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A Study on the Relationship among Free-time Management, Leisure Constraints and Leisure Benefits of Employees in Resort Hotel

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A Study on the Relationship among Free-time Management, Leisure Constraints and Leisure Benefits of Employees in Resort Hotel Shyu, Chin-Shyang, Department of Tourism Industry Management, Taiwan Shoufu
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A Study on the Relationship among Free-time Management, Leisure Constraints and Leisure Benefits of Employees in Resort Hotel Shyu, Chin-Shyang, Department of Tourism Industry Management, Taiwan Shoufu University, Taiwan Hsu, Cheng-pin, Office of Physical Education and Sport, Taiwan Shoufu University, Taiwan ABSTRACT The purpose of this study was to explode the relationship among free time management, leisure constraints and leisure benefits of employees in resort hotels. The fit of structural model would be tested with AMOS statistical software. This study employed scales and drew 233 subjects who service in three resort hotels in the southern area of Taiwan. The data collected were then analyzed by structural equation model. The main results indicate: 1. Free time management of employees in resort hotels have negative influence on leisure constrains. 2. Free time management of employees in resort hotels have positive influence on leisure benefits. 3. Leisure constrains of employees in resort hotels have negative influence on leisure benefits. 4. The fit indices of the structural model for the full sample were within an acceptable range. Keywords: structural equation modeling, first-line service staff, tourism industry INTRODUCTION The workers respond to the speed-up with a slowdown: they smile less broadly, with a quick release and no sparkle in the eyes, thus dimming the company's message to the people. It is a war of smiles. - Hochschild (1983). With the emergence of the New Service Economy, the roles of frontline service staff have become more and more important. At the same time, a great amount of attention is paid to methods for increasing customer satisfaction through creating service value during the delivery of service. Data from the Taiwan Tourism Bureau shows that the total number of visitors in 2011 so far is 5,567,277, a 26.67% growth compared with the same period in 2009(Taiwan Tourism Bureau, 2011). In addition to the growing number of Asian tourists, Taiwan s domestic market is also expanding. International hotel chains such as the W Resort hotel, Le Meridien Taipei and Radium Kagaya are entering the Taiwanese market with refined yet affordable hotels like the Dandy Resort and Just Sleep that provide brand new lodging experiences to visitors. With all of these changes, it is safe to say that the environment is providing the tourism industry with a new territory to explore. Just as most people observed, the opening of the two straits relationship is like an electric current hitting the arteries and veins of the tourism and resort hotel industries. The ones who are awakening have to face not only the obvious quantitative change but also the rapid transformation of the industry s internal structure. This can be seen most clearly from the changes in the labor market. With an increasing amount of tourists, resort hotel service staffs have to face more and more diversified challenges. On one hand, they have to make their way in the War of Smiles (as Urry calls them); on the other hand, longer working hours, non-regular vacations and promotion-related issues create an impact on the work-life balance(liu, 2004; Ting, 2008). Such conclusion matches perfectly with what Liang(2008) observed: the highly emotion-consuming labor service provided by service staff has a large influence on their views regarding leisure. Other research has also found that service staffs frequently need to face issues related to emotional labor(groth, Hennig-Thurau & Walsh, 2009; Hennig-Thurau, Groth, Paul & Gremler, 2006; Othman, Abdullah & Ahmad, 2008), job burnout(chen, 2010), role ambiguity(pavelky, 1991), and emotional processing(brandth & Haugen, 2006). An employee s emotional display is no longer a private experience, but a public act that is controlled by employer supervision. Due to such features, the focus of this paper will be on exploring issues related to resort hotel staffs leisure activities. This paper will further stress the importance of free time management for resort hotel staff in view of the limited free time they have. 166 LITERATURE REVIEW A reduction of working hours and an increase in free time is a significant characteristic of human society as it gradually shifts from an industrialized society to a leisure society. If we talk about leisure from the aspect of time, leisure means free time or spare time. In this period of time, people enjoy opportunities to freely choose what they want to spend time on. Spare time can be seen as free time, or even leisure time. If we put it in another way, it is the opposite idea of working hours as defined by a capitalist society. However, time cannot be stored. That is why spare time management becomes an important issue. From literature we can see that most of the research on spare time management takes a point view of time management (Kuo, 2008; Wang, 2004). Besides that, other research and scholars investigate issues related to free time management from a time allocation perspective (Kuo, 1998; Stebbins, 2006; Wu, 2002). As a result, this paper starts with researching how to perform self-management well with the limited free time at hand. Generally, people participate in leisure activities with different motives. When there are restrictions or issues preventing an individual from continuously participating in a certain leisure activity, leisure constraints are created, which minimize or reduce the individual s perception of quality and participation frequency. Most of the research categorizes leisure constraints based on Crawford and Godbey s work in 1987: intrapersonal, interpersonal, and structural. Within these three constraints, Crawford, Jackson and Godbey(1991) further states that leisure constraints operate in a hierarchical way. Contemporary scholars of his time started to expand the aspect of leisure constraints which resulted in the discovery of research shortcomings. For example, Hsieh and Lai (2005) collected literature related to leisure constraints classification and found that most of the past research has focused on the lack of interest, facilities, money, capability, knowledge or opportunity. Even though most of other researches share some conceptual similarities, the measuring methods are usually different. As a result, it is very difficult to meaningfully describe or compare different leisure constraints. They also believe that by comparing leisure constraints based on different background variables, the group suffering the most constraints can be identified so that the government can provide appropriate or better leisure service through policies to reduce the impact on individuals and elevate their quality of life. Currently, most of the studies on leisure constraints are focused on teachers and students, only very few of them study groups of employees within special professions. This study takes resort hotel staff as the subjects of the study to further provide an opportunity to explore groups that might suffer from more constraints. The reason that leisure benefits have become a topic of discussion is because we need to satisfy our numerous desires with limited resources. Therefore, when taking part in leisure activities, we need to measure its contribution to humans in order to decide its value (Dustin & Goodale, 1997). In this sense, everyone will subjectively measure the benefits brought to the group or the individual. As Mannell and Stynes (1991) mentioned, leisure activities participants are stimulated by internal and external factors such as the environment, the nature of the activity, time and mental condition to further receive physical, economic, environmental, social and mental impacts during the process. These impacts will create a so-called benefit through people s self-evaluation. It is clear from other research in the field that leisure benefits are widely applied to different groups. This theory is still developing through continuous corrections and applications. Driver, Brown and Peterson (1991) evaluated leisure benefits in terms of economic factors and noneconomic factors. Economic benefits refer to the changes in the economy that result from participating in leisure activities. This can be evaluated in terms of fairness and efficiency. Non-economic factors refer to the values one pursue while participating in leisure activities. Mannel and Stynes(1991) integrated input and output to build a leisure benefit model in which the needs in policies and management information and social values are brought into the discussion. Such viewpoints echo Bright s opinion. Bright (2000) believes that leisure benefits are a holistic structure that supports humans lives. This structure is made up of five tiers: psychology, biological psychology, sociology, economy and the environment. Bright believes that leisure benefits can contribute not only to the individual but to all human kind. From the above literature, it is clear that time is usually one of the factors creating structural constraints. For example, Hultsman (1995) indicated that due to work and family responsibilities, time commitment (meaning one is lacking time to participate) is an obstruction stopping people from participating in leisure activities. Iso-Ahola and 167 Mannell (1985) considers limited time for leisure activities to be one of the factors of physical constraints. In other words, there are specific impacts existing between free time management and leisure constraints. Since research has proven that free time management is influential to leisure benefits (Chen, Ou & Lin, 2001;Lu, 2001; Yang, 2006), this paper intends to further explore the cause and effect relationship between them. Leisure constraints have an influence on the frequency people participate in leisure activities, which further reduces their chances of having a pleasurable experience. Some research has also discussed the relationship between leisure benefits and leisure constraints (Chu, 2009; Li, 2009). Related literature indicates that studies on resort hotel staffs are mostly focused on service quality (Huang, 2009), the relationship between work (Adler & Adler, 1999; Guerrier & Adib, 2003) and leisure, and job satisfaction (Chen, 2009; Huang, 2009; Mao, 2010). Only a very few studies were conducted to explore the role of free time in leisure constraints and leisure benefits. This study takes resort hotel staff as research subjects to build a causeeffect model using free time management, leisure constraints and leisure benefits to evaluate the appropriateness of the model. METHODS 1. Subjects of study and data collection This research studies employees from three resort hotels located in Pingtung: Howard Resort Hotel, Caesar Park Resort Hotel and Fullon Resort Hotel. 270 copies of were sent out in April 2011 and 223 valid questionnaires were returned for a valid return rate of 83%. 2. Measure (1)Free Time Management Scale This study used Britton s time management scale as a reference and took into consideration the research results of Wang (2004) to compile a free time management scale that reflects the features and specific needs of this study. After the form was completed, item analysis and a reliability test were conducted. The results show that the Cronbach α coefficient is 0.921, indicating that the scale carries a good internal consistency. Besides this, as with various other empirical researches, the time management scale was proven to be mature and the items in it are sufficient to cover the topic of this study. In other words, there should be no doubts in terms of the reliability and validity of this scale. This scale includes 21 questions addressing five aspects: target setting and prioritizing, values, response, skills and planning. The scale was rated according to the five point Likert scale: 1 to 5 points were respectively given to strongly disagree, disagree, uncertain, agree and strongly agree. (2)Leisure Constrain Scale This study took into consideration the research results of Hsieh and Lai (2005), Chang (2004) to compile a leisure constrain scale that reflects the features and specific needs of this study. After the form was completed, item analysis and a reliability test were conducted. The results show that the Cronbach α coefficient is 0.882, indicating that the scale carries a good internal consistency. Besides this, as with various other empirical researches, the leisure constrain scale was proven to be mature and the items in it are sufficient to cover the topic of this study. In other words, there should be no doubts in terms of the reliability and validity of this scale. This scale includes 16 questions addressing five aspects: intrapersonal constraints, environmental constraints, working constraints, service constraints and interpersonal constraints. The scale was rated according to the five point Likert scale: 1 to 5 points were respectively given to strongly disagree, disagree, uncertain, agree and strongly agree. (3)Leisure Benefit Scale This study used TinsleyandTinsley s leisure benefit scale as a reference and took into consideration the research results of Wu (2007) to compile a leisure benefit scale that reflects the features and specific needs of this study. After the form was completed, item analysis and a reliability test were conducted. The results show that the Cronbach α coefficient is 0.829, indicating that the scale carries a good internal consistency. Besides this, as with various other empirical researches, the leisure constrain scale was proven to be mature and the items in it are sufficient to cover the topic of this study. In other words, there should be no doubts in terms of the reliability and validity of this scale. This scale includes 13 questions addressing three aspects: health benefit, social benefit and stress coping benefit. The scale 168 was rated according to the five point Likert scale: 1 to 5 points were respectively given to strongly disagree, disagree, uncertain, agree and strongly agree. 3. Data Analysis The returned questionnaires were analyzed using statistics software, AMOS 17.0, and tested against a hypothetical model for goodness-of-fit. The Structural Equation Model (SEM) is used to gather statistics to determine the cause-effect relationship model. Generally speaking, there are too many analysis methods for research model goodness-of-fit indexes for a single researcher to examine one by one. Bagozzi and Yi (1988) stated that a comprehensive analysis should include the following: Preliminary Fit Criteria, Fit of Internal Structure of Model Criteria and Overall Model Fit Criteria. The preliminary and internal fit criteria are mainly used to confirm that the parameters from the model are within the appropriate range and the examination is up to the level of significance. The overall model fit was evaluated based on suggestions of Bagozzi and Yi (1988), Jöreskog and Sörbom(1992), using six indexes. As suggested, a good model should conform to the following: goodness of fit index (GFI), adjust goodness of fit index (AGFI), and the comparative fit index (CFI) should be greater than 0.9; root mean square error of approximation(rmsea)should be less than 0.08.; 2 /df should not exceed 3. RESULTS Offending estimate An offending estimate occurs, as Hair Anderson, Tatham and Black(1995)points out, when: 1. negative error variances exist and, 2. standardized regression coefficients exceed or are too close to 1 (i.e., should not be 0.95). As shown in Table 1, the error variances range from 0.15 to 0.55 and no negative ones exist. The standardized coefficients range from to 0.87 (i.e., all below 0.95). The result shows no offending estimate, indicating an overall model fit. Item Factor loading (standard regression weights ) Table 1: Offending estimate Estimate Squared multiple correlations Critical ratio Composite reliability Average variance extracted Free-time management target setting and prioritizing values *** response *** skills *** planning *** Leisure constrain intrapersonal environmental *** working *** service *** interpersonal *** Leisure benefit health benefit and social *** stress coping *** Reliability analysis The reliability of the three scales employed in this study ranges from to 0.921, which exceeds 0.5, the minimum acceptable level as Nunnally(1978) suggests. 169 Reliability of each item Huang (2007) suggests that once the critical ratio value reaches a significant level, the reliability of each item can be accepted. As shown in Table 1, the critical ratio values all reach the significant level, revealing high reliability of each item. Composite reliability Fornell and Larcker(1981) suggested that composite reliability should exceed 0.5. The composite reliability of the three constructs ranges from to 0.887, revealing high construct reliability in the internal structure of latent variables. Average variance extracted Hair, Black, Babin, Anderson and Tatham (2005) suggested that the average variance extracted should exceed 0.5. The average variance extracted from free-time management and leisure benefit in this study reaches 0.5. The average variance extracted from the construct of leisure constrain is close to 0.5. As shown in Table 1. Convergent validity Fornell and Larcker (1981) pointed out that factor loading should exceed 0.5, which reveals high convergent validity. In this study, all exceed 0.5. As shown in Table 1. Overall Model Fit Analysis This study aims at exploring the fitness of the overall model while at the same time examining the relationship between variables proposed by the theories such as free time management, leisure constraints, and leisure benefits. When analyzing the overall model fitness, we can use various goodness-of-fit indexes to examine them. Before any adjustment is done, if the goodness-of-fit indexes of the overall model do not reach the ideal value, it means that the initial model is not suitable for the data we are researching. At this point, we need to look for problems in the model and modify it for a better fit. The objective of modifying the indexes is to verify the relationship between theory and the data collected so that the overall model can meet the standard of the goodness-of-fit index. This is why the author used the modification indexes for reference and fine tuned the data. After releasing the error terms e7 and e8 according to the modification indexes, the chi-square statistics went from to It is clear from Table 2 that after the modification, apart from AGFI which was already close to the ideal value, all indexes meet the standard of the goodness-of-fit index. In other words, the observed data and the model now match with each other more closely than the others. Acceptance model, as shown in Figure 1, can show how different variables influence each other. Table 2: Modification process 2 2 / df AGFI GFI RMSEA CFI Original index value After modifications -.77 e6 ctotal ctotal2.90 e7.80 e8 Leisure constrain.54 e9 ctotal3 ctotal e10 ctotal5.33 e14.72 e1 free e2 free2.59 e3 free e4 free e5 free5.74 Free-time management btotal3 Leisure benefit.73 btotal btotal1 e15.66 e13.54 e12.33 e11 Fig. 1 Acceptance model DISSCUSSION It is evident from Fig. 1 that free time management has a negative impact on leisure constraint and a positive impact on leisure benefit even though the level of impact is not significant for either. One explanation for this is that the sample for an SEM should be as large as possible. But due to limited time and resource, this study only collected 223 samples, which is not sufficient for stabilizing a overall model, even though the overall model meet the standard of the goodness-of-fit index. Fig.1 also shows that leisure constraints have a significantly negative impact on leisure benefits, which is consistent with Chu and Li s research results in This can be because resort hotel staffs need to take turns to be on-call which leads to poor allocation of time, job p

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Jul 30, 2017
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