Title of Paper

Guilt Trip or Vacation Trip? Guilt as a Vacation Constraint

Author Bios (50 Words)

Karen Tan (karen.tan@temple.edu) is a third-year Ph.D. student at the Department of Tourism & Hospitality Management, Temple University. Having worked on numerous tourism and hospitality industry projects across Asia Pacific, her research interests include the study of tourist well-being, luxury developments and luxury consumer behavior.

Xiang (Robert) Li, Ph.D. (robertli@temple.edu), is a professor and Washburn Senior Research Fellow at the Department of Tourism and Hospitality Management, Temple University. Robert's research mainly focuses on destination marketing and tourist behavior, with special emphasis on international destination branding, customer loyalty, and tourism in Asia.

Abstract (150 Words)

Annual usage of paid leave in the U.S. has declined over the years even though employees are given more time off than before. This study proposes that taking paid days off could be perceived as a violation of workplace norms, which could partly explain this phenomenon. Such violation is hypothesized to pose a threat or potential damage to the employee’s social self at work, such that guilt results to decrease vacation intention and increase need for reparative actions (e.g. decreasing vacation length). These consequences are in accordance with the social self preservation theory, which posits that individuals will take action to preserve the positive social. Empirical data collected show that vacation guilt fully mediates the impact of threats to the workplace social on travel intentions, and partially mediates the impact of the same threats on reparative actions. Theoretical and managerial implications are discussed.

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Guilt Trip or Vacation Trip? Guilt as a Vacation Constraint

Annual usage of paid leave in the U.S. has declined over the years even though employees are given more time off than before. This study proposes that taking paid days off could be perceived as a violation of workplace norms, which could partly explain this phenomenon. Such violation is hypothesized to pose a threat or potential damage to the employee’s social self at work, such that guilt results to decrease vacation intention and increase need for reparative actions (e.g. decreasing vacation length). These consequences are in accordance with the social self preservation theory, which posits that individuals will take action to preserve the positive social. Empirical data collected show that vacation guilt fully mediates the impact of threats to the workplace social on travel intentions, and partially mediates the impact of the same threats on reparative actions. Theoretical and managerial implications are discussed.