This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Antacedents and Consequences of Lodging Employees' Career Success: An Application of Motivational Theories




Calhoun, Jennifer

Type of Degree



Nutrition and Food Science


The purpose of this research was to explore attitudes and perceptions of various generations of lodging employees’ views about their career success. This mixed method research employed both qualitative and quantitative methods that identified both the objective and subjective aspects of employee career success. Career success was defined as the positive psychological or work-related outcomes or achievements one has accumulated because of one's work experiences. The predictors within this framework were derived from past research in which the dependent variables were objective career success (described as what society constitutes as actual achievement, such as compensation and number of promotions), subjective career success (which comprised job satisfaction and career satisfaction) and, career success outcomes (which included organizational citizenship behavior, organizational commitment, and career commitment). The independent internal variables were socio-demographics, human capital, and motivation, and the external independent variables were organizational sponsorship. Qualitative results indicated ten themes important to lodging employees’ career success and surveys of upscale lodging properties yielded 115 useable responses. Thirteen hypotheses were tested using multivariate and bivariate analyses. The results indicated three hypotheses were fully supported such that subjective and objective career success were significant to career success outcomes, and, objective career success was statistically significant to subjective career success. Eight hypotheses were partially supported with two hypotheses not being supported. Results also indicated that motivation, particularly intrinsic motivation, turnover intentions, work centrality and days worked per week were statistically significant to subjective career success and that human capital was statistically significant to subjective, objective, and career success outcomes. This research contributed to existing theoretical studies to support the Socioemotional Selectivity Theory and recommended suggestions to hotel managers about how employees prioritized goals, their social preferences and behaviors in the work environment to achieve career success outcomes. This information is significant to practitioners in assisting them to develop effective human resource strategies that can benefit individual workers, their departments, and the organization as a whole.