The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the need for innovation as a means of competitive advantage in the housekeeping (HK) department of five-star hotels in Dubai and consider how the nature of the industry in the region provides particular challenges.
An initial White Paper produced by Amadeus served as the stimulus to conduct a preliminary literature review of innovation in the field of hospitality. The application of innovation was then considered via a content analysis of web sites in Dubai to identify potential candidates for interview. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with Senior Housekeeping Executives in two internationally recognized chain hotels in Dubai to better understand whether there is a need for innovation, what types of innovation are important within these HK departments and understand the potential challenges confronting senior managers in fostering innovative practices.
The key results of this study provide interesting insights into the problems of developing and managing innovation within HK operations, highlighting the issues that exist as potential barriers to innovation in terms of the organizational culture and the ownership structure within the industry in Dubai. The research also highlights the fact that much of the innovation introduced within the HK department is focused on utilization of technology and is very much “output”-orientated in terms of improving customer service and creating operational efficiencies.
The paper profiles the potential problems confronting the HK department when it comes to identifying and adopting innovation. The paper also highlights the ever-changing nature of the organizational culture and the ownership structure in the five-star hotel industry in Dubai as a critical influence in terms of the perceived importance of innovation as a success factor for the future.
The study is the first in a series of research papers that explores the relationship between key stakeholders in the hospitality industry in Dubai as the customer demand alters and they try to identify and implement innovative ideas and concepts that provide return on investment, increased customer satisfaction, sustainability and competitive advantage. It is the first paper that identifies the context and the current internal and external environments and the drivers within the industry in Dubai (five-star) hotels with a particular focus on 2020. This is within an industry that is showing evidence of change management within the customization of the hotel build and specification, and within the adaption of IT, but is looking for innovation within the application of ideas into industry processes.
Anthonisz, A. (2014), "Assessing the future of housekeeping operations in Dubai’s five-star hotel industry – room for innovation?", Worldwide Hospitality and Tourism Themes, Vol. 6 No. 4, pp. 352-361. https://doi.org/10.1108/WHATT-01-2014-0005Download as .RIS
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