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EMAC 2022 Annual

Artificial Intelligence: Service Employees Skills and Fear of Replacement

Published: May 24, 2022


Darina Vorobeva, NOVA IMS; Yasmina El Fassi, NOVA IMS; Diego Costa Pinto, NOVA Information Management School; Diogo Hildebrand, Baruch College, CUNY; Anna Mattila, School of Hospitality Management, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania, USA; Márcia Herter, Universidade Europeia, Lisboa


Although presented more revolution for business, artificial intelligence (AI) in the workplace is concerning and receiving considerable attention. Throughout four studies, we investigate how skill sets (technical vs. social skills) influence fear of AI replacement and the role of AI framing (e.g., substitution, augmentation) in mitigating these effects. First, we show that there is a different sentiment towards AI depending on the type of skills present (i.e., social or technical). Further, we demonstrate that the fear of being replaced by AI mediates the effect of job skills on turnover intention. Finally, we posit that augmentation (as opposed to substitution) is a more appropriate solution for AI integration. Our study offers important implications for service firms, helping reduce front-line employees fear of AI and minimizing turnover intention.