The Fijian

Topics: Fiji, Suva, Fijian people Pages: 6 (2102 words) Published: October 31, 2014
Cha pter 17

The Fiiian
Experience-The Tau

Relationship*

- Iris ls a case

about a probrem facecl by Brett Tayror, an American who
expatriate owner-manager in a resort hotel at yanuca Island
in
:iii' The shangri-La Fijian Resort (FIIIAN)
was one of the grand names
t: the Shangri-La International Hotel
Group. The other"prictes of the
sinngri-La International Hoter Group were the Rasa saying Resort in
l'crnng and Shangri-L-a Hoter in singapore. The FIIIAN was a 3T-year,ltl resort and enioyed a strong and wiclespread reputation in Australia, \ew Zealand end the south pacific region is o worrd standard :itternational hotel.

'\

tlS a/r,

"we bought the hotel from the original founders; a group of
:hree ex-Pan Am pilots. The view is as scenic as the best
in the
',''-orld and perfectly pollution-free. we have clear blue skies and
clear blue seas. The fishes nibble at your toes and come
close
*'hen you take a swim in the sea. Look at the deep sea sport lishing record; blue marlins and black marlins every year, not to mention the yellow fin tunas and bonitos,,, eratorated Brett

Taylor, the general manager and owner of the FIJIAN.
The FIJIAN was located on yanuca Island on the west side
of
viti Levu, one of the big islands in Fiji. It was linked to viti Ler,.u by a 2oo metre causeway. yanuca Isiand, being a native reserve land, was owned by and reased from the Nadloga tribe whose

main village was located on the main island of

*

viti Levu iust

This case was written lf anoong chee yoong, while
a graduate student in the
Malaysian Graduate schooi of Management at universiti putra
Maraysia.

152

Issues and cases

in cross-curturar Management: An Asian perspective

outside Yanuca Island. The chief of the Nadroga tribe held
the
title, Kalevu, which means High chief. The title was hereditary, passed down to the eldest claimant next in line, whether
male or
female. The present Kalevu was Lady Adi Mere. There was a
complex and complicated web of places and relationship in the Fijian society which had developed through thousanos or years by conquests and marriages in the
of the Fiiian
"rrolr-rtion
civilization.
The FIJIAN was a 450-room resort with about g00local staff on its payroll. The indigenous Fijians, comprisin g 7o% of the local staff, took positions as waitresses and waiters in the food and beverage department; as receptionists, porters, and reservation clerks in front office; as room maids in the housekeeping

department; and a few as engineering maintenance staff.
The indigenous Fijians were mainly in the ,,front-line,, or
guest contact positions but the Indian ethnic staff were mainly employed in the engineering (maintenance) department and
as cooks in the kitchens. The reason for the distinction was that indigenous Fijians were more apt in serving guests by
their very warm and hospitable human nature. Their smiles
were said to be more natural, more spontaneous and friendlier. About 80o/o of the indigenous staff were from the landowner
Nadrogan tribe.
Many of the staff had served more than 10 years. There were
staff who had been with the hoter since day one of the hotel,s operations. often the retiring staff would introduce and
recommend their children and relatives for vacant positions in the hotel. It was possible to have even three geneiations of a family working in the hotel simultaneously, perhaps in different departments.

"why should our children work elsewhere when there are
good jobs here in our land? The hotel has treated the staff fairly and is the largest employer in this district',, explained one of the long-serving staff.
with the personal and family ties that existed among the
,localEven
staff, productivity and work were not adversely affected.
A productivity survey by Shangri-La International Minagement found that close ties reinforced the work procedures and
improved productivity.

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