The impact of quality control methods on employee service delivery in Atlantic Beach Hotel Limbe
|TOURISM AND HOSPITALITY MANAGEMENT|
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The hospitality sector is changing. The purpose of this dissertation is to provide an informative review of the impacts of quality control methods on employee service delivery in Atlantic Beach hotels. The main objective of this study is to determine the importance of quality control methods on employees’ service delivery in Atlantic Beach Hotel Limbe. The research employs qualitative and quantitative methods of data collection and analysis, namely questionnaires to employees of the hotel. The results indicate that QC methods with their dimensions had effects on employee performance through knowledge sharing. The results of this study contribute to developing and implementing different strategic directions that enhance the performance of employees through the adoption of QC and the dissemination of a culture of knowledge sharing. This satisfaction is later on reflected in the hotel’s image and thus, impacts the development of tourism in the region.
Keywords: quality control, service, performance, tourism development
This chapter presents an overview of the hospitality industry and outlines the concept of quality control and service delivery. It also presents the problem statement while highlighting the research questions and the objectives of the study. It proposes the hypothesis for the study and examines the significance of the study to several stakeholders. Furthermore, delimitation of the study and the definition of operational terms.
Globally, the hospitality industry is evolving and undergoing radical changes. The past practices are now advancing through the rapid development of knowledge and skills acquired to adapt and create innovations in various ways. The globalization of the hospitality industry has accelerated under the pressures of the advances in technology, communication, deregulation, elimination of political barriers, global developments as well as growing competition in the global economy (Teare and Olsen, 1999). Nowadays, the hospitality industry is a powerful system of the regional economy and tourist centre and an important component of the tourism economy. It is a business aimed at providing the visitors with accommodation, and food and organizing their leisure time. According to Dominici et al. (2010), hospitality is essentially a relationship based on hosts and guests. The hospitality industry consists of all businesses that provide any combination of the following three core services for their customers: food, drink and accommodation. While there is a clear overlap with tourism, there are several sectors within the hospitality industry that are sometimes regarded as separate from tourism, for example, industrial catering and those aspects of hospitality that attract only the local community. Tourism and hospitality have become one of the most sophisticated businesses, creating a diversified offer, linking several factors, and becoming a privileged space of production (Vitor Kuhn, 2018.). The industry employs a degree of quality control methods to meet up with the needs of consumers and thus, attain customer satisfaction.
The term quality is essentially an economic term that has emerged based on industrial and technological competition among advanced industrial countries to control production and gain customer confidence (Dawood, 2010; Abu Sultan, 2011; Aeeshe, 2012). The concept of quality is widely discussed in hospitality management. Quality in the hospitality industry is defined as “the consistent delivery of products and guest services according to expected standards”. Increasingly, guests are willing to pay more when they visit hospitality properties offering service that meets or exceeds their service expectations.
Quality control is a management philosophy that aims to continually improve product, service and process improvement by focusing on customer needs and expectations to enhance customer satisfaction and organisational performance (Sadikoglu & Olcay, 2014). Performance is the achievement of work and must be accomplished. This is in line with the tendency of some researchers to focus on the individual’s contribution to the achievement of the organization’s objectives through the degree of achievement of his functions. Performance reflects the behaviour measured by the individual’s ability to contribute to the achievement of the objectives of the organization (Qureshi, 2011). Malkawi et al. (2017) and Taleghani et al. (2013) note that job performance indicates the organization’s success in achieving its objectives and mission. Heinz identifies three elements of performance: (Al Ffaidi, 2008) First: Employee: in terms of the employee’s skills, knowledge, interests, values and motivations. Second: the job: in terms of job, challenges and requirements. Third: Position: in terms of organizational environment and function, including the climate of supervision and work and abundance of resources and organizational structure and administrative systems.
In pursuit of better employee performance and customer satisfaction, organizations are looking for and investing in strategies to enhance output. Heterogeneity being a key characteristic of services, service firms are determined to optimize their employees’ output to ensure that their customers are always contented as a result of consuming quality delivered services (James and Mona, 2011). Hospitality vendors are thus implementing Quality Control (QC) in their operations to ensure that their employees always perform their tasks right the first time and that their customers’ expectations are always met or exceeded after consumption of their products or services.
In most parts of the world, foundations have been created to acknowledge organizations’ efforts of providing quality control procedures which in turn offer customers ultimate satisfaction. The European Foundation for quality management was created to promote a standard approach to management for all organizations operating in Europe to contribute to ensuring sustainable, quality practices. The foundation awards prizes to the best companies. The enabling factors (leadership, people management, policy and strategy, resources and process) are calculated based on an introduced, systematic, measurable and ongoing improvement system, while the results (people satisfaction, customer satisfaction, impact on society and operational results) are evaluated based on trends, achieved objectives and comparison with other companies in the sector (Kapiki, 2012).
Moreover, the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award is the highest level of national recognition in the U.S. It is administered by the federal government (National Institute of Standards and Technology, Commerce Department). The award promotes an understanding of quality excellence, greater awareness of quality as a critical competitive element and the sharing of quality information and strategies (Walker, 2010). According to Ayana (2013), in the twentieth century, the American Automobile Association (AAA) started using the star system to rate their accommodations. The stars ranged from one to five with the higher number supposedly indicating a higher status of service offered to the customer. This system gives tourists and visitors a general feel of the quality of the hotel.
More so, in Africa, the growth of tourism over the past decade has influenced the notion of hospitality. Today, most hospitality businesses in Africa have transformed simple hotels, restaurants, and bars into tintoluxurious hotels restaurants, bars and that are of international standards. The geographical focus is on the continent of Africa which is emerging as a rapidly growing region of global tourism. With the rise in importance within the global tourism economy, Africa has begun to attract the attention of international hotel chain developers (Rogerson 2014: 135). Africa being highly involved in tourism activities has welcomed the changes surrounding the hospitality industry to satisfy tourists. Hotels have evolved from a liquor-dominated sector to leisure focused hotel industry (Rogerson, 2014: 137).
Cameroon with all its natural and man-made endowment is known as a land of hospitability. The hospitality sector in Cameroon represents an important part of the tourism industry. The industry evolved with the creation of the Cameroon tourism law. Today, as the country is being exposed to the ever-changing nature of the world, the need to invest in the best luxury has become a necessity to keep travellers and visitors comfortable. Tata (2011) highlights that Cameroon like many other countries in Africa has identified the tourism sector as having the potential to improve the livelihood of local communities using stimulating jobs and other income-generating activities.
According to Kimbu (2012), the Cameroon government is committed to prioritizing the development of the tourism sector as a vehicle for stimulating local economic development, especially in areas lacking mineral resources. The national government through the Ministry of Tourism, is in charge of the tourism policy, the development of tourist attractions, the provision of training, and tourism marketing. Cameroon is a developing tourism economy and falls within what Christie et al. (2013) categorize as African destinations with the potential for further growth as they currently are in the phase of initiating tourism as a driver for development. For Kimbu (2012), tourism presents an opportunity that can be developed in Cameroon, with the view to alleviating poverty and to boosting environmental sustainability. Several challenges confront tourism development in Cameroon including the country’s bad image, poor quality of the accommodation facilities, ground transportation and tourism support services, and endemic corruption (Hele 2002; Tichaawa & Bob 2015). In addition, the non-implementation of management plans and policy, the shortage of qualified human and financial capital, the inefficient service infrastructure, and the conflict of interest between the different stakeholder groups are further barriers that impede the development of a vibrant and sustainable tourism and hospitality industry in Cameroon. (Kimbu, 2012; Kimbu & Ngoasong, 2013). In mitigating such challenges, the 2009 Commonwealth Business Environment Report proposed the need for expanded private sector involvement, especially in light of the limited current allocations for tourism development from the Cameroon government. Therefore, this study seeks to determine the need for quality control methods which will enhance employees of the various sectors of the hospitality industry in Limbe to provide and deliver quality service.
Quality control is increasingly being perceived as a working tool that provides solutions to a variety of issues affecting organizations today. Franklin (2011) stipulates that there’s an increase in the adoption of quality practices by businesses in anticipation that this would translate to improved performance and subsequent achievement of organization goals. Effective quality control standards enable firms to build a reputation for superior products. Hospitality businesses in Limbe are faced with the challenge of enhancing competitiveness, thus increasing tourism yield and contributing to more sustainable forms of economic development. Some hospitality businesses in Limbe have adopted quality control practices and as a result, have earned the reputation of delivering quality services which give customers the utmost satisfaction. Other businesses play it safe and avoid investing and implementing quality control methods. The lack of constant training of personnel makes it difficult for these businesses to render the best services to their clients, thus they don’t have a great impact on customer satisfaction. Moreover, the differences between consumer viewpoints and the organization’s perception of consumer viewpoints on quality are important to identify and determine the level and quality of the service provided. This study seeks to bridge the gap that exists between quality control and operational performances in the hospitality industry in Limbe.
This research is motivated by one main research question from which springs a set of specific questions
What is the importance of quality control methods on employees’ service delivery at Atlantic Beach Hotel in Limbe?
1.3.2 Specific Research Questions
- What are the quality control methods implemented at Atlantic Beach Hotel in Limbe?
- What is the relationship between quality control practices and operational performances in the hotel?
- What are the difficulties faced by hospitality employees in delivering quality services to customers?
- How can the difficulties be addressed to enable the hospitality staff to be able to consistently provide quality services to their customers?