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Julia Christensen Hughes

We are living in a time of profound disruption, with significant changes occurring in customer expectations and behaviors within the hospitality and tourism businesses. Demand for convenience has risen, alongside increased expectations for sustainable products and services, and authentic and meaningful tourism experiences. These changes have significant implications for the human resource function, with successful businesses embracing technology and automation, as well as a more highly trained and engaged workforce. This chapter reviews the major changes that are occurring, both globally and with the US, and highlights the implications for the HR function. The hospitality industry has always been about people. Effective human resource management practices are more critical now than they have ever been as a source of competitive advantage.

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Julia Christensen Hughes

This chapter provides an overview of the conceptual development and measurement of employee engagement, beginning with the originating work of Kahn (1990). Critical reviews and contrasting suggestions for advancing the field are offered. Research findings from empirical studies on employee engagement in hospitality and tourism contexts are synthesized and applied to this debate.

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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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Julia Christensen Hughes and William C. Murray

‘Talent management’ has received considerable attention within organizations, and increasingly within academe, since its introduction as a source of competitive advantage twenty years ago. Yet debate continues as to what talent management actually means, including its underlying theory, philosophy, practice and intent. This chapter provides a roadmap to the evolving understandings of talent management, within hospitality and tourism, but also within the management literature more generally. Increasingly, talent management has been acknowledged as a pluralistic concept, one that is context dependent. The hospitality industry presents an ideal opportunity for advancing understanding of talent management, through the exploration of its definition and use within large multinationals, as well as SME’s, from the perspective of multiple stakeholders (front-line employees, managers and society, as well as senior staff), and with respect to changes occurring in the external environment. One central premise of the talent management literature is that valued talent is scarce. Given mounting economic and technological disruptions, it is unclear to what extent this will continue to be the case.