International Human Resource Management in the Hospitality Industry

Yoy Bergs, Xander Lub

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When the first edition of this book was written in the 1970s, personnel management in the hospitality industry was practised by a handful of employers and even in these cases it was confined to a few functions of personnel management such as recruitment and training. Today, thirty years later we can say that human resource management (HRM) in the hospitality industry has grown in its impact and status, with an increasing number of HR Directors being appointed at executive Board member level. However, it is clear that in such a fragmented industry, with many thousands of businesses of all sizes, there is still much to do, developing further a positive image of the sector as a first choice for the best talent. Each new edition has been prompted by a variety of changes that have affected the hospitality industry, including political, legal, economic, social and technological changes and this edition is no different. Many of these changes have had consider- able influence on the management of the industry’s human resources; the introduc- tion of the minimum wage being just one example, another being the development of internet-based recruitment. Another issue that has recently begun to emerge is a growing awareness of the ‘stakeholder’ society and a concern among more enter- prises for the environment, for communities in which the business takes place and ethical behaviour. One key economic element has been the growth of many hospitality companies into global actors – one company, InterContinental Hotels Group, added 42 hotels in the Americas alone to its portfolio in a four-month period in 2004! Such a rapid growth has an almost insatiable appetite for human resources at all levels and this can only be achieved through a professional HR function. The issues of HRM across multi-site companies and in an international context have been developed to a greater extent in this edition. Together with this globalization trend, the need to meet shareholder expectations creates other pressures which often result in changes to the managment of an enterprise’s human resources. Such changes may include more flexible but often polarized and distanced workforces, outsourcing of large sections of a business activity, reliance on agency staff and short-term contracts. All of which can create a purely economic relationship with little room for loyalty. Another consequence of such economic pressures is flatter organization structures with more empowered or enabled workers, but often with fewer internal promotion and personal develop- ment prospects. At the same time, many employers, some conscious of these trends, are improving their human resource management practices through participating in a range of schemes such as Investors in People, the British Hospitality Association’s Excellence through People, and the Hotel and Catering International Management Association’s Hospitality Assured schemes. Such trends and developments create tremendous paradoxes for contemporary hospitality managers. Whilst many companies wish to recognize the needs of all their stakeholders, they also have to remain competitive in a global market. We are grateful to all those who have made this latest edition and earlier editions possible, including the many companies and associations that have allowed us to use their material. These include: the British Hospitality Association, Choice Hotels, the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, Croner Publications, De Vere Hotels, Flamingo Lodge, Forte Hotels, Hilton Hotels, the Hospitality Training Foundation, the Hotel & Catering International Management Association, Marriott Hotels, Pan Pacific Hotels, and Sheraton Hotels. Finally, we both are very grateful to the committee of the Hotel and Catering Personnel and Training Association (Fiona Rassell in particular) for the privilege of judging the annual awards for excellence in human resource management. This has certainly given us insights into what is being done at the leading edge of human resource practice by some of the most influential operators in the industry.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Routledge Companion to International Hospitality Management
EditorsMichael Gardini, Markus Schuckert, Michael Ottenbacher
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9780429426834, 9780429762161, 9780429762178, 9780429762154
ISBN (Print)9781138386372
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2020

Publication series

NameRoutledge companions in business, management and accounting


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