تحرک کار هتل: اکتشاف مسائل و مباحثات
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|20170||2014||19 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||8851 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Annals of Tourism Research, Volume 41, April 2013, Pages 1–19
In this paper we highlight the contribution which an understanding of mobilities brings to an analysis of hospitality work. The complex mobilities of hospitality employees are playing an increasing role within global tourism and hospitality sectors. Our discussion explores notions of voluntary mobility as motivated by work and lifestyle factors. We challenge the commonplace conceptualisation of tourism and hospitality employment which has been predicated upon the nature of the work itself rather than on the diverse experience backgrounds; social and geographical origins; and motivating attributes of those who work in the sector. In taking this approach, we question conventional management discourses of hospitality labour processes and illustrate the value of adopting a mobilities framework within tourism and hospitality studies.
The global tourism and hospitality sectors have witnessed exponential growth over the last few decades and it has been suggested that, together, they now constitute the world’s largest services industries (Cloke, 2000, Ottenbacher et al., 2009 and Tisdell, 2001). Whilst widely suggested as offering predominantly unskilled or low-skilled employment opportunities (Crang, 1997, Shaw and Williams, 1994, Westwood, 2002 and Wood, 1997), this stereotype of tourism and hospitality work is challenged in the context of hospitality by a number of authors (Baum, 1996, Burns, 1997 and Witz et al., 2003). Here it is suggested that previous research and understanding represents both a technical and western-centric perception of work and skills. This moreover, underplays both the specific context where the work is undertaken and the experience backgrounds; social and geographical origins; and motivating attributes of those who work in the sector. In addition, previous understandings have, in part, been overly influenced by the economic and skills-labelling ideologies more commonly associated with manufacturing industries and, as such, are a source of confusion in the interpretation of the meaning and value of skills across different cultures (Clarke & Winch, 2006). Therefore, it is perhaps more appropriate to suggest that tourism and hospitality employment involves interactive service work where increasingly the ‘person-to-person’ and ‘soft’ skills, along with aesthetic, emotion and authenticity dimensions, become the prevailing requirements for those employed (Crouch, 2004 and Warhurst and Nickson, 2007a). However, in recognising the increasingly complex skills and personality traits necessary for effective (and affective) work in the tourism and hospitality sectors globally (see Baum, 2006a, Baum, 2008a and Bell, 2011), it is also necessary to acknowledge the interconnectedness of many other factors with and on key stakeholders, notably employers, customers, the communities in which the businesses are located and, of course, those working or aspiring to work in the sector themselves. Common issues, from an industry perspective, frequently relate to the difficulties in attracting and retaining suitable employees to work in tourism and hospitality, where consumer expectations are evolving, complex and demanding. Specific factors can include a (often young) transient workforce, low pay, a perceived and real lack of formal qualifications at all levels and a high ratio of female, minority, student, part-time and casual workers (Deery, 2002 and Deery and Shaw, 1999). These issues are exacerbated by widely held perceptions of hospitality employment as primarily consisting of ‘low’ skilled jobs, negative lifestyle issues including a substantial percentage of hours worked outside normal business hours, social stigma (within many western cultures) of working in this industry, poor utilisation of ‘Gen Y’ labour (Solnet & Hood, 2008), high levels of staff turnover and the consequent images these may create in many potential employees (Baum, 2006b, Baum, 2007 and Richardson, 2009). Such images provide reasons why many employees do not identify the tourism and hospitality industries as a ‘career choice’ but rather as a ‘stop gap’ whilst looking for ‘something better’ (Baum, 2008b and Richardson, 2009). In order to begin to address these issues, throughout this paper we suggest that it is vital to re-conceptualise and re-consider those who undertake tourism and hospitality work (see also Lugosi et al., 2009 and Ottenbacher et al., 2009). As Ladkin (2011, p. 1135) suggests, “tourism [and hospitality] labor remains a relatively minor player in academic research” yet within the wider social sciences “there is no shortage of explorations into labor and employment, specifically in the areas of economics and employment issues in relation to society, culture and identity” (see also Veijola, 2010 and Zampoukos and Ioannides, 2011). Thus, there is a continuing imperative to question and challenge the way in which tourism and hospitality employees are and have been researched. When understood through a management lens, tourism and hospitality employees are often only considered from a consolidated resource perspective (see for instance Enz, 2009) with little recognition of individual proclivities or needs. However, the reality is that tourism and hospitality work is undertaken by anything but a homogenous group. Research highlights that the industry is made up of diverse groups of peoples and cultures, where for example, migrant labour (whether temporary or permanent) is becoming increasingly important for the economic sustainability of these industry sectors (see for instance Pantelidis and Wrobel, 2008 and Wickham et al., 2008). In setting out to challenge conventional management discourses of tourism and hospitality labour, this paper will focus on hospitality ‘work’, which we consider to be the effort used by the employee for exchange with the employer (Rosenfeld, 2000). In the case of the hospitality employee, this might include monetary or ‘in kind’ exchange value, including, for example, food and lodgings. However, as we will intimate, increasing importance can be attributed to the ‘place’ or destination in which the worker is employed, as a value, or exchange in return for labour performed. Thus, a wider understanding of those undertaking this work, the hospitality employee, needs to be considered. As outlined above, who the tourism and hospitality employee is and what they do has been widely discussed in the literature. However, one of the notions that does not come through with the mention of ‘soft skills’ and interactive service work is the imperative that, primarily, these employees are offering some form of ‘hospitality’. Their welcome, their attention, their emotional involvement (or not) are part of their (paid) work and as such, these elements are often about being hospitable. We therefore immediately encounter the paradox of much commercial hospitality (see for instance King, 1995, Lashley, 2000, Lynch et al., 2011 and Telfer, 2000) wherein the intensely personal (in the form of both emotions and physical embodiment) becomes a public and commercially valuable commodity. Here, Bell’s (2011, p. 149) recent work helps extend engagement with this paradox in suggesting that we need to “see hospitality as a doing—an affective doing, an interactional doing and a relational doing”. Or, as Scott (2006) suggests, we need to think about the possibilities afforded in thinking of hospitality as based on intersubjective relationships rather than primarily commercial transactions, thus moving away from some of the inherent conflicts within commercial hospitality. Hence, while some of the examples in this paper make use of a normalised representation of what the hospitality employee is, i.e. that they work in this specific industry sector and provide a certain amount of hospitality as part of a monetary exchange, there is also a need to make clear that to prioritise such a functionalist (if not essentialised) view of the concept of hospitality work undermines our ability to understand and furthermore engage with the complexities of this type of tourism and hospitality work. At this point, it is important to clarify our interpretation of hospitality. As we have shown earlier, any attempt to singularly represent hospitality through language is fraught with difficulty—veering backwards and forwards between hospitality as performances, hospitality as a way of being or simplistically hospitality as an economic enterprise. Our intention throughout this paper is to emphasise these tensions—not to define, rather to question the current thinking of tourism and hospitality as an industry where much of the discourse is situated within particular ideological (more often than not economic) frameworks. Thus, rather than the more deterministic perspectives of hospitality found elsewhere (see for example, Barrows & Powers, 2008) we aim to adopt a phenomenological approach to our interpretation of hospitality. In this sense, hospitality can be regarded as something that might be both lived, and embodied and so, experienced (Heidegger, 1988). As such, the possibility is acknowledged of the individual hospitality employee-as-agent. It is important therefore, to reflect upon how we come to ‘know’ about tourism and hospitality employees and the vagaries of the complex social and cultural spaces in which they live and work so that we can explore new ways of ‘knowing’ in relation to broader social science discourses. In the following sections we turn to and consider the mobilities literature and how those who work in tourism and hospitality might fit/exist within a mobilities framework. Following this, we discuss specific aspects of work, lifestyle and the effort needed to support lifestyle aspirations before offering a brief critique about the ability to be mobile. We conclude by suggesting the need to reconsider tourism and hospitality employees through more fluid, complex and mobile lenses. When Ladkin (2011, p. 1136) suggests that knowledge of tourism and hospitality labour “clearly has a contribution to make to current wider societal debates” she is, as we are, reflecting on the shifting phenomenon of hospitality work. As such, in this paper we use mobilities to explore social, cultural, economic and political elements within hospitality work, leading us closer to a more interdisciplinary understanding of hospitality work.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
This paper challenges conventional representations of tourism and hospitality work by highlighting how such a one-dimensional approach, focusing on skills (or the absence thereof) omits wider contextual drivers of the work context within the sector, notable heterogeneity; temporal and geographical impermanence; identity and authenticity; and host-guest relations. In seeking to integrate these disparate themes, we have used mobilities as an exploratory framework which is able to accommodate many of the issues and tensions which arise. Therefore, this paper contends that in the multiple spaces, places and times in which tourism and hospitality employees are mobile and/or immobile, that they may be seen to be bound up with a more general process of societal individualisation. Within these spaces the relations within and between social networks also become more extensive, mobile and fluid through transnational practices and experiences (Duncan, 2007). Thus, tourism and hospitality employees are practising life materially, discursively and strategically through their networks and throughout their work experiences and travels. So, as they and their networks move, new networks and emergent senses of identity and belonging develop. These networks can involve family, friends, short-lived acquaintances and work colleagues. In being mobile, transnational or temporary migrants, these hospitality workers can perhaps be seen as Ong’s (1999) ‘flexible citizens’. The discussions have explored how an understanding of mobilities can contribute to troubling particular discourse(s) surrounding tourism and hospitality labour. It allows us to begin to re-think our understanding of tourism and hospitality work, the complex, entangled nature of the role played by tourism and hospitality employees in delivering products and services and, going back to Ladkin (2011), allows us to recognise the role tourism and hospitality labour play within contemporary societal debates. A few key questions are therefore raised which merit further consideration. These questions focus on the degree to which this mobile workforce disrupt dichotomies such as ‘home’ and ‘away’, ‘host’ and ‘guest’ and ‘producer’ and ‘consumer’. In addition, we need to question the relationship of an internationally and culturally mobile workforce with the delivery of ‘authentic’ experiences, products and services and the extent to which these lifestyle and experience-seeking tourism and hospitality employees might act to undermine local labour markets. In highlighting mobilities as a lens through which to view the tourism and hospitality industry, this paper illustrates that a more social scientific and interdisciplinary approach can challenge more conventional management thinking of tourism and hospitality labour processes (see Lashley and Lugosi, 2011 and Lugosi et al., 2009). The paper therefore builds upon emerging, interdisciplinary, theory-orientated conceptions which seek an understanding of a wider array of societal (social, cultural, economic and political) elements (Lugosi et al., 2009). This approach allows us to begin to understand how mobile hospitality workers might make sense of their everyday existences through a complex mix of working, travelling (holidaying) and residential experiences whilst simultaneously contesting, and so making problematic, classifications such as ‘migrant’, ‘tourist’, ‘worker’ and ‘local’. Moreover, in stressing the blurring of the experiences of these (im)mobile hospitality workers there is an awareness of the heterogeneous nature of their experiences. Thus we also go back to Cresswell’s (2001: see also Clarke, 2005, Conradson and Latham, 2005b, Ghosh and Wang, 2003 and Gogia, 2006) reservations about the often unproblematic research undertaken on exactly these groups of employees (for exceptions see Batnitzky et al., 2008, Janta et al., 2011 and McDowell et al., 2009). What this paper therefore seeks to emphasise is the need for an awareness of the multiplicity of mobilities amongst these workers and that many of them may (already) recognise the strategies they use to manipulate, direct and control their own mobile lifestyles. The value of adopting a mobilities framework within tourism and hospitality studies therefore allows a broader, more critical, yet more inclusive way of understanding the contemporary tourism and hospitality workplace.