Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Hotel Administration

First Committee Member

James A. Busser

Second Committee Member

Stowe Shoemaker

Third Committee Member

Robert H. Woods

Fourth Committee Member

Yeonsoo Kim

Number of Pages



Employee motivation and retention are critical concerns for the hospitality industry. The purpose of this study was to understand employees’ work attitudes and emotional affect through a social exchange perspective by integrating employee psychological contract theory and organizational support theory. Affective event theory provided the theoretical foundation for this study. Data was analyzed using exploratory factor analysis and path analysis. The results showed that employees’ psychological contract fulfillment was a strong predictor of their perceived organizational support. In addition, psychological contract fulfillment and perceived organizational support together explained employee affect at work as well as other work attitudes. Affect at work was a mediator for various relationships among psychological contract fulfillment, perceived organizational support and employee work attitudes. This study contributes to both psychological contract theory and organizational support theory as well as affect research in the hospitality literature. More importantly, this study provides industry managers with implications for motivating and retaining employees.


Affect at work; Employee Engagement; Perceived Organizational Support; Psychological Contract Fulfillment; Thriving at work; Turnover


Business Administration, Management, and Operations