Tolerating errors in hospitality organizations: relationships with learning behavior, error reporting and service recovery performance

Xingyu Wang, Priyanko Guchait, Aysin Paşamehmetoğlu

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Hospitality work setting is error-prone, rendering error handling critical for effective organizational operation and quality of service delivery. An organization’s attitude toward errors can be traced back to one fundamental question: should errors be tolerated/accepted or not? This study aims to examine the relationships between error tolerance and hospitality employees’ three critical work behaviors, namely, learning behavior, error reporting and service recovery performance. Psychological safety and self-efficacy are hypothesized to be the underlying attitudinal mechanisms that link error tolerance with these behavioral outcomes. Design/methodology/approach: This study relied on a survey methodology, collecting data from 304 frontline restaurant employees in Turkey and their direct supervisors. SPSS 25.0 and Amos 25.0 were used for analysis. Findings: The results revealed that error tolerance had direct positive relationships with employees’ psychological safety and self-efficacy, both of which had positive impacts on learning behavior and error reporting. In addition, learning behavior positively influenced employees’ service recovery performance, as rated by the employees’ supervisors. Originality/value: This study identifies error tolerance as an organizational distal factor that influences employees’ learning behavior, error reporting and service recovery performance; and identifies self-efficacy and psychological safety as mediators of the relationship between error tolerance and behavioral outcomes. The findings help clarify the longstanding debate over the relationship between an organization’s attitude toward errors and its employees’ learning behavior. The findings also shed light on the advantages of tolerating error occurrence for organizations, which is especially important as most hospitality organizations pursue perfection with aversive attitudes toward errors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2635-2655
Number of pages21
JournalInternational Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 4 Jul 2020


  • Error reporting
  • Error tolerance
  • Learning behavior
  • Psychological safety
  • Self-efficacy
  • Service recovery performance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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