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When do frontline hospitality employees take charge? Prosocial motivation, taking charge, and job performance: the moderating role of job autonomyCai, Z.; Huo, Y.; Lan, J.; Chen, Z.; Lam, W.; City University of Hong Kong; University of Surrey; Sun Yat-sen University, Guangdong, PR China; City University of Hong Kong, Kowloon Tong, PR China; The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hung Hom, PR China (SAGE, 2018-09-04)This study draws on trait activation theory to examine the effects of frontline hospitality employees’ prosocial motivation on their taking charge and job performance and how job autonomy moderates these effects. We collected data in two stages from 185 pairs of frontline hospitality employees and their direct supervisors, and we found a positive relationship between employees’ prosocial motivation and their taking charge. In addition, job autonomy strengthened this positive relationship, and taking charge mediated the interactive effect of prosocial motivation and job autonomy on job performance. These results suggest that when frontline hospitality employees perceive their level of job autonomy to be high enough to activate their expression of prosocial motivation, they will be more likely to engage in taking charge, which should lead to a higher evaluation of their job performance. Theoretical and practical implications for hospitality industry were discussed at the end of the article.