The perceived values of professional certification to hospitality workers: A Value-Attitude-Behavior (VAB) model

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2024-05
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Rege, Vidyanidhi Durgadas
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Brown, Eric
Tsai, Chin-Hsun
Naig, Anirudh
Jeong, EunHa
Su, Chin-Hui
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Altmetrics
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Apparel, Events and Hospitality Management
Abstract
This study employed a non-experimental causal relationship research design to investigate the adaptation of the Values-Attitudes-Behavior (VAB) model to evaluate the importance of professional certification in the hospitality industry. The primary research question was, "How can the VAB model be adapted to apply to the professional certification of workers in the hospitality industry?" The research approach was quantitative, focusing on six sub-questions that sought to quantify the causal-correlative relationships within the VAB model. Empirical data were collected through an online cross-sectional survey, yielding N = 214 responses. The heterogeneous sample covered a wide diversity of jobs in the hospitality industry, ranging from manual workers with four years of experience to senior executives with over 30 years of experience. The inferential statistical analysis employing partial least squares structural equation modeling (PLS-SEM) based on bootstrapping with 1000 random samples generated robust statistical evidence to address the research questions and test the associated hypotheses. The findings revealed the practical significance of the adapted VAB model within the social science context, indicated by the effect size (R² = .366; 95% CI = .263, .467). On average, a moderate proportion (36.6%) of the variance in the behavioral pursuit of credentials was explained by the variance in the perceived values, attitudes, personality traits, and perceptions of self across respondents. The six research sub-questions were examined through hypothesis testing by interpreting the magnitudes of the standardized path coefficients (λ) ± 95% CI. Outcomes demonstrated that the perceived values of professional certification to workers in the hospitality industry were strong positive predictors of their attitudes toward work (λ= .724). Conversly, the attitudes of workers in the hospitality industry toward work were weak positive predictors of their behaviors regarding the pursuit of credentials (λ = .194). The perceived values of professional certification to workers in the hospitality industry were weak positive predictors of their behavioral pursuit of credentials (λ = .281). The causal relation between the perceived values and attitudes of workers in the hospitality industry was not positively moderated by the worker’s level of experience (λ = .023). The causal relationship between the values and behaviors of workers in the hospitality industry was not positively mediated by their self-concept and locus of control (λ= .035). The causal relationship between the attitudes of workers in the hospitality industry and their pursuit of credentials was weakly positively moderated by their level of conscientiousness (λ = .188). This study's findings, which were consistent with the theories of credentialism and human capital, provided valuable insights for human resource managers and other senior professionals to assess the significance of professional certification for workers in the hospitality industry. Moreover, the VAB model identified positive perceptions (e.g., the values of career advancement, earning potential, industry recognition, job performance, knowledge, skills); positive attitudes towards work (e.g., commitment to excellence and motivation); and positive personality traits (e.g., conscientiousness) that contribute to professional success in the hospitality industry. Hospitality workers who displayed the qualities of industriousness, perfectionism, tidiness, procrastination refrainment, control, caution, and task planning not only tended to pursue more professional credentials, they also tended to experience more positive attitudes toward their work. The commitment to excellence and the motivation of workers in the hospitality industry were stronger predictors of the behavioral pursuit of credentials than perceptions of self. These findings have practical implications to support initiatives to reform higher education institutions to meet the educational needs of workers in the hospitality industry. The development of the adapted VAB model in the present study has raised further questions about the factors associated with the perceived values, attitudes, and behavioral pursuit of credentials by workers in the hospitality industry. To address these gaps, future quantitative research is recommended to extend the VAB model by exploring additional moderators and/or mediators, including demographic factors (e.g., age, gender, race/ethnicity, job position or title, and tenure) and personality traits (e.g., extroversion, agreeableness, and openness to experience). Alternative models that have been developed to predict behaviors using other predictors (e.g., capabilities and opportunities) may also be adapted in the context of the hospitality industry. Furthermore, qualitative research using hermeneutical phenomenology (i.e., an in-depth interpretation of the meaning of human experiences, intentions, beliefs, and actions) is recommended to delve into new research questions beginning with "What?", "Why?", "Who?", and "How?" These approaches should provide a more comprehensive understanding of the complexities surrounding the importance of professional certification in the hospitality industry.
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