Human Resource Management in the Hospitality Industry

Last Updated: 02 Jul 2021
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There have been researches conducted on the importance of the human resource management and as the business environment has transformed into more competitive world, the importance of having an adequate and appropriate Human Resource Management cannot be neglected. The most important factor by which the HRM contributes towards the organizational success is to realize the differences between cultures while the business tends to experience internationalization. There have been many researches already being conducted in order to realize the different cultures, people having different attitudes towards the similar issues.

Due to several factors like globalization and internalization of the businesses, this has increased the focus of many authors to write about importance of culture and realize that removing the cultural difference will enable the company to improve the performance. In order for the business to prosper in the international market it is necessary to realize the difference in the local culture and realize the different norms and values in the local market, and this can easily be done by having proper Human Resource Management in the organization. There are many cases in which huge company experienced failure in order to enter the new market like China, this is mainly because the company is not able to realize the different and intense local culture, norms and unique values of the country, it creates difficulties in conducting operational and non operational activities like marketing and financing the company. Having HR department to support the organization, through intense communication across the company and also providing the required training and developing the needed skills in the employees can enable the company to become more competitive in the new market.

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The difference in the culture and the importance of realizing the difference is very crucial in every sector of the business including the Hospitality industry. This industry is unique in kind since this is the only business in which the consumer is being brought to the product instead of taking the product to the consumer. Hospitality industry across the globe has experienced boost due to globalization concept, this research report is based on the book written by an author named Ulrike Ditzel, and the name of the book is Cultural difference in business life, understanding German and American Business Culture. This research study is being based on the importance of Culture in business related to the necessity of having appropriate HRM in hospitality industry. This report discusses the various issues that are being discussed by the author and the evaluation of the work is also being conducted which can be found during the research report many times, although this book makes it sure that realizing cultural difference is essential for hospitality industry.

Hospitality Industry:

In order to first realize that how HRM has grown to a more important role in the business especially in the tourism industry, it is first necessary to realize the current situation of the industry. After the industrialization of the globe the concept of viewing the world as a single market was introduced known as globalization; in other and simpler words, one country stop selling and other quits buying. due to globalization in the many people tend to travel more for many different reasons, especially for business purpose, tourism and many others, or it can be said that people are travelling more than before which has provided boost to the hospitality industry across the globe, and for many countries having adequate hospitality industry, it has become the major source of income, countries like Malaysia which has promoted itself as the best place for spending the vacation, places like Hawaii, these regions have experienced development due to the increase in the people travelling and visiting this place hence generating more income for the country (Knowles, Diamantis, Mourhabi, 2004).

Some places can be observed for having natural uniqueness providing those some benefits over other places, where people will love to spend their vacations, some places are very attractive for having historic background like Taj Mahal in India, or Moenjo Daro in Pakistan, people having interest in viewing the historic stuff love to visit this place. It can be therefore easily be said that the Hospitality industry has increased as compared to past years and tourism also played its role in the development of the industry, but still there are other factors like business which has more influenced the entire industry. For instance, Dubai one of the major financial hub before recession was the main country for many multinational companies to work and set their head office there, as the recession period is being over the state has again capture the sight of many businesses. Through the above discussion it can be observed that the main factor influencing the business sector is the globalization and therefore people travelling for business purpose has provided the fuel for the hospitality industry (Olsen, Zhao, 2008).

This can be considered that travelling for business purpose has also increased the people to travel for pleasure as well; there are many countries which are now connecting both industries in one form like Malaysia which is the most benefitted country amongst all, generating much revenue from this sector, since this country is being the technological hub for many countries and god has gifted this country with great many scenarios the management has able to maintain make it useful for the country. Therefore it can be said that the Hospitality industry has increased a lot and recently there are many factors which have played an important role in the development of this industry (Pizam, 2005).

By reading the research work conducted by the authors, the importance of Human Resource Management was observed and realized that the HR personal should always be present in the any business especially in the tourism industry. The following part of the report includes the various critical aspects of organization managing the adequate human resource management in working in the tourism industry (Tanke, 2000).

Importance of Human Resource in Hospitality Industry:

Likewise many businesses and industry, the hospitality industry has also realized the fact that employees are the most important asset of the organization. Especially in hotel business, having a good, qualified and hardworking workforce can distinguish between which hotel is good and which is bad. The human resource managers are able to cover almost every aspect of the hotel; this makes human resource management an integral and significant part of the management in the hospitality industry. After going through the document it is being realized that since hospitality industry is about providing better services to the consumers, therefore the quality of the hotel depends upon the labor force working in the hotels (Chon, Mair, 2009).

There are many different areas, improving them is the duty of human resource manager resulting in the overall better performance by the entire organization. The HRM department is responsible for hiring new employees, the newly hired employees can seriously affect the performance of the hotel which makes it necessary for the managers to hire the best and qualified workers present in the market by following appropriate hiring process, in which every candidate is critically evaluated and only those with the spark are being hired. The most important task for the HR manager is to get the most appropriate people for particular task, since in hotel industry, many workers tend to just participate in the work, as they think that there is nothing else to do, whereas hotel services require proactive employees which can make decision on the spot and can satisfy the customer query in time (Brotherton, 2003).

This report will also discuss the issues that are related with the HR manager in terms of managing the different tasks in the hospitality industry, but the most important task of the HR manager is to retain the highest quality employees, the main problem in doing this duty is the fact that many of the people do not want use this industry as the ending career, therefore the employee turnover in the hospitality industry is relatively much higher than other industry (Albercht, 2001).

After analyzing the document that is being also discussed in the start of the report, reading the document helped to realize that HR manager has to more strategic in terms of handling HRM issues in the industry (Aswathappa, 2010). In more critical aspect which can be realized is that since hospitality industry, the management need to handle the customers coming from different countries having different cultures and unique attributes, that’s what makes the HR department to have a broader perspective of duties in the Hospitality industry. Therefore the importance of Human Resource Management cannot be neglected in this industry, having customers coming from different cultures do have separate living standards and also the expectation varies. Therefore the training and development provided by the HR manager should enable the employees to cope up the issues related to the cultural issues arising (Brewster & Harris, 1999).

Moreover, when any company wants to open a hotel in the international market, or in other words a hotel which needs to go beyond the boundaries, it has to face some difficult issues in terms of managing the cultural factors (Browaeys, 2008). There are many examples of huge companies facing failure when entering into different countries. HR department has to play a significant role in this regard while maintaining the significant corporate culture and also to cope up the issues regarding the external environment (McManus, 2006).

Moreover in the global context in terms of hospitality industry, the HR manager also has to be more strategic in terms of rewarding and motivating the employees through different processes. Hotels which are able to provide appropriate training to the employees resulting in the enhancements of the skills and abilities of the employees make it possible for them to go upward in the career (Dash, 2007). Having appropriate HR department in the hotel provides the employees a gateway by which they can have proper guidance regarding any issue related to the performance or with the daily operational activities. Moreover this provides with the sense of security to the employees that they do have someone who can look after them whenever they commit a mistake (Edwards, 2007).

The above discussed importance of having appropriate HR manager and department is being extracted from the document that was supposed to lead. In that particular document, it was analyzed that having human resource management in the hospitality industry is must (Ferraro, 2006).

Importance of Culture in International Hospitality Industry:

There are many cultural factors that prevent the company, in this case hotel to operate in the other regions, this was observed during the analyses of the document that was required to consider, these issues become more critical when they are not properly treated, and for the providing the appropriate treatment organization needs to have appropriate human resource management. In order to manage the different factors, it is first essential to identify these factors and then the role of the HR manager in order to cope up with the issues, some important elements are (Hellibrand, 2008):

Social Structure:

This is very important for the hotels that are planning to open a new business unit in any other country. The social structure here represents the way people live in different countries, this is important to realize since, HR manager needs to hire the employees and train them accordingly. In different regions people do have different perspectives and different living standards, resulting in diversified population to target and attract, and also to hire people that are also from different social structure. HR manager in the hospitality industry can enable the organization to understand the basic difference in the social structure of the country from the country of origin (Keegan, 2002).


This comprises of the most difficulties from all the different factors in culture, a hotel going international or entering into a new country needs to face this issues, there are many examples like Coca Cola entering China and changing the pronunciation, as first it did not mean what was expected from it, moreover like many other businesses the importance of employees is also being realized by the hospitality industry and now businesses considers employees the most important asset of the organization, therefore HR manager needs to be proactive in dealing with the issues related to language problem in the new country. moreover HR manager in the hotel will able to develop the understanding in the upper management about the local culture and what are the different jargons and what are the norms of the language (Luger, 2009).

Even if the business is not international, hotel needs to accommodate people from different nations having different languages and act in their language can mean harmful whereas can also mean very normal in the local language in which the hotel is being working. Here comes the strategic role of the Human Resource Manager who needs to fill the gap that is being created by the language issues by holding appropriate session related to training the employees and also telling the management about the language differences (Paul, 2008).


Here the education means the level of literacy rate in the country, this has become a critical issue for the HR management because, organizations working in the country having low literacy rate will make it hard for the organization to find the most appropriate employee for the position. Moreover sometimes hiring less educated people will harm the services provided by the hotels, since hiring inappropriate employee in hotel can alter the services at very rapid pace, since in hotels direct customer interaction is being conducted, hence affecting the image of the entire organization (Poole, 1999).

Interests and Values:

HR manager has to realize that what elements are different in terms of interests in the new country, it is also possible that one thing which is given the most value in the country of origin means nothing in the new country, hence resulting in the failure of the entire business. Therefore the Human Resource Management needs to realize the difference between the interests and values of the culture and try to pose the hotel in an acceptable manner and decorate it in the similar way, so that potential customers can feel that they are in their own culture.


Different currency rate, different factors driving the economy, varying financial sector, these issues are less related to the HR manager, but international hospitality industry needs to cope up with these issues that occur when management decides to internationalize the entire business.

Effects of Culture on Hospitality Industry:

After analyzing the hospitality industry in the context of the human resource management and cultural affects, it has been noted that the there are various elements that effect the cultures for the hospitality industry. Some of the key elements are discussed below;

Consumer Behavior:

One of the main important elements that has noted is that the consumer behavior is hospitality industry is changing with significant rates. As compared to the last couple of decades the behaviors of the customers have been changed and the main reason behind this change is the mode of globalization. As discussed in the above report that the since the business world has entered into globalization mode, the hospitality industry has managed to grow faster than ever before because the visitors now find this easy to move from one region to another easily and with many facilities (Mondy, 2008).

And since the customers have now visited many places across the world, the roles of human resource personnel have become more critical. Today, the human resource personnel have to ensure that they design the organizational policies and regulations according to the consumer behavior. But the changing behaviors of the consumers are restricting the human resource personnel to do so. Many of the companies and their HR departments are now planning and redesigning their strategies to ensure that the consumer behaviors are properly understood. As compared to the past few years, the HR personnel in hospitality industry have become more responsible to understand the needs and requirements of the customers and act accordingly.

Local Demand:

A part from the above critical factors of changes in consumer behavior, the local and regional demand of the customers has also noted to be changed. Especially after the global and economical crisis, the visitors do not prefer to visit the other locations outside the regions because it requires them to pay the expenses and due to financial crisis, every individual is suffering from the shortage of finances (Schuler & Jackson, 1999).

The HR department of hospitality industry again has to ensure that it clearly understands the local demand and design the organizational strategies accordingly to attract the potential customers and increase the sales and profitability. As this is the only way which is remained to adopt otherwise sustaining in hospitality industry is not an easy task to perform.

Brand Image:

Maintaining the brand image is also one of the critical jobs for the organizations and HR departments are one of the responsible departments to do so. The regional culture also creates many complications for the hospitality industrial companies to ensure that the brand image is saved from any harm. Today it is noted that many of the companies are operating efficiently and successful across the world and it is because of the regional culture (Rae, 2000).

Human Resource Issues in the Hospitality Industry:

Different levels of hotels big and small in the hospitality industry face difficulty in order to manage the human resource and also the relationships with the employees in any country or countries they operate in. There have been increase in the employees issue regarding the organizational culture; the cases for sexual harassments have increased which ultimately costs the organization to give from its profit (Wvans, 2010). There are many cases observed in which hotels are not following the health and safety issues regarding the employees or the customers and even different services provided to them in different phases. Many hotels are observed to have high employee turnover or highly staffed labor, which means the organization is having more employees than required. This is because of the lack of appropriate HR manager and department which are not fulfilling the different needs of the organization, as now days the HR department should be playing more strategic role instead of only restricted to traditional ways.

There are few major issues regarding the HR personals in the hospitality industry which was observed during the reading of the document presented by the author (Price, 2007):

Job Description: the main issue for the HRM in the international hospitality industry to is to develop an appropriate job description which can cover the entire employee area of the organization. The issue concerning this element is the fact that HR manager needs to incorporate every level of employee in order to deliver better services to the customers (Smith & Mounter, 2008).
Policies and Procedures: in order to develop the policies regarding the employees in the organization, the HR manager needs to be more proactive, since working in the international business environment needs to incorporate different cultures, as it has been discussed above in the report. Moreover the HR manager needs to deal with different laws and regulations depending upon the country or the countries they are working in. this mean that the HR manager needs to develop policies in which every aspect is being taken care off so that the management is able to have better relations with the employees. These policies must incorporate the different operational issues like sexual harassments and other problems that the employees are facing in their duties.
Inductions Process: it has been already being discussed above that the most important asset of the company are the employees, therefore working in the international business industry, hotel needs to have the most appropriate and hardworking employees so that they can perform much better. The entire induction process of the company should be strategically followed by HR manager (Wierzbicka, 1999).


As the business environment is getting more competitive, organizations in different industries need to gain some access to those resources in which they have gain the competitive advantage to increase the profitability. The above report is being constructed in this similar regard, in which it was required to select an author which has written on the topic of culture and then the concepts earned through that book was being incorporated in this research report which is based on the importance of Human Resource Management in the international industry.

Therefore the report is constructed in a logical manner followed from the evolution of the Hospitality industry, in this part the different factors have been discussed which has resulted in the boost of the entire industry; the main factor which has influenced is the globalization. Then the importance of culture is being discussed and how the realization of the culture is important in the international business environment and also different factors of the culture are being discussed.

In the end part of the report, the importance of Human resource management is being discussed and how human resource manager can play its role in the development of the organizational performance. There are few issues also discussed in which the basic emphasis was on to have an appropriate inductions system by which the organization will be able to hire best employees.


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