Tracy Shu

Dr Shi (Tracy) Xu

Lecturer in Hospitality
+44 (0)1483 688710
33 AP 02


Dr. Shi (Tracy) Xu is a Lecturer at University of Surrey School of Hospitality & Tourism Management, and Programme Leader of MSc Strategic Hotel Management. She holds a Ph.D. degree from the Pennsylvania State University. Dr. Xu has authored over thirty refereed journal articles and conference proceedings publications. Dr. Xu received the Best Paper Award at the 20th Annual Graduate Education and Graduate Student Research Conference in Hospitality and Tourism, in Tampa, FL, January 2015, and the Best Paper Award at the Southern Management Association Annual Conference, in Charlotte, NC, October 2016. As an active human resource management and organizational behavior researcher in the hospitality industry, Dr. Xu's research focuses on three themes: employee emotions, abusive supervision, and turnover.  

Dr. Xu has more than 15 projects in various stages of progress. Her research projects have been funded by The National Social Science Fund of China (2018-2021), Early Career Researcher Fund (2018), Digital Group Small Research Fund (2018), Student-staff research partnership fund (2018), FASS Pump-priming travel fund (2017-2018), and Graduate Student Research Endowment from Penn State (2016). A few projects in the works examine

  • Consumer responses to attractiveness of waiters/waitresses
  • Health responses to emotion work in the nursing profession
  • Mindfulness of hospitality employees
  • Student's response to online feedback using eye-tracking techniques
  • Abusive supervision using experience sampling methodology
  • Meta-analysis on various topics

Dr. Xu is always looking for passionate, curious, and dedicated researchers to work with her.

Dr. Xu is excited about partnering with organizations to use rigorous scientific methodology to achieve their employee well-being goals. 


University roles and responsibilities

  • Programme Leader - MSc in Strategic Hotel Management


Research interests

My teaching

Courses I teach on




Postgraduate research supervision

My publications


Xu Shi, Martinez L (2018) Applications of Latent Growth Curve Modeling: A Research Agenda for
Hospitality Management,
International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management 30 (11) pp. 3268-3286 Emerald
Purpose ?

This paper aims to introduce Latent Growth Curve Modeling (LGCM) as a statistical technique to analyze repeated measures of longitudinal data to researchers in hospitality management.

Design/methodology/approach ?

First, the basics and extensions of LGCM are explained. Second, this paper reviews three existing empirical hospitality research studies that could have benefitted from LGCM but did not use this methodology. Third, this paper provides an overview of two specific illustrative examples of how the current authors have already utilized LGCM for hospitality research.

Findings ?

Based on explaining the basics of LGCM, delineating two examples using LGCM method, and presenting new research avenues that would utilize LGCM to advance theoretical knowledge, this paper shows how LGCM represents a leap forward in the promotion of more rigorous research in hospitality management.

Originality/value -

This paper is the first in hospitality to call for research based on LGCM and provide hands-on demonstrations and an agenda for this methodology.

Xu Tracy, Martinez L, Van Hoof H, Duran M, Perez G, Gavilanes J (2017) The Interactive Effects of Affective Dispositions and Positive Work Reflection, Cornell Hospitality Quarterly 59 (3) pp. 285-295 SAGE Publications
Hospitality employees inevitably face emotional exhaustion when performing their jobs. The purpose of this study was to investigate dispositional antecedents of hospitality employees? emotional exhaustion, including self-instability, pessimism and affect variability, and how employees? affect variability mediates the relations between self-instability and pessimism and emotional exhaustion. In addition, we explored the moderating role of positive work reflection on the relation between affect variability and emotional exhaustion. A total of 224 frontline employees in 18 four- and five-star hotels in Ecuador responded to surveys about their emotions and work lives. The findings suggest that (a) emotional exhaustion was influenced by affect variability; (b) affect variability mediated the relations between self-instability and pessimism and emotional exhaustion and (c) the relation between affect variability and emotional exhaustion was weakened by positive work reflection. The results highlight the importance of potential low-cost, easily trainable interventions that could help in attenuating the negative effects of highly variable emotions and the resulting exhaustion that are prevalent in the hospitality industry. This research is among the first to examine the dispositional antecedents of emotional exhaustion, and the first to highlight the role of positive work reflection as a moderating variable that can buffer the negative effect of affect variability on emotional exhaustion.
Xu Shi, Wang Jingna (2019) Still waters stay put: uncovering the effects of emotional variability using experience sampling methodology, Scandinavian Journal of Hospitality and Tourism 19 (3) 3 pp. 317-332 Taylor & Francis
Research has been extensively focusing on the overall mean levels of positive and negative emotions, while paying much less attention to how fluctuating they are across time. This research explores the impacts of employee emotional variability with emotional exhaustion as a potential mediator and psychological withdrawal and job satisfaction as outcomes. In a sample of 109 student employees working in two hotels, this study utilized experience sampling methodology to examine the effects of variability in both positive emotions and negative emotions across 9 weeks. The results of the longitudinal design suggested that higher variability in negative emotions predicted more emotional exhaustion, which in turn, was associated with less job satisfaction and more psychological withdrawal. The findings support the notion that too much variability in negative emotions is maladaptive. Findings can inform the practice on reducing employee exhaustion and promoting satisfaction and retention for employees.
Xu Tracy (2019) Antecedents and Outcomes of Work-Nonwork Conflict in Hospitality: A Meta-Analysis, International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management Emerald Publishing Limited


This paper provides and meta-analytically investigates a theoretical framework of work-nonwork conflict and its antecedents and outcomes in hospitality management.


This paper adopts the psychometric meta-analytical methods and meta-structural equation modelling (meta-SEM) methods to synthesize the relationships between work-to-nonwork conflict (WNC) and nonwork-to-work conflict (NWC) and its antecedents and outcomes.


WNC and NWC are found to be correlated with antecedents including social support, positive affectivity and negative affectivity, and work characteristics, and correlated with outcomes including job-related well-being, life-related well-being, burnout, performance and turnover intentions.


This paper is the very first meta-analysis in International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management. It is also the first meta-analysis on the relationship between overall work-nonwork conflict and its antecedents and outcomes in hospitality and tourism.

Wong IpKin Anthony, Xu Shi, Chan Suk Ha Grace, He Mang (2019) A Cross-Level Investigation of the Role of Human Resources Practices: Does Brand Equity Matter?, Tourism Management Elsevier
The extant literature has suggested that high-performance human resources practices (HRPs),
such as employee training, employment security, and a results-oriented appraisal system,
promote favorable employee behaviors. This research predicts that such practices render a
mechanism that reduces hotel employees? propensity to quit through lowering their emotional
exhaustion. However, does this mechanism work more effectively in hotels with a strong brand?
To address this question, we propose a multilevel research model to assess the effectiveness of
HRPs under different conditions of brand equity. Drawing on both social exchange theory and
social identification theory, the current study works to advance the literature by investigating the
cross-level brand equity boundary condition on the HRPs?intention-to-quit moderated mediation
process from two independent sets of data. It advances the literature by bridging the research gap
between human resource management and brand management.
Xu Shi, Martinez Larry, Nicholas Smith (2019) The Effects of Attractiveness, Gender and Self-Esteem in Service Jobs, International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management Emerald Publishing Limited

Purpose ? The purpose of this paper is to investigate the impact of service providers? attractiveness in service jobs and examine the underlying psychological mechanisms that may explain consumers? different attitudes and potential behavior.

Design/methodology/approach ? An experimental design was utilized in this paper. Study 1 used a scenario depicting a front-desk agent performing check-in procedures and Study 2 used a scenario depicting a restaurant server. Data were analyzed using Hayes? (2013) PROCESS macro.

Findings ? Study 1 demonstrated the mediating effect of perceived interpersonal skills in the relations between front desk agent attractiveness and participant positive word-of-mouth and service satisfaction. Study 2 reaffirmed this finding and showed that the attractiveness of servers positively impacted participants? perceptions of the servers? interpersonal skill and participants? tipping behavior. Furthermore, the relation between attractiveness and interpersonal skills was moderated by servers? genders and participants? levels of self-esteem, such that the effect was stronger in response to female servers for participants with relatively low self-esteem. In addition, the effect of the three-way interaction among server gender, server?s level of attractiveness, and participant?s level of self-esteem on tipping was mediated by participant?s perceived interpersonal skills.

Originality/value - This article investigated the under-researched constructs of participants? self-esteem and service providers? gender and their moderating roles within the service context. These results suggest that responses to service providers can be impacted by the attractiveness and gender of the provider and customers? self-esteems, despite equivalent objective performance of the provider.

Additional publications