Revista de Psicología del Trabajo y de las Organizaciones Revista de Psicología del Trabajo y de las Organizaciones
Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology 33 (2017) 33-9 - Vol. 33 Num.1 DOI: 10.1016/j.rpto.2016.12.003
Insights for management among non-gaming industries: Employees’ dissonance in a casino dominant economy
Ideas para la gestión en sectores no relacionados con el juego: la disonancia de los empleados en una economía dominada por los casinos
Angus C.H. Kuok,
University of Saint Joseph, Macau, China
Received 17 September 2016, Accepted 16 December 2016

This study examined 290 full-time employees among non-gaming industries at Macau, where the economy was mainly dominated by the revenue from casinos. It clarified that work satisfaction was fairly low for employees in non-gaming industries, and dissonance was generated due to the discrepancy between employees’ work satisfaction and affective commitment. Organizational variables – management ethics and distributive justice –, a socio-emotional variable – family emotional support –, as well as personality variables – conscientiousness and neuroticism – were assessed in relation to work satisfaction and affective commitment. Regressions found distributive justice to be the most powerful and positive predictor that, together with management ethics and family emotional support, were the positive predictors of both work satisfaction and affective commitment. In addition, conscientiousness was a positive predictor, while neuroticism was a negative predictor of work satisfaction. Results were interpreted in relation to management, and implications for human resource management practice in non-gaming industries were discussed.


Este estudio examinó a 290 empleados a tiempo completo de sectores no relacionados con el juego en Macao, región donde la economía está dominada principalmente por los ingresos de los casinos. Se encontró que la satisfacción en el trabajo era bastante baja para los empleados en las industrias no vinculadas al juego y que se daba en ellos disonancia debido a la discrepancia entre la satisfacción laboral y el compromiso afectivo. Se evaluaron variables organizacionales (ética de gestión y justicia distributiva), variables socioemocionales (apoyo emocional familiar) y variables de personalidad (responsabilidad y neuroticismo) en relación a la satisfacción laboral y al compromiso afectivo. Las regresiones mostraron que la justicia distributiva era el predictor positivo de mayor peso que, junto a la ética de gestión y el apoyo emocional de la familia, resultaron predictores positivos tanto de la satisfacción laboral como del compromiso afectivo. Además, el factor de personalidad responsabilidad resultó ser un predictor positivo mientras que el neuroticismo resultó ser un predictor negativo de la satisfacción laboral. Se comentan estos resultados considerando sus implicaciones para la práctica de la gestión de recursos humanos en los sectores no relacionados con el juego.

Work satisfaction, Affective commitment, Management ethics, Distributive justice, Family emotional support
Palabras clave
Satisfacción laboral, Compromiso afectivo, Ética de gestión, Justicia distributiva, Apoyo emocional familiar

Macau is one of the famous gaming cities in Asia, and its gross gaming revenue has exceeded Las Vegas Strip's since 2011 (Macau Gaming Inspection & Coordination Bureau, 2015), what made it to be named “the Asian Las Vagas” and became the representative gaming city in the world. Until 2016, there were 36 casinos owned by six different concessions, namely, Sociedade de Jogos de Macau, Wynn Resorts, Galaxy Casino, Venetian, MGM Grand Paradise, and Melco Crown (Macau Gaming Inspection & Coordination Bureau, 2016).

The rapid changes in organizational development in the gaming industry in Macau led to various studies focused on casino employees’ topics like job satisfaction (Gu & Siu, 2009), burnout, turnover intention (Taormina & Kuok, 2009), or organizational commitment (Kuok & Taormina, 2015). However, the study of development of management and employees in non-gaming industries in this gaming city is missing.

According to Macau Statistics and Census Service (2015a), about one quarter of the working population was occupied in the gaming industry. It is very critical for the society, the politicians, and the human resource management to have a clear picture of the other three quarters of non-gaming working population in a casino dominated economy. As Silverthorne (2004) claimed that the organizations operate in a very competitive global environment in nowadays Chinese business setting, there were not only casinos in Macau, but also a lot of companies started and extended their business to other industries at Macau, so there were a lot of job opportunities for the citizens in Macau to work in the organizations with different cultures. In addition, people working in casinos earned a salary of nearly double compared to those working in other industries (Luk, Chan, Cheong, & Ko, 2010), and workers in casinos had a high value of money and continuance commitment, i.e., a strong sense of “have to” stay in casinos (Kuok & Taormina, 2015). However, unlike people working in casinos, workers in non-gaming industries (except the public sector) are less likely to be well paid, thus, it is extremely important to know whether workers want to stay in their organizations, which were not from the gaming industry, as well as whether they are satisfied in their workplaces, which were not offered from casinos, as it might increase the intention to leave their current organizations.

Moreover, another objective of this study is to identify factors influencing employee's affective commitment and work satisfaction. Although there are very limited studies of employees and management in non-gaming industries, there are some relevant studies conducted by the government, like the study of job turnover rate in the general working population – job turnover rate has been gradually increasing from 9.5% to 12.1% (Macau Statistics & Census Service, 2015b), i.e., for every eight employees, one changed jobs. Nonetheless, in Taormina and Kuok's (2009) study about turnover intention of casino workers in Macau, the result showed that their turnover intention was very low, which contradicted statistics about job turnover rate in the overall working population. It might suggest that there was a possibility of workers changing jobs frequently in the non-gaming industries.

Furthermore, Macau Statistics and Census Service (2015b) also confirmed that the reason of getting better salary for changing jobs has been significantly decreasing, while dissatisfaction at work became a significant reason for changing jobs. Therefore, it is critical for the society and human resource management in non-gaming industries to learn about worker's affective commitment and work satisfaction in nowadays situation at Macau in order to understand what factors influence work satisfaction and commitment.

Work Satisfaction

According to Locke (1969), job satisfaction is the “pleasurable emotional state resulting from the appraisal of one's job as achieving or facilitating one's job values” (p. 316). If employees had higher satisfaction, they performed better and had lower turnover intention in both Chinese and Western societies (Cai & Zhou, 2009; Pitts, 2009).

In addition, Smith, Kendall, and Hulin (1969) identified that there were five aspects of job satisfaction, i.e., pay, promotion, coworkers, supervisors, and the work itself. In this study, only employees’ satisfaction with the work itself was selected because the research focused on the employees’ satisfaction about their jobs, which were not offered by the gaming industry. Thus, work satisfaction in this study referred to job satisfaction at work only.

Affective Organizational Commitment

In Allen and Meyer's (1990) construct validation study on commitment it was specified that there are three facets of commitment – affective, continuance, and normative. Affective commitment reflects employees’ emotional attachment to the organization, i.e., they want to stay in the organization. Continuance commitment reflects employees’ motivation to remain with an organization because they feel that they have to. Normative commitment indicates a sense of moral obligation in which employees remain with an organization because they feel they ought to. In this study, it mainly focuses on whether employees want to stay in the organization in non-gaming industries (excluding the public sector). Kuok and Taormina (2015) discovered workers in casinos were well paid so they have to stay, but they actually do not want to stay in casinos. On the other hand, workers in non-gaming industries were less likely to be paid well than workers in casinos, so it is much more critical for the management in non-gaming industries to understand whether their employees “want to” rather than “have to” stay in the current organizations.

Rousseau's (1997) study showed that changes in the psychological contract between employers and employees have resulted in decreased employee commitment to their organizations. Furthermore, the rapid (upwards) changes in organization development lead to low unemployment rate, like Macau, whose economy have expanded rapidly due to the end of the monopoly of license for operating casinos since 2002. Until 2015, the unemployment rate was 1.8% (Macau Statistics & Census Service, 2015b), which was much lower than what Sharma (1997) suggested – there was difficulty for the employers to recruit and retain qualified workers when the unemployment rate is lower than 3% in a city.

In addition, job changing rate in Macau has been increasing since 2006 (Macau Statistics & Census Service, 2015b), further suggesting the difficulty for organizations in Macau in selection, recruitment, and retention. Therefore, affective commitment is a critical organizational variable that can help clarify the impact of organizational development in Macau, that is, whether the employees really want to stay in their current organization.

Moreover, a report from Macau Statistics and Census Service (2015b) pointed out that Macau workers among all industries changed their job due to dissatisfaction at work, suggesting that there is dissatisfaction at work for both gaming and non-gaming industries. Interestingly, a study on gambling attitudes of Chinese residents working in places related to gaming (Taormina, 2009) somehow contradicts the norms of Chinese culture, i.e., the Chinese culture does not advocate them to work in casinos. Thus, according to the Chinese culture, people tend to be willing to stay in the companies in non-gaming industries. On the other hand, casino workers were found to have low affective commitment (Kuok & Taormina, 2015), that may reveal workers in non-gaming industries are more likely to want to stay in their current organizations than those in the gaming industry. Thus, H1: affective commitment is significantly higher than work satisfaction among workers in non-gaming industries.

The social exchange theory assumed that people participate in exchange behavior because they thought their reward would justify their cost. For many years, organizational theorists implied employment as the exchange of employees’ effort and loyalty for the organization's provision of material and socio-emotional benefits (Porter, Steers, Mowday, & Boulian, 1974). For example, employees who perceived they were well treated by the organizations were more likely to become affectively committed to the organization (Meyer & Allen, 1997). By adopting the social exchange theory to this study, an organizational variable was assessed, namely, management ethics, which is about employees’ perception of managerial ethical decisions and behaviors at work. If there were unethical conduct within the management, employees would not be satisfied at work and committed to the company. Furthermore, another socio-emotional variable, family emotional support, was supposed to strengthen the employees’ effort at work. If they were supported to work in the current organizations by their family, employees would be satisfied at work and committed to their current working place.

Management Ethics

Ethics was considered as “standards of conduct that guide people's decisions and behavior” (Greenberg & Baron, 2008, p. 47), that is, the moral value shared by most people in the same culture. Leva, Cavico, and Mujtaba (2010) named this kind of ethic in the business setting as business ethics, which was considered “as part of the general field of ethics in the interaction of ethics and business” (p. 1).

Greenberg and Baron (2008) stated that business ethics was very critical to organizations because it could maximize organizational benefits, like the increasing in financial performance and decreasing in operating costs. However, limited research has focused on employees’ perspective (Viswesvaran & Deshpande, 1996), i.e., how employees perceive the ethics shared within the organization and management. In addition, employees’ perception of high ethical standards from management predicted satisfaction at work (Sparr & Sonnentag, 2008), while organizations valued business ethics highly, as it helped to recruit and retain better employees (Greenberg & Baron, 2008), and they would want to stay in the organizations. Thus, H2: the more positive employees perceive management ethics, the more (a) work satisfaction and (b) affective commitment they have.

Family Emotional Support

It was defined as the personal relationships in family that are perceived as close, confiding, and satisfying (Slavin & Rainer, 1990). Karsan and Kruse (2011) mentioned work is a critical aspect in life, and a goal for achievement and advancement. It suggested that work interact with other aspects of life, like family. Thus, work-family conflict acted as stressors for working people, and decreased organizational commitment (Allen, 2001). However, studies found that employees who received emotional support from family could minimize the stressful effects at work (Williams & Alliger, 1994). The relationship between work and family would influence employees’ work attitudes and behavior (Wayne, Randel, & Stevens 2006). Adams, King, and King (1996) suggested that the more family emotional support employees received, the higher work satisfaction they had. Thus, H3: the more family emotional support employees perceive, the less (a) work satisfaction and (b) affective commitment they have.

Moreover, according to the equity theory of motivation (Adam, 1965), employees compared their job inputs and outcomes with those of others, then they responded to get a balance when they perceived inequities, and distributive justice could be a key factor to be related to satisfaction at work and commitment to the organizations. Thus, people who perceive what they can receive (outcomes) based on their effort and performance (inputs) are satisfied at work and enjoy working in the current organizations.

Distributive Justice

Folger and Konovsky (1989) captured that “distributive justice refers to the perceived fairness of the amounts of compensation employees receive” (p. 115). Howard (1999) recommended that raising distributive justice helped to increase organizational commitment. Furthermore, distributive justice was found to be a strong positive predictor of employees’ commitment toward organizations (McFarlan & Sweeney, 1992) and work satisfaction (Taormina & Kuok, 2009). Therefore, people were dissatisfied about their organization when there was a discrepancy between the outcome they wanted and received, as well as a sense of receiving less compared to others. This could generate a psychological imbalance. Thus, H4: the more distributive justice the employees perceive, the more (a) work satisfaction and (b) affective commitment they have.

In addition, some internal factors could change employees’ perception of their inputs and outcomes, like their personality, a dynamic concept describing the growth, and the development of a person's whole psychological system (Robbins & Judge, 2014). This also related to the development at work. For example, workers who are high in conscientiousness are prone to paying more attention to details, then they are less likely to perceive that they give more inputs than others (McCrae & Costa, 1986). On the other hand, workers who are high in neuroticism worry about things going wrong all the time, thus they are usually aware of the differences between their inputs/outputs and others’ (McCrae & Costa, 1986). Also, previous studies found that conscientiousness and neuroticism, which were the main two out of the five factors in the theory of personality, were significant predictors of work satisfaction (Taormina & Kuok, 2009) and commitment (Taormina & Bauer, 2000) in Chinese societies. Thus, only these two factors of personality were selected in this study.


This was characterized by being careful and responsible, and was associated with self-discipline and a sense of competence (McCrae & Costa, 1986). Conscientious workers were characterized as being organized and hardworking (Barrick & Mount, 1991). In addition, conscientiousness was found to be positive correlated to job satisfaction in both Asian and Western societies (Bruk-Lee, Khoury, Nixon, Goh, & Spector, 2009; Taormina & Kuok, 2009) as well as commitment (Taormina & Bauer, 2000). Thus, H5: the higher conscientiousness employees report, the more (a) work satisfaction and (b) affective commitment they have.


This referred to the factor of personality that describes people who were frequently affected by negative affect, such as nervousness, anxiety, doubt, and worry. Also, people who scored high on neuroticism were likely to be tense, temperamental, and emotionally unstable (McCrae & Costa, 1986). Neuroticism was found to be a negative predictor of work satisfaction (DeNeve & Cooper, 1998). Employees who were emotionally unstable might worry about the conditions at work, and even suspected they might lose their job, so it was hard for them to satisfy ones’ work and to form emotional attachment to their organizations (Kuok & Taormina, 2015; Taormina & Bauer, 2000; Taormina & Kuok, 2009). Thus, H6: the higher neuroticism employees report, the less (a) work satisfaction and (b) affective commitment they have.


The respondents were 290 (147 female, 143 male) full-time workers from non-gaming industries (excluding public sector) in Macau. Their age ranged from 20 to 64 years old, and average age was 33.56 years old (SD=8.84).


A questionnaire was the tool used to contain data for all the variables. All measures were originally constructed in English with existing validity and reliability; a back-translation technique by bilingual expert linguists was used because data were collected in Macau (where Chinese is spoken). Respondents were asked about the extent to which they agreed that the statements described themselves and their supervisor/organization at work. All items used a five-point Likert scale, ranging from 1 (strongly disagree) to 5 (strongly agree). Cronbach reliabilities for all the measures are shown in Table 1.

Table 1.

Mean, Standard Deviation, and Intercorrelations among the Variables (N=290).

Variable  Mean  SD 
1. Work satisfaction  2.83  0.48  (.84)             
2. Affective commitment  3.07  0.57  .53****  (.70)           
3. Management ethics  3.35  0.64  .28****  .37****  (.72)         
4. Distributive justice  3.44  0.50  .30****  .28****  .16****  (.79)       
5. Family emotional support  3.11  0.88  .44****  .41****  .21****  .15*  (.91)     
6. Conscientiousness  3.46  0.41  .17***  .07  .10  .03  .06  (.71)   
7. Neuroticism  3.08  0.57  −.26****  −.19***  −.23****  −.08  −.17***  .08  (.69) 

Note. All variables valued from 1 to 5. Reliabilities are in the parentheses along the diagonal.

* p < .05, ** p < .01, *** p < .005, **** p < .001.

Work satisfaction. Ten items from Roznowski's (1989) updated version of Smith et al.’s (1969) job descriptive index were used. A sample item is, “Gives a sense of accomplishment”.

Affective commitment. Seven items from the Affective Commitment subscale of Allen and Meyer's (1990) Organizational Commitment Scale were used to measure this variable. A sample item is, “I would be very happy to spend the rest of my career with this organization.”

Management ethics. It was measured with a 5-item scale, which was derived from two scales described by Valentine and Barnett (2002), that were used to measure corporate ethical values. As there was some overlap in the two scales, and they contained items that were relatively long, only five items were selected for the salience of their ideas. Two items were obtained from Hunt, Wood, and Chonko's (1989) 5-item Corporate Ethical Values Scale. A sample item is “Does not tolerate unethical behaviors”. Three items were chosen from Treviño, Butterfield, and McCabe (1998). A sample item is “Does not have high ethical standards.”

Family emotional support. Ten items were selected from Procidano and Heller's (1983) 20-item Perceived Family Social Support scale. As the present study was designed to assess the extent of received support, some items were deleted because of excessive item length or ambiguity. A sample item is “My family gives me the moral support I need.”

Distributive justice. This was measured with a 5-item scale developed from two sources. Three items (on the assignment of workloads, work schedules, and job responsibilities) were adapted from Niehoff and Moorman's (1993) Distributive Justice Scale. A sample item is “The work loads are assigned fairly”. The other two items (on performance appraisals and promotions) were newly created. Sample items are“Work performance is fairly rewarded” and “The employees’ efforts are fairly rewarded.”

Conscientiousness. A subscale of Perfectionism from the Big Five personality dimensions was assessed. This was a 10-item scale composed of four items from the Perfectionism scale of the HEXACO Personality Inventory (Lee & Ashton, 2004; alpha=.80), two items from the Abridged Big-Five dimensional Circumplex Model (AB5C; Hofstee, deRaad, & Goldberg, 1992), one item from the Revised version of the NEO Personality Inventory (NEO-PI-R; Costa & McCrae, 1992), and three newly created items, i.e., “Dislike mistakes,” “Like things to be in order,” and “Am not bothered by mistakes” [R].

Neuroticism. A 5-item scale that focused on the “worry” aspect of Neuroticism was used. Two items were extracted from the Neuroticism domain of the NEO Personality Inventory (NEO-PI-R; Costa & McCrae, 1992); a sample item is “I often worry about things”, and three items from Peterson and Seligman's (2004) Neuroticism measure; a sample item is, “I usually expect the worst.”


As the target group of this study was full-time workers from non-gaming industries (excluding those in public sector), the data were obtained in business districts in Macau. In addition, this study was not conducted inside the organizations where respondents were working to avoid any pressure from the management. A systematic sampling method was used, that is, for every fifth person passing by, the respondents were approached when they were at lunch breaks, after work, or at weekend in business districts; it helped to ensure the respondents had more spare time to fill in the questionnaire and to eliminate the sense of being monitored by their management if it had taken place within the organizations.

In accord with international guidelines for the ethical treatment of research participants, guidelines of the American Psychological Association were followed. The respondents were approached individually, asking them whether they were full time employees from non-gaming industry, then asked them to fill in a questionnaire and telling them the purpose of the study. Those who agreed were handed the questionnaire, and of the 382 people asked, 290 complete questionnaires were collected, with a response rate of 75.9%.

ResultsTest for Mulitcollinearity

This was assessed by a “tolerance” (1- R2) test for each independent variable. According to Hair, Anderson, Tatham, and Black (1998, pp. 191-193), a tolerance value of less than .10 is problematic. This test uses all the independent variables (for the planned regressions), and regresses each one on all the other independent variables (excluding the demographics because they are naturally correlated). The tolerance values for the independent variables ranged from .51 to .88, all above the .10 cutoff, indicating that multicollinearity was not a concern.

Test for Common Method Bias

Common Method Bias is a statistical phenomenon in which statistical relationships may be based on the measurement method but not on the measure of the construct. This was assessed by factor analyzing all the variables in this study together, and using the “maximum-likelihood” approach with a forced, one-factor solution (see Harman, 1960). If a ratio of the resultant chi-square value over the degrees of freedom is less than 2.00:1, it indicates common-method bias (i.e., a single factor). For this study, the ratio was 4.44:1, suggesting that common-method bias was not a concern.

Difference between Work Satisfaction and Affective Commitment

A repeated measures t-test was run on the overall difference between the means for the above dependent variables, with the mean for Affective Commitment (M=3.07, SD=0.57) significantly higher than that for Work Satisfaction among workers in non-gaming industries (M=2.83, SD=0.48), t(290)=7.957, p<.001, which supported H1.

Correlations Analyses

Means, standard deviations, and correlations were computed for the variables to assess their hypothesized relationships with Work Satisfaction and Affective Commitment. Affective Commitment was found to have significant positive and negative correlations to all independent variables, namely, Management Ethics, Family Emotional Support, Distributive Justice, Conscientiousness, and Neuroticism, which support H2a to H6a, while work satisfaction was found to have significant positive and negative correlations to all independent variables except Conscientiousness, which support H2b to H4b, and H6b, but did not support H5b. For details, these results with the strength of the relationships are shown in Table 1.

Regression Analysis

To test the strengths of the relationships among the variables, two multiple stepwise regressions were run. For Work Satisfaction, all five variables entered the equation, proving to be good predictors. Each predictor did have the power to estimate Work Satisfaction. The strongest predictor was Distributive Justice, that showed that ΔR2 was .13 with a significant level of p<.001. The second predictor was Family Emotional Support, showing that ΔR2 was .03, with a significant level of p<.001. The other predictors were Neuroticism, Conscientiousness, and Management's Ethics; for Neuroticism, it showed that ΔR2 was .02 with a significant level of p<.005; for Conscientiousness, it showed that ΔR2 was .02, with a significant level of p<.02; and for Management's Ethics, it showed that ΔR2 was .01, with a significant level of p<.05. These variables combined and formed powerful predictors (R2=.22, F=26.89, p<.001). These results are shown in Table 2.

Table 2.

Stepwise Regressions for Work Satisfaction and Affective Commitment, using the Antecedent Variables as Predictors (N=290).

Criteria/VariablesWork SatisfactionAffective Commitment
Beta  t-value  Δ R2  Beta  t-value  Δ R2 
Management Ethics  .092  2.36*  .01  .248  5.40****  .07 
Distributive Justice  .202  7.30****  .13  .209  6.27****  .10 
Family Emotional Support  .177  3.66****  .03  .222  3.84****  .04 
Conscientiousness  .177  3.03**  .02  .069  1.47   
Neuroticism  −.151  −3.46***  .03  −.057  −1.11   
Total R2      .22      .21 
Final F    26.89****      37.29****   
(df  (5, 284)      (3, 286)   

*p < .05, ** p < .01, *** p < .005, **** p < .001.

For Affective Commitment, three variables entered the equation. The strongest predictor was Distributive Justice, showing that ΔR2 was .10, with a significant level of p<.001. The second predictor was Management's Ethics, that showed that ΔR2 was .07, with a significant level of p<.001. The third predictor was Family Emotional Support, which showed that ΔR2 was .04, with a significant level of p<.001. These variables formed powerful predictors (R2=.21 F=37.29, p<.001). These results are shown in Table 2.


This study found out that the employees’ work satisfaction in the non-gaming industries was low, while their affective commitment was at an average level. These results were different from previous findings in the relevant field of gaming industry (Kuok & Taormina, 2015; Taormina & Kuok, 2009). For work satisfaction, the finding in this study in non-gaming industries was similar to the previous finding in the gaming industry (Taormina & Kuok, 2009), i.e, a low level of satisfaction at work. For affective commitment, the finding in this study in non-gaming industries was different from the previous finding in the gaming industry (Kuok & Taormina, 2015), i.e., workers in non-gaming industries had a fair level of affective commitment while Kuok and Taormina (2015) reported workers in gaming industry had very low level of affective commitment. This might reveal a possibility that employees in non-gaming industries were committed to the organizations but were dissatisfied at work. In addition, the existing discrepancy between employees’ work satisfaction and affective commitment could create a type of cognitive dissonance among employees in non-gaming industries (Festinger, 1957), that is, they could not enjoy at work in the organizations they wanted to stay in. Therefore, it is critical for the management to solve this dilemma, thus to understand the factors influencing employees’ work satisfaction and commitment in non-gaming industries.

Distributive justice was the strongest positive predicator of both work satisfaction and commitment; this implied that employees were more satisfied at work if management provided their employees a satisfied outcome under a distributive justice system (McFarlan & Sweeney, 1992), while they were likely to want to stay in their companies when they perceived fairness of the amounts of compensation.

Another positive predictor was management ethics, suggesting that if management valued and shared the ethical standards of conduct to guide employees’ decisions and behaviors (Greenberg & Baron, 2008), they were more satisfied at work and want to stay at their organizations.

Interestingly, family emotional support was another positive predictor of both work satisfaction and commitment; this revealed that emotional support from the social context, namely family, could increase their satisfaction at work and their likelihood to commit to their organizations emotionally.

Personality factors conscientiousness and neuroticism were positive and negative predictors of work satisfaction respectively, suggesting that employees who were careful, responsible, and with self-discipline were more satisfied at work (Taormina & Kuok, 2009), while employees who were nervous, anxious, and worry were less satisfied at work.


The results of this study provided some insights for society and management in non-gaming industries. If management advocated to create a sense of “justice” for distributing work within the company, by sharing and executing the ethical standards of conduct to guide employees’ decisions and behaviors in business setting, their employees would be less likely to experience uncertainty and ambiguity when they encountered questions and problems. When there were limited standards and guidelines for the employees to follow, once they experienced something extraordinary, they tended to hesitate and avoid to deal with the problems, or used their own ways to handle the situation or to make their own decisions for the questions. This could generate an atmosphere of ambiguity within the organization, when some employees avoided to take the uncertain responsibility and others in the organization had to take additional responsibility to ensure the problems were solved. It was an usual phenomenon of lack of distributive justice, i.e., some worked less than usual, while others worked more than expected.

Unlike casino relevant organizations (the worldwide ones), they are more likely to be organized with internal standard inherently and possess more resources. Large proportion of companies in non-gaming industries adopted the operation as“family-firm team” (Heyden, Blondel, & Carlock, 2005), which was inherently unfair to the content of decisions and outcomes (KPMG International, 2016). Thus, distributive justice was particularly critical to these organizations as it minimized employees’ stressors and encouraged more solutions to be considered (Van der Heyden, Blondel, & Carlock, 2005). According to the equity theory (see Adam, 1965), employees were more likely to be satisfied at work when management provided their employees pay, rewards, and allocation (their outcomes) under a distributive justice system, i.e., based on their effort and performance (their inputs).

Last but not least, emotional support from family could strengthen their satisfaction at work among non-gaming industries. In terms of socioeconomic status, as working in casinos could offer one of the highest salaries among the industries (Taormina & Kuok, 2009), employees in non-gaming industries might not have the competitive salary and have fewer opportunities to work in worldwide organizations by comparing to working in casinos, i.e., a lower socioeconomic status within society. Thus, support and understanding from family for employees to work in non-gaming industries are particularly important because they are not in the fields favored by the society, which have been dominated by casinos. They are more satisfied at work if they perceive no pressure from family, who expect to earn a higher salary. Then they are more likely to experience their work solely based on their wills rather than their social expectation: striving for more money (Luk et al., 2010).

Although it is not realistic for the management in non-gaming industries to provide competitive salary increment as casinos, one of the possible implications is to provide a sense of support not only to their employees, but also to their employees’ nuclear family. For example, establishing small-scale gathering among colleagues and their family members monthly or quarterly, as well as offering special privileges and discount for using their services and purchasing products respectively. Unlike worldwide companies, they could have flexibility in HR practices, skills, and behaviors (see Wright & Snell, 1998), that could help create a sense of belonging, like a group of family members as working is not only for money. This enables their employees’ family understand more about the nature of their work and organizations, then they can perceive their family members’ current companies are caring and promising. Thus, they are more supportive to their family members’ work and appreciate their working in their current organizations rather than pressuring them to work for money. As a result, employees can experience their work according to their wills, which encourages work satisfaction in return.

Limitations and Future Studies

This study was mainly focused on organizational behaviors among employees in private organizations in a city positioned as a world center of tourism and leisure. These findings were more relevant to the management in the fields of tourism, hospitality, recreation, and customer service. Moreover, the relative limited number of respondents and the method of using systematic sampling might lead to less precision.

In future studies, it will be very interesting to investigate employees’ attitudes and behaviors in the public sector, as the organizational culture and values can be different from those in private companies.


Regarding the objectives of this study, the findings suggested their employees formed emotional attachment to their organizations but they were not satisfied at work. Furthermore, a significant discrepancy between work satisfaction and commitment was found.

In addition, these findings provided a clear picture of employee's organizational behaviors in a casino dominant economy, and implied that there were variations in the employees’ attitudes and behaviors between gaming and non-gaming industries by comparing to previous studies (Kuok & Taormina, 2015; Taormina & Kuok, 2009). Unlike working in casinos, employees in non-gaming industries had a fair level of affective commitment, i.e., they enjoyed and wanted to work for their current organizations. However, their work satisfaction level was low, which could be a form of cognitive dissonance (Festinger, 1957). Therefore, it is necessary for management in non-gaming industries to solve these conflicts to retain their employees, i.e., how the management in non-gaming industries could reduce their employees’ dissonance. So, according to the findings in this study, understanding how to increase their satisfaction at work could be the key to solve this existing dilemma in the field.

Conflict of Interest

The authors of this article declare no conflict of interest.

Adam, 1965
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Corresponding author: Rua Londres 16. Macau, China.
Copyright © 2017. Colegio Oficial de Psicólogos de Madrid
Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology 33 (2017) 33-9 - Vol. 33 Num.1 DOI: 10.1016/j.rpto.2016.12.003