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Article
Publication date: 20 September 2019

Tom Baum, David Solnet, Richard Robinson and Shelagh K. Mooney

This is an invited 75article for Tourism Review addressing tourism employment, past and future.

Abstract

Purpose

This is an invited 75article for Tourism Review addressing tourism employment, past and future.

Design/methodology/approach

Conceptual analysis of tourism employment with a focus on paradox.

Findings

Inherent paradox which underpins tourism employment.

Originality/value

A wholly original take on tourism employment.

Details

Tourism Review, vol. 75 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1660-5373

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 27 November 2019

Jay Kandampully and David Solnet

Given the dramatic technology led service innovations that are putting pressure on hospitality and tourism businesses, competitive advantage may depend significantly on…

Abstract

Purpose

Given the dramatic technology led service innovations that are putting pressure on hospitality and tourism businesses, competitive advantage may depend significantly on remaining opportunities for a human element to be incorporated into the customer experience.

Design/methodology/approach

This conceptual study provides a synthesis of the past and the future understanding of the importance of service management.

Findings

A conceptual framework is provided that extends our understanding of emotion connection and reliance on technology. The examples are given to enrich the discussion.

Originality/value

This study is among the first to highlight and explore the interrelationship between emotional connection and the reliance on technology in the context of hospitality experience.

Details

Tourism Review, vol. 75 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1660-5373

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 8 November 2018

Byron W. Keating, Janet R. McColl-Kennedy and David Solnet

The purpose of this paper is to introduce the special issue of the Journal of Service Management dedicated to the Thought Leadership in Services Conference held in…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to introduce the special issue of the Journal of Service Management dedicated to the Thought Leadership in Services Conference held in Brisbane Australia in 2017. The paper also explores the disruptive and transformative role that technology is set to play over the next 30 years.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper provides a brief summary of the papers within the special issue. The paper also introduces a conceptual framework identifying four quadrants that reflect different combinations of human touch and technology. This framework is used to examine the treatment of technology in the eight papers.

Findings

While it is clear that technology is having a profound impact on service, and is contributing to major changes within the eight service domains captured by the papers in the special issue; there were significant differences observed across the eight papers in the special issue. From the associated discussion, it is clear that the humanistic paradigm is still dominant within services, even though there is strong evidence that a shift is occurring.

Originality/value

This paper extends earlier work exploring the infusion of technology within services to highlight the progress from a humanistic paradigm to a technology-centric paradigm.

Details

Journal of Service Management, vol. 29 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-5818

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 11 July 2019

Maria Golubovskaya, David Solnet and Richard N.S. Robinson

This paper aims to challenge existing assumptions in talent management (TM) research, showcasing a misalignment between commonly held assumptions and the characteristics…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to challenge existing assumptions in talent management (TM) research, showcasing a misalignment between commonly held assumptions and the characteristics of the youth-intensive hospitality sector workforce.

Design/methodology/approach

Following a review of the TM literature, Piirto’s educational talent pyramid is adopted to conceptualize a recalibration. Drawing on multidisciplinary literatures (i.e. adolescent development, youth employment, positive psychology), and adopting a (talent) developmental approach, a reframing of prevalent TM discourses is enunciated based on the logic that the hospitality workforce is predominantly in a developmental state.

Findings

TM discourses are misaligned with the workforce composition of the hospitality industry, which is dominated by young, often unexperienced, workers. The need for dramatically recalibrated TM structures and underlying assumptions, centred around a greater attention to the “development” of talent and a more employee-focused and inclusive approach, can facilitate greater alignment between TM and hospitality.

Research limitations/implications

This paper extends a body of work advocating for more inclusive TM and developmental postures. The contribution, via a hospitality industry context, has been to create linkages between talent- and youth-development discourses.

Practical implications

This paper outlines a number of implications, among which are a pathway forward for hospitality industry to rebuild its poor HRM image and conversion of “transient” hospitality jobs to career jobs (for youth).

Originality/value

This paper identifies youth as a distinct workforce entity and suggests that hospitality jobs represent a critical developmental context for young people, resulting in a series of critical implications for TM practice and theorizing.

Details

International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, vol. 31 no. 10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-6119

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 9 May 2016

Richard N.S. Robinson, Anna Kralj, David J. Solnet, Edmund Goh and Victor J. Callan

The purpose of this study is to identify across a number of workplace variables the similarities and differences in attitudes between three key frontline hotel worker…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to identify across a number of workplace variables the similarities and differences in attitudes between three key frontline hotel worker groups: housekeepers, front office employees and food and beverage front-of-house staff.

Design/methodology/approach

A qualitative study was conducted using 25 semi-structured interviews with frontline workers employed in full-service hotels across Eastern Australia. Analysis was augmented through the Leximancer® software package to develop relational themes in the aggregation and disaggregation of the occupations.

Findings

Although work/life balance was a common theme across the three occupations, several distinct attitudinal differences emerged, in particular regarding perceptions of one occupational group towards another.

Practical implications

This study highlights the importance of hotel managers being cognisant of occupational differences and collecting data capable of assisting in the identification of these differences. Several practitioner relevant recommendations are made.

Originality/value

This exploratory study challenges assumptions regarding a “pan-industrial” hospitality occupational community and applies an emerging qualitative software package to highlight occupational differences and relational perceptions.

Details

International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, vol. 28 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-6119

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 12 May 2020

David Solnet, Mahesh Subramony, Maria Golubovskaya, Hannah Snyder, Whitney Gray, Olga Liberman and Rohit Verma

Employee wellness is vital to creating high-quality employee–customer interactions, yet frontline service workers (FLSWs) do not typically engage in, or benefit from…

Abstract

Purpose

Employee wellness is vital to creating high-quality employee–customer interactions, yet frontline service workers (FLSWs) do not typically engage in, or benefit from, wellness initiatives. This paper aims to conceptually model the interactive influences of organizational and employee factors in influencing FLSW involvement in wellness programs and provides suggestions on how service organizations can enhance wellness behaviors and outcomes.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper builds upon classical and contemporary management theories to identify important gaps in knowledge about how employees and firms engage with wellness. Interactive psychology, emphasizing multidirectional interaction between person (employee) and situation (organization) wellness orientation, is introduced.

Findings

The paper develops a model that can be used to assess organizational wellness program effectiveness by emphasizing the interaction of employee and organizational wellness orientation. The model illustrates that wellness effectiveness relies equally on employee agency through an active wellness orientation matched with the organizational wellness orientation.

Originality/value

This paper questions the dominant approaches to assessing the effectiveness of workplace wellness initiatives, arguing for a more humanistic and agentic perspective rather than traditional organizationally centered fiscal measures.

Details

Journal of Service Management, vol. 31 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-5818

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 3 June 2019

David Solnet, Mahesh Subramony, Robert C. Ford, Maria Golubovskaya, Hee Jung (Annette) Kang and Murat Hancer

With the ever-increasing adoption of technology and automation radically changing the nature of service delivery, the purpose of this paper is to explore the role of human…

Abstract

Purpose

With the ever-increasing adoption of technology and automation radically changing the nature of service delivery, the purpose of this paper is to explore the role of human touch, introducing hospitable service as an enhancement for value creation in service organizations.

Design/methodology/approach

Drawing on management, social sciences and hospitality literatures, a four-configuration model is presented to illustrate dimensions which arise from the confluence of different degrees of relationship orientation – shared mental models held by the host organization (self- or other-oriented), and guests’ service preferences (transactional or relational).

Findings

A theoretically grounded model of configurations resulting from variations on three key dimensions is offered. These are: employee organization relationships – social exchange processes governing the interactions between employees and their employers; HRM systems – internally consistent combinations of HR practices; and tech-touch trade-off – prioritization of technology vs employees to deliver services.

Research limitations/implications

Embedding hospitable service as a construct to support the leveraging of human touch in service organizations opens up new research opportunities including avenues to further conceptualize the nature and dimensions of hospitable service. Future research that supports further understanding about the role of human touch and value creation in service organizations is proposed.

Practical implications

Through the value-enhancing capability of human in the service encounter, firms can be enabled to accurately position themselves in one of the four relational configurations on offer and then identify opportunities for managers to leverage human touch to combat the diminishing role of the human touch in a technology-ubiquitous service context.

Originality/value

This is among the first papers to explore the influence of technology on the degree of human touch in the interface between hospitality employee and customer, and to develop a configuration model through which researchers and practitioners can operate during this declining era of human to human service interactions.

Details

Journal of Service Management, vol. 30 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-5818

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 28 July 2020

Tom Baum, Shelagh K.K. Mooney, Richard N.S. Robinson and David Solnet

The purpose of this paper is to highlight the immediate impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the hospitality workforce in situ between mid-April and June 2020.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to highlight the immediate impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the hospitality workforce in situ between mid-April and June 2020.

Design/methodology/approach

This is a viewpoint paper that brings together a variety of sources and intelligence relating the impacts on hospitality work of the COVID-19 pandemic at three levels: macro (global, policy, government), meso (organisational) and micro (employee). It questions whether the situations faced by hospitality workers as a result of the pandemic are seed-change different from the precarious lives they normally lead or just a (loud) amplification of the “normal”.

Findings

In light of the fluid environment relating to COVID-19, conclusions are tentative and question whether hospitality stakeholders, particularly consumers, governments and the industry itself, will emerge from the pandemic with changed attitudes to hospitality work and hospitality workers.

Practical implications

This raises questions about hospitality work for key stakeholders to address in the future, some of which are systemic in terms of how precarious labour forces, critical to the global economy are to be considered by policy makers, organisations in a re-emerging competitive market for talent and for those who chose (or not) to work in hospitality.

Social implications

This paper contributes to ongoing debates about precarious work and the extent to which such practices are institutionalised and adopts an “amplification model” that may have value in futures-orientated analysis about hospitality and tourism.

Originality/value

This paper is wholly original and a reflection on the COVID-19 crisis. It provides a point of wider reference with regard to responses to crises and their impact on employment in hospitality, highlighting how ongoing change, fluidity and uncertainty serve to magnify and exacerbate the precarious nature of work in the industry.

Details

International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, vol. 32 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-6119

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 8 January 2018

David Solnet, Robert Ford and Char-Lee McLennan

The purpose of this paper is to empirically test the validity of the service-profit chain (SPC) in a restaurant company context to comprehensively explicate the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to empirically test the validity of the service-profit chain (SPC) in a restaurant company context to comprehensively explicate the relationship between organizational practices, employee attitudes with customer and financial outcomes.

Design/methodology/approach

The method used both questionnaire and company proprietary data to measure the predicted SPC outcomes through structural equation modeling. The research data were obtained from employees, customers and management at five restaurants in one casual theme restaurant chain in Australia.

Findings

The findings indicate that revenue may be a more appropriate outcome than profit in the SPC, that context and individual unit circumstances matter and that there may be a time lag between organizational actions, employee behavior, customer satisfaction and financial outcomes.

Research limitations/implications

Because of the nature of field research, there are limitations. As restaurants were added during the study, data per unit were impacted. Moreover, budgetary constraints limited the number of customer surveys. Nonetheless, the data set includes management, customer, employee and proprietary financial measures which are rarely available in the research literature. These data allow a thorough study of the SPC that provides both important findings and a model for future investigations into the SPC.

Practical implications

As the SPC is a widely cited model used to explain the linkages between managerial and organizational actions and financial outcomes as they work through employee interactions with customers, the findings suggest that the chain may have a more direct impact on revenue than profit. Moreover, the data strongly suggest that context matters as the unique context of the restaurants had important influences on financial outcomes. The findings also indicate that a time lag exists between managerial and organizational actions and financial outcomes, suggesting that it can take time for such actions to ripple through the SPC.

Originality/value

Structural equation modeling and standardized measures allowed the authors to overcome prior limitations in SPC research. Moreover, SPC researchers seldom have access to the proprietary data that enabled a test of the entire SPC. Consequently, this study contributes new insights into this classic model’s value in predicting and explaining financial outcomes resulting from the actions of an organization’s leadership influencing employee behavior toward customers in the restaurant industry.

Details

International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, vol. 30 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-6119

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 8 May 2017

Maria Golubovskaya, Richard N.S. Robinson and David Solnet

This paper explores how hospitality frontline employees understand, interpret and practice “hospitality” in a hotel industry context.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper explores how hospitality frontline employees understand, interpret and practice “hospitality” in a hotel industry context.

Design/methodology/approach

Framed by interpretivist and phenomenological approaches a dual-stage semi-structured interview study design was conducted. A sample was drawn from hotel employees in Australia.

Findings

Findings support the proposition that the hospitality workforce tends to favor service management and service processes as the guiding paradigm. The essence of what it means to be hospitable, and the host-guest model, appears to be largely absent in practice.

Research limitations/implications

This paper contributes to a scarcity of literature exploring the understanding of hospitality, and how this understanding can translate into hospitable behavior, from the employee perspective. Our main implication is that service management terminology colonizes hospitality within a commercial context, while the essence of hospitality and the “hospitality” lexicon is concomitantly diminishing. The authors advocate for developing an inter-paradigmatic view of hospitality management.

Practical implications

While the study revealed that the majority of frontline hotel employees struggle with grasping and verbalizing their understandings and perceptions of the hospitality construct, although some acknowledged the importance of hospitality as being an integral component to service delivery. We identified consistent organizational practices and intrinsic employee traits that either enabled or obstructed hospitable behavior in hotel settings.

Originality/value

The study reveals tensions between the hospitality and service paradigms in hospitality literature and practice. We uncover hotel management practices that may help to conserve and foster the essence of hospitality in hospitality organizations.

Details

International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, vol. 29 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-6119

Keywords

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