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Article
Publication date: 5 June 2017

Mhairi Sumner and Bernie Quinn

The purpose of this study is ascertain if the hotel concierge service will continue to be relevant in a technological world where consumers have increasing access to…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is ascertain if the hotel concierge service will continue to be relevant in a technological world where consumers have increasing access to information about their destination. To trace the origins of the hotel concierge, their route into the profession and establish whether the profession is geographically localised. Their role within the hotel, working philosophy, core values and characteristics were considered in relation to creating and delivering an experiential service encounter.

Design/methodology/approach

Eleven participants were selected who worked on the concierge desk in four- and five-star hotels in Edinburgh. All were male, aged between 20 and 64 years old; nine were Scottish, six of whom were from Edinburgh, one from Wales and one from England. Six respondents were members of The Golden Keys Society. A qualitative approach was adopted with semi-structured interviews designed around key themes identified in the literature review.

Findings

No feelings of servility or inferiority were documented in the host/guest relationship. Comparisons were made between the contextual setting and the appearance and manner of the respondents with that of a “performance”. The uniform was deemed to facilitate feelings of empowerment analogous to having superpowers. Technology has been adopted by the concierge department as a tool, but is considered to be ancillary to their personal recommendation and network of business and personal contacts and collaborators.

Research limitations/implications

Changes in the demographics of people travelling and discounted rates being offered in four- and five-star hotels has resulted in general perceptions of a less elite clientele. This may have implications for the future of concierge services.

Practical implications

The internet seems to have opened up this profession to enable concierges to effectively operate in a location they are not indigenous to. The personal recommendations that the concierge provides through their own knowledge are used in conjunction with technology, but are not in imminent danger of being replaced by it. It may prove beneficial for the hotel to provide some training for older members of staff to keep up with technological developments. This study could prove useful to service providers who aim to gain competitive advantage by elevating their level of guest service to exceed guest expectations through emulating the personalised service that the concierge can offer.

Social implications

The socio-cultural issues within this study are important. Internet technology is generally perceived to be the panacea of all contemporary communication ills in the twenty-first century. The authors however propose that the concierge is the last bastion of front-line service personnel who are still approached for their individual, sometimes unique, knowledge that cannot be found online.

Originality/value

This study contributes to an area of interest that lacks contemporary research due to the natural gatekeeping that occurs within this “closed” environment.

Details

International Journal of Culture, Tourism and Hospitality Research, vol. 11 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-6182

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 28 June 2011

Kerry Ferguson

Purpose – This chapter highlights the general direction that Australian Universities are headed in Broadening Participation, including the impact of The Bradley Review of…

Abstract

Purpose – This chapter highlights the general direction that Australian Universities are headed in Broadening Participation, including the impact of The Bradley Review of Higher Education (2008). More specifically, the chapter explains how La Trobe University has interpreted the review and set about a whole of university approach to delivering equality of opportunity.

Approach – Social justice and equity have always been core values of La Trobe University. The University aims to increase the diversity of the student cohort by engaging with communities through outreach and promoting collaboration which facilitates the increased participation of under-represented groups in higher education. The University also supports successful academic outcomes through the effective provision of services and a broad student experience.

La Trobe University promotes and maintains a learning environment which provides opportunities for engagement, is inclusive, healthy, socially vibrant, accessible and free from discrimination.

Practical implications – This chapter demonstrates how policy, training and small programmes and projects in various departments throughout the University add to the emerging larger picture of success in creating an environment that embraces diversity and the successful participation of students from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Value of paper – Australian universities are cognisant of the global issues faced by the higher education sector and believe that some of our experiences in addressing the issues may be of value to the wider international community of tertiary education.

Details

Institutional Transformation to Engage a Diverse Student Body
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-85724-904-3

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Article
Publication date: 11 June 2018

Torbjörn Friberg

The purpose of this paper is to outline the operative meaning of collaboration in a life science network.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to outline the operative meaning of collaboration in a life science network.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were collected through participatory observations and interviews between 2014 and 2015. The data presented were derived from field notes from participant observations, interviews and documents within a life science network in the Öresund region (southern part of Sweden and the Copenhagen area).

Findings

The findings suggest that collaboration within the life science network should be viewed as a lively, organizational assembly in the process of becoming, in contrast to the idea that it is operating on the basis of organic principles. Collaboration thus could be viewed as consisting of self-subsistent parts (participants and organizations) that are detached and plugged into different collaborative networks.

Originality/value

In the context of the emerging idea of re-building the state welfare system with the economic support of producing and selling knowledge, there seems to be a growing interest, especially from the point of view of policymakers, in the phenomenon of collaboration. This paper offers exclusive ethnographic illustrations into the heterogeneity of collaboration.

Details

Journal of Organizational Ethnography, vol. 8 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-6749

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 11 November 2014

David Prosser

Abstract

Details

Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management, vol. 37 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-951X

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Article
Publication date: 1 May 1997

Anghel N. Rugina

The equation of unified knowledge says that S = f (A,P) which means that the practical solution to a given problem is a function of the existing, empirical, actual…

Abstract

The equation of unified knowledge says that S = f (A,P) which means that the practical solution to a given problem is a function of the existing, empirical, actual realities and the future, potential, best possible conditions of general stable equilibrium which both pure and practical reason, exhaustive in the Kantian sense, show as being within the realm of potential realities beyond any doubt. The first classical revolution in economic thinking, included in factor “P” of the equation, conceived the economic and financial problems in terms of a model of ideal conditions of stable equilibrium but neglected the full consideration of the existing, actual conditions. That is the main reason why, in the end, it failed. The second modern revolution, included in factor “A” of the equation, conceived the economic and financial problems in terms of the existing, actual conditions, usually in disequilibrium or unstable equilibrium (in case of stagnation) and neglected the sense of right direction expressed in factor “P” or the realization of general, stable equilibrium. That is the main reason why the modern revolution failed in the past and is failing in front of our eyes in the present. The equation of unified knowledge, perceived as a sui generis synthesis between classical and modern thinking has been applied rigorously and systematically in writing the enclosed American‐British economic, monetary, financial and social stabilization plans. In the final analysis, a new economic philosophy, based on a synthesis between classical and modern thinking, called here the new economics of unified knowledge, is applied to solve the malaise of the twentieth century which resulted from a confusion between thinking in terms of stable equilibrium on the one hand and disequilibrium or unstable equilibrium on the other.

Details

International Journal of Social Economics, vol. 24 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0306-8293

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Article
Publication date: 4 June 2019

Wei Liu

The purpose of this paper is to recover the identity of Chinese intellectual discourse, arguing for the necessity of a Chinese methodology in educational research to be…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to recover the identity of Chinese intellectual discourse, arguing for the necessity of a Chinese methodology in educational research to be constructed on the basis of the Chinese philosophical traditions and the Chinese social norms for the aim of solving Chinese educational issues within the Chinese cultural context.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is a theoretical paper, arguing for the ontological, epistemological and methodological basis for a Chinese methodology in educational research.

Findings

The major ontological issue of Chinese social and educational research, also the ultimate goal of the Chinese governance, is social harmony through harmonious personal relationships. The key to social harmony has been seen in the Chinese philosophical tradition as residing in people’s personal morality and obligation, which constitutes the epistemology of Chinese research. And the golden mean of moderation by synthesizing and balancing the dualist extremes of views and actions should be adopted as the methodological paradigm to researching social and educational issues in China.

Practical implications

The elaboration of these three entities holds promises in the construction of the Chinese methodological system on Chinese social terms and merits.

Originality/value

The author has long sensed that the extensive methodological borrowing from the West by Chinese scholars in educational research might be problematic, given the vast structural differences in the two social worlds that the author and other scholars have observed. A paper in English to argue for the necessity of constructing a uniquely Chinese methodology for educational research in China is an absolute necessity.

Details

Qualitative Research Journal, vol. 19 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1443-9883

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 7 December 2016

Tingzhen Chen

This chapter reviews the institutional seasonality phenomenon in Asian outbound tourism. Eight key Asian countries were selected for investigation. Secondary data and…

Abstract

This chapter reviews the institutional seasonality phenomenon in Asian outbound tourism. Eight key Asian countries were selected for investigation. Secondary data and archives from official tourism authorities and government reports are used as the information sources for the holiday systems and the celebrations for the cultural festivals. Four categories of holidays shaping the outbound seasonality patterns (universal holidays based on Gregorian calendar, Chinese culture-based holidays, religious festivals, and school holidays) are identified across the eight countries. Particular observances for those key cultural and religious holidays are highlighted. The opportunities and challenges for destination managers and tourism businesses to capitalize on and support peak outbound Asian seasonality are discussed.

Details

The World Meets Asian Tourists
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-219-1

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 7 March 2008

Kristin Demetrious

This paper aims to analyse why some contemporary corporate organisations are reluctant to articulate the effect of their market positioning behaviour on the unwilling…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to analyse why some contemporary corporate organisations are reluctant to articulate the effect of their market positioning behaviour on the unwilling communities that oppose their activities. It describes the communicative interactions between several large corporate organisations and the grassroots activist groups opposing their activities, in Victoria, Australia.

Design/methodology/approach

Extensive secondary data were collected, including extensive newspaper and radio transcripts from the campaign periods, web site downloads, letters and other campaign documents. The research design applied to the data, a qualitative, interpretative analysis, drawing on key theoretical frameworks.

Findings

The research findings suggest that powerful protest strategies, combined with the right political and social conditions, and a shift in the locus of politics and expertise, bring to light public concerns about the ethics of corporate practices, such as public relations, used egocentrically by organisations, to harmonise their activities in late modern Western society. It finds that no serious overhaul of business ethics can occur until the unity of public relations is critically scrutinised and reformed. It helps define an alternative holistic communicative approach which could be applied more widely to business practice that helps avoid the limitations and relativism of public relations.

Originality/value

The research flags new ways of thinking expressed in the notion of public communication that could lead to creative and unusual coherences vital to deal with the apparent ecological challenges for society in late modernity.

Details

Social Responsibility Journal, vol. 4 no. 1/2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1747-1117

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 1992

John Conway O'Brien

A collection of essays by a social economist seeking to balanceeconomics as a science of means with the values deemed necessary toman′s finding the good life and society

Abstract

A collection of essays by a social economist seeking to balance economics as a science of means with the values deemed necessary to man′s finding the good life and society enduring as a civilized instrumentality. Looks for authority to great men of the past and to today′s moral philosopher: man is an ethical animal. The 13 essays are: 1. Evolutionary Economics: The End of It All? which challenges the view that Darwinism destroyed belief in a universe of purpose and design; 2. Schmoller′s Political Economy: Its Psychic, Moral and Legal Foundations, which centres on the belief that time‐honoured ethical values prevail in an economy formed by ties of common sentiment, ideas, customs and laws; 3. Adam Smith by Gustav von Schmoller – Schmoller rejects Smith′s natural law and sees him as simply spreading the message of Calvinism; 4. Pierre‐Joseph Proudhon, Socialist – Karl Marx, Communist: A Comparison; 5. Marxism and the Instauration of Man, which raises the question for Marx: is the flowering of the new man in Communist society the ultimate end to the dialectical movement of history?; 6. Ethical Progress and Economic Growth in Western Civilization; 7. Ethical Principles in American Society: An Appraisal; 8. The Ugent Need for a Consensus on Moral Values, which focuses on the real dangers inherent in there being no consensus on moral values; 9. Human Resources and the Good Society – man is not to be treated as an economic resource; man′s moral and material wellbeing is the goal; 10. The Social Economist on the Modern Dilemma: Ethical Dwarfs and Nuclear Giants, which argues that it is imperative to distinguish good from evil and to act accordingly: existentialism, situation ethics and evolutionary ethics savour of nihilism; 11. Ethical Principles: The Economist′s Quandary, which is the difficulty of balancing the claims of disinterested science and of the urge to better the human condition; 12. The Role of Government in the Advancement of Cultural Values, which discusses censorship and the funding of art against the background of the US Helms Amendment; 13. Man at the Crossroads draws earlier themes together; the author makes the case for rejecting determinism and the “operant conditioning” of the Skinner school in favour of the moral progress of autonomous man through adherence to traditional ethical values.

Details

International Journal of Social Economics, vol. 19 no. 3/4/5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0306-8293

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Article
Publication date: 16 February 2015

Oana Mihaela Apostol

The purpose of this paper is to look more closely, in the context of a given case study, at the role of civil society’s counter-accounts in facilitating democratic change…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to look more closely, in the context of a given case study, at the role of civil society’s counter-accounts in facilitating democratic change in society, as an essential goal of an emancipatory and radical social accounting project.

Design/methodology/approach

A case study of a Canadian company’s plans to open a gold mine in western Romania is here analysed. Civil society’s opposition to the mining project gave rise to an unprecedented social movement contesting the project’s utility for Romanian society. The role played by counter-accounts produced by civil society groups is investigated.

Findings

Counter-accounts produced by civil society played multiple roles in the case study analysed. First, counter-accounts indicated the failure of corporate reports to present the gold mining project in a balanced manner. Second, counter-accounts were successful in problematizing the corporate approach to addressing the social, cultural and environmental impacts of the project, while also nurturing societal debate on these issues. Third, counter-accounts exposed the ideological inclinations of state institutions to favour economic interests over the social, cultural and environmental ones. As a result of these contributions, even if the counter-accounts were subjective, this study claims that they form a good basis for the development of emancipatory accounting.

Research limitations/implications

Limitations associated with an interpretative approach and case study research apply.

Originality/value

The paper illustrates the potential of civil society’s counter accounts to enable societal debates, as means towards democratic, transformative change.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 28 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Keywords

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