Listening to your employees: analyzing opinions from online reviews of hotel companies

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review


Purpose: This study aims to examine the factors influencing hotel employee satisfaction and explores the different sentiments expressed in these factors in online reviews by hotel type (premium versus economy) and employment status (current versus former). Design/methodology/approach: A total of 78,535 online reviews by employees of 29 hotel companies for the period of 2011-2019 were scraped from Structural topic modeling (STM) and sentiment analysis were used to extract topics influencing employee satisfaction and examine differences in sentiments in each topic. Findings: Results showed that employees of premium hotels expressed more positive sentiments in their reviews than employees of economy hotels. The STM results demonstrated that 20 topics influenced employee satisfaction, the top three of which were workplace bullying and dirty work (18.01%), organizational support (16.29%) and career advancement (8.88%). The results indicated that the sentiments in each topic differed by employment status and hotel type. Practical implications: Rather than relying on survey data to explore employee satisfaction, hotel industry practitioners can analyze employees’ online reviews to design action plans. Originality/value: This study is one of only a few to use online reviews from an employment search engine to explore hotel employee satisfaction. This study found that workplace bullying and dirty work heavily influenced employee satisfaction. Moreover, analysis of the comments from previous employees identified antecedents of employees’ actual turnover behavior but not their turnover intention.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2091-2116
Number of pages26
JournalInternational Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Hotel company online review
  • Hotel employee satisfaction
  • Hotel type
  • Sentiment analysis
  • Structural topic modeling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management

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