توسعه پایدار صنعت گردشگری در کشورهای جنوب صحرای آفریقا : پیامدهای هتل های خارجی برای استخدام محلی
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|3796||2010||15 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : International Business Review, Volume 19, Issue 2, April 2010, Pages 191–205
While foreign investment in the tourism industry is often considered important in stimulating sustainable development in least developed countries, empirical evidence is still scarce and ambiguous. Focusing on the social (employment) dimension of sustainable development, this paper analyses how foreign firms in the hotel industry influence the quantity of local employment (number of jobs) and its quality (skills). Using interview data with managers of 123 foreign and locally owned hotels in Mozambique, Tanzania and Ethiopia, we find that the simple scale effects of foreign hotels in least developed countries are positive. However, rather than contributing to local human capital via training, foreign firms instead prefer to hire well-trained employees from local hotels. We explore the implications of such reverse knowledge transfer for policy makers in least developed countries.
Foreign direct investment (FDI) in the tourism industry is increasingly considered to be an important stimulus for sustainable development in developing and least developed countries (UNCTAD, 2007). Sustainable development – a term coined by the World Commission on Environment and Development (WCED, also known as the Brundtland Commission) in 1987 – includes the triple goal of economic growth, social justice and environmental protection, in order to ‘meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of the future generations to meet their own needs’ (WCED, 1987, p. 43). The environmental dimension of sustainable development has received substantial and often critical attention in the context of international tourism (e.g., tourism is often considered to deplete natural resources and to contribute to pollution and congestion, cf. Cavlek, 2002). However, it is primarily the social (and economic) dimensions of sustainability, in the form of local employment, where the potential contribution of the international tourism industry to sustainable development is most frequently acknowledged: tourism as a job machine (Cukier, 2002, Görg, 2000 and ILO, 2001) and an important means in the ‘war on poverty’. The sector has been given a key role in achieving the Millennium Development Goals (UNWTO, 2005) by 2015, and almost all employment opportunities associated with tourism in developing countries are highly valued by local residents (Sinclair, 1998, p. 31). However, while the potential contribution of FDI in the tourism and hotel sector to the social dimension of sustainable development is recognized, the actual impact of FDI in the hotel industry on employment in host countries is also regularly questioned. Employment may be seasonal and involve menial and servile rather than skilled jobs, and wages are low ( Baum, 1993, Farver, 1984 and Young, 1973). For example, the International Labour Organization (ILO) established that wages at hotel chains are on average 20% below those in other economic sectors (ILO, 2001, p. 121). Moreover, the international hotels in developing countries are usually managed by expatriates, which would strengthen foreign dominance in the tourist sector, and reproduce rather than change existing power relations and inequality (Mowforth & Munt, 2003). Overall, empirical evidence concerning the consequences of FDI in the hotel industry is both scant and ambiguous (UNCTAD, 2007). The uncertainty about effects of the international hotel business in developing countries reflects the broader academic debate concerning the social and economic development consequences of FDI for host countries. Literature reviews by, e.g., Caves (1996) and Meyer (2004) indicate that despite the extensive research in this area, conclusive answers on the extent to which foreign direct investment benefits economic growth and employment in host countries have not yet been given. Recent studies suggest that the effects of FDI are not only dependent on host country absorptive capacity (cf. Alfaro et al., 2004, Balasubramanyam et al., 1996, Borensztein et al., 1998 and Rodrik, 1999), but also on the characteristics of foreign investors (Egelhoff et al., 2000, Fortanier, 2007, Kearns and Ruane, 2001 and Takii, 2004). However, the exact way in which the various ownership advantages of foreign investors affect employment still requires more systematic study, especially in the services sector. Hence, the two main research questions of this paper are: (1) what are the consequences of the presence of foreign-owned hotels for local employment, both quantitatively (number of jobs) and qualitatively (training and skills transfer), and (2) to what extent can differences in these consequences be observed across foreign hotels with different characteristics? We contribute to the existing literature and to our understanding of how FDI affects employment in host countries by developing a set of hypotheses on how heterogeneity in selected ownership advantages of foreign firms may result in different consequences for employment, and by testing these hypotheses empirically using data from three countries from a region where the problems of development are strongest, but where International Business research remains scarce: those in sub-Sahara Africa. We use detailed interview data for 123 hotels in three sub-Saharan African countries: Mozambique, Tanzania, and Ethiopia. The use of interview data and the focus on an individual service sector (i.e., hotels) will allow us to explore in detail the employment consequences of international business in services. The number of observations is substantial enough for some basic quantitative analysis, while we also qualitatively explore the reasons behind certain decisions and strategies. In the remainder of this paper, we first review the literature on the local employment effects of multinationals, with a special focus on the hotel industry in Africa. We subsequently develop several hypotheses on how hotel characteristics including class and the use of expatriate managers may influence the consequences of these hotels for employment. The methodological section explains the data collection and research design, with specific attention to the particulars of conducting empirical research in sub-Saharan Africa. Section 5 presents both the quantitative and qualitative empirical results, while Section 6 discusses and concludes.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
Tourism has long been ignored as a sector that could stimulate economic development. Servicing large groups of foreign guests does not seldom bring along the establishment of luxurious enclaves that highly contrast with, and sometimes harm, the way of life of local residents, while the reliance on foreign imports and staff is of little help to the destination's economy. It is only fairly recent that governments and international organizations have been leaving these established views and started exploring the opportunities of a sustainable, ‘pro-poor’ tourism development, particularly in least developing countries with limited alternative trading prospects. Private tourism enterprises such as hotels are called upon to play a supportive role in poverty reduction strategies and to become part of the solution rather than the problem (see, e.g., Roe, Goodwin, & Ashley, 2002). It is in this context that we have raised the question of whether foreign-owned hotels indeed do generate (high quality) employment in developing countries. In doing so, we particularly address the social (and to a lesser extent the economic) dimension of sustainable development (commonly seen as consisting of the triple goal of economic development, social justice, and environmental protection). For many developing countries, jobs and employment provide a key means to address their most pressing problems related to sustainable development, including poverty and income inequality. The tourism industry plays a vital role in particularly in providing jobs for those with low education and few other employment opportunities, including women and minorities. Therefore, this paper examined the particularities of the hotel sector in determining the employment impact of investments made by multinational hotel enterprises in the creation of new jobs, knowledge transfer, and the diffusion of knowledge in least developing countries. We tested our hypotheses empirically in 123 hotels in three sub-Sahara African countries, Tanzania, Mozambique and Ethiopia. Hypotheses were addressed using interview data, since these make it possible to analyse in-depth the specific dimensions of foreign direct investment and how it matters for host countries. Also, given the rather sensitive African business context, interviews were preferred over mailed surveys. We find that the simple scale effects of foreign hotels in the least developed countries we studied are positive: an increase in hotels creates more jobs, and in an environment where unemployment is high – and most of our interviewees reported regular requests by prospective employees who will work for any salary possible – such job opportunities are most welcome. On a grander scale however, the consequences of foreign hotel investment that appear from our research are not overly positive. First, instead of employees moving from foreign to local firms, thereby taking with them the knowledge they gained from working for a foreign firms, we found strong indications in the quantitative analysis, which were confirmed by the qualitative findings, that foreign firms roam the labour market and attract (sometimes poach) the best staff from existing local hotels, and are subsequently better able to retain these employees compared to local hotels. Second, foreign hotels provide formal advanced training less often than local hotels, although interesting differences among foreign hotels can be found: foreign hotels with a high proportion of expatriates in their management do provide significantly more advanced formal training than foreign hotels that do not have a high proportion of expat managers. Expats have often worked in other hotels abroad. Multinational hotels tend to rotate their managers around different hotels in the world, and because of this experience, the expatriates will be most aware of the need to learn and adopt the high service standards that the international market requires. In this way, expatriate managers facilitate skills upgrading of local employees. The employment effects of foreign hotels did not differ substantially between the three countries where we investigated hotels. This can likely be attributed to some key characteristics that Ethiopia, Mozambique and Tanzania have in common. First, all three host countries can be defined as least developed countries, and the tourism industry in these countries is emerging. The lack of an indigenous hospitality service experience, and particularly the absence of an appropriate educational infrastructure, can explain the reversed knowledge transfer we observe, from local to foreign hotels. In such a situation, locally owned hotels that have lower entry barriers to an inexperienced workforce, de facto replace formal schooling institutions in raising the stock of general knowledge of hospitality services. This knowledge has the characteristics of a public good – local hoteliers cannot appropriate that knowledge, which is undesirable. Training employees only to see them moving to a better paid and higher status job with a competing firm without compensation is too high a burden for most local hoteliers. As we heard often during the interviews, especially in Mozambique and Ethiopia, this prospect discourages local firms to invest in their staff. The reverse knowledge transfer in the three countries may also be related to the type of knowledge brought by foreign hotels. Knowledge of multinational firms is not necessarily fit for local firms in host countries, which reduces chances for knowledge spillovers (Narula & Marin, 2005). Local hotels in the three African countries cater primarily to national and regional African visitors, and tend to offer less high service levels for more economic prices. They may not benefit much from staff skills that meet the highest international standards. Indeed, we found that compared to foreign hotels, domestically owned hotels have less problems with employees whose proficiency of the English language is minimal, or who have a less optimal work attitude. However, it may well be possible that developing countries where the tourism industry is more mature, such as Kenya, or the North African countries Tunisia and Egypt, show the typical pattern of knowledge transfer that we know from other industry sectors. Second, the three selected host countries share a history of socialist governments or regimes in the near past. Ethiopia, Mozambique and Tanzania have been allowing private business and foreign private investors for only one and a half decade. This clarifies the absence of a market-oriented educational system in the tourism sector. More importantly, history explains the low trust and absence of cooperation that we observed during the interviews between the private tourism sector, governmental authorities and educational institutions. In none of the countries industry involvement in the hospitality education system is common, whereas, for example in Mozambique, it is very difficult to arrange internship places or to invite guest speakers from the industry in hospitality courses. In view of tourism policies directed at the development of a sustainable, pro-poor tourism sector, foreign hotels may be of key importance particularly in new tourism countries destinations that in international markets are associated with civil war, hunger and epidemics. The brand of a multinational hotel chain or the nationality of the owners of a single-establishment hotel (in sofar as it signals a western, developed country-of-origin) usually provides the trust and confidence in the cultural bubble that foreign visitors seek when they enter uncommon territory. However, policy makers in developing countries should also be aware that in terms of job creation and knowledge transfer, foreign hotels do not significantly better than comparable locally owned hotels. Instead of contributing to human capital development, foreign firms tend to crowd out local firms from the labour market by hiring the best-trained employees from local firms. Human capital development in the hotel sector will not be driven by FDI, but will have to come from improved (government funded) education in hospitality. In this perspective, our findings further support the notion that well-developed institutions are a prerequisite for positive effects from FDI. Of course, any study based on interview data is limited in sample size and is context specific. Hence our results could be potentially more difficult to generalize than the results from studies using larger datasets. Still, given the lack of publicly available information (most local hotels do not publicly report on their performance, whereas annual reports of international hotel chains do not provide details on individual affiliated hotels), and the low levels of trust which would make response rates to mail surveys likely very low, we believe that interviews are one of the bests means to collect data in the sub-Saharan African context. Further research may expand the scope of this paper by using the same interview protocol in more countries. The advantage would be that then also host country characteristics can be analysed in more detail. The significant results of the host country dummies in the analysis in this paper, as well as existing literature on the role of institutions in the context of sustainable development, indicate that this would be a rich area of further study. The three least developed countries in this paper could also be compared with countries in which the tourism industry is more mature. In addition, larger sample sizes will make it easier to reliably identify smaller effects – including differential effects related to FDI characteristics (not only the ones in this paper, but also, e.g., entry mode or country-of-origin, as well as the indirect, quantitative effects of foreign firms – of MNEs in quantitative analyses, and thereby to contribute to our understanding of the role of FDI in sustainable development.