Social Sciences for hospitality managers - Assignment Example

Eric is the front office manager and one day Scott, one of his subordinates, knocked on his office door and after a small-talk he asked if it would be possible to be transferred to the F&B department of the hotel. Eric was shocked as Scott was one of his best employees and regarded Scott as a close fiend. After a shift Eric went for a drink with Scott in order to find out the reason behind the request as he did not like the idea of losing him to another department. Eric asked him to talk about it as friends but Scott felt uncomfortable and he was stating that was for personal reasons.

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After a lot of discussion and pressure from Eric’s side Scott told him that he find out that Dave, one of his co-workers, was gay. Scott explained that he felt uncomfortable working around with Dave and that he did not understand gays. Eric laughed as he has always known that Dave was gay since they worked together again in the past. Despite the fact that Dave has never done anything to make Scott feel that he couldn’t work with him, Scott reacted angrily by saying that he don’t agree with what they do and he also did not want to analyze it further. Eric needed to clear this problem.

After some time Scott put forward his own suggestion which was they never work on the same shifts. Eric said that this would be a possible solution but he had to examine the schedule. Two days later Eric called Scott into his office and explained that it was possible for them to work different shifts but there would inevitably be times when they would, on occasion, have to work together. Scott said that this would be an acceptable compromise and Eric felt relieved that he managed the issue as he didn’t want to loose either of them as they were both valuable employees.

Eric said to his line manager that “there was no way I was ever going to change Scott’s attitude to gays but changing the schedule was a good second option”. Finally Eric’s boss congratulated him on keeping both employees in the department. Case Study Analysis In this case study, which came out from a “real life” incident, we can realize that understanding organisational behaviour problems may help managers solve problems from a different point of view and also help them take the best possible decision.

Organisational behaviour is the study and application of knowledge about how people act within organisations”. (Davis et al, Organisational Behaviour) Organisational behaviour involves the understanding, prediction and control of human behaviour and the factors influence the performance of people as members of organisation. Studying them provide a human tool for human benefit. It applies broadly to the behaviour of people in all types of organisations such as schools, hotels, business, government and service organisations.

Wherever organisations are, there is a need to understand organisational behaviour. One of the key elements in organisational behaviour is people which make up the internal social system of the organisation. Organisations exist to serve people rather than people existing to serve organisations. Consequently the knowledge of such element is needed for managers and therefore it was also needed from Eric in order to understand Dave’s attitude. Eric did not want to loose either of his employees, as both of them were valuable for the organisation.

If at any reason he could not handle right the situation this would be very negative for the business and this fact will be explained in the following paragraph. The term “work change” refers to any alteration that occurs in the work environment. Its effect will be illustrated in an elementary way by an experiment using an air-filled balloon. When a finger (which represents change) is pressed against the exterior of the balloon (which represents the organisation), the contour of the balloon visibly changes at the point of contact.

Here an obvious pressure, representing change, has produced an obvious deviation at the point of pressure. As shown by this comparison, the generalization is drawn that the whole organization tends to be affected by change in any part of it. The comparison using a balloon may be carried further. Repeated pressure at a certain point may weaken the balloon until it breaks. So it is with in an organisation. Changes may lead to pressures and conflicts that eventually cause a breakdown somewhere in the organisation. Thus Eric took the right decision and avoided from causing changes in his working environment.

In this part of our essay we will connect our analysis with motivation. Because the world is used by different people in different ways it can be very difficult to find a universally acceptance definition of motivation. However motivation has been defined as “a state arising in process that are internal and external to the individual, in which the person perceives that it is appropriate to pursue a certain cause of action (or actions) directed at achieving a specific outcome (or outcomes) and in which the person chooses to pursue those outcomes with a degree of vigour and persistence”.

In psychology, motivation is essentially an explanatory concept and it is used to explain why a person behaves at a certain way. Motivation comes from inside an employee and is intimately bound up with the person’s psychological characteristics. These are unobservable and cannot be altered at will by a manager; this is why Eric did not try to change Scott believes to gays and he did right. People have much in common but each person in the world is also individually different. All people are different.

This is fact supported by science. The idea of individual differences comes originally from psychology. From the day of birth, each person is unique, and individual experiences after birth tend to make people even more different. Individual differences mean that management can get the greatest motivation among employees by treating them differently, and this is what Eric did in our case since he understood Scott’s behaviour. Motives are perceived as expressions of a person’s needs; hence they are personal and internal.

Scott’s need to change department was a psychological need which he wish to fulfil it. As we have seen in our critical incident people differ, therefore, in the extent and manner of their involvement with work. Goldthorpe, for example, has identified three general sets of attitudes, or orientations, to work: instrumental orientation, bureaucratic orientation and solidaristic orientation. We will state at the last one which involves ego involvement with work groups rather than the work of the organisation it self.

In our problem there is an ego attitude of an employee which makes him want to leave the department. Attitudes and motives are interlinked and, depending on an individual’s motives, Katz has suggested that attitudes can serve four main functions; Knowledge, Expressive, Instrumental and Ego defensive. Our case is related to the last one which refers to those attitudes which may be held in order to protect the ego from an undesirable truth or reality. Maslow suggested that individuals are motivated to satisfy a set of needs which are hierarchically ranked according to their salience.

The primary motivators for individuals are their physiological needs which include the need of water, food and all necessary for the survival of the individual. When those basic physiological needs has been satisfied the individual will switch his attention to seek higher-order need, that of security. Further fulfilment is then achieved via affiliation with others. After fulfilling those needs the individual may then be motivated to seek the esteem of others and self-respect or self esteem. Finally we may tend to our self actualisation which is the final stage of Maslow’s pyramid (see also appendix 1).

We mentioned this hierarchy because Scott had the need to fulfil the need of self-respect. His believes according to gays is something that influences his behaviour and his self respect. Scoot would never like to work with someone who is gay as in his mind is something that might influence his ego believes to his surroundings. Managers should be good leaders in order to motivate their staff work better and also take the correct decisions in different occasions. A variety of people with different personalities and from varying backgrounds have emerged as effective leaders in different situations.

The person who becomes the leader is regarded as most appropriately qualified, who knows best what to do and who is seen as the most suitable leader in the particular set of circumstances. One key function that a manager as leader should do is the need of maintaining the team because as we have seen in previous pages “breaking” one or more parts of a team may lead to a total disaster for the organisation. Eric seemed to be a good leader as he maintained the team and also handle the situation with the best possible way, without any affect to either his department or his employees.

Social Sciences Social sciences are defined by Dahrendorf (1968) as; “Social sciences is an ambitious concept used to define a set of disciplines of scholarship, which deal aspects of human society”. Many of the social science textbooks define social sciences as a family of disciplines (Trigg, 1985), an idea which implies the disciplines have some relationship with each other. The nature of this relationship is found in their common subject matter, that is human behaviour, and the factors and processes which influence that behaviour.

As it is clear from those definitions and as we will see in the following paragraphs of our essay, we will understand that social sciences are useful in understanding human behaviour and furthermore we can agree that are essential for hospitality managers. Social science methods can help hospitality managers measure impacts and identify future needs and strategies. Social scientific frameworks and approaches provide managers with theoretically informed analyses of people’s behaviour, in contrast to alternative approaches based on gossip and common sense.

Sociology is concerned with the study of social behaviour, and relationships among social groups and society. Organisations are social systems. If one wishes to work in them or to manage them, it is necessary to understand how they operate. They consist of people working together but individuals offer different attitudes and perceptions towards their working life. An understanding of the nature of attitudes and their relationships to behaviour, which come from sociology, is therefore an important aspect of the effective management of people. Human behaviour in organisations is rather unpredictable as we now see it.

However it can be practically understood in terms of the frameworks of behavioural science. Organisational behaviour is the study and application of knowledge about how people act within them. It is a human tool for human benefits. In the administrative point of view manager’s role is to improve people-organisation relationships as Eric did in our problem. Organisational socialisation includes the careful selection of new company members, their instruction in appropriate ways of thinking and behaving and their reinforcement of desired behaviours by senior managers (Pascale, 1985).

Socialization reduces variability of behaviour by imbuing employees with a sense of what is expected of them and how they should do things. By providing an internal sense of how they should behave, plus a shared frame of reference socialisation standardizes employee behaviour, making it predictable for the benefit of senior management. The role of social sciences in the hospitality management is important and needed. Slattery argues that the social sciences alone are able to offer theoretically grounded interpretations depend upon: * the selection of relevant theories; Developing hospitality versions of the theories; and * an evaluation of flaws and limitations, and value to the hospitality industry Slattery suggests that although not all of the social sciences are useful or relevant, the range of theories which are useful is vast. The selection of theories depends upon the problems or issues in which we are interested. Moreover Wood suggests the need for of a substantial reappraisal of social science education. The use of social sciences should be seen as a part of the tool kit of management, to be drawn upon and used as particular circumstances demand.

The overriding objective must surely be how an understanding of the practical application of relevant aspects of social science can improve the people organisation relationship. Conclusion Organisations are social systems and there is a need of social sciences in order to understand better human behaviour which exists in them. Social sciences refer to the behaviour of people, organisations are consisting of people, and therefore there is a need of such sciences to managers in order to act and behave properly in different kind of problems among people.

As we have agreed changes in the working environment can affect badly any organisation and there is a need for managers to understand individuals’ behaviour in order not to take negative decisions which may affect the whole organisation. We have also seen that individuals have different kind of needs; in our case we had a psychological need which Eric needed to understand in order to solve the problem. So we can conclude that is always a need of social sciences whenever managers have to work in an establishment which consists of people.