Theft in the hotel workplace: Exploring frontline employees’ perceptions towards hotel employee theft

Edmund Goh*, Sandra Kong

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

A plethora of studies has investigated theft in the workplace in various industries. However, few studies investigated the motivations behind hotel employee theft especially among Generation Z undergraduates working full time as part of their internship. This targeted sample group is pivotal to the hotel industry as they are the future generation of hotel leaders. These reasons can be attitudinal such as excitement, influenced by fellow colleagues and perceived ease of committing the theft. To address this research gap, this study utilised the established theory of planned behaviour to investigate underlying motivations of employee theft behaviour in the hotel industry. Personal interviews were conducted with 29 hotel management undergraduates who were doing their internships as full-time hotel employees in various frontline jobs in food and beverage, housekeeping and front office. Results revealed the adrenaline feeling when committing hotel employee theft as the key motivator. The most influential social group was colleagues in the same department. The main perceived difficulty was the grey area of defiant behaviour and what actually constitutes as employee theft.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)442-455
Number of pages14
JournalTourism and Hospitality Research
Volume18
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 12 Dec 2016
Externally publishedYes

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