Organisational flexibility and HRM in the hotel industry: evidence from Australia

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The hotel industry is renowned for its poor pay and employment conditions and a low take-up of HR practices. It is generally believed that the industry has relied on a lowcost, numerically flexible and disposable workforce. Recently, however, there has been debate concerning the extent to which managers in the hotel industry are embracing high commitment HRM and functionally flexible work practices. This study seeks to shed light on this question by analysing large-scale survey and interview data on the hotel industry in Australia. While hotel workplaces in general continue to be associated with high levels of numerical and temporal flexibility and greater informality of HR policies, it was apparent that larger luxury hotels were adopting more systematic employee management techniques and strengthening their internal labour markets through functional flexibility initiatives. Such firms were also pursuing numerical and temporal flexibility strategies, although in rather different ways.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2005

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