تجارب استخدام کارگران مهاجر لهستانی در بخش مهمان نوازی بریتانیا
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|3808||2011||14 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||محاسبه نشده|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Tourism Management, Volume 32, Issue 5, October 2011, Pages 1006–1019
The research explores the experiences of Polish migrant workers in the UK hospitality sector. It reports quantitative and qualitative empirical data on the migrants’ reasons for entering the hospitality workforce and their subsequent employment experiences. The findings reveal the main motive for entering employment in hospitality is for self development as migrants wish to use and learn foreign languages, gain work experience and receive other benefits that the sector provides. These self development opportunities are viewed as a means to improve career prospects in the UK or upon return to Poland. Once in the sector, positive experiences associated with hospitality employment include opportunities to meet people and work in a lively environment. Negative aspects relate to working conditions, low pay, physically demanding jobs, discrimination and management behaviour. The research suggests that certain practices and working conditions in the sector pose an obstacle to the long-term commitment of migrant workers. Suggestions for the management of migrant human resources are outlined.
As a consequence of EU enlargement in May 2004, the UK has experienced a rapid influx of migrant workers, with Poland as the country of origin dominating arrivals (Janta & Ladkin, 2009). Although accurate figures are difficult to obtain, there are an estimated 610,000 Polish workers registered as employed in the UK (Home Office, 2009). It is widely recognised that these figures are under-estimated, with variations reported by different agencies (Lyon & Sulcova, 2009). Records for the Accession Monitoring Report (Home Office, 2009) show that a total of 965,000 applicants applied to register to the Workers Registration Scheme between 1st May 2004 and 31st December 2008, with the highest proportion (66%) coming from Poland. By sector, in total 171,940 registered migrants are employed in hospitality and catering and 109,205 of those are of Polish nationality. A debate on numbers notwithstanding, the UK hospitality sector has absorbed large numbers of Polish migrants into the workforce in recent years. In tourism studies, Poles are recognised as the largest group of international workers in the UK (Baum et al., 2007, Devine et al., 2007a, Devine et al., 2007b and Evans et al., 2007). As with any influx of foreign employees, changes in the receiving countries workforces have been reported, with migrant workers having economic, social and cultural effects at the destination. For example, in the case of Polish hospitality workers in the UK, Janta and Ladkin (2009) outline the social implications in terms of workers leaving existing ties and social support structures and making new relationships in the host destination. Culturally, the workers bring with them their own specific style of working. In other examples the influx of migrant workers has resulted in such workplace diversity that traditional imagery often used in destination marketing is not a true reflection of the situation, as in the case of Ireland (Baum, Hearns, & Devine, 2008: p. 6). In many instances, the implications of the movement of large numbers of people with different backgrounds has a profound influence on all social and cultural aspects of host societies (Kinnaird, Kothari, & Hall, 1994). The departure of workers across international boundaries also has an impact on the migrants’ home country. The exodus of workers who leave may result in labour market gaps, conversely human capital is subsequently gained if migrants return to their home countries. In the UK, hospitality employers have reported positive stereotypical assumptions of Polish workers, which include having a good work ethic and commitment and acceptance of low wages (Anderson et al., 2006, Matthews and Ruhs, 2007 and McDowell et al., 2008). Furthermore, it has been stated that businesses have come to rely on migrant workers in the hospitality sector and even prefer them to British workers (Matthews & Ruhs, 2007). Lyon and Sulcova (2009) indicate that within the hospitality industry, the general view towards the influx of migrant workers is positive as they have a better work ethic than their British counterparts, a positive attitude to work and more skill and experience than UK nationals. The nature of hospitality, with its significant turnover rates and irregular working hours drives the sector towards a constant need for more workers, of which it seems there is an unlimited supply. These needs create employment opportunities for migrant workers due to the labour shortages the UK hospitality sector faces. Given the widely accepted positive effects that the Polish migrant workers have brought to the UK hospitality industry, the management of these human assets has significance for the longer term development of the sector. Set against this background, our paper explores the reasons for Polish migrant workers coming to the UK and entering employment in hospitality. Once in the sector, their subsequent views and experiences of employment in the sector are outlined, and human resource management implications are discussed. The focus of our paper is on migrant worker experiences. However, there is a valid criticism by MacKenzie and Forde (2009) that migration employment studies often ignore the role of employers, other labour market institutions and broader regulatory constraints. Whilst this is not the main focus of our research, we aim to illustrate that the features of the hospitality sector provide a framework for certain conditions and employer needs that have a significant influence on migrant experiences, thus acknowledging the role of employers and wider labour market issues.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
This research contributes to the literature on migrant employment experiences in several ways. It provides an insight into migrants’ experiences at work, and consequently their views on working conditions, an area that has received little attention despite the growing number of studies on migrant workers. Furthermore, previous research has focused on agency staff (Evans et al., 2007) and irregular workers (Wright, T. (2007) and Wright and Pollert, 2006) as opposed to European Union migrants, which is the primary focus here. The research also complements studies on work-life balance, workload and the sector’s 24/7/365 culture by providing insights into the nature of hospitality employment, and its positive and negative implications for migrant workers. It further adds to the research on problems at work that migrants face in the hospitality sector (Evans et al., 2007 and Wright and Pollert, 2006), identifying issues surrounding pay, management behaviour and discrimination. It also provides an understanding of employees’ reasons for entering the hospitality sector (Szivas and Riley, 1999, Szivas et al., 2003 and Vaugeois and Rollins, 2007). Finally, it builds on previous work by Baum et al. (2007) and Devine et al., 2007a and Devine et al., 2007b by illustrating the mixed, multidimensional experiences of culturally diverse migrant employees in the sector. The research reveals that a significant reason for entering the industry is for self development as migrants want to use and learn foreign languages, gain work experience and receive benefits that the industry may provide. Furthermore, due to the sectors’ low skill requirements and subsequent accessibility, the sector facilitates migrants wanting or needing to enter into the labour market at the earliest opportunity. The research supports the concept of migrants seeking temporary work that is easily accessible and will give them opportunities to gain life experiences. For the short term, deciding to work in the sector is opportunistic due to the nature of the industry, rather than to facilitate any decisive or long-term career development. Many migrants have the potential to be developed for more skilled occupations and longer term careers in the industry, but for many employees this is not their intention, and equally investing in human capital development largely is not the priority for many employers. Given the temporary nature of much of the migration, whilst the migrants’ gain a new set of skills from their experience in the UK, it is not clear to what extent these will be used upon returning home. Certainly human capital developed on an individual basis is likely to have a subsequent impact on future career opportunities. At the micro level, when migration flows are followed by return migration, the benefits to the sending countries relate to the skills acquired abroad and the savings bought home by returning migrants (Lianos & Pseiridis, 2009: p. 155). Once in the sector, many of the well-known features of the hospitality industry shape the migrants’ experiences. The research suggests that migrants have a number of positive experiences associated with the industry, with opportunities to meet people and work in a good working environment being central. Other features raised by the respondents include the flexibility of the sector. This was important mainly for students as it suits their lifestyles and confirms previous research (Wildes, 2007) which demonstrate that a fun working environment is a motivating factor to remain in a job for the youngest employees of the restaurant industry, while those in their late 20s and 30s appreciated the flexibility that the sector offers. Not surprisingly, there are a number of negative aspects related to hospitality working conditions identified by the respondents. This study reveals that the industry’s image of being low paid and physically demanding holds true. Baum (2006) listed the popular perceptions of work in tourism and hospitality such as long difficult hours, dirty jobs, hard work, monotonous and boring work and many employees have to work standing. Some of these drawbacks were mentioned by the Polish employees. The exhausting long hours culture was highlighted by migrants and includes physical tiredness, pain and health and safety issues pointing to the work and life imbalance (Karatepe and Uludag, 2007 and Wong and Ko, 2009). Moreover, numerous problems were raised regarding poor management behaviour, lack of respect and drinking, discrimination, workload and problems with pay. This supports previous studies on international workers (Evans et al., 2007; Wright, 2007; Wright & Pollert, 2006), and indicates that migrants from Central and Eastern European countries, just like those with irregular status, experience problems. Subsequently, some of these issues contribute to the decision to leave. In many cases, hospitality jobs are seen as starter jobs and are envisaged for a limited period, which often suits both the workers and the employers. The findings support the notion that a negative image of hospitality jobs is only present in certain occupations (Riley et al., 2002), and confirms Saunders’ (1981) study of perceptions of kitchen porter jobs in hospitality as stigmatised. Interestingly, this image has not changed over time. For the reasons previously explained, this may not present problems for employers who have a continuous supply of migrant labour willing to do certain jobs in the short term. The research highlights four human resource management issues. First, the flexible nature of hospitality may suit students or those who can work and study (Lucas, 2004) and therefore it is not necessarily a negative aspect. Shift work and weekend working may actually be of value for some workers, and rotas where possible could be aligned for preferences. This is also favourable to employers who can make use of the flexible working arrangements. The hospitality sector continues to employ a significant number of migrant workers and due to the nature of the demand for hospitality products and services, and many migrants’ short stay plans, the relationship between employees and employers in this case is of mutual benefit (Lucas & Mansfield, 2008). Second, in terms of the perception of the industry, social interaction is without doubt one of the most important features of the hospitality industry that provides the positive side of hospitality work. In line with this research, others observed that dealing with people is one of the most commonly mentioned motives among those who moved to tourism jobs (Lucas, 2004, Szivas et al., 2003 and Vaugeois and Rollins, 2007). This is clearly an attractive aspect of the industry and those employed in customer focussed jobs have opportunities for development that could encourage them to develop careers in the sector. Although many of the skills learned in customer focussed jobs and social interaction are intangible, clearly the migrants gain a life experience that can assist in their later career development upon returning home. Third, on the negative side, the problems with pay reported here are not isolated. McDowell et al. (2008) report that in a London hotel housekeepers’ payment was based on the number of rooms cleaned in a specific time period, for example 16 rooms during a shift, allowing twenty to thirty minutes per room. Wright and Pollert (2006) and Wright (2007) report some incidents of staff not being paid at all which was related to the legal/informal status of migrant workers. Clearly all issues related to pay and discrimination indicates unacceptable working practices that tarnish the industry. Fourth, in terms of recruitment, the image of the industry is problematic. The low status of many jobs and poor pay is widely known and efforts to recruit workers are notoriously difficult, especially for certain jobs. This combined with the Internet as a tool for the dissemination of information on jobs shows that experience can be shared at a global level. Both good and bad practice become much more widely known. Discussion boards may be used to help in recruitment strategies, especially for SMEs with smaller recruitment budgets and geographically isolated businesses (Janta & Ladkin, 2009). The use of the Internet among Polish users may be comparable to the increasingly popular ‘blogging activity’ among tourists who exchange information about tourism products through Tripadvisor, holidaycheck.com or travelpod (see Bosangit et al., 2009 and Schmallegger and Carson, 2008). While those tourists have an opportunity to rank a particular hotel and add a comment to advice potential consumers, previous and current hospitality employees use websites for the same purpose – to comment and made recommendations to potential employees. In both cases, on the travellers’ websites as well as the Polish discussion boards, the content of these messages is loaded with a minimum level of moderation (Schmallegger & Carson, 2008). Subsequently, these websites carry a great impact on the Internet users and influence customers’ decision making process. Although a control of such discussions may be impossible, the managers should be aware that their employees are interacting with Web 2.0 technology and are making their bad and good experiences public. Overall, the findings from this research suggest that certain current practices and conditions in the sector are a clear obstacle for long-term career commitment. Ironically, the availability of migrant workers does not help to improve working conditions (Baum, 2007). In fact, migrants may help to entrench certain employment practices that are favourable to employers. The features of the hospitality sector provide a framework of employment norms and conditions that thrive so long as migrant labour is readily available. Opinions on the sector’s flexibility and jobs that are ‘good initially’ stress the fact that the occupation is treated as short term only. In the wider arena, the notion of temporariness is dominant in a number of recent studies concerned with migration from the new member states to the UK (Anderson et al., 2006; Eade, Drinkwater, & Garapich, 2006;Kosic et al., 2005 and Spencer et al., 2007) and is not unique to hospitality. In this context, working below qualification level is acceptable as long as it is for a short time period (Eade et al., 2006). In other words, migrants tolerate low skilled work and poor working conditions because they thereby improve English and expect to move into better jobs (Anderson et al., 2006). How these skills are used when the migrants return home is not known, but it is clear to see they develop human capital and produce individuals with increased international awareness, improved English language skills, experience and customer interaction. These skills are applicable to all industries and are not confined to tourism. On the downside, many of the skills learned are at a very low level. The findings from this research suggest that working in the hospitality sector is perceived by respondents as a temporary option before finding a job to follow as a long-term career. To date, no research has been undertaken on whether or not the returning migrants would consider working in the hospitality sector again, or develop careers elsewhere. The implications of this for the longer term development of the UK hospitality industry are open for debate and further research.