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“Responsible drinkers create all the atmosphere of a mortuary”: Policy implementation of responsible drinking in Scotland

Matthew J. Alexander (Marketing Department, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK)
Euan Beveridge (Strathclyde Business School, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK)
Andrew C. MacLaren (Strathclyde Business School, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK)
Kevin D. O'Gorman (School of Management and Languages, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, UK)

International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management

ISSN: 0959-6119

Article publication date: 4 February 2014

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the reaction of customer facing staff and their attitude to the introduction of high profile corporate social responsibility (CSR) programmes; in particular their level of awareness and willingness to implement them.

Design/methodology/approach

Conducted using a series of site visits and interviews with managers working within the licensed trade, this was followed up with structured interviews of “front line” staff.

Findings

Despite high levels of awareness of both the social problems relating to alcohol consumption and the legislative changes, engagement with operational CSR was limited and often disinterested. Legal and societal expectations regarding drunkenness are of little concern.

Research limitations/implications

This paper is concerned with nascent legislation, the full impact and success of which has not yet emerged. Reviewing this study in five years would add to the strength of the results. Limited to Scotland due to its devolved licensing laws, however, it clearly highlights lack of employee engagement with CSR.

Practical implications

Despite placing CSR issues at the forefront of day to day operations within the licensed trade there is little empirical evidence around customer facing staff engagement. CSR is a dynamic process that relies on the involvement of employees for its successful implementation.

Originality/value

A new CSR implementation matrix is presented which allows hospitality businesses to be positioned according to levels of both management and employee engagement with CSR policies.

Keywords

Citation

J. Alexander, M., Beveridge, E., C. MacLaren, A. and D. O'Gorman, K. (2014), "“Responsible drinkers create all the atmosphere of a mortuary”: Policy implementation of responsible drinking in Scotland", International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, Vol. 26 No. 1, pp. 18-34. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJCHM-03-2012-0039

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2014, Emerald Group Publishing Limited