Hospitality Career Retention: The Role of Contextual Factors and Thriving at Work

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International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management

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Purpose: This study aims to understand employee career retention in the hospitality industry. Building on the socially embedded model of thriving, signaling theory and social cognitive career theory (SCCT), the study examines a structural model of psychological contract fulfillment (PCF), perceived organizational support (POS), thriving, career satisfaction and career turnover intention. Design/methodology/approach: The proposed research model was tested using structural equation modeling with responses from 300 US hospitality employees. Data were collected using an online survey available through a panel service at Qualtrics. Findings: Empirical results supported all proposed hypotheses and confirmed the critical mediation role of thriving for workplace contextual factors and employee career retention. As predicted, both PCF and POS positively influenced employee thriving, which positively influenced career satisfaction and negatively influenced career turnover intention. Practical implications: Findings of this study yielded several recommendations for hospitality managers, including using the concept of thriving as an indicator and a remedy for employee career development and retention. Originality/value: Given the increased need for qualified talent and reduced career satisfaction, this study sheds light on the further understanding of sustainable employment in the hospitality industry. Using signaling theory and SCCT as an overarching framework, this study extends the socially embedded model of thriving as well as SCCT and supports combining psychological contract theory and organizational support theory to better understand hospitality career retention.


Psychological contract; Career satisfaction; Perceived organizational support; Thriving at work; Career turnover intention


Hospitality Administration and Management | Organizational Behavior and Theory



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