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Drawing on social identity theory, the purpose of this paper is to examine whether social undermining significantly influences employee voice (or silence) and organizational deviant behavior in the hotel industry regarding three types of social undermining: by supervisor, coworker and customer.Design/methodology/approachThe study provided a self-administered questionnaire to 344 five-star hotel employees in South Korea. SPSS (version 22.0) and AMOS (version 20.0) were used to analyze the data.FindingsBeing undermined by customers negatively affects employee voice and positively affects employee silence. Supervisor and coworker undermining also negatively affects employee voice and positively affects employee silence. Employee voice does not significantly affect organizational deviant behavior, but employee silence significantly affects deviant employee behavior. This was also verified by the potential mediating effect of supervisor undermining on silence as a form of deviant employee behavior.Originality/valueThis study contributes to the development of long-term manager-centered measures to combat the effect of social undermining among frontline employees in the hotel industry. It can be difficult to differentiate clearly between the conflicts and stress experienced by employees at the service frontline and the social undermining they experience during diverse social interactions. In confirming the effects of social undermining on employees at a five-star hotel, the study also found no clear organizational provisions or legal recourse for victims. The findings suggest that hotel employees are easily exposed to social undermining as a result of the industry culture and socialization process.
Journal of Service Theory and Practice – Emerald Publishing
Published: Aug 21, 2019
Keywords: Social undermining; Voice; Hotel industry; Silence; Organizational deviant behaviour
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