Suggestions for improvements in service quality in hospitality operations frequently advocate the use of empowerment as a strategy for the management of employees. Analysis of employer initiatives that claim to empower employees needs to distinguish those initiatives labelled empowerment and those which are empowering. At root, empowerment should develop a sense of personal efficacy in employees. TGI Fridays is an organization that makes a service offer to customers that can be described as “mass customisation”. The successful service encounter requires employees to provide customers with both advice and counselling in the way they construct their meal experience, and a personalised service performance. To make this happen, employees are managed through a cluster of approaches which are defined as “empowerment through involvement”. That is, they include some development of personal efficacy and engagement in service performance, but which involves limited decision making apart from that required of their role in service performance.
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