Professor Emily (Jintao) Ma

12 AP 02


Areas of specialism

Organizational Behavior in Hospitality ; OCB; Motherhood and Women in Leadership


Research interests



Liang Meng, Dandan Li, Emily Ma, Juan Du (2024)How family motivation affects Chinese hotel employees' extra-role behaviors: A serial mediation model from an instrumental perspective, In: International journal of hospitality management116103625

Hospitality management research pays much attention to how work-related factors affect employees’ extra-role behaviors, while the potential role of work-family factors seems to be neglected. Using a sample of employees and their direct supervisors from several five-star hotels in China, a three-wave survey study was conducted to explore the effects of family motivation on employees' organizational citizenship behaviors (OCBs) and voice behaviors, as well as to clarify the underlying mechanisms. The results show that family motivation stimulates employees to see their jobs as a means to obtain financial rewards to support their families (i.e., job instrumentality) and then to be more concerned about their jobs’ security. Further, job security concern would enhance employees’ impression management motives, leading to more OCBs toward different targets while inhibiting voice behaviors. Implications for family motivation and extra-role behaviors research and practice are discussed.

Emily Ma, Juan Du, Shi (Tracy) Xu, Yao-Chin Wang, Xinyue Lin (2022)When proactive employees meet the autonomy of work—A moderated mediation model based on agency theory and job characteristics theory, In: International journal of hospitality management107103326 Elsevier Ltd

Building on Agency Theory and Job Characteristics Theory, this study examines how the autonomy of work interacts with individual proactivity and jointly enhances hotel frontline employees’ self-affirmation and performance. Using a longitudinal research design of three-wave data collection, the findings of this study suggested that the autonomy of work enhances employees’ perceived self-efficacy and sense of personal control. Although the perceived sense of control did not lead to employees’ organizational citizenship behaviors (OCBs), self-efficacy can facilitate employees’ OCBs directed toward both internal and external customers. In addition, the autonomy of work’s influence on employees’ perceived self-efficacy and sense of control was stronger among employees with relatively proactive personalities. The study adds empirical evidence to Agency Theory and Job Characteristics Theory and supports the importance of autonomy at the workplace as a necessary factor to encourage employees’ OCBs. •This study examines how autonomy of work and individual proactivity jointly enhances hotel frontline employees’ self-affirmation and performance.•We found autonomy of work enhances individual employees perceived self-efficacy and sense of personal control.•Self-efficacy can facilitate employees’ OCBs directed toward both internal and external customers.•The autonomy of work’s moderation effects was stronger among employees with relatively proactive personalities.

Wan Yang, Juan Madera, Shi Xu, Laurie Wu, Emily Ma (2023)Guest editorial: Diversity and inclusion in hospitality and tourism, In: International journal of contemporary hospitality management35(11)pp. 3737-3742 Emerald Group Publishing Limited

(2023) critically reflect on diversity and inclusion research in the hospitality and tourism literature by integrating two separate perspectives: human resources and customer behavior. The second study recruits 116 hospitality employees to complete a two-wave time-lagged survey on abusive supervision and gender-leadership bias, followed by questions on external attribution and insubordination two weeks later. The findings reveal three main themes and 10 subthemes related to women’s professional identity, highlighting the importance of work environment, social evaluation, perception of work and demonstrating professional competence. The authors argue that to truly promote diversity, the events industry must acknowledge the role of racial power dynamics and implement interventions to address these issues.

Aijing Liu, Emily Ma, Yao-Chin Wang, Shi (Tracy) Xu, Tyran Grillo (2023)AI and supportive technology experiences of customers with visual impairments in hotel, restaurant, and travel contexts, In: International journal of contemporary hospitality management Emerald Group Publishing

Purpose: The purpose of this study is to critically reflect on visually impaired customers' technology assistance needs and the perceptions of existing technologies' performance in the contexts of hospitality and tourism. Design/methodology/approachFollowing a qualitative approach, this study used in-depth semistructured interviews with 19 participants with visual impairments. FindingsPositive and negative sides of technology-assisted experiences in the hotel, restaurant, and travel domains were summarized, and room for improvement was discussed to enhance the quality of life and travel experience of visually impaired customers. Practical implicationsFindings from this study offer actionable implications and future directions to technicians and managers to make hospitality and travel experiences more inclusive. Originality/valueThis timely reflection addresses a critical situation by offering original ideas and calling for more discussion of under-represented groups with visual impairments. Shi (Tracy) Xu can be contacted at:

Juan M. Madera, Wan Yang, Laurie Wu, Emily Jintao Ma, Shi Tracy Xu (2023)Diversity and inclusion in hospitality and tourism: bridging the gap between employee and customer perspectives, In: International journal of contemporary hospitality management Emerald Group Publishing

This paper aims to provide a critical reflection on diversity and inclusion research from the hospitality and tourism literature. Design/methodology/approach Through conducting a critical reflection, this paper used a thematic analysis focused on integrating the scholarly literature that has developed separately: one focusing on the human resources perspective and another concentrating on customer behavior. This critical reflection bridges the gap between these two perspectives. Findings The authors develop and offer a research agenda for future research drawing from three areas ripe for future research: human resources management, diversity resistance and marketing. They focus on theory-driven research that has practical applications to make hospitality and tourism more inclusive for both the workforce and consumers. Practical implications Meaningful research must be translated into practice, and by addressing these research gaps, organizations can gain insights into diverse worker and customer experiences and create more effective diversity initiatives. Originality/value The current literature often lacks an integrated approach that bridges the gap between the two reviewed perspectives: the human resources management and marketing perspectives. A holistic understanding of diversity and inclusion is vital, as it recognizes the interconnectedness between employees and customers within the context of the hospitality and tourism sector is important for several reasons.

Emily Ma, Huijun Yang, Yao-Chin Wang, Hanqun Song (2022)Building restaurant customers’ technology readiness through robot-assisted experiences at multiple product levels, In: Tourism management (1982)93104610 Elsevier Ltd

The growing popularity of robot-related research contexts in hospitality and tourism calls for in-depth analysis of how different product/service designs strategies integrating robots may influence customers' experiences. Employing a scenario-based 2 × 2 × 2 experimental research design, this study assesses service robots applied at three different product/service levels (i.e., core, facilitating, and augmented). From surveying 378 customers of mid-priced casual restaurants and 312 tourists of a mid-priced theme park restaurant, findings of the study suggest that using robots at all three product/service levels lead to a more positive educational experience but not entertainment experience. The study further extends the literature by positioning dining at a robotic restaurant as an important occasion to showcase the latest technologies to customers. By providing memorable entertainment and educational experiences, customers’ technology readiness could be enhanced, making them more willing to try new technologies. Such a focus brings in unique contributions both in literature and practice.