Handbook of Human Resource Management in the Tourism and Hospitality Industries
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Handbook of Human Resource Management in the Tourism and Hospitality Industries

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.
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Chapter 15: The happiest place on earth? A case study of the Disney World employment experience

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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