Compassionate in Nature? Exploring Hotel Staff Third-Party Interventions in Instances of (In)Justice

Pablo Zoghbi-Manrique-de-Lara, Yochanan Altman, Rita M. Guerra-Báez, Hervé Colas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Prior research suggests that employees aware of their peers’ mistreatment by management and who themselves are target to such mistreatment help their peers more than employees who have been exposed only to peers’ mistreatment. However, no studies have tried to explain the way this process occurs. Suggesting that this help is performed compassionately, this study models personal and peers’ unjust treatment, empathic concern, and kindness following Kanov et al. compassion process: noticing, feeling, and responding. It hypothesizes that under interactions between personal and peers’ mistreatment staff are more empathically concerned about peers and, hence, amplify kindness out of compassion. Results supported empathic concern as a mediator and, hence, kindness as compassionate behavior. Unexpectedly, however, staff reduced (rather than increased) empathic concern and kindness. Tragedy-of-the-commons is invoked to explain these unexpected results. Simultaneous mistreatment could lead staff to perceive justice as a scarce common resource that is ultimately a source of dispute and uncooperativeness.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1069-1091
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Hospitality and Tourism Research
Issue number6
StatePublished - Aug 2021
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2021.


  • compassion
  • empathic concern
  • interpersonal justice
  • kindness
  • organizational justice
  • third-party intervention
  • tragedy-of-the-commons

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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