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Incentives for Rewarding Good Performance: Employees’ Perception in Luxury Hotel Industry
<First Name, Middle Initial, Last Name>
This survey will make an effort to expand on pragmatic work conducted about the use and usefulness of human resources methods in a number of luxury hotels of multinational chains in the UK. The survey investigates the alleged importance of a number of job-related instigators in the luxury hotel area and examines the bond between discrete variables and the motivations offered in hotel employees. We then proceed to suggest, strategies for cultivating appropriate motivational programs for workforces that hold different order inside the organization levels and diverse individual work culture.
Keywords: Hospitality industry, enablement, human resources management
Image 1: Exterior view of the Hilton Hotel, London (UK)
Image 2: Sheraton Grand Hotel and Spa, Edinburgh (UK)
Incentives for Rewarding Good Performance: Employees’ Perception in Luxury Hotel Industry
Background of the Study
The upsurge of antagonism in the luxury hotel industry has established the improvement of the excellence of the provided services, as one of the vital aspects for preserving the competitive advantage of global hotel chains. Nevertheless, the functions provided in the hotel industry are immaterial, attached to the service producer, non-standardized, and have a short lifespan. Because of the nature of business, the characteristics of managing luxury hotels and the services it provides, as well as the assessment of service value mainly depends on the clients, which can be subjective. Given that the noticeable part of the service offer in the luxury hotel industry is exceedingly homogeneous, reflecting the solid branding of an international hotel chain, the value of the employee/client exchange is of great importance to managerial performance. Therefore, in the luxury hotel sector the human resource management (HRM) procedures and methods should build, through the provision of proper motivations, an environment that could produce substantial client-oriented performance from employees.
This study aims to measure the power of incentives those the companies are offering to the employees in order to motivate them to perform their jobs effectively, and the managerial leadership style would receive adequate attention in this regard as well.
Rationale of the Study
The managers are working day in and day out in order to cultivate motivation and commitment in underlying organizational levels, and therefore, the management has to offer different incentives those can increase the motivation level amongst the employees. The rationale of the study is simple because it aims to scientifically measure the effectiveness of incentives such as empowerment, profit sharing, insurance of the self and the family in terms of achieving employee commitment and motivation as well.
Review of Related Literature
Human Resource Management and Managerial Performance Research in Human Resource Management (HRM) has its roots in the industrial sector, concentrating on research into the initiation and influence of certain configurations of “optimal practice” human resource methods that strive for “high commitment” and flexibility (Huselid, Jackson & Schuler, 1997) and contribute to the group’s performance and overall results. Recently, interest lays to the dispersal of new tactics to HRM inside the tourism industry, which has traditionally been linked to images of poor working environments and weak HR practices (Lucas, 2002). Narrow minded accounts of optimal practice HRM in these service provision establishments are noted by Korczynski through the use of vocabulary such as “new service management school” (Korczynski, 2002: 3). In that survey, a significant foundation of competitive advantage seems to lie in the quest of high value services, which in turn is dependent on a complex methodology to HRM, dependent on managers agreeing to costly and high expertise employment strategies along with the efficient use of human resources. These traits of HR tactics are compatible with leading notions and images of HRM that emphasize on concepts of extraordinary value and extraordinary performance employee structures (Storey, 2001).
The “New Service Management School” places emphasis on soft Human Resource Management methods like stimulating enthusiasm, enablement, and collaboration. In the tourism sector, which fundamentally encompasses a fabrication and a service side as well, the formation and provision of services from the firm to the consumers is mainly realized through the employee that acts as the hotel’s image and de-facto representative. From this viewpoint, the workers in essence embody the industry (Schneider & Bowen, 1993). The things that the industry hopes to achieve therefore, rely on the capacity of its employees and how successfully they are guided in order to aid the business accomplish its objectives. It is of vital importance for the tourism industry to grow well organized HRM practices and tactics that permit it to inspire competent employees who aid towards the achievement of its purposes. This entails a comprehension of what stimulates employees at diverse levels of administration and at distinct phases in their career for the sake of maintaining an acceptable level of determination and extraordinary performance (Enz & Siguaw, 2000). In the case that hotel directors can gratify their personnel by appreciating the fundamental motives that drive them, this will assist in the direction of retaining hotel employees and thus improving client fulfillment in the end (Morrison, 1996, Tsaur & Lin 2004).
Performance administration comprises of actions, which guarantee that objectives are constantly being met in an operational and well-organized manner. A shortage of the skills required, information, supervision, support, individual priorities and the disturbance most employees encounter when delivering and receiving reactions and criticism, are the efforts hindering in this grave process. Failure to set objectives and offer constant advice and summary assessments usually has as an outcome; workers growing into less motivate human resources and additionally falling performance. Operative performance management systems serve in the creation of an idea of success and an environment in which employees want to offer their best and struggle for continuous progress (Haynes & Fryer, 2000). The actual performance supervision motivates employees by identifying success and promoting employee progress in a more general way.
The last two decades growing amounts of discussions have occurred in the wider area of HRM and its influence to the managerial performance (Chan, Shaffer & Snape, 2004). In the current literature, there is a set of the following different academic frameworks: universalistic, eventuality and formative perceptions (Delery & Doty, 1996). These academic frameworks have offered a significant theoretical context upon which much academic and practical effort grew. The collective perception emphasizes that there is a one-dimensional straight connection between HR tactics and managerial performance (Delery & Doty, 1996). As a result, general human resources tactics are advanced that openly have an effect on the quality of work, unconnectedly with additional internal or external managerial factors. That is, methods that search for “extraordinary commitment” and elasticity are always helpful for the advance of the organization, unrelatedly of managerial and other consequences (Huselid, Jackson & Schuler, 1997). The contingency point of view speculates an interactive connection between managerial factors (Delery & Doty, 1996). As a result, there could not be one collective ideal form of a HRM structure, which can be used to assess practice. There is a variety of choices suitable in a diverse set of circumstances. An instance of those circumstances is the assessment of HRM performance in the setting of small and medium sized companies relative to those in bigger organizations (Voves, 1996).
Finally, the configuration point of view is about increasing effectiveness that is accredited to the reliability among arrangements of applicable circumstantial and organizational factors. The plain assumption of the configuration point of view is that if one wants to be efficient, an organization’s human resource procedures must be constant and compatible with other traits of the organization and the environment of competition around the firm/organization (Doty & Glick, 1994).
Because of that, the academic discussions involved in the research of those three viewpoints, is still in its primary development and there seems to be little agreement among academics on the subject of which viewpoint is the major one. “This may be due to the fact that any such conclusion would be premature because of conflicting research results, but more importantly, because the debate is still in its infancy” (Wood, 1999).
Even though it is well recognized that HRM is certainly related with managerial performance, a great necessity seems to exist for supplementary research and measurable evidence to back the connection between HRM and performance (Gerhart, 2005) as well as researches from diverse backgrounds. The universal viewpoint offers a suitable academic context for the handling of our study, since the best techniques that are used by the international luxury hotel chains, are not essentially differentiated with respect to the environment of the country in which they operate. Furthermore, the number of luxury hotels, in which the survey was conducted are property of transnational firms which apply a universal HR strategy and it is through their human resource procedures that the attempt to discover the best methods in order to obtain the highest standards of performance from their personnel and furthermore to advance the organization’s figures and overall efficiency.
Existing literature acknowledges that human resource policies may have an effect on managerial actions either openly or obliquely through Human Resource Management results. Nevertheless, the problems that arise involve matters like which human resource tactics are the most preferable and most significant to be incorporated in a standard that links HRM with managerial performance. Regrettably, there has been no convincing definition of what the most preferable practice is, that has been agreed upon by academics or practitioners. This has the result of an absence of theoretical precision of the HRM best methods definition. Several characterizations have arisen that include many of the fundamental factors of HRM optimal practice, permitting us to acquire a better comprehension of the subject. Johnson (2000: 69) writes, “best practice or high performance work practice are described as HR methods and systems that have universal, additive and positive effects on organizational performance”. This description is associated to the circumstance in which each of the best tactics utilized by the firm will complement the aforementioned tactics, complicating in this way the subsequent performance of the firm.
The universal model of HRM recommends that a detailed set of human resource “optimal practices” will constantly yield superior results whatsoever and no matter what the environmental circumstances might be. Huselid (1995) stresses that “internal fit” aids in expressively improving an organization’s practices and results. Terpstra and Rozell (1993 focus on a quantity of records of “best practices” that involve “high commitment” and elasticity, or the “high-performance work systems” which are complemented by extraordinary corporate performance, thus backing this kind of “fit”.
A number of studies establish a “best human resource practice”. The majority of those studies (Bamberger & Meshoulam, 2000) address three mechanisms by which complete human resource methods influence business results: 1) Human capital foundations or the assembly of human resources (expertise, information, background etc.) the firm has to work with. The firm’s choices, the preparation and internal progress that follows, have a great impact on the quality of this foundation. 2) Incentives, which are influenced by the human resource methods, including acknowledgment and bonuses, and 3) chances provided to help the firm, which is affected by the firm’s connection and enablement strategies. The optimal practices approach, usually, talks about the resource-based model of competitive advantage, which concentrates on the part that the inside resources (of workers) play in growing and sustaining an establishment’s competitive abilities. Unambiguously, Pfeffer (1994) emphasizes the event in which the organizations wanting to succeed in today’s international business setting must take the right human resource contributions to obtain and shape employees who have better skills and expertise than their challengers and this provision will serve as their competitive advantage. Consequently, only human resource methods can direct to competitive advantage by the formation and the expansion of an exceptional and beneficial human basis.
Before the survey advances with the analysis, it is significant to make a special reference to the function and the profits of the best practices that could be implemented within such an institute. Delaney and Huselid (1996) stress that HRM best tactics are intended to improve the general performance of employees inside the organization, eventually creating an environment of amplified managerial performance. They move on by affirming that HRM optimal strategy accomplishes those results through the increase of employee commitment to the firm. When the administration is dedicated to the delivery of education and improvement, for example, their actions are repaid by the personnel with bigger commitment in the direction of the firm, the results become better as the workers are more accomplished, trained and dedicated to their job, and have as a result in a win-win understanding for both groups involved. From a simpler point of view, each optimal practice method aims at advancing the employees, their morale and boosting their pledge, with the subsequent purpose to advance the managerial performance, and eventually create a supportable competitive advantage.
Additionally, the survey briefly introduces the fifteen optimal practice methods that have been noted by distinguished academics (Delery and Doty, 1996) on the topic of HRM optimal methods: employee or employment security, careful hiring policies, efficient utilization of teamwork efficient reward policies, performance evaluation, education and expansion prospects, status modifications with understandable job descriptions, a positive description of organizational foundations that enrich information sharing and communications, complaint procedures for employees that may have issues with certain promotional criteria, employee ownership, enablement of the personnel with the practice of decision making capabilities, taking into thought employee recommendations and ideas coming from the workers, introduction of job rotation, and opportunities for evolution in the chain of command.
Nevertheless, it is broadly accepted (Enz & Siguaw, 2000), that amid the aforementioned areas, the methods that possibly could be further advanced in order to augment the contribution of HRM on managerial performance are the following five: education and improvement, collaboration, performance evaluations, efficient reward policies, and communication.
Education and improvement. The goal is to make available for employees with the essential set of skills and information to achieve the firm’s corporate and business plan (Johnson, 2000). Education could not merely ensue with detailed reference to an active duty. The progress of employees in numerous methods is a technique for inspiring responsibility, as complementation of this responsibility is evident through the personnel’s enhanced performance. Enz and Siguaw (2000) provide some useful understanding into the process of education and improvement inside the workplace. In one instance, the firm involved launched educational elements, which encompassed not only tasks and exercises that were associated to the group’s detailed growth, but also covered areas that assisted in the growth of the personnel as individuals. In general, these techniques were utilized to encourage managerial comprehension, advance employees and employers’ communication and self-appreciation, and improve self-confidence. The idea was that only a great work performance could be offered by the member of staff if they experience positive feelings about themselves and about the team as a whole.
Collaboration. The theory of physical cooperation within a work environment has been shown to be more problematic than initially thought by the first management academics. Efficient teams within a broader organization should be completely self-conscious and self-managed, not only by being answerable for administrative duties, but also being self-monitored and self-organized to guarantee that the team performs as an individual at all times.
Performance evaluations. Lately there has been a growing use of performance evaluation and payment as a means of helping commitment as a whole to grow, toward the firm (Enz & Siguaw, 2000). There are many approaches of performance evaluation that are utilized within groups nowadays, such as operating performance and productivity benchmarking, performance evaluations with administration, average sales statistics, executive performance and others. Performance evaluations give the green light for the evaluation of the employee performance as well as the evaluation of the team as a whole. This set of mechanisms is thought of, as one of HRM’s top policies since it forms a framework for employees within the firm to advance their performance as far as, not only managerial objectives and operational procedures are concerned but individual objectives as well.
Efficient reward policies. Efficient reward strategies have been stressed as a method that generates high responsibility among members of staff. This is shaped through rewarding the employee in line with their extraordinary performance, with the use of monetary or non- monetary means. This policy is inseparably linked to the policy of performance evaluation since, if the performance position of an employee is not recognized, the rewards are baseless. Performance evaluation can take place at a firm, team, or personal level, and is a wide-ranging way to boost the performance of the staff and the firm as a whole (Delery & Doty, 1996).
Communication. As systems of administration become more and more complicated, comprehensive two-party communication is indispensable in ensuring that the establishment runs smoothly. Communication, if utilized as a preferred policy, provides all members of staff with a voice within the corporation. Rigorous communication within a corporation also allows each employee to tell exactly what is anticipated from him, from his everyday tasks to his wider directorial mission declaration and what is going on within each distinct area of the corporation.
Image: Generic Skills in which staff would benefit from additional training.
Employee turnover has proved to be one of the most severe problems in the hospitality industry and a few of the reasons given for what causes it, are low reward levels, insufficient benefits, poor working conditions, and reduced employee morale and job biases. Byrne (1986) notes that as well as its high employee turnover and the profession’s exhaustive type, the hotel industry is regarded as an industry with low employee security, low rewards, shift duties, and scarce chances for promotion. The research of Simons and Enz (1995) further expanded that those features seemed to be more intense in the seasonal area of the tourism industry.
Despite the fact that hospitality sector employees are not a uniformed group –a group with a high number of common traits- they participate in a number of common mannerisms: a broad range of skills are in most tourist professions a prerequisite but there are also raised figures of unskilled personnel; these individuals may live on the premises of the tourist resort and many among those employees are insufficiently paid; the workers often are expected to work long and “lonely” shifts and there is also a large part of female, part-time, casual and foreign staff; work movement-staff changing jobs between seasons- and turnover rate are especially high, although luxury hotels have different figures from the industry average. Therefore, the examination of employee needs in the tourism industry institutes one of the main assumptions both for comprehending their point of view and motivating dynamics as well as for formulating a motivation structure that will assist to the development of employee performance.
One of the most significant methods that attempt to explain the singularity of work inspiration is an analysis of what people really want, is researched in one of the very understandable researches of worker’s motivation is restricted within the philosophies and values of scientific management. Taylor (1991) stated the significance of choosing only the best employees, guaranteeing that they are managed and work as entities and reimbursing them only for what they produce downgrading the full spectrum of the importance that, transactional and economic relations between employers and employees have.
Nevertheless, there is no forthright connection between wage (from the employer side) and energy given at one’s work (from the employee side) and Maslow (1943) and McGregor (1960) claimed that job incentives also have emotional roots than were never taken into account in Taylor’s research. Maslow further claimed that individuals have a pyramid of needs that vary from the low-level and elementary needs (such as the need to eat and drink water) to the high-level and multifaceted needs (for instance, a need for self-actualization). Furthermore, McGregor (1960) recommended that orthodox Taylor’s methods were supported by a deeply cynical theory of incentives (“Theory X”) that was reinforced by the hypothesis of uninterested employees who have hatred of work and need pressure to become fruitful in their profession. While recognizing that the hypotheses made for Theory X may hold true under an inadequate and incomplete set of circumstances, he reasoned that job motivation was generally fortified by the worker’s self-produced determination to improve themselves and achieve their individual potential (“Theory Y”). McGregor (1960) eventually contended that outdated managerial approaches bestow too much weight on the function of lower-in-the-pyramid needs as incentives of workers’ principles.
In modern Western society the physical and security, requirements of most workers are fulfilled and this has as a result that their behavior is more usually driven by higher-in-the-pyramid needs. It must be noted that those basic needs are embedded in the legal framework in effect, in the total of the western states. Furthermore, Alderfer (1972) made the distinction between an individual’s needs for survival, empathy, and development and McClelland (1987) claimed that inspiration to work echoes a higher need for accomplishment which is dissimilar from the other lower desires, the need for connection and the need for authority.
Analogous ideas to these are also central to Herzberg’s (1966) motivation-hygiene model in which he suggested that executives should put their efforts into providing opportunities for the fulfillment of the staff’s personal desires in order to get their greatest job performance. According to that idea, individuals have two key types of needs: hygiene needs, which have a relation to the framework in which work is completed. These comprise of job relationships, job conditions, management, wage, company rules and executive environment, status and security. As soon as these factors become, or already are, negative then in accordance with the theory, work displeasure, and dissatisfaction comes as a result.
However, the implementation of hygiene needs alone does not have the capacity in to lead to work satisfaction but merely in the decrease or partial eradication of displeasure. On the other hand, individuals have motivational desires, which are linked to feelings that are involved in really doing job. These contain success, acknowledgment, work itself, accountability, development, and progress. As the theory states, the reasons that ultimately drive an individual to job satisfaction are similar –or identical- to those that fulfill an individual’s need for self-realization in their profession, and it is only from doing the specific task that employees can appreciate the prizes that will fulfill their desires. In comparison to the fulfillment of hygiene needs which have as a result neutral circumstances, neither content nor discontent, when they exist, positive incentive factors supposedly result in job satisfaction
This concept led to general enthusiasm in the effort for job improvement (rotating, expanding jobs), illustrated as a determination by the administration to design responsibilities in such a way as to incorporate the chance for personal accomplishment, acknowledgment, personal trial and growth (Furnham et al., 1999). Among other efforts, this involved challenges to escalate distinct individuals’ responsibility for their own job, expand their control over separate and diverse essentials of a particular work, and give workers the chance to become specialists and finally connoisseurs in relation to those features.
Taking into account Simons and Enz (1995), we find that employees from different divisions replied in a dissimilar way to the job rewards given by the organization, advocating to the idea that personal dissimilarities and personal variables should be taken into account when formulating motivation programs. Upper management levels may contribute to distinct staff members being motivated by the fulfillment of different wants. Separate studies have presented for instance that acknowledgment and gratefulness, rewards and wages, and augmenting task performance are quite possibly the three key factors that stimulate executives to have good performance indexes as recorder in various contexts (Analoui, 2000). Nevertheless, for lower level staff members the gratification of desires such as self-development, teamwork, salary, and rewards seem to have the most impact in triggering motivation and on end in their performance (Spreitzer, 1995). However, up until now very little has been done in the direction of investigating the chance that there are variances among workers at various levels of the pecking order within the same organization.
Figure 1: Skills that need improving by key occupational grouping in the tourism industry (UK)
An overview of the hospitality sector in the UK with data from the Hospitality Guild,
The hospitality and tourism sector employs seven percent of the working population, or one in every 14 jobs. In terms of gross value added (GVA). The sector contributed £40.6bn to the UK economy in 2011, or 4.2 percent of the country’s total GVA.
The latest figures show there were 181,500 individual business sites operating across the hospitality and tourism sector. Restaurants, hotels, and pubs, bars, and nightclubs comprise the greatest number of businesses and represent the greater share (70 percent) of the sector’s GVA.
The sector is predominately made up of small businesses; almost half (46 percent) employ less than five people while only one percent of businesses employ more than 100 people. The types of challenges smaller businesses face will therefore influence the sector significantly.
A strategic approach to business planning is needed to raise profitability and improve business survival rates. Only 1 in 5 employers sought business advice in the last 12 months, while less than half had a business plan. The implications for skills and training were clear; those that had a business plan were significantly more likely to have trained staff in the last 12 months (57 percent) compared to those that did not (27 percent). There was also a link between business planning, training activity, and reports of increased sales and turnover.
Overall, the results for the sector suggested a slight increase in sales or turnover in the last 12 months, with 39 percent of businesses reporting an increase compared to 26 percent reporting a decrease.
Perhaps sensing that the economy had turned a corner, the outlook in the coming year was optimistic as 59 percent of employers expected an increase in sales or turnover in the next 12 months compared to just 9 percent who forecast a decrease.
The hospitality and tourism sector continues to offer attractive enterprise opportunities to entrepreneurs, with low barriers to entry. Although both start-up and closure rates were higher than across the rest of the economy, 2011 represented the first time in recent years that start-ups exceeded closures, with a net growth of one percent.
The hospitality and tourism sector played an important role in the success of events such as the London 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympics, and in strengthening the UK’s position as a top-ten global brand.2
This has highlighted the UK’s need for a skilled, professional workforce in the future to meet increasingly high visitor expectations. This can be achieved through implementing appropriate training programs and clear development pathways for the workforce.” (Hospitality Guild, 2012)
Analysis of Data
The wealth of data, its sources, and the thinkable courses of action available to take full advantage of the desires of consumers is increasing the complication of the communication between employees and customers. This complication requires not only members of staff that can answer those difficulties, but a work environment that enables this type of response as well. Jong and Ruyter (2004) claim that because of an “atypical, complex, and disturbing nature of service recovery problems, employees need to show flexibility in their contact with customers”. Gronroos (1994) also observes that a different service culture is necessary, a culture that instructs workers in the service sector how to reply to unaccustomed, unanticipated, and obdurate circumstances. Enablement is believed to be essential since it offers contact workers the needed flexibility to form instant choices to gratify clients (Hartline & Ferrell, 1996). Koberg et al. (1999) identify two primary qualifications to employee enablement: individual influences and environmental and structural issues. Thomas and Velthouse (1990) propose that coincidental dynamics such as management, entrustment, and job design, and payment methods affect the feeling of enablement. Emotional enablement, according to Robbins et al. (2002), is an echo of the constant outgoing tide and movement of individuals’ views and approaches about their job climate in connection to themselves, and they theorize that the personnel’s outlook and views of the job climate are an essential dominant irregularity in any version of the enablement progression. Woodard et al. (1994) also indicate that the job climate has long been acknowledged as a powerful cause of influence on employee actions and that individuals tend to respond mainly to their perceptive depictions of circumstances rather than the circumstances per se. Carless (2004) formulates the point that despite the existence of several studies on diverse sides of both the emotional environment and enablement, there has been a deficiency of studies on the connection between emotional environment (individual view on job climate variables) and enablement. Siegall and Gardner (2000) examined the results of administrative influences on emotional enablement, with an emphasis on horizontal and vertical communication channels. Moreover, Gange et al. (1997) established the ties among specific job individualities and features of emotional enablement. While the Siegall and Gardner (2000) research was conducted in the grounds of a construction company, Gange et al. (1997) based their research in a telephone company, and it has to be noted that the precise environment of each research may play a part in the results that it produces. In the present research, we attempt to recognize the magnitudes of emotional environment that are connected to feelings of emotional enablement within the hotel industry. An improved comprehension of the connection between these structural factors and the experience among members of staff regarding enablement would aid organizations in the direction of better managing their backing for an enabling work environment (Siegall & Gardner, 2000).
Emotional environment can be described as the mutual opinions of employees on the subject of the methods, ways, and kinds of performance that are rewarded and reinforced in a specific framework (Schneider et al., 1998). It is an affective medium through which the results of the environment on behaviors and performance pass (Schneider, 1990). Academic literature recognizes three methodologies to the study and conceptualization of work environment. These, in accordance with Payne and Pugh (1976) are the following 1. The Structural Approach, which states that environments mature from the objective aspects of the professional framework 2. The Selection Attraction Attrition (SAA) Approach, which contends that organizational and individual courses combine to produce moderately homogenous connections in organizations 3. The Social Behaviorism Approach, which assumes that the social background of behavior can enlighten individuality and meaning. Organizational members and the setting are supposed to jointly determine each other. The Social Behaviorism Approach, in our opinion, best illuminates situations where members of the same subdivision or organization evolve diverse perceptions of their work environment, because of the dissimilar levels of communication. This is established in the following studies:
1. Newman (1977) found noteworthy modifications in views of work environments accounted for by age, sex, education, and position, a development supported by Gavin (1975) .2. Schneider and Snyder (1975) also discovered views of work environments to be influenced by position-in-the-hierarchy variables. 3. Jones and James (1979) established the influence of age, education, and position on some climate dimensions. 4. Joyce and Slocum (1984) follow the same trend, concluding that the environment was considerably influenced by work experience and age. 5. Moussavi et al. (1990) also remarked that position variables influence environment views. Related to the issue of the materialization of environments is the issue of the type of environment. There is some conceptual vagueness regarding environment views that has been maintained by the use of a variety of terms such as emotional environment, collective environment, managerial environment, and managerial culture, when referring to an employee’s perceptions of their work environment (Parker et al., 2003). They are of the view that the misperceptions over the construct can be determined by outlining clearly an individual’s level of theory, measurement, and analysis.
Following from this, the research at hand limits itself to the notion of emotional climate, defined as the psychologically significant description of eventualities and situational stimuli that are used to understand order, to predict outcomes and gauge the relevance of employee behavior (Jones and James, 1979). There is also a lack of accordance as to the amount of dimensions that make up the emotional climate construct the names / titles and space of definitions for these dimensions. For instance, while Newman (1977) characterizes one of the dimensions “colleagues relations” , James and Sells (1981) label their dimensions “characteristics of work group” , and Koys and DeCotiis (1991) choose to utilize the term “cohesion” for basically the same thing.
In another tone, Newman (1977) uses “supervisory style”, James and Sells (1981) prefer ‘characteristics of leader’, and Koys and DeCotiis (1991) use “support” for virtually the same dimension. In addition, while Newman
(1977) has “performance – reward relationships”, Koys and DeCotiis (1991) select to separate this into “recognition” and “fairness”. These, among others, are partly responsible for the discussion and controversy over what establishes the dimensions of the emotional climate construct. This discussion is in a way resolved by Schneider (1975), who sees organizations as being made up of subunits and work units, each of which is likely to have its own environment and therefore the need to talk of environment within a specific context. Hackman and Oldham (1975) also suggest that any evaluating device is based on some underlying theory of “what is important” concerning the event under consideration. This is not dissimilar the suggestion made by Koys and DeCotiis that a subset of central dimensions relevant to the study should be chosen. Schneider (1975) further argues for environment dimensions to have a specific focus and not to assess an overall climate, a position echoed by Jones and James’s (1979) call for dimensions of climate to be context driven (criterion-oriented), by noting that:
Organizations can have different environments within subunits and work groups and across the units / groups for say innovation, creativity
All climate dimensions are not equally represented by an employee’s perception of a job environment.
Seven dimensions of emotional environment were produced from the literature as follows.
Work facilitation: Robbins et al. (2002) indicate that better qualified employees are more likely to understand the specific demands of the job and recognize that they have the support needed to successfully exercise their power and authority. Chebat and Kollias (2000) also suggest that, training in adaptability, managing ambiguity and multiple role demands can ensure empowered employee decisions are in the best interest of the firm. Robbins et al. (2002) went further to postulate that training has the effect of enhancing feelings of support, shows a willingness of the company to invest in the employee and consequently enhance commitment and psychological enablement. Spreitzer (1996) suggests that training employees in the skills and abilities needed to feel competent enhances the feeling of psychological enablement.
Peccei and Rosenthal (2001: 566) describe customer-oriented behaviour as the extent to which employees engage in continuous improvement and exert effort on the job on behalf of customers. Nwanko (1995) defines customer orientation as putting customers at the heart of a firm’s product market. Saxe and Weitz (1982) claim that it is characterized by among others, such as:
A desire to help customers make satisfactory purchase decisions
Helping customers assess their needs
Offering products that will satisfy those needs
Describing products accurately
Adapting sales presentations to match customer interests.
Spreitzer (1995) is of the view that, “performance feedback is fundamental to reinforcing a sense of competence and believing one is a valued part of the organization”. Words of encouragement, verbal feedback, etc. are used by leaders and managers alike, as well as group members to empower subordinates and co-workers, etc. ( Conger and Kanungo). Waldersee and Luthans (1994) indicate that performance feedback is an accepted human resource management tool to improve employee performance.
Spreitzer (1995) is of the view that when employees do not know the extent of their decision-making authority or what is expected of them and the basis upon which they would be judged, they would hesitate to act and therefore feel powerless and disempowered. Chebat and Kollias (2000) warns that “when unsure about how to perform their jobs, contact employees show lower levels of adaptability” and this, rather than being empowering, is seen as being chaotic. Seibert et al. (2004) observe that clear goals, responsibilities, and procedures facilitate effective teamwork, cohesion, coordination, and conflict resolution. Quinn and Spreitzer (1997: 45) posit that a “clear vision and challenge will make employees feel they have the capacity to act autonomously in their work rather than wait for permission and direction from top management”.
Internal service is the “dyadic interaction between an internal customer and an internal service provider” (Gremler et al.). It has also been described as the services provided by distinctive organizational units or people. A strong service-oriented culture creates an environment where the internal customer needs, which cannot always be standardized or predicted, are met, even if that means adapting or modifying the internal service offering (Gremler et al., 1994). Boshoff and Allen (2000) caution that, “Although it is the frontline staff who ultimately deliver the service to the customer, they need the full support of those in the backroom in order for the service encounter to run smoothly”. Quinn and Spreitzer (1997) note that empowered employees must feel that their work unit can work together to solve problems related to other departments or other units or employees within the organization.
Boshoff and Allen (2000: 65) observe that “employees take their lead from top management and, if they believe that managers are not fully committed to the goal of service excellence, they will not commit themselves to providing it”. Hancer and George (2003) indicate that relationships with supervisors have an impact in fostering enablement. Quinn and Spreitzer (1997) are of the view that to feel empowered, employees need a sense of social support from bosses, peers and subordinates, and efforts to take initiative should be reinforced not punished. Chebat and Kollias (2000) also point out that “managers, who show commitment to quality, are more likely to take initiatives that help contact employees deliver high quality service”. Management behaviors such as systematic customer care training, management / supervisor commitment to customer service, support of subordinates, and greater control of work decisions by frontline staff, according to Peccei and Rosenthal (2001), enhance customer-oriented behaviour.
Randolph (1995) suggests, “Without information people cannot possibly act responsibly, when informed, however, they are almost compelled to act with responsibility” (Quinn & Spreitzer, 1997). Robbins et al. (2002) are of the view that information sharing engenders greater feelings of commitment through enhanced feelings of responsibility and role involvement. Siegall and Gardner (2000) also found that communications with supervisors and general relations with the company were related to meaning, self-determination, and impact. Information provides the framework to guide the actions of employees. It tells them what is expected of them, what they can or cannot do, what is rewarded and punished.
Information reduces ambiguity and doubt over initiating actions or not in response to job contingencies. With adequate information, employees are more confident to act autonomously; boundaries are clearly spelt out guiding actions, and subtly forcing prescribed behaviour.
Enablement is to be seen as a generic term that encompasses a wide range of initiatives in the management of human resources and reflects a wide range of managerial intentions and concerns (Lashley, 1996). The concept can broadly be viewed from two perspectives. One perspective is enablement as a relational construct, dealing with managerial style (the employee’s power and control relative to others and the sharing or transmission of power).
There is also the motivational / psychological state that results from the empowering (relational) activities of the employee’s superiors, supervisors, managers, etc. Menon (2001) notes that the word enablement can be used to:
Characterize the cognitive state of the employee or subject of the enablement effort
Denote an act that leads to the empowered state (leadership / managerial style)
Denote a process or sequence of actions that ultimately leads to the empowered state.
Definitions of enablement should therefore be seen as emanating from one or a combination of these perspectives and if comparisons are being made between definitions and / or initiatives, care should be taken that like is being compared with like (Conger &Kanungo, 1988).
Enablement can be seen as the psychological state of a subordinate perceiving four dimensions, namely meaningfulness, competence, self-determination, and impact, and is affected by the empowering behaviours of the supervisor (Hancer and George, 2003). Implicit in this definition is the notion that enablement cannot take place between equals, and the combination of both the relational (relationship between the supervisor and subordinate) and motivational aspects of enablement. This definition is adopted because of its embracing nature and linkage between some antecedents of the construct and outcomes. The researcher can choose to focus on the dimensions, enabling behaviours of the supervisor among other interpersonal and / or environmental antecedents.
Or both. In limiting the study to this particular aspect of the debate on the types / forms / process of empowerment, the authors are seeking to concentrate on the central figure (the empowered individual). The argument is that irrespective of the forms / types / process, there should be an individual whose mental state informs him / her that the one is empowered.
Thomas and Velthouse (1990) conceptualize empowerment in terms of changes in cognitive variables that they call task assessments. Spreitzer (1995) identifies a similar set of dimensions to conceptualize psychological empowerment. These dimensions are as follows:
Meaning: the degree of fit between the needs of an employee’s work role and employee’s beliefs.
Competence or self-efficacy: the belief in employee’s capability to perform work activities with skill.
Self-determination: autonomy over initiation and continuation of work behaviour and processes.
Impact: the degree to which one can influence strategic, administrative, or operational outcomes in employee’s department per work unit.
Work is seen as meaningful when the task or job is congruent with the beliefs, attitudes, and values that employees care about and see as important (Spreitzer, 1995). It is also described as intrinsic caring about a given task. When employees
perceive their job or tasks as meaningful, they are likely to be more committed, involved, and concentrate their energies on their work, while those who perceive their jobs or tasks to be less meaningful are likely to exhibit feelings of apathy and detachment from significant events in the workplace (Thomas and Velthouse, 1990).
According to Hackman and Oldham (1975), meaning is one of the three critical psychological states for intrinsic task motivation.
Competence is seen as the capability to perform a task successfully (Spreitzer, 1995) and has been described by Conger and Kanungo (1988) as “a can do attitude”. Employees feel competent when they are confident about their ability to do their work well and know they can perform (Quinn and Spreitzer, 1997). This dimension is seen as similar to Bandura’s (1989) use of self-efficacy in clinical psychology. Bandura (1989) suggests that it is the “belief in one’s capabilities to mobilize the motivation, cognitive resources and courses of action needed to meet given situational demands”. The higher an individual’s level of self-efficacy, the more committed they are to achieving difficult goals, the more persistent they are to succeed when they fail to achieve a task, and the more they strive to achieve greater performance levels (Goodale et al., 1997). They also exhibit initiative, high effort, and persistence in the face of obstacles (Bandura, 1977), a necessary trait in dealing with customers demanding a participatory experience.
Spreitzer (1995b) defines self-determination as autonomy in performing one’s job and the ability to choose how to behave in various job-related situations, without employees feeling that they are being micro-managed (Quinn and Spreitzer, 1997). Self-determination leads to “greater flexibility, creativity, initiative, resilience and self-regulation” (Thomas and Velthouse, 1990). Employees with feelings of self-determination in their work role are more likely to exhibit quicker and more appropriate responses in service recovery efforts on a consistent basis (Goodale et al., 1997).
Impact is seen as the extent, to which one can influence events in an organization (Spreitzer, 1995), influence the conduct of the work unit, and get others listen to ideas (Quinn and Spreitzer, 1997). Similarly, Thomas and Velthouse (1990) view impact as the ability to produce intended effects in one’s task environment.
While self-determination is control over an employee’s behaviour, impact is seen as control over one’s environment (Thomas and Velthouse,1990). Workers who think they have an impact in their work unit would expect to be able to use information about customer preferences and the organization’s ability to meet customer needs, to impact departmental operations and perceived service quality (Goodale et al .,
Although Spreitzer’s (1995) conceptualization and four dimensions have been widely used in the literature, a few authors (Fulford and Enz, 1995 ; Hancer and George, 2003) have started with the four dimensions and ended up with three, while others like Menon (2001) have taken a completely different track in evolving a “new” set of dimensions. Menon (2001) defines enablement as a “cognitive state characterized by a sense of perceived control, competence and goal internalization” .
Three dimensions that capture this conceptualization of emotional enablement are subsequently derived, namely:
Perceived control — defined as choice over means (decision-making authority) to achieve goals. This bears close resemblance to the “choice” dimension of Thomas and Velthouse and “self-determination” in Spreitzer’s models.
Perceived competence — defined as belief in one’s capabilities to meet given situational demands. By the author’s admission “a major component of the Thomas and Velthouse model” and also Spreitzer’s.
Goal internalization — defined as feelings of significance, community and enjoyment and ownership of organizational goals.
Menon (2001) claims goal internalization is a unique feature of this conceptualization; however, it does bear close similarity to the meaning dimension of Spreitzer’s model. In addition, Spreitzer makes a distinction between the individual’s ability to influence and control the employee’s individual work actions as opposed to strategic and administrative outcomes. This is an important distinction, which is lost in the
Menon model, but deemed to be necessary as the two dimensions are not conceptually the same and capture different aspects of the feeling of psychological enablement.
According to a number of studies, it is deduced at the theoretical level that:
The psychological-empowerment instrument does work in a UK context. This was the first empirical test of this instrument in the UK.
Employees in an organization offering customized service to customers felt psychologically empowered.
A criterion-oriented psychological climate scale has been conceptualized and tested.
There is a relationship between psychological climate and psychological empowerment.
Not all work environment factors affect equally different aspects of employees’ cognition of their working conditions.
For the management of the hotels, the studies showed that:
Employees felt they worked in an environment that was conducive to feeling enabled (though this perception may not necessarily be what management envisaged or intended).
The work environment factors that influenced their feelings of psychological enablement in order of importance were internal communication, customer orientation, managerial support, and internal service.
Employees felt they were emotionally empowered.
There are perceptual differences between and within the individual hotels.
The identification of the psychological climate variables that positively influence feeling being enabled should allow management to better understand the local work place dynamics and their effects. Variability in employees’ perception and appreciation of their work environment and its subsequent effect on their feeling of emotional enablement, should also signal to management that employees in the hotels, departments, and units within the hotels are not homogeneous and therefore have different training needs and management skills to enhance their productivity.
The educational background of employees’ questioned in a number of studies (Maroudas et al., 2008) was relatively high, however given that the sampled hotel group is a “luxury” one, it is possible that they employ relatively higher educated employees or higher educated employees are attracted to the type of hotel. The study was limited by a number of factors including the sample frame and the research design. The sample frame for the study was restricted to a relatively small hotel group, partly by design but also by the willingness of hotel groups to participate in the study. The results of the study although shedding light on the factorization of the constructs and possible relationships, are specific to a particular geographical region of the UK and to one luxury hotel group.
The cross-sectional nature of the research design does not lend itself to strong conclusions regarding casual direction between the constructs. Rather inferences can be drawn which can be later tested by a longitudinal or experimental research design.
Those studies concentrated on emotional enablement in particular and its use as a quality initiative tool, rather than the more general enablement constructs and its use as human resource management tool. As a result, the issue of the type / form of enablement practiced in the sampled hotel was not studied; however, it is argued that whatever the initiative, it would be meaningless if it did not translate into a state of psychological empowerment in the recipient(s). Another limitation of the study was the lack of cultural influences in the study. The decision was taken at the beginning of the study to exclude organizational culture and hence the limitation of the study to one hotel group. The cultural background of respondents in those surveys could have yielded some insights; however, the ethnic background of respondents was heavily skewed towards one group and this was not explored.
Further studies in other areas of the UK service industry would further enhance comprehension of similar constructs, especially emotional enablement. In addition, studies that compare emotional environment in hotel groups and independent luxury hotels are also recommended and emotional enablement in international hotel groups to discover the connection between expatriate and native staff perceptions is supported. A number of studies have used the Spreitzer scale and achieved a three-factor solution similar to the Menon scale. Further studies to compare the Spreitzer and Menon scales in order to identify the settings and industries they work best in, are also encouraged to better understand the emotional enablement concept.
In general, the outcomes we reach to specify that the majority of staff members that were questioned in a number of surveys had a strong unease for economic motivators as well as for prospects of personal development particularly through the establishment of seminars planned by their respective employers. Moreover, the results showed that gender, age and job experience had an interaction outcome. Male workers had a higher fondness for the planning and involvement in events and excursions organized by their particular firms as well as for acknowledgment, thankfulness and approval for work done in terms of the top employee of the month, than their female counterparts. Tourism industry employees aged between 24 and 34 think that the necessity for insurance and personal growth are more significant compared to other age groups signifying that the importance of development and learning prospects are still valid. Lastly, workers with medium job experience ascribed much more weight to the necessity for further financial motivators. These results indicate that gender, age and work experience have a great part role in swaying employees’ opinions of the motivational issues. Hospitality industry companies can use these findings to initiate more appropriate incentive methods for their employees. In addition, in view of the conclusions of a handful of studies, two opening recommendations can be made: (a) the provision of quality training and personal growth methods; (b) the consideration of the establishment of financial motivators that make sense to the employees.
It has to be noted that hotel employees in luxury hotels in the UK thought of prospects for personal growth to be important, tourism industry employers should consider the utilization of education and development programmes to motivate good performance. It is suggested that employers should attribute importance on both internal and external educational prospects for their staff. For instance, arranging constant quality educational programmes –in the premises of the firm-, imploring external educational opportunities for employees and providing more substantial training subsidies or payments could.
Finally, hoteliers should put more weight on career planning for tourism workers. This has usually been a weak area of Human Resources Management in the hospitality industry. The academic literature steadily demonstrates that for many workers, the new investment measure (on which their involvement to an organization is established) is “prospects for development” (Cavanaugh and Noe, 1999). This view could be maintained to hold a key to preserving and forming “interpersonal” relationships in modern organizations (Millward and Herriot, 2001). As long as workers feel that they are “evolving” (e.g., learning new handy skills, obtaining vital knowledge, gaining personal integrity and self-reliance) increasing, thus, their employability. Firms can, to some degree, overpower employee worries about future professional insecurity by aiding towards “subjective security” by providing maximum personal potential. In doing so, the organization can secure the human investment it needs to succeed in financial terms. Most employees who participated in this survey considered that it was important to feel involved in and be recognized by the company for their efforts. With the trend toward better-educated employees, it makes sense for hotel employers to involve, recognize and communicate clearly with their employees in various aspects that affect their destinies. It is advised that employee involvement and acknowledgement programmes should be provided to gratify this need. However, the hoteliers should not overlook that acknowledgement is characteristically accredited through the establishment of fiscal motivators that have unique values for the workers.
The conclusions lastly specify that hotel employees come to work not only for financial rewards, but also for acknowledgement that their works are exciting or that there are job changes and educational opportunities. Hence, hoteliers should evaluate present jobs and consider reforming them when they think it is fitting. With the help of the Human Resources department, a sequence of prearranged job reform efforts can be put into place, together with job expansion, job enhancement and job rotation (Haynes & Fryer, 2000).
Undoubtedly, it is not possible to oversimplify from the research that was showed in a number of luxury hotels in the UK, about the connection between Human Resources Management strategies and methods, and managerial performance in luxury hotel industry, which is a central limitation of the academic research. Nevertheless, our research offers evidence on the one hand to the comprehension of workers’ preferences concerning the supplied job-related motivators, and on the other, to the size of the results of precise independent variables on workers’ views with regard to the applied HRM techniques. Additional research is vital in order to define more accurately the effects of the applied HRM techniques on workers’ service behavior and subsequently on organizational performance.
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