Dr Shi (Tracy) Xu
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 fifty 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 wellbeing, leadership, and turnover.
Dr. Xu is the Researcher of the Year of the School in 2019. She has been promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2020. Dr. Xu has more than 15 projects in various stages of progress. Her research projects have been funded by ESRC UKRI COVID-19 Fund (2020), The National Social Science Fund of China (2018-2021), Research England Innovation Voucher Grant (2019), FASS Pump-priming grant (2019-2020), 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), etc. 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
- Hospitality employees’ perception of robotic technology
- Bystanders’ view on abusive supervision
- COVID 19: HR impact in the hospitality industry
Dr. Xu serves on the editorial advisory boards of International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management and Cornell Hospitality Quarterly. Her articles have been featured in ScienceDaily, Hospitality&CateringNews, Guildford Dragon, AzoRobotics, NewsWise, Gadget, News8Plus, etc.
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
Organizational behavior, human resource management
Employee turnover, abusive supervision, emotions, emotional labor, emotional variability, diversity and discrimination
Experience sampling methodology, multilevel modeling, latent growth curve modeling, meta-analysis
Postgraduate research supervision
I am always looking for passionate, curious, and dedicated researchers.
My current Ph.D. students include:
Donagh Davern: Branding and generational differences (Completed, Lecturer in Hospitality Management at the Cork Institute of Technology, Ireland)
Yitong Yu: Abusive supervision in the hospitality industry
Sanda Kam: Leadership and cultural intelligence
Xiaotong Ma: Sustainability and organizational learning
Darina Svobodova: Gig economy workers' experiences and retention
Min Jung You: Ethnic restaurant
Yu Li (Kevin): Leadership and employee emotions
Beau Wanwisa Khampanya: Gig economy workers' innovation behaviors
Understanding Service Delivery - Level 4
Business Environment - Level 4
Managing Organizations and Human Resources - Level 5
Strategic Analysis of Hospitality Companies - Level 6
Strategic Human Resource Management - Level 7
Research Methodology - Level 7
Strategic Management of International Hotel Companies - Level 7
Courses I teach on
Hospitality Management,International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management 30 (11) pp. 3268-3286 Emerald
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A Meta-Analysis,Tourism Management ELSEVIER SCI LTD
Design/methodology/approach ? This study chooses an empirical example in the context of hotel employees? surface acting, tiredness and sleep quality to illustrate the application of ESM. Based on the example, this paper conducts two-level modeling in Mplus, including a cross-level mediation analysis and mean centering.
Findings ? This paper demonstrates the applicability and usefulness of ESM for hospitality research and provides a detailed demonstration of how to use the statistical program Mplus to analyze ESM data. With this paper, researchers will be able to consider how to engage ESM in their future studies.
Originality/value ? This paper is among the first to provide a hands-on demonstration of ESM to hospitality researchers. We call for more research in hospitality management to use ESM to answer complex and pressing research questions.
Design/methodology/approach ? A three-stage Delphi study with hotel industry human resource experts was conducted to identify the key trends and major challenges that will emerge in the next ten years and how leaders should deal with the challenges brought about by service robot technologies.
Findings ? Results show that while service robots are anticipated to increase efficiency and productivity of hotel activities, they may also pose challenges such as high costs, skill deficits, and significant changes to the organizational structure and culture of hotels. Therefore, the anticipated applications and integration of robotic technology will require leaders of the future to carefully consider the balance between the roles of service robots and human employees in the guest experience, and to nurture a work environment that embraces open-mindedness and change.
Originality/value ? This is the first type of study to examine hospitality leadership and human resource management in the context of robotized hotels. This study has taken an important step to understand the leadership role in robotized hotels from a human resource perspective, and brings clarity as to how robotic technology can influence leadership in the future workplace.
This paper aims to examine the effect of privacy concern, irritation and personalization on Millennials? perceptions of personalized smartphone advertising avoidance in a restaurant context. The hospitality industry has witnessed a huge surge in mobile activity over the past few years. Mobility opens up a new communication channel and allows industry to connect with their guests in a more personalized way. However, not all customers welcome the personalized advertisements.
Data were collected from 159 Millennials enrolled in a large state university in the Eastern USA using an online self-administered survey. These Millennials were asked to use a restaurant?s smartphone application for 30 days and then complete a survey based on their perceptions of personalized advertising. Descriptive analysis, reliability, factor analysis and regression analysis were used to evaluate the relationships among the four constructs: privacy concern, irritation, personalization and advertising avoidance, with the first three variables as predictors and advertising avoidance as an outcome.
The results suggest that advertising irritation is positively related to advertising avoidance, perceived personalization is related with less advertising avoidance, while privacy concern is not related to advertising avoidance.
Although advertising avoidance has previously been studied for the past few decades, little research has explored the underlying mechanisms of the Millennials? avoidance of personalized smartphone advertising in a restaurant context. The current research suggests information pertinent to strategies for marketing personalized smartphone advertisement for restaurant companies.
in the country?s hospitality industry. Based on a review of the literature on various forms of
workplace harassment, the study investigated employee opinions about their supervisors? behaviors and found that abusive supervision is a prominent issue in the Ecuadorian hospitality
industry and that it is signifcantly related to employees? intentions to leave the organization.
The study advocates future research into other components of workplace harassment in these
and other industries in the country and into the development of measures that reduce abusive
supervision and workplace harassment.
The purpose of this paper is to extend research on fun in the workplace by focussing on its relationship with job embeddedness among Millennials. This research examined the influence of four dimensions of fun, including fun activities, manager support for fun, coworker socializing, and fun job responsibilities, on embeddedness. In addition, this research assessed the impact of fun relative to other aspects of the employment experience.
Data were obtained from 234 full-time working Millennials via survey methodology.
Fun job responsibilities were the most dominant predictor of embeddedness followed by perceived career opportunities and praise and rewards. The other dimensions of fun accounted for significant variance in embeddedness, yet their influence was more modest.
The research demonstrated that fun plays a role in enhancing Millennials? embeddedness, accounting for significant additional variance beyond other important aspects of the employment experience. At the same time, some aspects of fun were more dominant predictors of embeddedness than others, and other aspects of the employment experience were more dominant predictors than certain aspects of fun. These findings should be interpreted in the context of the primary limitation that the data were cross-sectional.
Workplace fun may play a role in enhancing embeddedness, but organizations should not lose sight of other human resource management practices.
The present study examined the role of workplace fun in a more nuanced perspective by examining its relationship on embeddedness relative to other important constructs.
Purpose: This paper aims to provide researchers and practitioners with an understanding of abusive supervision in the context of hospitality. It seeks to conduct a comprehensive review of the area and offer recommendations for future research by exploring the antecedents, consequences, mechanisms, and designs of research on abusive supervision.
Design/methodology/approach: Content analysis was conducted to review and analyze studies on abusive supervision in the context of hospitality. Previous studies were searched in the EBSCO, Scopus, Web of Science, and Google Scholar electronic databases.
Findings: Thirty-six referred articles related to abusive supervision in hospitality were reviewed across four key areas, namely, antecedents, consequences, mechanisms, and research design. After reviewing the research on abusive supervision in the context of hospitality, this paper offers future research directions with respect to research focus and research design.
Research limitations/implications: This paper only included English articles from peer-reviewed journals on abusive supervision. The number of reviewed articles was relatively small. This limitation may have arisen because abusive supervision is a new research field and is still a sensitive topic.
Practical implications: The results of this work may encourage managers to minimize or even halt abusive supervision. From an organizational perspective, formal policies may be developed to regularize supervisors? behavior. In turn, employees could use this paper to learn further about abusive behavior and how to handle it effectively.
Social implications: The review highlighted the negative consequences of abusive supervision. Managers should urgently realize the seriousness of abusive supervision and develop effective policies to minimize its negative effect.
Originality/value: This paper contributes to the emerging literature on abusive supervision in the context of hospitality by identifying key research trends and framing the outlines of empirical studies. It identifies research gaps, and as the first review of abusive supervision in hospitality, it may encourage researchers to explore the topic on the basis of the characteristics of the sector and offer suggestions for future research.
Human Resources literature has been distinguishing between how Generations X and Y should be dealt with in the workplace. It has emphasised the unique characteristics of each of these generational cohorts, emphasising specific characteristics for Millennials such as their propensity to change jobs quickly.
This study aims to explore the area of staff retention in hotels, the use of employer branding as a contributor towards higher retention rates and determines whether generational attributes play a role in staff choosing to stay with, or leave an organisation. It develops a conceptual framework to show the contributors towards a positive employer brand and through the analysis of interviews with hotel General Managers and hotel employees, it develops this framework to demonstrate the connection between benefits, working conditions, employer branding and staff retention. This framework is presented in three distinct phases, each underpinned by the research which precedes it. The evolving framework is informed by a review of literature and relevant models, the analysis of interviews with General Managers and the analysis of employee questionnaires.
This work strives to increase awareness of the concept of employer branding as it contributes towards the retention of employees and assesses the influence which generational characteristics have on employee retention.
This research finds that there is no longer a significant difference between how Generations X and Y should be treated with regard to their retention in the hospitality sector and that employer branding is a necessary strategic approach towards improving the image of a hotel and thereby increasing employee retention.
Wong, I., Xu, S., Chan, G., & He, M. (2019). A Cross-Level Investigation of the Role of Human Resources Practices: Does Brand Equity Matter? Tourism Management. (Accepted).
Xu, S., & Cao, Z. (2019). Antecedents and outcomes of work-nonwork conflict in hospitality: A meta-analysis. International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management. (Accepted).
Xu, S. & Wang, J. (2019). Still waters stay put: Uncovering the effects of emotional variability using experience sampling methodology. Scandinavian Journal of Hospitality and Tourism. (Accepted).
Smith, N. A., Sabat, I. E., Martinez, L. R., Weaver, K., & Xu, S. (2015). A convenient solution: Using MTurk to sample from hard-to-reach populations. Industrial and Organizational Psychology: Perspectives on Science and Practice, 8(2), 220-228. IMPACT FACTOR: 16.375
Xu, S. & Martinez, L. R. (Accepted). Applications of Latent Growth Curve Modeling: A Research Agenda for Hospitality Management. International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management.
Xu, S., Martinez, L. R., Van Hoof, H., Estrella, M., Maldonado, G., & Gavilanes, J. (Accepted). Emotional exhaustion among hotel employees: The interactive effects of affect dispositions and positive work reflection. Cornell Hospitality Quarterly.
Martinez, L. R., Xu, S., & Hebl, M. (Accepted). Utilizing education and perspective taking to remediate the stigma of taking antidepressants. Community Mental Health Journal.
Xu, S., Martinez, L. R., & Van Hoof, H. (Accepted). The Use of Latent Growth Curve Modeling in Measuring Student Perceptions about Mandatory Work Experiences. Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Education.
Xu, S., Van Hoof, H., & Nyheim, P. (Accepted). The Effect of Online Scheduling on Employees’ Quality of Life. Journal of Foodservice Business Research.
Xu, S., Martinez, L. R., & Lv, Q. (2017). Communication matters: The interaction of emotional labor on supervisors’ turnover. Tourism Analysis, 22, 125-137.
Xu, S., Martinez, L. R., & Lv, Q. (2017). Explaining the link between emotional labor and turnover intention: The role of in-depth communication. International Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Administration. Published online before print, doi:10.1080/15256480.2016.1276003
Xu, S., Van Hoof, H., Serrano, A., Fernandez, L., & Ullauri, N. (2017). The role of coworker support in the relationship between moral efficacy and voice behavior. Journal of Human Resources in Hospitality & Tourism, 16(3), 252-269.
Xu, S., Martinez, L. R., Van Hoof, H., Eljuri, M. I., & Arciniegas, L. (2016). Fluctuating emotions: Relating emotional variability and job satisfaction. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 46, 617-626.
Xu, S., Martinez, L. R., Van Hoof, H., Tews, M. J., Torres, L., & Farfan, K. (2015). The impact of abusive supervision and coworker support on hospitality and tourism student employees’ turnover intentions in Ecuador. Current Issues in Tourism. Published online before print, doi:10.1080/13683500.2015.1076771.
Tews, M. J., Michel, J., Xu, S., & Drost, A. (2015). Workplace fun matters … But what else? Employee Relations, 37(2), 248-267.
Nyheim, P., Xu, S., Zhang, L., & Mattila, A. S. (2015). Predictors of avoidance towards personalization of restaurant smartphone advertising: A study from the Millennials’ perspective. Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Technology, 6(2), 145-159.
Van Hoof, H., Xu, S., Serrano, A., & Torres, L. (2015). Abusive supervision – A form of workplace harassment: An exploratory study in the Ecuadorian hospitality industry. European Journal of Tourism, Hospitality and Recreation, 6(1), 103-121.
Xu, S., Choi, Y., Lv, Q. (2014). Subjective well-being, work motivation and organizational commitment of Chinese hotel employees: A moderated mediation study. Journal of Tourism Research & Hospitality. 3(2), 1-9.
Lv, Q., Xu, S., & Ji, H. (2012). Emotional labor strategies, emotional exhaustion and turnover intention: An empirical study of Chinese hotel employees. Journal of Human Resources in Hospitality & Tourism, 11(2), 87-105. (*one of the most cited articles in this journal*)
Zhang, B., & Xu, S. (2010). A study on authenticity in ethnic tourism and its protection mode. Geography and Geo-Information Science, 26, 105–108. (Chinese Social Sciences Citation Index)
Zhang, B., & Xu, S. (2009). Discussion on regional tourism cooperation strategies in the Yangtze River Delta. Geography and Geo-Information Science, 25, 101–104. Reprinted by Tourism Management (Renmin University Reprint Journal, Chinese), 2010(9), 32-36. (Chinese Social Sciences Citation Index)
Zhang, B., & Xu, S. (2008). An analysis of tourism in ethnic minority regions: Stakeholder theory perspective. Journal of the Central University for Nationalities (Philosophy and Social Sciences Edition), 35, 43–47. (Chinese Social Sciences Citation Index)