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Self management, psychological empowerment, self efficacy and job performance a study on employees in the tourism and hospitality organizations in vietnam

UNIVERSITY OF ECONOMICS HO CHI MINH CITY
International School of Business
------------------------------

Vo Hoang Bac

SELF-MANAGEMENT, PSYCHOLOGICAL
EMPOWERMENT, SELF-EFFICACY AND
JOB PERFORMANCE. A STUDY ON
EMPLOYEES IN THE TOURISM AND
HOSPITALITY ORGANIZATIONS IN
VIETNAM.

MASTER OF BUSINESS (Honours)

Ho Chi Minh City-Year 2015


UNIVERSITY OF ECONOMICS HO CHI MINH CITY
International School of Business
------------------------------


Vo Hoang Bac

SELF-MANAGEMENT, PSYCHOLOGICAL
EMPOWERMENT, SELF-EFFICACY AND
JOB PERFORMANCE. A STUDY ON
EMPLOYEES IN THE TOURISM AND
HOSPITALITY ORGANIZATIONS IN
VIETNAM.
ID: 22130008

MASTER OF BUSINESS (Honours)
SUPERVISOR: Dr. Nguyen Thi Mai Trang

Ho Chi Minh City-Year 2015


ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
Firstly, I would like to express my gratefulness to my supervisor Dr. Nguyen Thi Mai
Trang for her professional guidance, intensive support, valuable suggestions, instructions and
encouragement during the time of doing my research.
I would like to express my deepest gratitude to Dr. Tran Ha Minh Quan, Dr. Nguyen
Dinh Tho, Dr. Nguyen TN Que, Dr. Nguyen Dang Lam, and Dr. Pham Phu Quoc for their
valuable time as the members of the thesis examination committee. Their comments and
meaningful suggestions were contributed significantly for my completion of this research.
My sincere thanks are given to all of my teachers at International Business School –
University of Economics of Ho Chi Minh City for their teaching and guidance during
my master course.


ABSTRACT
In the context of managerial effectiveness, self-management is an important variable
which helps employee fully accountable and responsible for making and keeping commitments
to improve individual performance, increased results and enhance levels of self confidence. Both
public and private organizations need to more concern to the development of high effort
performers within a strong performance culture in the value of high power distance culture such
as Vietnam. This opens many opportunities and challenges for tourism and hospitality
organizations to take advantages of well-performed employee to be competitive in the market. In
an effort to help local tourism & hospitality companies to have an overview about employees’
behavior in working performance, this study examined the relationships of these factors: selfmanagement, psychological empowerment, self-efficacy, and job performance of 336 employees

from 62 travel agencies and hotels in HCM city with an expectation of strengthening evidence in
Vietnam. Employing the CFA & SEM analyses, the research findings indicated that there were
the positive relationships among self-management, psychological empowerment, self-efficacy;
and these antecedents had a significant impact on job performance of Vietnamese employees.
The study also points out useful practical and managerial implications, which support
Vietnamese organization managers not only to concentrate their positioning strategies on
managers but also on subordinates; and encourage the organizations to use suitable human
resource management (HRM) strategies to enhance both employee self-management & job
performance in tourism and hospitality industry.
Key words: Employee self-management, self-efficacy, psychological empowerment, job
performance, Vietnam tourism & hospitality organizations, HCM city.


CONTENTS
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
ABSTRACT
ABBREVIATION
Chapter 1: INTRODUCTION ........................................................................................................ 1
1.1

Background to the research and research problem ............................................................. 1

1.2

Research objectives ............................................................................................................. 5

1.3

Research methodology and research scope......................................................................... 5

1.4

Research significance.......................................................................................................... 6

1.5

Research structure ............................................................................................................... 6

Chapter 2: LITERATURE REVIEW ............................................................................................. 7
2.1

Job performance .................................................................................................................. 7

2.2

Psychological empowerment .............................................................................................. 8

2.3

Self-efficacy ...................................................................................................................... 10

2.4

Self-management .............................................................................................................. 11

2.5

Self-management, psychological empowerment, self-efficacy, and job performance ..... 13

2.6

Conceptual model ............................................................................................................. 17

Chapter 3: METHODOLOGY...................................................................................................... 19
3.1

Research design ................................................................................................................ 19

3.1.1

Research process ......................................................................................................... 19

3.1.2

Measurement scales .................................................................................................... 21

3.2

Quantitative study ............................................................................................................. 25

3.2.1

Sample......................................................................................................................... 25

3.2.2

Data analysis procedures............................................................................................. 26

Chapter 4: DATA ANALYSIS ..................................................................................................... 28
4.1

Respondents’ demographics ............................................................................................. 28

4.2.1

CFA for the first-order constructs ............................................................................... 30

4.2.2

CFA for second-order constructs ................................................................................ 33

4.2.3

CFA for the final measurement model........................................................................ 39

4.3

Structural equation modeling (SEM) ................................................................................ 45

4.4

Bootstrap method .............................................................................................................. 47


4.5

Discussion ......................................................................................................................... 47

Chapter 5: CONCLUSION, IMPLICATIONS, AND LIMITATION ......................................... 51
5.1

Managerial implications.................................................................................................... 52

5.2

Limitations and future research ........................................................................................ 54

REFERENCES ............................................................................................................................. 55
APPENDICES .............................................................................................................................. 62


LIST OF FIGURES
Figure 2.1 Conceptual model ....................................................................................................... 17
Figure 3.1 Research process ........................................................................................................ 20
Figure 4.1 CFA model of Self-Efficacy ....................................................................................... 30
Figure 4.2 CFA model of Job Performance ................................................................................. 32
Figure 4.3 CFA model of Self-Management ............................................................................... 34
Figure 4.4 CFA model of Psychological Empowerment ............................................................. 37
Figure 4.5 Final measurement model ........................................................................................... 44
Figure 4.6 Structural results (standardized estimates) ................................................................. 46

LIST OF TABLES
Table 3.1 Source of data collection .............................................................................................. 25
Table 4.1 Respondents’ characteristics ........................................................................................ 29
Table 4.2 The first run of CFA (of Self-efficacy and Job performance) ..................................... 31
Table 4.3 Summarized of CR, AVE and Cronbach’α (first order constructs) ............................. 32
Table 4.4 Summarized of CR, AVE and Cronbach’α (self-management) .................................. 35
Table 4.5 Correlations (of Self-Management) ............................................................................. 36
Table 4.6 Summarized of CR, AVE and Cronbach’α (Psychological Empowerment) ............... 38
Table 4.7 Correlation (of Psychological Empowerment) ............................................................ 39
Table 4.8 Summarized of CR, AVE and Cronbach’α (final model)............................................ 40
Table 4.9 CFA Summary of eliminated item ............................................................................... 42
Table 4.10 Correlations (final measurement model) ................................................................... 42
Table 4.11 Unstandardized structural paths ................................................................................. 45
Table 4.12 Regression Weights (bootstrap standard errors) ........................................................ 47


LIST OF APPENDICES
Appendix A List of in-depth interviews’ participants ................................................................. 62
Appendix B Qualitative in-depth interview ................................................................................. 62
Appendix C Qualitative in-depth interview findings ................................................................... 66
Appendix D Questionnaire (English Version) ............................................................................. 72
Appendix E Questionnaire (Vietnamese Version) ....................................................................... 76
Appendix F Correlations among components of Self-management, Psychological……………..80
Appendix G Final measurement scales ........................................................................................ 82


ABBREVIATION
CFA

Confirmatory Factor Analysis

EFA

Exploratory Factor Analysis

EFL

English as Foreign Language

JobP

Job Performance

GDP

Gross Domestic Product

HR

Human Resource

HRM

Human Resource Management

ILO

International Labor Organization

PE

Psychological Empowerment

CR

Composite reliability

AVE

Averaged variance extracted

SEM

Structural equation modeling

SE

Self-Efficacy

SM

Self-Management

SPSS

Statistical Package for the Social Sciences


Chapter 1: INTRODUCTION
1.1 Background to the research and research problem
In the trend of transitioning and developing Vietnam’s economy, the service sector,
consisting of tourism and hospitality industry, has always played an important role. According to
The World Travel & Tourism Council (2014), the direct contribution of Travel & Tourism to
GDP is “calculated to be consistent with the output, as expressed in National Accounting, of
tourism-characteristic sectors such as hotels, airlines, airports, travel agents and leisure and
recreation services that deal directly with tourists” (p. 2). The total contribution of Travel &
Tourism to GDP of Vietnam was VND311,117.0bn (9.6% of GDP) in 2013 and directly
supported 1,899,000 jobs (3.7% of total employment). It is forecasted to grow by 6.3% per
annum to VND299,846.0bn (4.7% of GDP) by 2024 and visitor exports are a key component of
the direct contribution of Travel & Tourism (World Travel & Tourism Council, 2014). However,
a survey recently launched by one EU-funded tourism development program revealed that a
mere 6% of the questioned international tourists choose to return to Vietnam due to poor tourism
services, inconvenient transport and inadequate investment ( Management Board of the EUfunded Environmentally and Socially Responsible Tourism Capacity Development Program, as
cited in Tuoi Tre News, 2014). In the term of service evaluating criteria, this organization
mentioned that the unprofessional workforce was one of the main reason causing services to be
poor. This survey fiercely challenges Vietnam’s tourism status quo and suffer its future
objectives. Therefore, the tourism and hospitality industry are strongly required to improve its
operational efficiency of the workforce in providing services.
Zeithaml et al. (as cited in Tsaur et al., 2003) stated that delivering good quality of
service is considered an essential strategy for success and survival in contemporary’s competitive

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businesses. Additionally, the special feature of a service industry is “the contact and interaction
between service providers (employees) and service acceptors (customers)” (Tsaur et al., 2003, p.
435). The main products provided by tourism and hospitality organizations are services and the
employees who play role as service providers will provide those services to customers. Thus,
employee in tourism and hospitality industry becomes a part of service products and their
excellent performance help to form image of organizations (Bitner et al., as cited in Kusluvan,
2003). But then again International Labor Organization (2015) mentioned that Viet Nam’s labor
productivity level is still near the bottom among ASEAN countries due to low-skill labor forces.
This organization also assumes that recent productivity growth rates are maintained, “Viet Nam
will reach the Philippines only by 2038, Thailand by 2069 and take far more time to catch up
with many other countries” (ILO, 2015, p. 1). It is also said that Viet Nam's tourism workforce
lacks experience, skills and professionalism for providing good quality services (Tran, as cited in
Xuan Huong, 2013). That’s a big challenge in human resource management that Vietnamese
tourism and hospitality organizations need to solve in the near future in order to have the high
competitive position with others.
Furthermore, significant changes in the workplace are the result of new advanced
technology at the first quarter of new century. It is changing the nature of work so that tourism
and hospitality workers can possibly work virtual offices and communicate with businesses
across the globe. Consequently, there are more expressions for individualism, freedom,
responsibility, and autonomy which are emerging to be considered to take advantages from
subordinates (Mahoney, as cited in Karoly, 1993; Bergen et al., 2002). The organization’s needs
of competitive efficiency are expressed by means of cost reduction; employee self-management,
and continuous improvement of work efficiency (Thoresen & Mahoney, as cited in Manz &

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Sims, 1980; Chaijukul, 2010). The issue, then, is how service employees manage themselves
effectively. Most successful tourism and hospitality organizations understand that their people
want to work with companies not necessarily for companies. Thus, the traditional control and
management provided by hierarchical structure should come from within the individual. It is
critical for an organization’s subordinates, managers, and teams to build a working environment
of trust and become self-managing (Manz & Sims, 1980; Cohen et al., 1997).
Human resource development is the key determinant to create a competitive edge in the
new economy (Silva, 1997). He also states that many of the rich economies in Asia already made
the changes needed to produce creative and self-management individuals who will increasingly
add value to the organization’s competitiveness. However, conventional wisdom wonders
whether organizations in transitioning countries like in Vietnam are able to gain numerous
advantages from employee’s self-management to be more competitive. These challenges cause
local organizations to be “inclined to capacity of employees at all levels to lead themselves –
through self-management” (Chaijukul, 2010, p. 15). The concept of self-management was further
developed in various articles and literature on managerial disciplines; thus, prompting more
executives/managers to apply this concept to practice and develop their subordinates (Manz &
Sims, 1980; Cohen et al., 1997; Castaneda et al., 1999; Neck & Houghton, 2006). Allred et al.
(as cited in Castaneda et al., 1999) identifies self-management as key skills required for
successful careers at all level in businesses for the 21st century. If the tourism and hospitality
industry management styles are variously claimed as directive, arbitrary, no freedom, impulsive,
unpredictable, amateur, and despotic, will worsen organization performance and vice versa
(Kusluvan, as cited in Kusluvan et al., 2003). Thus, he suggested that “service oriented people”
who are self-managed, independent, well-adjusted, and likeable, and have considerable social

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skills and an individual willingness to follow rules will have great contribution to employee
performance and efficiency of HR function (p.39). Additionally, Karoly also mentions (1993) a
high level of self-management, interpersonal awareness, and the ability to work with and through
others is essential. However, Vietnam is considered a fairly high power distance culture
(Hofstede, as cited in Swierczek & Thai, 2003). Its tourism and hospitality industry are
characterized by hierarchical and autocratic styles of management with very clear relationship
between subordinate and manager; and job performance evaluation criteria have to follow the
strict bureaucratic and hierarchical management styles. Under such working conditions, workers
have to follow their managers’ demands and have very little room to exercise their own
leadership and self-management competencies (Quang & Vuong, 2002). Therefore, tourism and
hospitality organizations – both Asian and in Vietnam, have to face to the challenge of how to
encourage employees’ autonomy (self-management) to maximize their potential, and therefore
their contribution to the organization (performance outcomes).
Up to present time, the numerous studies have been undertaken about the perceptions of
subordinates in terms of the self-management, psychological empowerment, self-efficacy, job
performance, and their relationships (Kusluvan, 2003; Seibert et al., 2004; Neck & Houghton,
2006; Chaijukul, 2010). However, these studies restricted themselves to identify these concepts
separately. In addition, very few scholars do the research about this issue in Vietnam - a high
power distance culture in management. To the best of the author’s knowledge, the study of
Schwenkel and Leshkowich (2012) examine the public and private organizations’ selfmanagement in neoliberalism in Vietnam; the study of Tran and Hanh (2012) investigate factors
influencing diabetes self-management among adults with type 2 diabetes in Vietnam; the study
of Dang (2010) identify learner autonomy in English as Foreign Language studies (EFL) in

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Vietnam. These studies, however, focus on other contexts of self-management application. Thus,
this research aims for examining the mutual impact of self-management on psychological
empowerment and self-efficacy, and subsequently exploring its effect on job performance in the
tourism and hospitality industry in Vietnam working contexts.
1.2 Research objectives
The overall objective of this study is to examine the role of self-management in
psychological empowerment and self-efficacy, and subsequently in job performance of
employees who are working in the tourism and hospitality industry in Ho Chi Minh City,
Vietnam. Specifically, it investigates:
-

The relationship between self-management and psychological empowerment;

-

The relationship between self-management and self-efficacy;

-

The relationship between psychological empowerment and job performance;

-

The relationship between self-efficacy and job performance;

-

The relationship between self-management and job performance.

1.3 Research methodology and research scope
In this research, two phases of study were undertaken: a qualitative study and a
quantitative study. The questionnaire was translated from English into Vietnamese. Through
qualitative study, in-depth interviews with six people were conducted in order to adjust the items
closing to features of Vietnamese cultures and to make the improvement for the official
questionnaire. In the quantitative study, the author collected data by using a convenience
sampling approach and employed self-administered survey. For analyzing the collected data,
SPSS 16 and Amos 22 were used to test the model. For the reliability and validity, the researcher
used CFA. Then, SEM was used to test the hypothesized model.

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Due to the limitation of time, this research is therefore limited to Vietnamese employees
who are working in tourism and hospitality industry in the Ho Chi Minh City; since it is one of
the biggest cities in Vietnam and most of travel agencies and hotels centralize here. Respondents
of this research include tour guides, tour operators, and hotel employees.
1.4 Research significance
Based on the research results, some useful managerial implications were suggested to
help Vietnamese organization managers not only concentrate their positioning strategies on
managers but also on subordinates; and encourage the organizations to use suitable human
resource management (HRM) strategies to enhance both employee self-management and job
performance in tourism and hospitality industry.
1.5 Research structure
This thesis is organized into five chapters. The introduction chapter presents background
of the research, research problem, and research objectives. Besides, the significance that this
thesis contributes to management practice as well as scope of the research and methodology of
data analysis are also mentioned in the first chapter. The following chapter reviews and
synthesizes the theories in the literature of research’s concepts, including job performance,
psychological empowerment, self-efficacy, and self-management. This chapter also describes the
conceptual model and hypotheses. The third chapter mentions about research methodology used
to empirically test the research model. Chapter four presents the results of data analysis and
analyzes them for their relevance to the research questions or hypotheses. The last chapter is
organized to conclude about research hypotheses, research problems. It also suggests
implications for theories, implications for policies and practices based on the findings; and points
out some limitations for further research.

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Chapter 2: LITERATURE REVIEW
This chapter mainly introduces the theories, which are proposed by many scholars in
academic field and are related to all the concepts and research model. The author firstly clarifies
the definitions of job performance, psychological empowerment, self-efficacy, and selfmanagement; and then the relationships among those concepts conducted by previous studies are
also discussed for proposing a conceptual model and hypotheses.
2.1 Job performance
Job performance is a fundamentally important dependent construct and it has been
defined as “the overall expected value from employee’s behaviors carried out over the course of
a set period of time” (Motowidlo et al., 1997, p. 39). It should not only be explained as
employee’s abilities to perform job well (the things that are typically described in job
descriptions), but should be focused on how they behave to contribute to the effectiveness of the
outcomes. Consequently, job performance has been further broken into task performance and
contextual performance (Motowidlo et al., 1997). It forms a process which firstly creates
property of employee behavior and then leads that behavior to its expected value of organization.
George (as cited in Huang & Hsuch, 2014) mentions the service organizations should focus on
both work-related outcomes and the performance-related behavior when they evaluate service
performance. In addition, Newman and Maylor (as cited in Huang & Hsuch, 2004) develop job
performance measurement scales which divided into behavioral performance (employee
attendance, work or service quality) and service performance (customer satisfaction and return
rate). The main feature of tourism and hospitality services is the exchanges of service providers
(employees) and service acceptor (customer satisfaction). Those services will be based on the
personnel’s capability, motivation, and willingness to satisfy customer needs in a consistent
manner; and a significant set of organizational outcomes in a service context rely on employee
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behaviors (Fulford & Enz, as cited in Patah et al., 2009). That is why, management of employee
attitudinal and behavioral performance is rather important to the success of any tourism and
hospitality organization (Kusluvan, 2003).
Therefore, to guarantee the subordinates deliver high quality of services, tourism and
hospitality organizations in Vietnam should set up suitable criteria to encourage employee’s
behaviors to meet required outcomes. This study is going to focus on behavioral performance
(Becker et al., 1996), since it helps researchers to understand specific types of subordinates’
behaviors which affect their engagement to contribute to expected effectiveness of the
organizational outcomes, such as productivity, efficiency, and quality.
2.2 Psychological empowerment
General empowerment concept is understood as social stages of a process that supports
people get control over themselves (Page & Czuba, 1999). Further, it has been revealed that
manager’s power and control sharing with subordinates would be very productive forms of
organizational power and effectiveness (Kanter, 1979). Consequently, in many cases scholars
have assumed that empowerment is the same as “delegating or sharing power with others”
(Conger & Kanungo, 1988, p. 471). Nevertheless, empowerment is a very general concept and a
number of researchers have argued that it is not about management practices or structural sharing
power, but it should be about individual psychological experience of empowerment (Conger &
Kanugo, 1988; Thomas & Velthouse, 1990). Moreover, some researchers find that subordinates’
internal behaviors which firstly help employees to perceive themselves as being empowered
would be the true benefits of empowerment (Wilkinson, 1998; Siegal & Gardner, 2000).
According to expectancy theory, a motivation to increase subordinate’s effort to fulfill a given

8


task would lead to the expected performance and that expected performance would lead to
desired outcomes.
Therefore, this study focuses on empowerment as a psychological construct which has
received comparatively less attention than the structural perspective on empowerment. Basing on
the works of Thomas and Velthouse (1990), Spreitzer (1995) defines psychological
empowerment as “a set of motivational cognitions shaped by a work environment and reflecting
an individual’s active experience to his or her work role” (p. 1444). The researcher validates the
scales to measure four constructs of psychological empowerment which are impact, meaning,
competence, and self-determination. Specifically, in tourism and hospitality industry, meaning
reflects the value of a work goal or purpose to employees. Competence addresses an individual
sense of confidence of his or her capability to capture the mood of being empowered. Selfdetermination measures employee’s autonomy in the initiation and continuation of work
behaviors and processes. Impact reflects the degree to which an individual can influence
strategic, administrative or operating outcomes at work.
The results indicate that these components all contributed to a person's sense of perceived
control, competence, and goal internalization, which were related to managerial effectiveness
and innovative behaviors. Several studies show the concerns over psychological empowerment
in tourism and hospitality industry (Patah el al., 2009; Chiang & Hsieh, 2012). These researchers
realize that customers using services are from various backgrounds (e.g. cultures, ages, genders,
education levels), so their expectations will be very different to service quality. Even with
standardized operation process and outcomes, it is difficult for travel and hospitality
organizations to predict customer response at service operating process point. Psychological
empowerment captures the degree to which employees are able to control the customers’

9


experiences of service. Additionally, in terms of controlling people, managers in tourism and
hospitality organizations should give subordinates more powers to have faster decisions in order
to provide a better service. The term of psychological empowerment is surely unfamiliar to many
Vietnamese managers and is still at an early stage of consideration, but with efforts to improve
employee’s performance, psychological empowerment is a very important concept to explore
(Quang & Vuong, 2002). Thus, the four dimensional constructs of psychological empowerment
by Spreitzer (1995) are suitable in the service industry setting such as tourism & hospitality in
Vietnam.
2.3 Self-efficacy
Self-efficacy refers to an individual’s belief in his or her capacity to organize and execute
behaviors necessary to produce specific performance attainments (Bandura, 1982). In other
words, self-efficacy reflects confidence in his or her ability to succeed in a particular situation of
task or cope with environmental demands. Further, the determinants of these beliefs describe
how people think, behave, and feel (Bandura, 1982). Explaining self-efficacy theory, several
researchers (Bandura, 1982; Maddux, Sherer, & Rogers, 1982) indicate two types of
expectancies which exert powerful influences on behavior: outcome expectancies, the belief that
certain behaviors will lead to certain outcomes; and self-efficacy expectancy, the belief that one
can successfully perform the behavior in question. In developing of measurement scale of selfefficacy, Schwarzer and Jerusalem (1995) create the generalized self-efficacy ten-item scale to
access a general sense of perceived self-efficacy which reflects an optimistic self-belief, and each
item refers to successful coping and implies an internal-stable attribution of success. In addition,
Karatepe et al. (as cited in Kusluvan, 2003) find that the personality traits of competitiveness,
self-efficacy, and effort are significant predictors of frontline employee performance in the

10


hospitality industry. Since the employees working in tourism and hospitality industry usually
communicate directly to customers, so the sense of personal capability confidence will provide
them opportunities to quickly satisfy customer requirements and concerns. Thus, subordinate’s
self-efficacy will be a valuable factor to be discussed in this study.
2.4 Self-management
Self-management/ self-control or self-leadership is highly broad concept and has been
defined as “the active control by employees over their work environment and themselves that
result in productive goal-oriented behaviors” (Cohen et al., 1997, p. 278). It means the personal
application of behavior change strategies that produces a desired change in behavior; or the
employees manage their own behavior and are responsible for the making decisions.
The self-management process of each individual is a guide that firstly leads
himself/herself for achieving personal goals, and then he/she will be more effective to influence
others. According to Aldag et al. (1983), individual self-management is viewed as ‘‘having the
capacity to proactively structure situations and, at least to some extent, to manage his/her own
destiny’’ (p.154). In addition, it provides a key principle for individual to use suitable own
behavioral and cognitive strategies as self-guiding and self-encouragement to achieve a task
successfully (Manz & Sims, 1980; Manz & Neck, 2004). In other words, self-management can
be understood as “taking own accountability” or “retaining self-directed, talented people to
create and maintain stimulating and enjoyable work environment” (Gapp, 2004, p. 340).
According to Covey (as cited in Bergen et al., 2002), self-management should be practices as
“principle-centered, character-based” agenda which has seven habits: (1) choose the right means
and ends in life, and take personal responsibility for your actions; (2) be goal oriented; (3) put
first things first/ balancing; (4) think win/win; (5) strive hard to become a better listener; (6)

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generate teamwork among individuals with unique abilities and potential. Value differences; (7)
have self-renewal (mental, spiritual, social/emotional, and physical).
From cost/benefit perspective, it is said that increasing employee self-management
reduces costs to the organization, in terms of dollars and time, than having someone else serve as
a manager (Luthans & Kreitner, as cited in Bergen et al., 2002; Manz & Sims, 1980; Kirkman, et
al., 1996). Self-management seems to be “a basic prerequisite for effective management” and
lack of self-management may result failures of task performance and loosen employee ownership
of situation that he/she is involved in (Luthans & David, 1979, p. 43). Thus, self-management
can be viewed as a set of strategies and developing self-management offers “potential benefits to
individual employees and organizations” (Manz & Sims, 1980, p. 363).
Based on the concept of self-control originated by Thoresen & Mahoney (as cited in
Manz & Sims, 1980) and Mills (cited in Manz & Sims, 1980), self-management has become the
preferred term, and has been subsequently developed in various theories and researches over the
past fifty years. In self-managing circumstance, many of the actions traditionally performed by
managers or team become the responsibility of subordinates, including performing the desirable
behavior, taking personal instructions, controlling performance outcomes (Manz & Sims, 1980);
individuals are liberally taken parts in selecting, hiring, socializing, developing, and rewarding in
their functional areas (Denison, Hart, & Kahn, 1996; Cohen et al., 1997; Goodman et al. as cited
in Cohen et al., 1997). Manz & Sims (1980) propose and validate a self-management model
which holds six components. Accordingly, the 22-item scale is use to measure dimensions of
self-management which comprises self-observation, self-goal setting, self-reinforcement, selfcriticism, self-expectation, and self-rehearsal. Specifically, in tourism and hospitality industry, selfobservation reflects the information of individual’s performance and activities, so that correction

12


action can be taken. Self-goal setting establishes the specific goals of given tasks. Selfreinforcement and self-criticism are the self-administration of rewards and criticism of each
employee to increase desirable and reduce undesirable behaviors. Self-expectation make
employee’s actions cohere with a self-image and social identity that he or she projects ahead of
him or her. Self-rehearsal helps employee to be self-prepared in advance for a given task. These
dimensions are creatively developed in different management fields (e.g. services,
manufacturing) with both individuals and teams; and they serve as criteria to evaluate and help
employees to develop behaviors for great autonomy, self-motivation, and self-leadership (Manz
& Sims, 1980, 1989; Karoly, 1993; Cohen, 1997, Neck & Houghton, 2006). Kusluwan (2003)
suggests that self-management is a suitable term for employees who are working in the tourism
and hospitality industry and it is also more crucial and important in modern managerial styles
than traditional hieratical managerial styles to enhance employees’ self-management due to its
dynamic working environment. This is particularly important in a Vietnam culture whereby
managers give little spaces to subordinates to experience their self-management competencies
(Quang & Vuong, 2002). Therefore, this study attempts to investigate the effects of selfmanagement of employees on their job performance in the tourism and hospitality industry in
Vietnam.
2.5 Self-management, psychological empowerment, self-efficacy, and job performance
Several studies have attempted to identify the relationship among self-management,
psychological empowerment, self-efficacy, and job performance on individual, team, and
organization (Manz &Sims, 1980; Cohen et al., 1997; Karoly, 1993; Luthans & David, 1979;
Neck & Houghton, 2006; Chaijukul, 2010). Manz & Sims (1980) mention self-management by
individual employees can be instrumental in developing his/own capabilities. Luthans and David

13


(1979), and Bergen et al. (2002) state that by taking an active role of self-regulating,
subordinates can set their own goals, monitor confident behaviors and self-rewarding for goal
achievement.
Based on the conceptual theories of self-management, Neck and Houghton (2006) have
proposed the self-leadership performance mechanism model to explain managerial processes
which show how positively self-leadership strategies (e.g. self-management, natural reward
strategy) affect performance outcomes (e.g. psychological empowerment, trust, creativity, selfefficacy) at all organizational levels. Moreover, behavior-oriented strategies which are selfmanagement have more importance in predicting psychological empowerment of people.
Subsequent researchers (Seibert et al., 2011) have identified managerial practices and selfmanagement as contextual antecedents which enable employee feelings of psychological
empowerment. In addition, psychological empowerment is historically a consequence of selfmanagement (Spreitzer, 1995; Ryles, 1999). Reynolds (2002) conducts a study in tourism and
hospitality industry and found that self-management of employees is one of the predictors of
psychological empowerment.
According to Sarkar et al. (2006), self-efficacy strongly associates with self-management
across both race/ethnicity and health literacy levels. Self-efficacy is believed by Lorig et al.
(2001) to have a major impact by self-management in terms of self-confidence and self-control
in individual’s ability over their own capabilities and actions. Moreover, Bandura (1982) states
that individual’s belief in his/her capacity to perform the behavior strengthens confidence or self
efficacy. Chaijukul (2010) has done a research to test how self-managerial process works in Thai
private organizations, which like Vietnam, and he finds that self-management has direct effect on
self-efficacy. Therefore, based on the literatures, it is hypothesized:

14


H1. Employee self-management has a positive impact on psychological empowerment.
H2. Employee self-management has a positive impact on self-efficacy.
Job performance also shows the direct and indirect contribution of an individual towards
the organization goals and objectives which is a consequence of several factors (Covey, as cited
in Bergen et al., 2002). The positive effects of employee self-management are apparent in the
relationship between self-management and job performance. Neck and Houghton (2006) indicate
that self-management strongly affects performance. Furthermore, Kolz et al. (1998) and Latham
et al. (2008) have shown in studies that cognitive ability which includes self-management skills
has positive correlation with job performance. Self-management can be viewed as an employee’s
internal competency, – that is, an antecedent to employee’s performance – because it includes
something important to help employees to perform his or her job well in the tourism and
hospitality industry (Kusluvan, as cited in Kusluvan et al., 2003).
Under the review of psychological empowerment concept, it is clarified as the collection
of cognitions that results in intrinsic motivation (Thomas & Velthouse, 1990), suggesting that
psychological empowerment will have a profound impact on employee’s job satisfaction and inrole performance. More specifically, each of individual dimensions of empowerment has been
found positively related to high performance, because empowered individual feel selfefficacious, they are likely to be innovative in their work and to expect success (Redmon et al.,
1993). Some studies also state that the performance of a work unit is positively related to
psychological empowerment. Employees who feel strongly empowerment have qualities, which
make possible a strong sense of self-esteem, successful professional performance and progress in
their works (Spreitzer, 1995). Seibert et al. (2004) identify a slight significance in the case of
psychological empowerment and individual performance; and psychological empowerment is

15


considered as the antecedents of job performance. Feelings of being empowered are conclusively
correlated to loyalty and perceived productivity (Fulford & Enz, 1995; Kirkman & Rosen, 1999).
Psychological empowerment can be understood as motivational cognitions which reflect the
employee’s active experience to promote individual performance.
Additionally, Conger et al. (1988) and Block (as cited in Conger et al., 1988) view
employees who can enhance the feelings of self-efficacy will strengthen hopes of performance
outcomes. Bandura (1982) shows increasing levels of perceived self-efficacy give a rise of
performance accomplishments. Some researchers (Stajkovic et al., 1998; Locke et al., 1984)
indicate a significant correlation between self-efficacy and work-related performance. Moreover,
Seibert et al. (2004) find that psychological empowerment and self-efficacy play important role
between contextual antecedences (leadership, self-management, work design) and behavioral
consequences (job performance, employee’s commitment and turnover). The work of Prussia et
al. (1998) shows a statistically significant relationship between self-leadership behaviors and
self-efficacy, by which self-efficacy mediates fully the relationship between self-leadership and
work performance. Based on conceptual model of Neck and Houghton, Chaijukul (2010) also
finds that self-leadership, psychological empowerment, self-efficacy and job satisfaction
influence on job performance, by which psychological empowerment and self-efficacy mediate
fully the relationship between self-leadership and job performance. Thus, this study will exclude
mediating role of psychological empowerment and self-efficacy. Consequently, tourism and
hospitality organizations should recognize employee’s self-management competency, and
therefore be likely to utilize it on psychological empowerment, self-efficacy and job
performance. Given this diversifying results, the current study proposes and tests these
hypotheses:

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