A snapshot of empowerment in the hospitality industry: A case study of the restaurant and bar operations at Cardiff Marriott hotel
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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The purpose of this thesis was to establish the degree to which associates feel empowered within the restaurant and bar department at the Cardiff Marriott hotel. The consistencies and inconsistencies in the implementation of initiatives in line with brand standards were looked at in order to grasp an understanding of what empowerment means from the perspective of both associates and management. The impetus for this study arose after the author noticed differences in the way in which employees from different cultures reacted to leadership styles and management initiatives. Having worked in the field of Human Resources in the UAE the author had developed a particular interest in multi-cultural operations and cultural socialisation in foreign countries. Initially primary research was conducted regarding empowerment in the workplace; much of which stemmed from the mass of interest in this topic that arose through the 1990s. The particular importance that this has to the hospitality industry and the marketing of intangible and perishable products was also highlighted through research. Much of this research showed that those employees directly affected by empowering initiatives were not often questioned; resulting in a great deal of literature based entirely on the perceptions that management have of initiatives. This thesis was based on a constructionist epistemology with methodologies linked to phenomenology and autoethnography. This provided a depth of information capturing a number of different feelings and sentiments related to the topic in question. The use of more than one research method also allowed comparisons to be drawn in the form of triangulation increasing the reliability of findings. The conclusions drawn from this thesis are not generalizable however a number of areas for future research work have been identified with specific references to the impact of expatriate managers within the UK and the range individuals from difference cultures in customer facing roles within the industry. A number of recommendations were also made with specific reference to the case study, which if implemented could increase feelings of self-efficacy, motivation and commitment to the organisation.
MSc Hospitality Management
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