovation. Also, higher level of CEX leads to higher level of perceived social psychological climate for innovation. The mediating effect of social psychological climate in the relationship between CEX and employee innovative behavior is partially supported. The findings contribute to the understanding of the role of social exchanges in facilitating employee innovative behavior and provide implications for the management of employee innovative behavior in hospitality firms.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)87-97
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Hospitality Management
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2016


  • Customer-employee exchange
  • Employee innovative behavior
  • Harmonization
  • Information exchange
  • Social psychological climate
  • Solidarity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management
  • Strategy and Management


Dive into the research topics of 'Linking customer-employee exchange and employee innovative behavior'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this