Prevailing Contemporary Themes in Hospitality

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PREVAILING CONTEMPORARY THEMES IN HOSPITALITY AND THE UPCOMING FOUR SEASONS HOTELS EXPANSION BY FELIX L. H. MURILLO

Glion Online MBA

Abstract
This paper identifies contemporary themes in the Hospitality Industry and why these are emerging or currently pursued. The themes selected are themes directly related with the expansion of hospitality businesses and in particular as they have an effect in the upcoming growth of Four Seasons Hotels. Although Four Seasons already pursues these contemporary themes, the current expansion situation speeds up the process and makes them critical. The contemporary themes chosen have in common the term “distance”, whether this is chronological (generational differences) developmental (multidirectional career paths) or geographical (distributed teams). A more particular attention is placed on distributed teams vs. collocated teams within Four Seasons. Introduction: Reasons to Undertake the Study

Four Seasons is entering a new era of accelerated growth, still remaining fully committed to its business model. In the current economical environment, the interest rates in North America and Europe are at an all time low. There are also many positive macro trends – including growth in world travel and trade, demand for luxury goods, and emerging market consumer demand –. These circumstances are coming together and pushing luxury business development in general and for Four Seasons in particular. In this environment the study of contemporary themes that will help support growth becomes critical to the success in the long term. The specific themes found to be relevant to this growing success are: Generational differences in work values, multidirectional career paths and collaboration in distributed teams (a further emphasis is made on this last theme). Chronological distance: Generational differences

A group of individuals that were born in the same defined period of years have been exposed to similar societal and historical life events during critical stages of their formative development (Schaie, 1965). These circumstances determine that will be differences in values between older and younger managers and employees. To facilitate the growth of our existing top talent and to attract the best in the market we need to understand the generational value differences. This is especially important in Four Seasons today as younger generations will gradually fill management positions in new Hotels. From a less positive perspective, the lack of understanding of generational differences would bring communication and relationship issues (Patterson, C., 2008) moreover it will prevent companies from retaining and attracting top talent.

In an increasingly more competitive Hospitality environment and with new generations in the market place less motivated towards long years of commitment, hard work, average pay and poor work-life balance for a bright company future, the need for hospitality companies to be sensitive towards generational value differences is critical to succeed and it needs to drive human resources strategies, especially in related to recruitment and employee retention (Lyons et al. 2005). Developmental distance: “Boundaryless” careers

Traditionally the higher you were in the chain of command of the organization the more successful you were considered. Today there is more than one way to achieve success and many ways to asses it -in addition to income, rank and status- i.e. level of work life balance, inner self satisfaction, autonomy or freedom (Baruch, 2004). Understanding the career expectations of the Millennials and the difference in the expectations with other generations is a very current theme in the Hospitality industry. The concept presented by Ghoshal et al. in 1999 and by Baruch in 2001 is very significant, in our current environment the hospitality companies need to develop talent toward increasing their “employability” i.e. the improvement of being hirable in the future....
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