Ahmed Hammad



The tourism industry is one of the largest and fastest growing industries in the world. Specifically, tourism is a vital industry in the Egyptian economy as it is an essential source of its national income. Unfortunately, since 2010, tourism has been severely affected in Egypt due to terrorist attacks, attacks against tourist areas, and recently, the devastating impact of COVID-19, impacting Egypt as a tourist destination. Accordingly, to encounter these challenges, frontline employees’ innovative behaviour (EIB) is significantly needed as they personally engage with clients and meet their needs, and so, their input is crucial to the tourism industry’s survival. Particularly, as EIB becomes critical to organisations’ survival, transformational leadership (TL), innovative self-efficacy (ISE), and perceived organisational support (POS) have been found to impact EIB. Nevertheless, there is a lack of models linking TL, EIB, ISE, and POS within tourism travel agents in general and Egypt in particular. Therefore, this study aims to explore the impact of TL on EIB through the mediating role of ISE and the moderating role of POS among frontline employees in the Egyptian travel agents. A mixed methods approach with triangulation via interviews was used in this study. 320 valid responses were collected in the quantitative stage to analyse the causal relationships between the study variables through employing partial least squares structural equation modelling (PLS – SEM). Next, 25 interviews were conducted with frontline employees in the qualitative stage and were thematically analysed to explain the unexpected findings from the quantitative stage. The quantitative stage’s results revealed that TL’s dimensions; idealised influence (charisma) (II.C), intellectual stimulation (IS), and individualised consideration (IC) positively impacted EIB except for the dimension of inspirational motivation (IM). Moreover, ISE positively impacted EIB. Also, all TL’s dimensions positively influenced ISE. Additionally, the mediating role of ISE was significant only regarding the influence of both II.C and IM on EIB. Moreover, the moderating role of POS was significant only concerning the impact of II.C on EIB. Finally, the qualitative results justified the quantitative stage’s results. These results contribute significantly to the theory regarding the direct and indirect associations between TL and EIB through the mediating role of ISE and the moderating role VI of POS. Additionally, the findings provide a better clarifications of these relationships in the tourism industry within developing countries, specifically Egypt, a context that has been overlooked in previous studies. Regarding practical implications, the findings provide several recommendations for leaders and practitioners, frontline employees, and travel agents concerning how to improve TL’s behaviours, stimulate frontline employees’ IBs, and develop travel agents’ organisational support practices so as to have a competitive advantage and survive in the future against competitors. Finally, limitations and suggestions for future research were provided.

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Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0 International License.