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Human resource development in the Irish hotel industry: the case of the small firm

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Presents an examination of human resource development (HRD) in the Irish hotel industry and focuses primarily on the case of the small firm as part of a larger study examining best practice HRD within the Irish hotel sector. HR utilisation has clearly become a critical feature for those firms where HRs are potential assets in the search for competitive advantage; this is particularly pertinent for the hotel industry. Almost every hotel firm claims to be people-oriented and to believe in HRD. In practice, however, a much smaller number follow through on these claims. All in all, it is clear that many employers in the hotel industry still have to be convinced of the benefits to be derived from HRD. Current research suggests that small hotel firms tend to favour informal training methods and usually value training which is specific to the job in question. In addition, HRD activity is almost exclusively directed at the solution of immediate work problems rather than the long-term development of people. Where a more strategic HRD approach is adopted, the most significant driving force is the importance placed on training and learning by owner-managers. Their positive attitude and belief in staff development is a key feature. Concludes that until the connection between sound HR practices and organisational success is firmly rooted in the mindset of the hotel industry, HRD will not gain the status it deserves.
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Keywords: Hotels; Human resource development; Ireland

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2002

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