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Hotel owners and managers are increasingly outsourcing their spas to specialist firms that oversee the spa’s operations and personnel. In such spas they assume the role of boundary spanners as they are responsible for overseeing the operational relationship between the hotel and spa companies. In this role, they are responsible for trying to satisfy the hotel and spa companies’ often contradictory expectations while also often adhering to two sets of operating guidelines. As a result, they may experience different levels of role conflict and role ambiguity than spa managers who oversee spas managed by the hotel. The results of a questionnaire completed by 166 hotel spa managers from spas managed by hotels and those managed by third parties found greater levels of these role stressors in managers of outsourced hotel spas. Based on these findings, research suggestions and managerial implications are discussed.


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© Elsevier. Final version published as: Hodari, D., Waldthausen, V., & Sturman, M. (2014). Outsourcing and role stress: an empirical study of hotel spa managers. International Journal of Hospitality Management, 37, 190-199. doi:10.1016/j.ijhm.2013.11.006
Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.