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Publication Date


Publication Title

Journal of Hospitality Management




This study explores employees’ organizational rule-breaking behaviors in the hospitality industry. Unlike the majority of hospitality literature which suggest rule-breakers are deviant, a growing stream of management research suggested that intentions behind rule-breaking behaviors among organizational employees include self-interest, to increase work efficiency, to help a subordinate or a coworker, and to provide good customer service. Our study extends the research on rule-breaking not only by studying the intentions of hospitality employee rule- breaking behaviors, but also by exploring the types of rules broken and the possible consequences of such behaviors. Eighty hospitality workers studying at a public university in the U.S. were surveyed in a qualitative study. We transcribed, coded and analyzed the emerging themes in the qualitative data. Results show that while intentions of hospitality employees’ rule-breaking behaviors are consistent with existing management studies from other industries, the unique nature of the hospitality workforce shapes the nature of rule-breaking behaviors. We also showed that the consequences are different for the four types of rule-breaking behaviors. This study yields important implications on how hospitality organizations should manage employees’ rule-breaking behaviors.


Rule-breaking behaviors; Management research; Hospitality


Hospitality Administration and Management | Performance Management

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611 Kb



Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

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