Date of Award

5-6-2018

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Executive Doctorate in Business (EDB)

Department

Business

First Advisor

Dr. Todd Maurer (Chair)

Second Advisor

Dr. Debra Cannon

Third Advisor

Dr. Subhashish Samaddar

Abstract

ABSTRACT

The Role of Reflection in Predicting Stress Coping, Turnover, Absenteeism and Lateness: A Study of the Hospitality Industry

by

Hicham Jaddoud

May 2018

Chair: Todd Maurer

Major Academic Unit: Executive Doctorate in Business

Occupational stress has become a serious concern in organizational studies, causing undesirable outcomes such as employee withdrawal behavior, which includes voluntary turnover, absenteeism, and lateness. The negative effects of stress are especially a problem in the hospitality industry. Therefore, stress coping strategies are an important focus in research, and it is worthwhile to understand the differences among hotel employees that may predispose them to cope effectively with stress. One factor in an organizational environment that may influence coping is reflection in relation to challenging experiences that occur at work. To the extent that employees constructively reflect on challenges experienced at work in a way that provides them insight into the challenges and possible ways to deal with them in the future, this tendency should help employees develop strong stress coping mechanisms. In such manner, employees are more likely to rely on effective stress coping strategies, and this may contribute to lesser employee withdrawal (e.g. turnover intentions, absenteeism, and lateness). This research assessed the role of an employee’s tendency to constructively reflect on challenging experiences in predicting stress coping and employee withdrawal (turnover, absenteeism, and lateness). I measured two underlying dimensions of reflection: causal analysis (CA) focusing on internal and changeable personal characteristics, and future improvement (FI) implications for those qualities. Employing partial least squares structural equation model (PLS-SEM), I explored the relationship between these two dimensions of the reflection process – CA and FI, Positive and Negative Stress Coping (PSC & NSC), and the three withdrawal behaviors. I expected those who display high amounts of these reflection tendencies to cope more effectively with stress and to exhibit fewer withdrawal behaviors (i.e. less turnover, absenteeism and lateness).

The hypothesized sequence of effects was: reflection (CA & FI)à stress coping strategies (PSC & NSC)à employee withdrawal (turnover, absenteeism, and lateness).

Results showed that the future improvement dimension of reflection was related to more positive stress coping and also unexpectedly related to more negative stress coping. Further, negative stress coping was related to more withdrawal in the form of absenteeism and turnover. While turnover, absenteeism, and lateness are important issues in the hospitality industry literature, reflection as a means to effective stress coping strategies and stress coping being related to withdrawal in the hotel business represents a new stream of research in an industry where stress and withdrawal are important to better understand. Results of the study are discussed in terms of implications for future research and practice.

Keywords: occupational stress, reflection, stress coping strategies, turnover, absenteeism, lateness, hospitality industry, partial least squares equation modeling, PLS-SEM

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