No plantation work here: contemporary HR practices in Caribbean hotels

Anne P. Crick (Department of Management Studies, University of the West Indies, Mona, Kingston, Jamaica)

International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management

ISSN: 0959-6119

Publication date: 8 February 2008



The purpose of this paper is to determine the extent to which Caribbean hotels are managed in a way that is reminiscent of the plantation system.


Surveys are used to determine the human resource challenges and the responses to these challenges in three Caribbean destinations. Survey data is collected from 110 respondents including hotel employees, hotel managers and owners, human resource managers, policy officials and trade union officials.


The study determined that service excellence is a competitive strategy in the three destinations and managers therefore seek to attract and retain the best performers. Working individually and cooperatively with government and other tourism stakeholders, managers have therefore created a work environment that is empowering and participative rather than one that is reflective of the plantation era.

Research limitations/implications

The study is limited to the English‐speaking Caribbean and may therefore not be generalisable to the wider Caribbean. Future research should also examine the views in more detail through focus groups.


The paper responds to a commonly held view about tourism by providing an updated and more comprehensive view of the practices in Caribbean hotels. It also differentiates between the practices of small and large hotels.



Crick, A. (2008), "No plantation work here: contemporary HR practices in Caribbean hotels", International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, Vol. 20 No. 1, pp. 79-89.

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Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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