Current Psychology

, Volume 38, Issue 2, pp 517–532 | Cite as

How Service Employees’ Work Motivations Lead to Job Performance: the Role of Service Employees’ Job Creativity and Customer Orientation

  • Tae Won Moon
  • Won-Moo HurEmail author
  • Sunghyup Sean Hyun


This study examines how work motivation, specifically intrinsic motivation, identified motivation, introjected motivation, and external motivation, influences service employees’ job performance. The explicit purpose of this study was to reveal the mechanism through which work motivation affects the job performance of service employees. Working with a sample of 281 hotel employees in South Korea, structural equation modeling was employed to test research hypotheses that the four types of work motivation influence service employees’ job performance by incorporating the mediating variables of service employees’ job creativity and customer orientation. The results of this research suggest that intrinsic motivation and identified motivation are positively related to service employees’ job creativity, while external motivation is negatively related to service employees’ job creativity; service employees’ job creativity is positively related to customer orientation; customer orientation is positively related to job performance. Furthermore, the relationship between intrinsic motivation/identified motivation and job performance are sequentially and fully mediated by service employees’ job creativity and customer orientation. This study attempts to develop an understanding of the underlying mechanism through which work motivation affects service employees’ job performance through job creativity and customer orientation.


Work motivation Job creativity Customer orientation Job performance 



This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea Grant funded by the Korean Government (NRF- 2015S1A5A2A01012303)

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Declaration of Helsinki and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tae Won Moon
    • 1
  • Won-Moo Hur
    • 2
    Email author
  • Sunghyup Sean Hyun
    • 3
  1. 1.Hongik UniversitySeoulSouth Korea
  2. 2.School of Business AdministrationPukyong National UniversityBusanSouth Korea
  3. 3.School of TourismHanyang UniversitySeoulRepublic of Korea

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