Human Resource Management in the Hospitality Industry:An Introductory Guide (8th edition)

Arthur Ingram (Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh, UK)

International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management

ISSN: 0959-6119

Article publication date: 7 March 2008



Ingram, A. (2008), "Human Resource Management in the Hospitality Industry:An Introductory Guide (8th edition)", International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, Vol. 20 No. 2, pp. 239-240.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

This is a new title to Boella's respected personnel management/human resource management book for Britain's hospitality industry, suitable for undergraduates reading second level modules in human resource management. The text is also excellent as a generic text in the context of the wider service sector. Its format is based around line drawings, headings, summaries, definitions to guide students through its materials. At the same time, the book makes simple the tensions that exist in the management of complex service organizations.

The text opens with a general background of hospitality discussion, and draws attention to the fact that hospitality managers, if they are to be effective in their jobs, must understand the interrelationships of the travel trades; retailing, recreation and leisure, tourist and other related consumer‐driven activities. Sustainability is examined, as well as the relationship between organization theory, personnel management and human resource management (HRM, and human resource development (HRD). Perspectives on administrative and procedural functions follow, providing useful practical information for students as they venture into the workplace. Other topics include supervisory skills/team working/leadership and outlines people management issues, outcomes and competencies. These discussions are followed by chapters that explore the human resource planning framework, focusing upon productivity, training, and the implications of Japanese management styles for hospitality employment. The book concludes with chapters that look forward to conceptual developments in hospitality and discusses through the use of comparative case studies, topics such as cultural analysis, international relations and rising consumer expectations. A discussion of the ambiguity of personnel and HRM roles from a critical standpoint is introduced and makes an interesting addition to what is a classic text.

Of great strength is that Boella and Goss‐Turner have an accessible presentation style that is (deceptively) easy for students to understand. There are many useful summaries at the end of chapters. Questions of ethics, multi−unit operations, and sustainability are provided. These discussions make this more than just a hospitality focused personnel management textbook. It provides students with an introduction to supervision/team leadership duties they will require to be successful in the industry.

This is an affordable book (currently about £10.00 below the price of comparable generic HRM texts) that lends itself well to a lecture/tutorial course/module design. However, a couple of criticism: while the text provides an effective basis for class discussion, instructors are likely to feel the need to supplement it with additional readings as many of the sources are “rather dated”(even if they are “classic” sources). Given the importance of migrant workers today employed by hospitality firms, there are important topics that could be explored that relate to what has been termed the “dark side of the coin” and the exploitation of workers that can exist in the industry. But in balance, the book is a good resource and a worthy update of a classic text.

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