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RESOURCES: PAPERS & PRESENTATIONS
|Author :||Anja Hergesell, Ulrike Bauernfeind & Dagmar Lund-Durlacher|
|School/Work Place :||MODUL University Vienna, Austria|
|Contact :||firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org|
The role of human resources in sustaining hospitality enterprises has long been recognized (Hjalager und Andersen 2001; Baum 2007). Personnel are considered vital for the delivery of touristic experiences, thus being a central ingredient of the product offer (Baum 2007). Despite the high unemployment in the sector (Smeral, Huber et al. 2008), several researchers have reported on difficulties of hospitality enterprises to fill their vacancies (Hjalager und Andersen 2001; Smeral, Huber et al. 2008) and retain their employees (Iverson und Deery 1997; Hjalager und Andersen 2001; Smeral, Huber et al. 2008). While turnover may have positive effects for the employees in terms of competence development (Deery und Shaw 1997) and hence somewhat also benefit the companies, exiting the sector might be considered a “brain drain” in the hospitality industry (Ross 1997).
The generally identified competition with other sectors for qualified personnel (Hjalager und Andersen 2001), on the one hand, and the profound global trends that challenge hospitality enterprises (Dwyer, Edwards et al. 2009), on the other, in particular demographic changes drive the present study. Suggesting a decrease in the availability of the “traditional” labor force (Smeral, Huber et al. 2008) and an intensification of employee driven mobility (Baum 2007), the research aims to understand the mobility from the hospitality sector to other industries, in order to develop strategies of how to retain and attract workers. The study explores the employees’ and former employees’ perceptions of the work in the hospitality industry attempting to identify the underlying beliefs and attitudes that shape peoples’ behavior in regards to their continuance or abandonment of the industry. Being frequently termed as a “women industry” (Stuppäck 2005) and recognizing the unused potential of female labor in the case study country of Austria (Ramb 2008), the focus of the study lies on females, hence excluding gender-related differences in perception as suggested by Purcell (1996) by examining a purposeful female sample.