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William J. Pallett

In developing a well researched and focused Talent Strategy, hotels ensure they achieve a better-than-average Return on Investment for their human capital. This will also ensure hotels are better enabled to deploy a sustained competitive advantage, improve their profit rations and customer engagement levels as well as other metrics such as productivity, retention, absenteeism and workplace accident rates. In many hotels, human resource practices can often be reactive and fragmented, resulting in poor results and a diminished credibility for the human resources function. In many cases a “spray and pray” approach would best describe the methodologies employed for talent. As with any good business, hotels must develop a strategic approach to managing their human capital and therefore the development and deployment of a Talent Strategy is essential for sustained business success. Using a strategic planning mindset and methodology, any hotel can develop a Talent Strategy which ensures their human capital metrics will improve, and support the hotel’s business plan. A well researched and targeted Talent Strategy will ensure all phases of the Talent Life Cycle will be fully aligned and support the enterprise’s business plan.

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Julia Christensen Hughes

This chapter reviews 18 empirical studies on employee engagement within the hospitality industry. Hypothesized relationships were primarily tested through self-report surveys of front-line hotel employees, using standardized measures including the UWES (Schaufeli et al., 2002, 2006). Engagement was found to be positively associated with a number of organizational and personal resources. Associated outcomes included enhanced job satisfaction, employee performance and customer loyalty. Recommended organizational strategies included screening prospective employees for self-efficacy and providing meaningful, autonomous jobs.

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Alfred Ogle

This chapter considers workplace security and safety using an internal customer perspective. The hotelier’s duty of care is to provide a safe environment for guests, the external customer, while at the same time ensuring the safety of staff members, the internal customer. Safety is underpinned by secure facility/premises being operated by competent and caring staff members, the internal customer. Maintaining a safe haven, therefore, requires an appreciation of how guests and staff alike perceive wellbeing vis-à-vis safety as an antecedent of satisfaction. An internal customer perspective is considered here, as typically the operational focus has been on the external customer. Second-hand smoke (SHS) in casinos serves to highlight disproportionality in safety considerations between internal and external customers, which has implications for HRM practices in the hospitality and tourism industries.

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William C. Murray

The hospitality industry is centered on people, wherein service providers and customers are inseparable as they create unique, intangible experiences. The question about what drives and inspires hospitality workers to be productive, positively contribute with the work that they do, and strive to provide outstanding service quality continues to be very important for hospitality operators, especially in the current labour-challenged environment where simply finding and keeping sufficient numbers of workers is difficult. This chapter will explore the issues of employee motivation, looking at both classic theories and more recent research that challenge our ideas of what drives people to perform at work, particularly in the realm of hospitality.

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Ronald J. Burke

This chapter emphasizes the role of leadership in the success of hospitality organizations; why leadership matters; reviews both transformational and transactional leadership; and describes two studies of the potential benefits of servant leadership and empowering leadership. In these studies data were collected from large samples of front-line service workers in four- and five-star hotels in Turkey using questionnaires. Outcome measures included job satisfaction, work engagement, service quality perceptions, affective hotel commitment, engaging in voice behaviors and intent to quit. All measures had been used in previous research and were well validated. Both servant leadership and empowering leadership predicted a majority of the valued work outcomes. Practical implications on increasing both types of leadership are offered.

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Shelagh Mooney

This chapter explores women’s employment in the hospitality sector and the ways in which they negotiate their professional identities across varying national and business contexts. An overview is given of women’s employment patterns, career paths and career progression; highlighting the contribution of strong social connections, effective mentoring relationships and interesting jobs to increased hospitality career longevity. The chapter further explores the well documented issues that significantly reduce the job quality and promotional opportunities for women in the sector, for example, occupational sex stereotyping, sexual harassment and the enduring glass ceiling. The chapter concludes with an appraisal of how enlightened human resource management practices can successfully enable women to fulfil their career and lifestyle aspirations when working in the hospitality industry.

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Ronald J. Burke

This chapter sets the stage for the collection. It reviews content that will be addressed in considerably more detail in the chapters that follow. It considers the importance of the hospitality sector to a country’s economic development, the key role of service quality and human resource management in organizational success, leadership competencies, job stress and emotional labor, work–family conflict, sexual harassment, gender issues, generational differences, employees with disabilities, and ongoing and new human resource management challenges facing this sector. A range of human resource initiatives are then described that address many of these challenges.

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Catherine Cheung and Tom Baum

The main purpose of this study is to explore the perspective of hotel employees on hotel brand internalization. Previous studies on hotel brand internalization were largely about employees’ behavior and customers’ perceptions. Relatively little is known about the stages or variables inherent in the brand internalization process. Developing a conceptual model to theoretically and realistically describe how hotel brand internalization takes place will further research in this area. In this study, a qualitative approach was used, involving in-depth interviews with 26 front-line employees from hotels with well-known brands to identify significant themes that drive the brand internalization process. Five key themes were derived from the qualitative data; a conceptual model and a measurement scale were then developed which contributed to an understanding of the basic conditions necessary for hotel brand internalization and hotel management.

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Sara L. Mann and Marie-Hélène Budworth

This chapter presents findings from focus groups and a pilot study examining employment issues with UNITE HERE Local 362, the largest union representing Disney employees. This union represents theme park and hotel employees working within the theme park. The experience of the worker is explored relative to the HR practices employed by Disney. The brand, culture, and other organizational variables are examined as ways of understanding the experience of the worker. Through the focus groups and interviews with theme park employees and union representatives, a number of themes have emerged including working conditions, immigration, diversity, wage equality, emotional labour and careers. While many employees are motivated by the desire to create magical experiences for the customer, the day to day experience of the worker is sometimes discrepant.

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Edited by Ronald J. Burke and Julia C. Hughes

The hospitality and tourism sector is an increasingly significant contributor to GDP worldwide, as well as a key source of employment in developing regions. Drawing on contemporary research, this Handbook provides a provocative review of the major human resource challenges facing the hospitality and tourism sector today.