This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

An Investigation of Work-Family Spillover Effect of Generation Z Employees in Chinese Hospitality Industry




Liu, Tianjian

Type of Degree

PhD Dissertation


Nutrition, Dietetics and Hospitality Management

Restriction Status


Restriction Type

Auburn University Users

Date Available



Work–family spillover is an important topic in the hospitality sector. However, there is a lack of research on work–family spillover among Chinese Generation Z hospitality employees, who have become integral to the workforce. Therefore, this study employed qualitative and quantitative approaches to examine the work–family spillover among Chinese Generation Z hospitality employees based on the Social Exchange Theory (SET) and Conservation of Resource (COR) Theory. In the qualitative phase, 33 participants from 14 hotels in five major cities in China were interviewed. The results showed that work could affect a family positively or negatively via its role as stressor, work and social supporter, and its characteristics (i.e. flexibility, salary). Family influenced work negatively as it could be a source of stress. However, family could also provide support to the employees. Supervisor support, co-worker support, and organization support were helpful to cope with negative work-family spillover. Furthermore, the qualitative study found that male and female employees have different issues from their work-family experience. In the quantitative phase, 313 Chinese Generation Z hospitality employees were recruited from five hotel properties and an online research platform. The findings indicated that organizational support and servant leadership influenced employees’ positive work-to-family spillover (PWFS) and negative work-to-family spillover (NWFS); workload only significantly influenced NWFS. NWFS and PWFS influenced exhaustion, job stress, and turnover intention. Only PWFS positively influenced work performance. Moreover, family emotional support positive influenced positive family-to-work spillover (PFWS). PFWS and negative family-to-work spillover (NFWS) significantly affected turnover intention, exhaustion, and family satisfaction. Gender only moderated the impact of PFWS on turnover intention. Theoretically, this study documented positive and negative work–family experiences and advanced the COR Theory and SET and identified some unique work-family issues in Chinese hospitality industry. Practically, the findings can help hotel managers in planning and implementing strategies to balance Generation Z employees’ work and family lives (e.g., providing flexible scheduling, training program, and firm activities), thereby sustaining talents.