Nickson Journal is very good and he is very strong in his ideas but he had some weakness while describing, he is also good in applying his theories in the hospitality industry they had been more elaborated and he must have considered more number of evidences to support his theories and models. He told us that each and every author have their own opinion while defining HRM, he gave us the definition HRM based according to Storey (1999:5) but he must have considered the definition of the other authors on HRM. For example “Human resource management is the function within the organization that focuses on recruitment, management and providing direction for the people who work in the organization”.(By Susan .M.Heathfield).
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Nickson is clear in telling us about the different factors about employment statistics in the hospitality industry. The hospitality sector provides large number of jobs than any other industry. The contribution of the travel, tourism and hospitality to the total employment is expected to rise from 219,810,000 jobs in 2009 7.6% of the total employment, or of 1 in every 13.1 jobs to 275,688,000 jobs (WTT, 2009).
About the models and theories what Nickson told us was correct but he must have explained them in a most elaborate way with proper evidence which might have helped us in understanding the models more clearly and which might help us properly in applying them to the hospitality sector .The hotel industry establishments must be just as careful as the manufacturing establishments in relation to the manner in which they recruit stheir staff (Hoque, 2000).
Nickson told us that there are some arguments which favour the best practice approaches to HRM. It is correct but he must have told what those arguments are, this makes contradict him with some authors where they described what those arguments are and he must also have told us what he means by the best practices as there is no particular definition for best practice. Some authors argue that there are certain practices of HRM in order to influence the organisational performance that must be abided for the improved performance which has to be achieved by the employee. These are referred to as the HRM “best practices” (Mess, 2000).As there is no particular definition for the best practice, but he must have tried to define it like some other authors did for example, “best practice methods in the HRM methods and systems will have universal, additive and positive effects on the organisational performance” (Jhonson 2000).HRM best practices are designed in such a way that they enhance the performance of the employees in the organisation resulting in the increase organisational performances (David Morris).
Nickson told us about the best practice technique in the tourism and hospitality sector but he did not made clear to us what he is trying to say. This weakness of him was explained clearly by the other authors for example each best practice technique in the tourism and hospitality sector is developed in recruiting and development of the employee increasing their commitment and ultimately creating a competitive advantage. He must have clearly explained about the employee selection and it should be noted that large hotels engage in best practice selection due to the cost factors the small hotels unable to meet the best practice selection requirements (Jhonson 2000 pg7).
Nickson did mention what is the link between the employee and the organisational performance for example, without the conceptual relationship between the employees and an organisation in the hospitality sector, the service performance is meaningless (Baron, 2007)).There was a certain simplified chart for the best practice model. It is as shown below:
HR practices Employee Service Sales,
Commitment Quality Financial
The above diagram was “A Simple Model of HRM and Performances” (By GuestD 2000).
He must have considered the some of the researcher’s evidence for best practice that contrast him with other authors, some authors say that best practice has not completely diffused across service sectors-it mainly depends on can a firm or an organisation can afford, see the best benefits, practices(Boxall and Prucell 2000).
Nickson tried to describe most influential things to develop a model that recognises the need for a best fit between the competitive strategy and hrm (Schuller and Jackson 1987).He told us about what authors have told about the best fit in the organisations, he must have considered what they told about the best fit in the hospitality and tourism sectors. He told us about the innovation strategy but he did not explain what does he meant by it and how far they get benefit from the service innovation. But we can say that hospitality firms are the best examples in the market which get benefit from the service innovation (Reid and Sandler 1992).
It will always follow a contemporary approach. It gives the most effective means of managing people in that particular organisation, but it will be different for two different organisations. The best fit model claim that an organisation should be aligned to support its business strategy in order to achieve a competitive advantage. (David Morris).
As we all think best fit is nothing but a contemporary approach. There is a lack of consistency in reward systems reported by using high performance working practices by large hotels (Huselid 1999).
He must have clearly explained about the external and internal fit. If we take the internal fit the employee performance should always reflect the hotels performance (Schuster and Zingheim 1993).Best fit always suggests that the rewards to the employees help in retain them and also attract new applicants (Lawler 1973 P g28). Schuster and Zingheim (1993) suggest that employee rewards should always be tied to organisational performance (Lawler, 1995) approach is truly contingent. His traditional management design option does not include any pay element that varies with organisational performance. There is evidence for the internal that further performance gains are to be found where HRM is introduced as mutually cohesive and institutionally supported package (Hoque Pg 141).
Soft vs. Hard
Nickson did not clearly tell about what is a soft approach and hard approach exactly means. He must have given a very detailed description of the models and relate them to the hospitality and tourism sectors. The incorporation of both the soft and hard within the one theory or model will be highly problematic as both rest on the different set of the assumptions in the key areas of the human nature and the managerial control strategies (Mc Gregor 1960).
These are the most widely used models of the human resource management which are completely based on opposing views of human nature and managerial control strategies. The dichotomy between the two models in HRM rather than in critical-evaluative traditions (Legge 1995b).At first these terminologies were used in the works of Guest (1987) and Storey (1987-1992).
Nickson told us that the soft model is about a humanistic and developmental approach to hrm, it is true but he did not tell what will come under the soft model approach. Some authors described soft HRM as it is associated with human relations, utilisation of the individual talents (Guest 1987).Soft HRM also associated with the goals of flexibility and adaptability (Storey & Sisson, 1997).The soft model emphasizes commitment will be generated if employees are to be trusted and trained and developed, and if they are allowed to work autonomously and have control over their work (Purcell, 1994).
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The soft approach of HRM emphasises on the employees in an organisation being resourceful and a competitive advantage by the use of the employee relations, which enhancing the service performance of the employees by motivation, communication and leadership to increase loyalty and commitment. The soft model considers as the increased satisfaction as the only way to go about in the management (Truss, 1997).
Nickson told that hard version is seemed to be an instrumental and economical research to economically rational approach to human resource management. It is true but there is no support for what he is trying to tell us, he must have given certain evidence and explained in a more elaborate way. Some authors like (Storey Pg29) said hard model on the other hand stresses the quantitative, qualitative manages the human resource in as rational a way as for any other factor of production in business strategic aspects.
Nicksons did not give us the information about the problems in incorporation of both these models in HRM. For example McGregor (1960) used both these terms to characterize forms of managerial control. It is very problematic if both the models are incorporated because each rests on a different set of assumptions.
There is no doubt that the role of HRM has undergone the considerable changes over the past few decades in hospitality industry (Roberts, Human resource practice in the hospitality industry , 1995).As Nickson told to us about how successful the Mc Donald’s in the U.K, we can say that not only in U.K , around the world the hospitality industry is dominated by the small and independent hotels, restaurants businesses, the major players like large hotel chains like Marriott, large catering establishments (Accor) who has to undergo major restricting in the past ten years to maintain their standards if they provide their services at cheaper rates. This is mainly due to the growth of competition nationally and globally (Roberts, 1995).They are changing their strategies of HRM as the labour become costlier and even the amount of money they spent on training and development is increasing. It is also said that the hotels will adopt HRM models based on the environment they are operating and the size of their establishment (Jackson, 2000).About the gendered division of personnel in the hospitality is changed now a day’s according to the survey and also from websites (ehotelier.com, Spectrum International, 2009) we can say the higher posts in the hotel are occupied females (30%-40%).It is better when compared to the past few years. It is true that the industry jobs are occupied by the seasonal and part-time workers but if we take the facts about the Chinese hospitality industry the 99.4% of the hospitality jobs are occupied by the graduates from the hospitality sector, the remaining 0.6% is from different fields. (Tom Baum, 2005).
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