Enhancing Productivity in the Australian Hotel Industry: The Role of Human Resource Management
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A link to the journal RESEARCH AND PRACTICE IN HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT is also available.
The Australian hotel industry is at the crossroads. As part of the tourism strategy of the present Federal Government, it is charged with catapulting Australia out of its economic malaise. The industry is, however, constrained in its development by market fluctuations, an oversupply of accommodation and outdated human resource management practices. Several recent research studies have underlined the significant costs of labor in overall industry costs, and the pressing need to reduce these costs and improve profitability and competitiveness by effective and innovative human resource management strategies.Hotels in Australia, as compared to their international counterparts, are less productive, less profitable and less labor intensive. The challenge is to develop innovative human resource management practices which will enhance productivity and profitability without increasing staff levels. Significant contribution's to industry viability will be achieved through comprehensive and integrated human resource management systems which ensure that the right staff are recruited, trained, monitored and appropriately rewarded in line with institutional and industry requirements.This paper examines the constraints to development, including a culture of casualisation, negative perceptions of the industry and its occupations, gender imbalances, and fragmented human resource management practices. It proposes an integrated and innovative strategy for the further development of the hotel industry in Australia which will result in improved productivity and increasing international competitiveness.
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