Challenges Of Harnessing Innovation

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What are the key challenges of harnessing innovation to enhance service quality within hospitality, tourism, events or cruise businesses?

What are the key challenges of harnessing innovation to enhance service quality within hospitality, tourism, events or cruise businesses?


The purpose of this review is to identify the distinctive themes and their related sub-themes as reflected by articles published in the International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management (IJCHM) during the period 1989-1994 inclusive. The Journal is characterized by several general principles: it seeks to encourage an interchange between hospitality managers, educators and researchers; it encourages a multidisciplinary approach; and it seeks to balance theory and practical applications. These influence the Journal's style which is to publish material based on research, new ideas and developments which is disseminated in a practical, accessible way. To reinforce this, collaborative work with industry is encouraged and, where possible, co-authored contributions from academics and managers are sought.

Six theme areas reflect the main strands of research and thinking during the review period, each with related branches or sub-themes. The sub-themes are listed in accompanying tables and they illustrate, together with the articles cited and referenced in the review, the individual contributions which help to elaborate each theme. The theme areas are as follows: people and organizations; education, training and development; trends analysis, business strategy and decision making; customers and service quality; marketing and brand management; operations and facilities management (see Appendix).

Theme 1: people and organizations

This is the first of six theme areas and has 11 sub-themes, as shown in Table I. In commenting on the theme area, subthemes are clustered using four sub-headings:

flexible working methods and employee relations;

labour turnover, employee motivation and styles of management;

employee selection and personality assessment

organizational culture and communications.

Flexible working methods and employee relations

Lockwood and Guerrier[1] ( Table I) report on the benefits and problems arising from the adoption of flexible working practices. Sampling hotel operators, they investigated the current and future potential of functional, numerical and pay-related forms of flexibility and found comparatively little evidence of flexible working. Several years later, Luckock[12] profiles the development of a flexible working programme for area catering supervisors in contract catering. She concludes that the role can be re-shaped in a more flexible way either by re-writing the job description, or by introducing flexible arrangements which do not change the structure of the job, but enable tasks to be conducted more easily. Both articles comment on the potential benefits of greater flexibility for employees and employers (especially for optimal work scheduling) yet in terms of implementing imaginative schemes for flexible working little progress appears to have been made.

The pace of innovation in working methods and practice is, to some extent, dependent on employee relations. Kelliher reviews management-employee relations with reference to developments in public and private sector catering. Riley[13] approaches this issue by considering the impact of collective bargaining on labour utilization. He analyses collective agreements from six countries and considers the extent to which unionization affects the operational characteristics of ...
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