Stressor effects of negative online reviews on anger and burnout in the restaurant industry

Karin Weber, Graham L. Bradley, Beverley Sparks

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Owners, managers and employees may be criticized personally and professionally by consumers in online reviews, and may suffer emotional and burnout consequences. The purpose of this paper is to examine the impact of customer-generated negative online reviews on hospitality employees. Design/methodology/approach: This research analyzed the effects of traditional face-to-face customer-related social stressors, as well as a newly added negative online review (NOR) stressor, on anger and burnout in a sample of 418 US hospitality workers. Findings: Structural equation modeling revealed that, after taking into account the contribution of customer-related social stressors, receipt of NORs predicts anger and anger mediates the relationships between NOR-receipt and two indices of burnout. Practical implications: This research extends our understanding of social stressors that apply to workers in the hospitality industry. It offers strategies for managing the threats and optimizing the opportunities, provided by negative online reviews. Originality/value: This study is one of the first studies that provide evidence of the personal impact of NORs on hospitality industry employees, thereby extending our understanding of social stressors that apply to workers in this industry.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2847-2866
Number of pages20
JournalInternational Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017


  • Customer related stressors
  • e-word of mouth
  • Negative online reviews
  • Restaurant
  • Stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management

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