The job of cabin crew is considered to be a highly stressful job. In particular, cabin crew members who must deal with foreign passengers and a team of foreign coworkers are more prone to develop job burnout from their cross-cultural encounters. Therefore, having cross-cultural competence, which can help them to deal effectively with such situations, is crucial to preventing the problem of burnout. Cultural intelligence (CQ) was proposed in this research as a cross-cultural competence, essential for cabin crew members. The objective of the research was to examine the relationship between the CQ of the cabin crew members and the level of job burnout which they experience. Survey data were collected from a sample of 320 Thai cabin crew members, from seven non-Thai national airlines. Partial least squares structural equation modeling was used to analyze the data. The results supported the negative relationship between the CQ of cabin crew members and their job burnout. The moderating effect analysis also showed that the negative effect of CQ on burnout was particularly strong for cabin crew members with greater job tenure than those with lower job tenure. The results not only provide additional insight regarding the contribution of CQ to employee wellbeing in the airline industry, but also suggest some moderating conditions that could make CQ particularly essential for cabin crew members. Lastly, this research also provides recommendations for airline companies regarding interventions to prevent the psychological stress of their cabin crew.
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