The effect of anticipated emotional labor on hotel employees’ professional mobility

Sean P. McGinley, Wei Wei, Lisa Gao

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


This study examined the moderating effects of anticipated emotional labor on the relations between currently felt emotional labor and hotel employees’ intention to remain with their companies or in the hotel industry. Drawing on image theory and expectancy theory, we argue that service employees’ perceptions of industry-wide expectations moderate the association between emotional labor and professional mobility. The results indicate when perceived industry-wide emotional labor is higher, employees are less likely to be professionally mobile when undergoing high emotional labor, but when perceived industry-wide emotional labor decreases, the impact of emotional labor is attenuated. This research provides hotel managers with strategies for effectively recruiting employees by projecting a company image that reduces application barriers for proximal job seekers and implementing better workplace practices. Hotel managers are also offered suggestions for cooperating with managers in competing firms to reduce the negative impact of emotional labor on industrial employment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)491-512
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Hospitality Marketing and Management
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 19 May 2019


  • career change
  • conservation of resources theory
  • Emotional labor
  • image theory
  • professional mobility
  • turnover

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Management Information Systems
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management
  • Marketing


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