Cultivating Resilience in Organizational Frontline Employees

Academic Article


  • This research examines the antecedents and outcomes of organizational frontline employees’ (FLEs’) resilience. Developing a better understanding of resilience, defined as an employee’s ability to overcome or bounce back from adversity, has become critical, as managers increasingly are struggling to manage change on the front lines. The results from three studies conducted in organizational frontline contexts confirm the importance of FLE resilience, demonstrating its association with increased effort and reduced turnover intentions. Moreover, using an experience sampling methodology, we find that nearly half the variance in resilience lies within individuals, which suggests that resilience is not merely a trait but rather malleable. As such, the main contribution of this research is to offer fresh insights into what leads to greater resilience in customer-facing roles. The results show that rather than being motivated by a desire for monetary compensation, FLEs’ resilience is driven by a sense of competence and relatedness to not only coworkers but also customers. Moreover, we find that autonomy is negatively related to resilience when customer orientation is low. For managers, our findings offer guidance on how to cultivate resilience to improve FLE effort and reduce turnover intentions in the face of adversity.
  • Authors

  • Good, Valerie
  • Fehl, Amy Greiner
  • LaBrecque, Alex
  • Voorhees, Clay
  • Has Subject Area

    Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Start Page

  • 109467052311617
  • End Page

  • 109467052311617