How to Motivate Frontline Service Employees in Airline Industry. The Link between Job Autonomy, Employee Motivation and Emotional Exhaustion (2015)

Job Autonomy, Employee Motivation and Emotional Exhaustion Dissertation – Frontline service employees are the most critical link between the organisation and its customers, who in the modern era of increased choices in terms of consumption are very critical about their experience in terms of service delivery and customer care. In essence therefore, investment in service employee motivation is fundamental in sustaining business competitive advantage. This research dissertation investigated how to motivate frontline service employees in airline industry, focusing on exploring the approaches that Hainan Airlines motivates frontline service employees, the impact of job autonomy on the motivation of frontline service employees at Hainan Airlines and the impact of motivation on emotional exhaustion of frontline service employees at Hainan Airlines.

The study used a qualitative research design and interviewed six frontline employees working for Hainan Airline in China and the UK. Findings of the study indicated that Hainan Airlines use approaches such as competitive pay based on local standards, friendly work environment and employee training and development to motivate the employees. Similar to the Hainan Airlines in China, in the UK, the company used recognition and reward programmes to recognise and reward employee performance, and further focused on employee training and development as well as offer a good working environment as ways of motivating employees.

The Chinese were more likely to be attracted to motivation tactics that support social status improvement since they tend to be more loyal and work for longer years in a company. But this is different in a UK work environment where employees seek career progression more. Furthermore, findings indicated that to a larger degree, job autonomy increased their motivation levels. While there was some level of job autonomy, it was constrained to some degree within the Chinese operations than in the UK, although all employees in frontline preferred a higher level of autonomy.

Furthermore, to a large degree motivation improved their emotional exhaustion levels. However, it was only the intrinsic motivating factors that played an important role in enhancing employee motivation than extrinsic motivating factors.

Based on these findings, recommendations to improve job autonomy and employee motivation were made. These included development of a forum where employees can create and share ideas on how to effectively to carry out certain tasks, flexible work environment, transparency in the organisations operations, increased training on employee knowledge and skills and rewarding discretionary employee decisions that positively impact performance as a result of developed skills and competencies.

  • 18,000 words – 58 pages in length
  • Excellent use of literature
  • Good analysis of subject area
  • Well written throughout
  • Includes interview transcripts
  • Ideal for international HRM students

1 – Introduction
Rationale Statement
Aim and Objectives
Structure of this research

2 – Literature Review
Frontline Service Employee Motivation
Frontline Service Employees
Definition of Employee Motivation
Theoretical Approaches to Employee Motivation
Motivating Frontline Employees: Empirical Findings
Job Autonomy and Employee Motivation
Job Autonomy
Impact of Job Autonomy on Employee Motivation
Employee Motivation and Emotional Exhaustion
Emotional Exhaustion
Impact of Employee Motivation on Emotional Exhaustion

3 – Methodology
Research Design and Approach
Research Philosophy
Target Population and Sampling
Data Collection and Procedures
Instrument Choice and Design
Data collection Procedures
Data Analysis

4 – Data Analysis and Findings
Interviewee Profile
The Approaches That Hainan Airlines Uses To Motivate Frontline Service Employees
The Impact of Job Autonomy on the Motivation of Frontline Service Employees
The Impact of Motivation on Emotional Exhaustion of Frontline Service Employees

5 – Conclusion
Limitations of this Research
Solutions for Enhancing Job Autonomy and Motivating Employees in Hainan Airlines
Suggestions for Further Research


Interview Protocol
Interview Answers

Job Autonomy, Employee Motivation and Emotional Exhaustion Dissertation
Job Autonomy, Employee Motivation and Emotional Exhaustion Dissertation

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