Motivating senior employees in the hospitality industry

Saehya Ann, Shane C. Blum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Purpose: This study aims to use Herzberg’s two-factor theory and attempted to discover, which motivational factors are the best predictors of senior employees’ job satisfaction and dissatisfaction and turnover intentions. The study also verified the two-factor theory’s validity. Design/methodology/approach: This study used a Web-based, self-administered survey method with measurements developed specifically for this study. Structural equation modeling using confirmatory factor analysis was conducted to test the hypotheses. Findings: The two factors that had significantly positive effects on job satisfaction were recognition and the work itself. Interestingly, achievement had a significantly negative effect on job satisfaction. The four hygiene factors that had a significantly negative effect on job dissatisfaction were technical supervision, personal life, status and job security. Job satisfaction had a significantly negative effect on turnover intention, while job dissatisfaction had a significantly positive effect on the variable, which supported Herzberg’s theory. Research limitations/implications: Although quantitative research is the most useful research tool and is used most widely, the method can provide only limited information, while qualitative research might provide further information that would allow us to understand the relation between motivation, job satisfaction and turnover intentions better from different perspectives. Future research using Herzberg’s interview method would be helpful to obtain more detailed information regarding these factors. Originality/value: This study is one of the first to use both job satisfaction and dissatisfaction separately to explore the relations among senior citizen employees’ motivators, hygiene factors, job satisfaction and dissatisfaction and turnover intentions in the hospitality industry, as most previous studies have used job satisfaction alone. This study’s empirical findings of the validity of Herzberg’s two-factor theory in this context prove that the theory remains applicable in a new environment six decades after its original development.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)324-346
Number of pages23
JournalInternational Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 13 2020


  • Herzberg’s two-factor theory
  • Hospitality industry
  • Job dissatisfaction
  • Job satisfaction
  • Motivation
  • Staff turnover


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