Health and well-being have become one of the most important topics in organizational research. The Covid-19 pandemic has compounded the stress levels in all sectors across the world. The current environment has created unprecedented levels of employee turnover, in what economist have been calling the "Great Resignation," where individuals are not only quitting but are questioning their career choice and choosing to leave their profession altogether. This research utilized Conservation of Research (COR) theory and the Buffer Hypothesis (the notion that social support protects individuals from the negative impacts of workplace stress) to investigate occupational stress and well-being (i.e., burnout and job satisfaction) in the full-service restaurant segment. Prior research on occupational stress has investigated the buffering effect of support by focusing mainly on social support in general (support from friends and family), organizational support, supervisor support, and coworker support. This research is one of the first to conceptualize workplace support to include the role of customer-initiated support as well as organizational support, supervisor support, and coworker support in the occupational stress literature, specifically in the restaurant industry. Additionally, this study simultaneously investigated intention to stay with the employer and intention to change careers/career turnover. The results indicated that workplace stress positively impacts both dimensions of burnout: exhaustion and job disengagement. Subsequently, burnout was found to decrease job satisfaction, which was found to be an important driver of retention. Interestingly, job satisfaction was not significantly related to career turnover, suggesting overall job satisfaction is not enough to prevent career turnover and the buffering hypothesis was not supported. Results suggest that workplace support, including customer-initiated support, may play a different role in the occupational stress, burnout, turnover path. A discussion of the results, implications, and recommendations for future research are provided.


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Graduation Date





Murphy, Kevin


Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


Rosen College of Hospitality Management

Degree Program

Hospitality Management




CFE0009046; DP0026379





Release Date

May 2022

Length of Campus-only Access


Access Status

Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)


Rosen College of Hospitality Management