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The Importance of Culture in the South African 4 and 5 Star Hotel Industry

Simon Webb (M.L. Sultan Technikon, Durban, South Africa)
Kevin Nield (Principal Lecturer, School of Leisure and Food Management, Sheffield Hallam University, City Campus, Howard Street, Sheffield S1 1WB)
Kate Varini (Lecturer Ecole Hotelère de Lausanne, Chalet à Gobet, 1000 Lausanne 25, Switzerland. E‐mail:

International Journal of Wine Marketing

ISSN: 0954-7541

Article publication date: 1 January 2000



Culture has become accepted as an important and constitutive element in the domain of business management. A great deal of research has been undertaken on the nature and effect of corporate culture and a limited amount of research has examined the conflict between corporate and national culture. However, the concept of an industry culture as a third element in this scenario and the notion of ethnocentrism has only recently been introducted into the business sphere. The expanding body of knowledge on the impact of culture and ethnocentrism on business has led to improvements in organisational structure, labour relations, customer relations, productivity and profitability. The concept of hospitality is particularly culture bound but the hypothesis that the hotel industry (as a central component of the hospitality industry) and the provision of alcoholic drinks, as a strong industry culture has never been tested. Nor has it been questioned whether this industry culture can conflict with the worldview and accepted norms of communities around the world that have a different culture setting. It is the purpose of this paper to give an analysis of culture and ethnocentrism applied to the provision of alcoholic beverages within the hotel industry in Durban, South Africa. The main sources of data for the paper are objective observation of the position and posture of the four and five star hotels in the Durban Metropolitan Region and structured interviews conducted with the General Managers of these establishments.



Webb, S., Nield, K. and Varini, K. (2000), "The Importance of Culture in the South African 4 and 5 Star Hotel Industry", International Journal of Wine Marketing, Vol. 12 No. 1, pp. 42-53.




Copyright © 2000, MCB UP Limited

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