Employee satisfaction in the Iberian hotel industry

Eva Gallardo (Business Organization, University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain)
Sandra‐M. Sánchez‐Cañizares (Department of Management, University of Córdoba, Córdoba, Spain)
Tomás López‐Guzmán (Department of Economics, University of Córdoba, Córdoba, Spain)
Maria Margarida Nascimento Jesus (Department of Management, University of Algarve, Faro, Portugal)

International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management

ISSN: 0959-6119

Publication date: 20 April 2010



This paper aims to analyze job‐satisfaction differences between employees of the hotel industries of two similar tourist destinations: Andalusia (Spain) and the Algarve (Portugal).


A questionnaire survey was conducted in the two regions. The population for this study comprised employees of any hotel establishment in these regions. The authors have used stratified random sampling based on the number of hotels in each category and the number of hotel beds these represent. A total of 2,064 usable questionnaires from 165 hotels were returned in Andalusia and 461 from 23 hotels in the Algarve.


Findings from this study show an acceptable level of job satisfaction in both regions, although this is higher among the Andalusian workers, not only in terms of the overall score but also for each of the job facet scores considered. In contrast to previous findings, in this study the effect of wage on job satisfaction has been reported as significant in both regions.

Research limitations/implications

The different periods of time in which the fieldwork was done may have caused some distortions in the perception of working conditions in each region. Besides this, some departments may not be sufficiently represented.

Practical implications

This paper encourages hotel managers to focus their attention on their remuneration systems, promotion possibilities and the perception of their profession's prestige in order to improve staff satisfaction. Particularly in Andalusia, it would be advantageous to develop retention strategies for talented people. In the Algarve region, more training and an improved recognition system are needed.


Although job satisfaction is an employee attitude that has been studied extensively, there have been few studies on that topic in the tourism sector in Spain, and even fewer in Portugal. Moreover, whereas prior work has mainly focused on small samples – a limited number of hotels surveyed in some specific area – in this study two important tourist regions using a wide sample, and taking all hotel categories into consideration are compared.



Gallardo, E., Sánchez‐Cañizares, S., López‐Guzmán, T. and Margarida Nascimento Jesus, M. (2010), "Employee satisfaction in the Iberian hotel industry", International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, Vol. 22 No. 3, pp. 321-334. https://doi.org/10.1108/09596111011035936

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