Branded restaurants employees’ personal motivation, flow and commitment: The role of age, gender and length of service

Alastair W. Watson, Babak Taheri, Steven Glasgow, Kevin D. O’Gorman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Augmenting employees’ commitment is of important interest to hospitality managers, particularly in the branded restaurant industry where the workforce is often transient. This paper aims to identify and analyse if levels of personal motivation and flow are drivers of commitment, and if the relationship between the variables is moderated by length of service, age and gender.

The study is a large-scale empirical investigation of hospitality staff in the UK branded restaurants through 1,133 survey responses, measuring levels of personal motivation, flow and commitment, as well as the moderating effects of multi-group differences among age, gender and length of service. Partial least square structural equation modelling (PLS-SEM) is used for analysis of data.

Using PLS-SEM found personal motivation to be important in determining employees’ level of flow and, in turn, employees’ commitment. Using multi group analysis, results revealed that relationship among personal motivation, flow and commitment played superior role for older employees and working for a long time in a hospitality organisation than those younger and working less than five years. No significant differences between male and female staff are found.

Research limitations/implications
Through finding flow and personal motivations to be drivers of commitment, branded restaurant practitioners can focus on emphasising these elements in their employees to increase commitment. Further, part-time roles are often taken by people likely to be non-committal in their job needs, e.g. students funding their studies. By focussing on extending lengths of service to meet the optimum years identified, managers can fortify their businesses.

The paper is one of few large-scale quantitative studies to examine personal motivation, flow and commitment in the context of UK branded restaurants. It identifies that employees exhibit higher levels of commitment through intrinsic values over time, and establishes relationships between the constructs of flow, personal motivation and commitment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1845-1862
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 19 Mar 2018


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