Rationalizing Quiet Quitting? Deciphering the Internal Mechanism of Front-line Hospitality Employees' Workplace Deviance


Arousal; deviant behaviors; role ambiguity; stress


Integrating neutralization theory, affective events theory, and resilience theory, this study examined the internal process that explains front-line hospitality employee workplace deviance, revealing the intriguing mechanisms behind quiet quitting. 563 surveys were analyzed using partial least square structural equation modeling. Results indicated that front-line hospitality employees rationalize their deviant behaviors through two different mechanisms in the face of distinct role stressors. Role ambiguity can cause stress, leading to workplace deviance. Role conflict can trigger arousal (i.e., a coping emotion that guides people in overcoming adversity), increasing deviant behaviors due to employee response toward self-protection and pursuit of personal gain. Furthermore, front-line employees with high passion may suffer greater stress in role ambiguity positions, whereas those with high perseverance are less likely to be affected by conflicting work situations. This study provides abundant theoretical and practical implications addressing hospitality workplace deviance. • This study examined the internal process that explains front-line hospitality employee workplace deviance. • Role ambiguity can cause stress, leading to front-line hospitality employee deviant behaviors. • Role conflict can trigger arousal, increasing employee deviant behaviors due to self-protection from external harm. • Front-line hospitality employees with passion will likely suffer more stress from ambiguous job roles. • Front-line hospitality employees with perseverance are likely to be less aware of conflicting work situations.

Publication Date


Original Citation

Wu, A., & Wei, W. (2024). Rationalizing quiet quitting? Deciphering the internal mechanism of front-line hospitality employees’ workplace deviance. International Journal of Hospitality Management, 119, N.PAG. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijhm.2023.103681

Document Type


Source Title

International Journal of Hospitality Management




Rosen College of Hospitality Management


Rosen College of Hospitality Management

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