The Effects of Affect-Driven Factors and Work Meaningfulness on Hospitality Employee Retention: The Application of Affective Events Theory



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This study examines the effects of affect-driven factors (i.e., social support and autonomy) and the emotional mechanism on employees’ intention to stay in the hospitality industry by applying the Affective Events Theory (i.e., AET). Using the convenience sampling method, the data (n=336) were collected from the participants in the five distinctive hospitality industries: 1) lodging or accommodation, 2) food beverage, or restaurants, 3), travel & tourism, 4) entertainment & recreation, and 5) meeting & events industry. A self-administered online survey questionnaire was disseminated to the participants containing questions about social support, autonomy, emotional mechanisms, and behavioral intention as well as demographic information. The key findings of the study showed that (a) affect-driven factors significantly influence positive work events which in turn, positively influence employees’ emotions; (b) positive emotions significantly affect work-related attitudes (i.e., psychological well-being, job satisfaction, and organizational commitment), which positively influence hospitality employees’ intention to stay; and (c) the emotional mechanism has a full mediating effect on the relationship between supervisor support and employee retention, and between autonomy and employee retention. On the other hand, this mechanism has a partial mediating effect on the relationship between family support and employee retention. The results of the study confirmed that positive events can trigger stronger emotions driving employees’ work-related outcomes positively, which supports AET. The findings suggest that hospitality supervisors need to develop more supportive leadership to manage their employees as it is most significantly related to their emotions and retention. Lastly, the moderating role of work meaningfulness was found in the relationship between positive emotions and employee psychological well-being. Overall, the study will help researchers and practitioners demonstrate to the industry that the work environment features are essential for employee retention and facilitate to develop the work environment, enrich the jobs, maintain more positive emotions in the hospitality industry for success.

Embargo status: Restricted until 01/2030. To request the author grant access, click on the PDF link to the left.



Affect-driven factors, Affective Events Theory (AET), Employee Psychological Well-Being, Job satisfaction, Affective organizational commitment, Work Meaningfulness, Intention to Stay