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HR Practices to Enhance Employee Commitment

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Human Resource Management is a consistent and productive approach towards the management of employees who are ‘valued assets' to the organization. And managing resourceful humans requires a constant balancing between meeting the human aspirations of the people and meeting the strategic and financial needs of the business. Hence linking the HRM more explicitly to the strategic goals to improve the business and foster innovation and flexibility, thus serves the overall purpose.

Through best possible use and application of HR policies in the organization, commitment can be encouraged thus leading to better performance, improve staff attitude and lower labour turnover, this is the ideal aim of the human resource practices which has been argued to neglect the fact that HR specialists and line managers have a major impact on how these HR policies are implemented at the hotels and whether all the HR practices are universally applicable.

Human resource management is the techniques businesses incorporate to maintain an effective workforce & to meet operational requirements. It is the organizational function that deals with issues related to people such as compensation, hiring, administration, organization development, employee motivation, wellness, benefits, safety, communication, performance management, and training. Human resource practices implemented in an organisation are used for recruitment, selection; training and development, reward management, performance appraisal etc. Human Resource Management strategically manages people and work place environment and culture. Effective HRM practices enable employees to contribute effectively and productively towards the attainment of the organization's goals and objectives & facilitates overall company mission.

HRM practices are one of the channels of communication for an organization with its employees it consists of the actual programs, processes and techniques. It conveys as to what the organization desires as valuable and appropriate behaviors. The workers on reception of such a message build up their own distinct perceptions and through a self-assessment (evaluation) process subsequently shape their attitude and behavior. For instance, if an organization implemented a training program for their workers, it will develop workers' knowledge, skills and capability, and thus cultivate better employee commitment due to contented experience with the organization; however, such correlation may at times be misleading or unpredictable i.e. even though some employees may think this training as useful and recognize the implementation of organizational HRM practices, but on the contrary, other workers may see the program as non-effective and view it as a trouble that hamper their regular work timetable, hence this may work in an unintended way by bringing down their satisfaction with the organization and negatively effect their commitment. This is the very reason why employees' individual view plays as a vital intermediary in the association between organizational HRM practices and the real disclosure of employee's outlook and behaviors. Therefore, from this point of view, one can argue that HRM practices in its dominating effect alter an employees' affective commitment, by first impinging upon their perception of organizational HRM practices and consequently further alter or transform their emotional commitment towards the organization. That's why, by the means of implementation of high-commitment HRM practices, i.e. intensive training and development, high level of compensation, promotion from within, socialization, etc. convince the employees that the organization's purpose is in conformity with their insight, and it impinges upon them to reciprocate with advanced commitment and stronger deference to devote and put in for the organization.

Therefore this research will try to establish a correlation between HR practices and their effects on employee commitment. The HR practices that will be examined in the research will be Selection and Recruitment Process, Training and Development programs, Performance management, Reward management and industrial labour relations.These are some of the main HR practices followed by the hotels aiming for the more committed team. But the researcher is interested in knowing whether these HR practices really result in more committed employees. And if these HR practices really result in committed employees then is it universally applicable in all countries of the world or all types of industries. These are some of the questions that have encouraged the researcher in conducting this research.


Philosophy of Human Resource Management

Human Resource Management is shifting its traditional stance from personnel, administration, and transactional roles, which are being increasingly outsourced. HRM is now focusing more and more towards adding quality and value to the strategic exploitation of employees and that employee development programs impact the business in tangible terms. This new approach towards revolution in HRM involves strategic direction and HRM metrics and measurements in tangible terms to gauge the effect of these practices. Some of the HRM practices studied in this project are selection, benefits, training, performance feedback, communication systems, standard operating procedures (SOPs) and employee participation. David E. Guest (1987) says

“HRM is a means of achieving management objectives - at least in enterprises which haverecognized, or have been compelled to recognize, the utilization of the human resource inachieving competitive edge - becomes clear from an examination of four important goals ofeffective.”

The primary objective of HRM is amalgamation of company's mission and goal with the HR practices "acomprehensive corporate strategy is essential to continuing business success ... in many cases,human resource planning is not an integral part of strategic planning, but rather flows fromit"David E. Guest (1987). This holds especially true in today's context where the accomplishment of the process of adjusting to change warrants an escalating level of individual and group participation, for the seamless integration of human resources into the strategic plans.

HRM also focuses to attain employee committment, this involves classification of the type of commitment required e.g. attitudinal, behavioural. Commitment of an employee can be at different levels it could be towards the organization, to his job, for individual career advancement and numerous such like things. Commitment in an employee's context can be defined as approval of enterprise mission and goals, and could be reflected in behaviour adopted by him/her that furthers these goals. David further says:

"The theoretical proposition is therefore that organizational commitment, combined with job related behavioural commitment will result in high employee satisfaction, high performance, longer tenure and willingness to accept change."

The third goal of strategic HRM is to exercise flexibility and adaptability, which basically translates into the ability to manage change and innovation and to react swiftly to transforming market demands and changes. Thus arises a need for a HRM policy which is favorable to change at all levels of the organization, an arrangement which is practical not bureaucratic, functional and adaptable, with an absence of rigid job divisions and with capable of functional flexibility i.e. flexible skills and motivation to move from one assignment to another. Promoting these is possible only according to David "if employees at all levels display highorganizational commitment, high trust and high levels of intrinsic motivation."

Attaining and maintaining total quality is the fourth goal of HRM. This highlights the importance of policies and practices to recruit, development and retention of skilled and flexible employees, and the formulation of established performance standards and performance procedures. This can be further subdivide into two broader goals i.e. building a integrated organizational culture and achieving and maintaining competitive advantage through the dynamic use of human resources.

Guest (2002) has argued that the “Impact of HRM on performance depends upon worker's response to HRM practices, so the impact will move in direction of the perception of HRM practices by the employee”. Wood (1999) and Guest (2002) have stressed upon the need to build a competent, committed and highly involved work force is the one required for best implementation of business strategy. Huselid (1995) discovered that the effectiveness of employees is directly related to the impact of HRM practices on behavior of the workforce. Patterson et al (1997) while arguing about the effect of human resource management practices on business performance have said that HR practices in selection and training influence performance by providing appropriate skills. HR practices have a potent impact on performance even if it just measured in terms of overall productivity.

Huselid (1995) stressed that “by adopting best practices in selection, inflow of bestquality of skill set will be inducted adding value to skills inventory of the organization.” He also highlighted the role of personnel training as a accompaniment of selection practices through which the organizational culture and employee behavior can be integrated with the organization goals to produce positive results. Cooke (2000) has included competence and effectiveness as the vital ingredients of performance apart from competitiveness and productivity. She further amplifies training as the tool to grow knowledge and skills and as way of improving individual's performance (efficiency and effectiveness). Singh (2004), whose interpretations are more pertinent in our cultural context, says that “compensation is a behavior aligningmechanism of employees with business strategy of the firm”. “Career planning is a tool that aligns strategy with future HR needs and encouragesemployee to strive for his personal development” (William et al, 1996). By encouraging employee involvement, the firm will profit from increase in efficiency of theemployee due to improved commitment of the employee. Financial participation schemes are more beneficial for the organizations than the associated cost (Summers & Hyman, 2005). “Use of best HR practices shows a stronger association with firmsproductivity in high growth industry” (Datta et al, 2003).

Wright et al (2003) have said that “an employee will exert discretionary effort if proper performance management system is in place and is supported by compensation system linked with the performance management system.” Similarly, “Job definition is combination of jobdescription and job specification. It clearly outlines duties, responsibilities, workingconditions and expected skills of an individual performing that job” (Qureshi M Tahir, 2006).

Ichniowski (1995) while studying productivity of steel workers have argued that harmonizing HR practice System positively effects employees performance.Sels,2006 & Collins (2005) in a study of similar character targeting small business have also argued that efficient HR practices affect employee productivity to a great extent.

Meyer and Allen (1997) indicated that HRM practices have been considered to be valuable and effective tools for elevating organizational commitment, especially affective commitment. However, there are some other perspectives also on this subject; De Coninsk and Stilwell (1996) argued that what directly influences employee's affective commitment is not the actual practices itself, but the employee perceptions of fairness of practices that affects organizational commitment. Ogilvie (1986) found that, even with personal and work characteristics controlled, employees' perceptions of two characteristics of HRM practices, namely, the accuracy of the merit rating system and the fairness of promotions, contributed to the prediction of commitment. Gaertner and Nollen (1989) also found that employees' commitment was related to the perceived HRM practices, including internal promotion, training opportunities, and employment security. Ostroff and Bowen (2000) made use of “meso” theory to explain that the implementation of HRM practices helped to amplify worker's identification with their organization through employees' psychological contracts.

Therefore, just as what the above mentioned scholars stated, the HRM practices itself cannot have impact on employee's commitment, it is after the implementation of the HRM practices that triggered employees' own perceptions and then assess whether the practice is considered fair or favorable to them and consequently influence their attitudes and behaviors. Therefore, if the HRM practices that an organization implements permit the employees to acknowledge it as highly committed, consequently, this will lead to reinforced trust and concurrently generate higher emotional attachment with his/her serviced organization.

Despite several experiential studies that have established a relationship between HRM practices and organizational commitment, however, such a connection seems to be a little too straightforward (Paul & Anantharaman, 2004; Ulrich, 1997; Wimalasiri, 1995). Ostroff and Bowen (2000) projected that it was the psychological bond of an individual that unified how an organizational HRM practice influenced employees' mind-set and behavior. This also entails that HRM practices may conjointly manipulate employees' organizational commitment obliquely, and must go through by means of individual's psychological alteration system.

Guzzo and Noonan (1994) said that 

“an organization's HRM practices influenced employee commitment since they are communications from the employer to the employee. How employees interpreted and made sense of their organizational HRM practices affected their psychological contract with their employer and, ultimately, their commitment to that employer.”

Zucker (1983) also suppose that the organization members' attitudes and behaviors are subjective and are governed by organization's official communication of ‘common understandings'. Term common understandings denoting what were considered the appropriate, essential and meaningful behaviors within an organization.Basically, the official organization communication of common understandings will direct its members to alter their own personal attitudes and behaviors so that they can match organizational expectations and requirements.


HRM propose that there is a universal ‘one best way' to administer people. By assuming a best practice method it is argued that organizations will attain improved commitment from people leading to better organizational performance, top levels of service quality and eventually boost in efficiency and profitability, Usually couched in terms of ‘bundles', the HRM practices that are offered in support of a high commitmentand performance model are generally fairly consistent. A range of HR practices which are suggested as being important to organizational strategies aimed at securing high-quality service are:-

Recruitment and Selection:

One of the main and most basic HRM practice is of Recruiting and selecting staff with the correct attitudinal and behavioural characteristics. The process of choosing a candidate from a group of applicants who best meets the selection criteria for a particular position is called Selection. “In this process the right person chosen for the requisite qualifications and knowledge is placed in the appropriate job position to decrease the cost, and maximise the profits by means of their merit and talent” (Vlachos 2008). A variety of considerations in the selection process should be employed to assess the work values, interpersonal skills, personality and problem-solving capabilities of likely employees to evaluate their ‘service orientation'. To maintain the high degree of competitive advantage an organisation requires capable and skillful personnel (Liao & Chu 2006). Huselid (1995) has established that organisational productivity and high degree of performance is dependant upon the selection of the appropriate person, which is also a way to reduce employee turnover. Michie and Sheehan-Quinn (2001) recognized a positive link between hiring employees, and the creation of the appropriate culture for organisational growth. Cho, et al. (2006) established a positive and considerable connection between HRM practices and staffing (recruitment source, pre selection test, IQ test, structured interview, and biographical information blank of the organisation) for enhancing financial performance. Therefore, it made compulsory for the organisations to attract qualified candidates and recruit them for survival and growth.

Performance Appraisal

Performance appraisal has attracted a immense degree of interest. Levin (1986) identified uses of performance appraisal, like potential analysis which assesses the feedback and suggestion of employee past performance, employees' training needs, financial expectations - salary, employee merit appraisal, employee career development etc. Thang (2004) in his study has shown as to effect of suitable HRM related decision on how well employees are performing their jobs.

Performance appraisal is a constant procedure rather than a 'once a year' fatigue. It is the official arrangement of periodical evaluation and assessment of an individual's or team's job performance and providing feedback. Stone (2002) said that “ in the competitive environment, organisations need to keep improving performance to survive”. In addition, in the fast changing surroundings, tighter finances, downsizing and demands for enhanced employee accountability result in more emphasis on performance appraisal in relation to organisational objectives. Performance related rewards target those who meet the performance requirements (Stone 2002, Cho, et al. 2006, Chand & Katou 2007). Performance appraisal provides information that is dealt with employee salary, training needs, compensation, promotion as well as employee development, transfer and employee feedback by (Huber 1983). Appraisal systems have also moved away from conventional top down approaches to appraisal in more modern and pertinent terms such as customer evaluation, team-based performance, the appraisal of managers by subordinates and peer review. Generally, all of these performance appraisal methods should focus on the quality objectives of the organization and the behaviors of employees required for maintaining these.

Performance appraisal has both administrative and individual development focus and organization's sincerity towards performance appraisal goes a long way in developing commitment and trust among people.Overall attitude towards HRM department' is a significant predictor of organizational commitment. This aspect of HRM practice refers to how people see their HRM department, with respect, with disdain, with indifference and so on. It refers to the fact that the acceptance of various HRM practices depend largely on the overall image of the HR department.

Hospitality industry needs to rely on the commitment of a well-trained, multi-skilled workforce in order to achieve a competitive position, especially in terms of providing high quality customer service. This suggests that hotels need to adopt HRM organisational practices that enhance the motivation of employees and improve organisational effectiveness.

Reward Management

Huselid (1995) asserts that the compensation system is recognised as employee merit and it is widely linked with firm outcomes. Compensation by its definition means all monetary payments and all commodities used instead of financial to recompense employees. The reward system was organised to attract and motivate so as to keep employees. More so, employee influence was tailored on controlled authority and decision making. The expectancy theory (Vroom 1964) suggests that rewards, that can be comprehended as a form of direct and indirect recompense packages, have the ability to manipulate employee work enthusiasm. Thang (2004) suggests that ‘compensation and reward can be powerful tools for getting efforts from the employees to fulfill the organisational goals'. On the same lines, Wan (2008) argued that compensation should be measured depending on employees' performance & not on the basis of position or seniority in the organization.Pay practice is one of the tools of human resources management practices which manages wage, salary, pay and benefits etc. for the employees.

Reward management has got an important role in HRM. A high level of pay and remuneration in comparision to that of rivals ensures the attraction and retention of high-quality employee, however this may impact negativly on the company's overall labor expenditures. Also by connecting pay with performance, the company can educe desired standards of performace as well as specific task orientation from employee (Noe et al., 2006). Generally, pay practice is very significant for the organizations and firms which can attract employees to apply for the job as recruitment.Attractive pay practices play a major role in attracting talent and are very helpful during the recruitment process. Similarly for the employees this means that they are required to show a continuously high level of commitment and performance in order to keep their jobs.

Pay packages also have a degree of connection with the job satisfaction of an employee. Ting (1997) asserts that the significance of pay is a strong determinant of job satisfaction. He further explains two different type of effect of pay practices on job satisfaction; first is the satisfaction with pay itself and second is the satisfaction with financial prospects in the future. There is a venerable interest of these two things which are correlated with job satisfaction. Thus, it is pertinent to understand the relationship between job satisfaction and pay practices which eventually materializes in terms of higher productivity. Efficiency wage theories also suggest that paying higher wages can often result in increased efficiency. There are three main channelsthat are addressed in these theories that improve productivity, as described by Katz, 1987. Firstly it means that the harder the employees of an organization work higher will be the punishment for someone who is caught shirking and higher will be the probability of losing job of the employee getting caught. Thus higher wages means an increased effort on part of the employee due to the enhanced probability of losing job in a high performance environment. In other words, wage and pay practice are directly responsible for employees' productivity and turnover. Secondly, a higher wage translates directly into workers loyalty towards organization thus improving employees' efforts. Also it is a pertinent deduction that higher wage structure plays considerable amount of restraint on the employees to turnover their jobs. Thirdly, in more tangible terms higher wages are responsible for reducing firm' employee turnover and recruitment costs.

Training and Development

Training and development (T&D) is a very important tool of HRM (Vlachos 2008). Training refers to some activities which equip employees with needed skills to perform better in their current jobs (Li, et al. 2008). In the environment of todays' business an employee is needed to cope with various pressures and are required to keep their skills and knowledge current to stay competitive. Tai (2006) asserts that more adaptability, ability , flexibility, motivation, maintenance of skills and efficiency are greatly enhanced by proper training and development of employees.

There is an indirect relation betweentraining and firms' performance (Vlachos 2008). In most of the manufacturing industry, unstructured on the job training programmes are prevailing. Bartel (1994) in her study found a positive and significant relation between training and labour productivity. Guidetti and Mazzanti (2007) found that high performance and training activities are positively associated. Also they have a direct impact on high performance practices, work force skill level innovative labour demand features. It is also affected by labour flexibility in various directions. Apospori, et al. (2008) in their study of southern European countries have discovered the impact of training on firms' performance. Equipping of service level staff enables them towards ‘service orientation'.

Training is the planned effort that facilitates the acquisition of job related knowledge, updation of skill sets, and impacts the behavior of an employee. In the implementation of HRM tools training is an important factor responsible for productivity. Higher productivity observed in firms are a direct outcome of training programs.

“High-Involvement practices such as autonomy, team collaboration, and training are helpful in reducing employee turnover and enhance productivity. Untrained workers tend to change job more often.An increasing in high-performance work practices converts decreasing in turnover” (Bradley, Petrescu & Simmons, 2004).

Training programs are particularly helpfulwhen an employer is experiencing a high degree of employee turnover more so during the times of economic uncertainity. Even during the times when the business is flourishing an organization should proactively earmark their investment for on the job training and other traing programs balancing the cost of training with the perceived benefits of productivity. On the other hand, a trained worker has got the required skills and knowledge and can be a candidate for job turnover. Therefore, job satisfaction is crucial factor to retain the employee from shifting his jobs. Bradley, Petrescu and Simmons (2004) explain that creating on-going learning as well as training in workplace has a highly significant effect on job satisfaction, in addition on their study indicates that training increases the probability of work being either completely or very satisfied that enhance employee motivation and commitment. Therefore it is argued that aqusition or knowledge or training has a positive impact on job satisfaction.

Traditional and Recent HR Practices in Hospitality Industry

Keep and Mayhew (1999) in their study regarding the personnel problems in the tourism and hospitality industry some of them areas follow: low pay, no fixed hours and shift. poor career growth ,seasonal employment; informal recruitment methods; lack of good HR practice; high attritation rate and retaining employees.Riley et al. (2000) to recognise the reality of traditional and poor HR practices, he said that determining factor for HR policies and practices in tourism and hospitality industry is the key economics. Riley et al. says that it carries a very important meaning in tourism and hospitality industry, as in this service sector there is every thing which is intangible.

According to (ILO, 2001: 6).Employers' and the organizational representatives consider employee turnover in the industry as not the major issue according to them it is the part of working they have not realized that what are its causes and reasons, retaining staff is costlier than hiring new for them. When the organizations will realize that poor HR practices like low pay & benefits, lack career opportunities, work life imbalance are the main reason employee turnover. That day the organizations will be successful in real terms.

The inability of the businesses and the industry to recognize the most glaring issues can be attributed to the hostility and opposition from employers' associations in the industry such as British Hospitality Association (BHA), to governmental initiative such as the minimum wage and working time directive. BHA is still apprehensive of these initiatives despite support from other quarters who favour these initiatives (Lucas, 2004).

It is to a great extend clear from the above researches which supports the fact that tourism and hospitality industry is a poor employing sector. Kelliher and Perrett (2001), Kelliher and Johnson (1997) have clearly said that “the dominant paradigm has tended to stress thenegative aspects of working in the hospitality sector”.

It is not surprising to see a long history that supports the fact that hospitality remains a poorly employing sector. Kelliher and Perrett (2001), did an analysis of a designer restaurant. These type of ventures were supposed to be implementing sophisticated HRM approaches as they aimed at building competitive advantage. Although the restaurant had adopted a more modern and sophisticated approach towards, training and development and focused on an innovative strategy ‘there was little real evidence that humanresources were seen as a source of competitive advantage' (p. 434). Instead, the HRM approaches adopted by the restaurant were much more reflective of immediate environmental constraints, such as the difficulties in recruiting and retaining staff.

In short, any number of reasons for poor HR practices in the tourism and hospitality industry. Economic determinism, the predominance of SMEs, a low-skills base, employer antipathy to a more progressive approach to HRM, labour market characteristics, organizations ensuring best fit HRM practices to support a high volume, low-cost strategy; all are plausible reasons for a view of HRM which is not necessarily premised on high-skills, high-wages and a high-quality route to competitive advantage. That said, it would be equally wrong to paint a wholly pessimistic picture.

Hoque(2000). On his work of good practice in the hotel sector, says that the hotels have started taking the issues seriously and have come up with good HR practices for the employee commitment. He further says that argues that arguments which give a picture of the industry as backward and unstrategic isnow outdated, hotels have started taking it seriously as there main aim is customer satisfaction which is possible only through strong employee commitment. In fact, he says that the management has become very serious regarding the polices and practices of HR .The hotels have started experimenting with innovation approaches, quality enhancement of HRM polices and practices. The hotels industry has started paying well, have revised appraisal system, proper training programs for employees skills development, schemes for proper balance between work and life, special advantages to women, job rotation, employee empowerment, performance based pay, teamwork etc. the implementation of all these polices and practices helps in gaining employee commitment and customer satisfaction.

The focus of hospitality industry should be on delivering quality service, it should be able to attract and retain enthusiastic, competent staff and should consistently focus on high performance. This is exactly what Pechanga Resort and Casino did two years ago with excellent results. VP of HR and Talent Management, Tony Chartrand explains:

“Since implementing Halogen eAppraisal at our organization over two years ago we have been able to include all of our staff across the resort and casino as part of our strategic approach to talent management. Subsequently, we've seen real business results with lower turnover and better alignment. Every single employee has a clear picture of what is expected of them, which helps to ensure we're delivering customers with the best service in the industry”.

Organizational commitment refers to a force that binds an individual to a course of action that is of relevance to a particular target. Commitment could manifest in terms of three ways i.e., affective, normative and continuance and each type of commitment ties the individual to the organization in different ways and will differently affect the manner in which the employee conducts him/herself in the workplace. The roots of affective commitment can be traced to exchange principle. An organization provides rewards or punishment at its disposal in return for the contribution employees make or fail to make and employees show commitment or lack of it in return of these rewards and punishment. It is widely believed that anything that increases the cost associated with leaving the organization can lead to the development of continuance commitment.Socialization and exchange play important role in the development of normative commitment.In all the three cases, HRM practices were significantly predicting organizational commitment

Organizational commitment is the backbone of the modern HRM philosophy. The more committed employees are to the organization, the more motivated they would be and more willing to work ‘above and beyond contract.'Committed employees feel greater responsibility, reducing the manager's need to monitor and supervise.Committed employees are expected to be less likely to leave the organization, resulting in the reduction of recruitment and selection expenditures.HRM practice can contribute significantly to organizational commitment. Performance appraisal has emerged as the significant predictor of organizational commitment.

The new HR practices in hospitality industry are now offering organizations with a comprehensive approach to talent management including on boarding, appraisals, pay for performance, job descriptions, succession planning and learning management.

Some Models of HRM

For the ease of understanding the topic clearly some models have been discussed which are the ‘Harvard', Michigan, and Guest comparative model. What ever model is used, HRM professionals are expected to be technical, cognitive, flexible and communicative so as to achieve a learning organisation (Senge, 1996) which is efficient and innovative. (Fig1below)

The Harvard Model

The Harvard model (Beer, Spector, Lawrence, Quin Mills and Walton, 1984) concentrates on the soft aspects of HRM and works as a strategic map to direct all managers in their relations with employees. It aims at gaining employee commitmentnot control (Wood, 1995). It works on the hypothesis that employees are required to be compatible, skilled and cost effective. In this model Jobs are defined and not based on tasks as is the case with classical approaches.

The advantages of such a system lay on the premise that high employee commitment led to better job performance (Beardwell, Holden and Claydon, 2004).

In this model the selection criteria were based on competence, it also incorporates the factor of suitability and flexibility. Using the best employees fit for certain jobs leads to efficiency. Also, a reward system which is aimed at attracting and motivating and subsequently holding performance appraisal and not evaluation as its tool.

Pettigrew and Hendry (1990) approved the diagnostic aspect of the Harvard model as an improvement for the organisation as it minimizes distortion in cost minimisation and profit maximization.

The Michigan model

The Michigan model (Fombrun, Tichy and Devanna, 1984) focuses on effective HRM practices. It propagates that people should be managed like any other resources and thereforeshould be cost effective, used cautiously, developed and utilized fully. It also highlighted the intreconnection of HRM activities. This model states that, selection, development, appraisal, and rewards were focused to attain organizational performance. The conception of the environment (Cusworth and Franks, 1993) was overlooked for it ignored situational issues, stakeholder interests and the concept of tactical choice. It promotes a gelling of internal human resource policies with external business strategy. The benefit of the model lies on its connection to market performance and organisational development.

It also leads to cost minimisation in terms of employees which are considered as any other resources and should be aquired cheaply.

Nevertheless the disadvantage in this model is the likelihood of market letdown due to lack of knowledge of environments. This is more pronounced as the HRM planning is to ensure the current and future employment requirements of the organisation and minimal focus was on the development and retention of human resources. Such a model will disintegrate in face of group diversity and intra-group conflict (Chuang et al, 2004) leading to organisational performance failure.

Guest comparative model

Guest comparative model (Guest, 1997) works on the hypothesis that a set of incorporated HRM practices (Purcell, 1999) will cause better individual and organisational performance. It promotes a considerable distinction of HRM from PM. It says that HRMstrategies like cost reduction, innovation, the focus on Quality and differentiation will direct towards practices like better selection job designs, training, rewards , involvement, appraisal and security leading towards the attainment of more quality oriented outcomes; commitment and flexibility. It will also improve performance and hence productivity will be enhanced; innovation will be attained as well as less absenteeism, employee turnover, conflicts and better customer satisfaction will result. The financial outcomes will be the profits and return on investments.

In this model long term innovation is an occurrence because of close employee interaction, coordination amongst groups and amalgamation of skill development with tactical goals of the organisation. this model argues that quality enhancement is a product of comparatively unchanging and precise job descriptions, high level of employee contribution, equal treatment and a reticent focus on capacity as in classical approaches.

According to this model cost reduction could not be achieved without a resource view of labour but it should be in accordance with the career paths of employees (Collin and Watts, 1996) that lead to specialisation, expertise and efficiency. However, the Guest model fails to emphasize the level of association of HRM policies with theorganisational goals which is also referred as vertical integration (Schuler and Jackson, 1987). Sometimes these two are in conflict (Legge, 1995). Also, the sheer ambiguity of the term HRM also helps to make a model that solely focuses on HRM policies ambiguous (Keenoy, 1990).

The model will be an integrated strategic choice model (Analoui, 2002, 2007) that will take into account the individual organisational, and environmental scope of HRM.

Employee Commitment

“Today's changes in employment practices and shift in management structure have put commitment on centre stage of the strategies for gaining workplace control and competitive advantage “(Lincoln & Kalleberg, 1990).

The area of job satisfaction is also of significance as it is considered to be one of the main factors behind work commitment. Job satisfaction gauges if people enjoy working in their present occupations and are they getting what they want from it. The literature focusing on job satisfaction comes from its association with performance and positive work attitudes (Hackman & Oldham, 1980).

“Despite the literature and research progressively showing that increased job satisfaction is linked with decreases in turnover and absenteeism (this created the core of Hertzberg's (1968) two factor theory of work motivation) there is no evidence to link satisfaction to the care and effort taken in performing tasks”(Perrow, 1979).

Employee satisfaction means that employee absenteeism and turnover will be less, but the jump to associate this to getting any greater effort or care from them has not been made. Therefore, greater satisfaction may, in fact, be due to the securing of a low demanding job with good conditions that is not too taxing (Lincoln & Kalleberg, 1990). There is little research documenting the relationship between commitment and employee productivity however empirical evidence does demonstrate that commitment negatively corresponds with turnover and absenteeism (Mowday et al, 1982). However the point that has not been studied with due deliberation is what drives work commitment and what defines the behaviour of committed employees, and in this correlation, the role played by cultural factors.


The study to establish the relationship between good HR practices and employee commitment was undertaken in the hospitality industry. For the purpose of our research we had taken three hotels in London as subjects. These are:-

  1. Churchill hotel - Hyatt Regency
  2. Langham hotel London
  3. Marriott Grand Residence 47 Park Street

The first survey was carried out in The Churchill- Hyatt Regency London - this hotel is an international business hotel and has a five-star rating. Nestled on the scenic gardens of Portman Square, London W1, the hotel is conveniently located in London's West End, close to many of London's main tourist spots and fashionable shopping alleys. Its location is also very convenient as it is at the heart of the city just minutes from Paddington Station. Hotel's 444 guest rooms and suites offer complete comfort and luxury. - Hyatt's concept of 'hotel within a hotel', i.e. The Regency Club is intended for hotel guests looking for a privileged level of custom-made service and a more personal ambiance. A wide variety of culinary experiences are at offer as The Hyatt Regency London - The Churchill offers guests a extensive assortment of dining experiences from The Montagu where British and European comfort cuisines are prepared in a remarkable open kitchen, to the much appreciated Italian fare in Locanda Locatelli. The hotel guests can also indulge in a great variety of cocktails and whiskies in The Churchill Bar.

Langham hotel London the second hotel for the study is situated just off Regent Street. The chic and glamorous Artesian bar and its stylish new restaurant, Roux at the Landau have invoked a positive response from the critics. The Artesian bar offers an extravagant Cocktail Grazing carte du jour and gastronome bar food, while Roux at The Landau restaurant puts forth a brilliant fare and graceful sophistication. The Langham London also boasts of a health club with 16-metre swimming pool, gym and the newly opened Chuan Spa. The renowned London hotel, with its characteristic charm and personality was started as Europe's first grand hotel in 1865. Since then it has housed royalty, foreign dignitaries and celebrities in extravagance for over 140 years.

The third hotel under reference Marriott Grand Residences lies in the heart of Mayfair, one of London's most prestigious districts, 47 Park Street. It has only 49 immaculately appointed one- and two-bedroom London residences devised to offer the guests an awesome personalized experience and enjoy the ultimate getaway. Owners of this limited ownership property have the choice to rent their interest on a nightly basis through Marriott, which creates the prospect for you to take pleasure in these astonishing residences in London. Inside of the hotel boasts of an extraordinary décor that includes much-admired works of art to complement the style of this Edwardian-style townhouse. Unique touches, such as crystal light fittings and luxurious furnishings, highlight the separate living room with dining area, beautiful master bedroom and a fully functional kitchen operational with Emerald Pearl granite worktops. Other outstanding amenities on hand at these magnificent London residences consist of 24-hour room service, daily housekeeping & janitor staff.

Research Philosophy

The aim of the survey was to establish a connecting link between the prevalent HR practices and their impact on employee commitment which is gauged in terms of employee turnover and productivity (measured in terms of occupation of hotel by guests, customer satisfaction etc.). The study was carried out in the hotel industry with three London based hotels taken as the survey subjects. A number of HR practices like recruitment and selection, training and development, performance management, reward management etc. were analysed closely to gauge there impact on employee commitment and productivity of the organization. The study strives to ascertain the degree of impact each of theses practices and there relevance in today's context.

Research Aim

The aim of this dissertation is to examine the HR practices implemented in UK hotels and their impact on employee commitment.


The objectives of this research were to:-

  • Examine the current HR practices prevalent in UK hotels.
  • Evaluating these current HR practices against the existing literature to find out whether they match or not.
  • Evaluating the factors leading to employee commitment and how many factors come by conducting HR practices in the company.

Research Strategy

The research was carried out on the effect of various initiatives on the hr practices and its effect on employee commitment. The survey carried out in three UK hotels.

  1. Churchill Hotel - Hyatt Regency -5 Star Hotel in Marble Arch Mayfair Marylebone,W1
  2. Langham Hotel London-5 Star Hotel in Regents Park, Marylebone,W1
  3. Marriott Grand Residence 47 Park Street-5 Star Hotel in Mayfair, Marble Arch Hyde Park, W1.

The study was conducted in two phases:-

  1. Phase I - The data was collected, research design formulation and primary data collection which was in the form of a questionnaire.
  2. Phase II - was the analysis of the data.

Research Design

The research was based on a Deductive researchapproach. This deductive researchis based on deductive thought which gives a more understandable design to a general theory and transforms it into a specific hypothesis which is suitable for testing. The primary aim behind this is to shape up the researcher's thinking from general to specific. Deductiveresearch is to test a theory, which is generally associated with datasets, surveys or quantitative analysis. A sample or a portion of the population about which inferences are to be drawn, affords an adequate basis for making accurate and reliable predications. The method of sampling was, Non-probability sampling this method was chosen as it characterizes groupofsampling procedures that aid researchers tochoose unitsfrom apopulationthat they are interested in studying. An inherent characteristic of Non probability sampling is that it also facilitates the selection of samples based on thesubjective judgmentof the researcher, rather thanrandom selection. It is also much less expensive than doing probability sampling. Here Convenience sampling which is the most common of all sampling techniques in non-probability sampling was carried out. This eased the process of survey as it is considered easiest, cheapest and least time consuming. In this study the method was most pertinent due to the comparatively large size of the samples in the hotels. The subjects who were Convenience sampled were blind to the identity of the treatments to reduce the extent of prejudice.

Data Type &Source

Secondary Data

The secondary research involved procuring information from the Internet, books, journals and articles; another prime source of secondary data was hotel records whose information would not be biased and those that would provide with more insight on findings.

Primary data

Primary data was collected through in-depth interviews which was semi-structured through questionnaire. The questionnaire was designed in an easy format by raising direct and simple questions. The short, 12-question survey consisted of mostly open-ended questions, intended to get the most important facts and figures from respondents. Respondents were pre-selected by their age and asked a series of questions based on four categories. They were in the beginning asked general questions about their job, and then asked the more important questions about their commitment with job and how effective is the HR practice does the organization has.

The research has used this method because semi-structured interviews are non-standardized and are frequently used in qualitative analysis. The researcher has a list of key themes, issues, and questions to be covered. In this type of interview depending on the direction of the interview the order of the questions can be changed. In semi structured interviews the researcher can prompt and probe the subject deeper into the given situation. However there are a few drawbacks one is that an inexperienced interviewer may not be able to ask prompted questions. In this case, some relevant data may be lost. Also an inexperienced interviewer may not explore into a specific relevant situation.

Data Collection

The data for the study was collected through a questionnaire. The sample size for the survey was (n = 251) respondents. As the study was qualitative in nature the sampling method undertaken was Non-Probability sampling was taken and under it Convenience sampling was incorporated. The study included the employee at all levels viz, top management, middle management, ground staff, support staff etc. Out of the total subject brought under the scope of the survey 42% were reportedly associated with their organizations for more than 12 years, 37%; of the employees were about 5-10 years old in there present occupation & 21%; of the employees were less than 5 years into their jobs. When the respondents were asked whether they are satisfied with their working hours 38% expressed satisfaction, 42% were averagely satisfied with it and almost 20% said that working in the hotels is a tough job owing to the odd timings especially for women. The second question was an open ended one and most of the subjects supported shift working and more pay for night duties. In response to the third question 48% said that the facilities provided to them in terms of incentives, appraisals, training programs were satisfactory, 37% felt the need for more focused effort in the HR practices adopted by their organisations, 15% said that the HR practices implemented by their hotels were not working for them. The respondents were asked about the worse thing about working in their respective hotels and the response to this was very widely varied but a majority expressed their concern for the disturbed working hours in hotel industry. Also a number of respondents were worried regarding their career growth. In answer to the question as to what is the best thing they liked in their present organizations the majority expressed their satisfaction towards the financial returns.

On being asked whether they will consider reapplying approx 59% respondents replied in affirmative, however 41% said that they will look for other prospects. On being asked about the reward and incentive schemes provided by the organization45% said that they were very satisfied, 32% said that it is satisfactory and 23% said that the pay system needs to be revised. The response to the seventh question about the recruitment policy being aimed at the long run development &, career growth of the potential employee 25% agreed that the recruitment policy aims at it, 32% disagreed and 43% didn't reply to the question. Next question about their preference for internal recruitment over external recruitment 61% of the respondents said that they will prefer internal recruitment over external recruitment as this gives them a better chance for career development and future growth. In response to the tenth question about hotel recruitment process being fair & transparent 77% of the employees reported it is fair and the rest about 23% found it not that sound and suggested changes should be made. The second last question in the questionnaire was about the training programs which the hotel runs and whether the employee finds these fruitful, in reply to this about 55%said that these were very helpful and 45% said that they were not that beneficial. The last question aimed at asking the employees about whether they were satisfied with the performance appraisal policy of the organization to which 44% replied in affirmative and 56% in negative.Survey data designated a high degree of confidence in the confidentiality and anonymity of the research subjects to eradicate any prejudice on their part.

Data analysis

The effect of prevalent HR practices on employee commitment was measured in terms of its impact on productivity and employee turnover. The above data clearly indicates that if the organization undertakes the correct HR practices than it results in long term employee commitment which leads to low employee turnover, enhanced productivity & better customer satisfaction which is vital in service industry. The three hotels under study have adopted pragmatic HR practices for selection & recruitment, devised innovative training programs, incorporated fair and just appraisal system etc and their effects on employee commitment was evident through employee satisfaction with their organizations this helped achieve long term employee commitment (gauged from the questionnaire) better customer satisfaction (measured from the hotel records, registers and customer feedbacks forms).

Reliability, Validity and Generalisability of Research

The experimental data was collected without any preconceived notion of what it should look like. A comprehensive literature review was carried out to determine what has been done and reported in the open literature on the topic. An exhaustive research was carried out of the data bases available through internet, public libraries and research journals. Validity was maintained by randomisation and allocation concealment, wherever possible, Adequate blinding, particularly of those measuring outcomes, Careful follow up of all participants, well defined intervention and control procedures, Enhanced generalisability was attained using broad inclusion criteria, Maximizing the sample size, Undertaking the research in 'typical' hotel settings and Using 'normal' staff and procedures.

Ethical Aspects of Research

Due care was taken to avoid plagiarism, paraphrasing without referencing and quotations have been included in the text after due deliberations. A conscious effort was made to keep the originality of the collected data and avoiding generalizations that would affect the results. The principle voluntary participation was followed and informed consent was obtained from the participants. An endeavor was made the confidentiality and anonymity of the subjects to avoid any sort of interferences with their personal and professional lives. Due permissions were also obtained from hotels management to conduct the study on the subjects in their organisational structure


The research suffered from a few limitations. The limited number of respondents that were exposed to the survey questionnaire extends only limited statistical power to the study. Secondly, the method of scaling customer satisfaction also suffered from two major setbacks. First was that the consumer feedback and response was historical and not current in nature and secondly these feedbacks were not designed to address the specific problems tackled under the scope of the survey. Lastly, the sampling method i.e. the Non Probability - Convenience Sampling suffered a degree of bias which is inherent and affects the outcome.


This research and the literature on human resources practices helps in forming a relationship between HR practices with productivity and turnover. This study clearly explains the variables of HR practices namely recruitment and selection, training & development and performance appraisal are positively associated with employee commitment. The employees tend to satisfy with their job when they have effective training, healthy workplace career growth and financial incentives. The variables of HR practices i.e. recruitment and selection, training & development and performance appraisal are inversely proportional to employee turnover. Improper recruitment and selection, poor training and unfair performance appraisal system lead to the tendency of turnover in employees. Employee commitment on the other hand attained with proper implementation of HR practices can help, in determining productivity of the employees. Thus; it obviously shows that Employee commitment is negatively associated with turnover and low productivity.

In the present context organizational effectiveness can only be attained with the help of balancing HR practices. Analyzing the HR problems and implementing correct HR practices is must in the competitive hotel industry. The study was to conducted to examine the relationship between HR practices, employee commitment and service performance in the hotel industry. The outcome also suggests that more positive employee perception of HR practices will motivate Employee commitment and, in turn, service performance.

HRM as a function of management has come a long way. The traditional version of

HRM, Personnel management (PM) is a concept that can be conveniently related to the old model of organization, is bureaucratic in nature, with less flexibility, and higher degree of centralization and formalization, i.e., adherence to rules and regulation. HRM, on the other hand, is compatible with the organic design of new organization. Such organizations have cross-functional and cross hierarchical teams. They are decentralized and flexible, with low formalization and somewhat loose control. The new look HRM focuses more on commitment than on mere compliance. With the high costs involved in employee selection and recruitment, companies are increasingly concerned with retaining employees. Generating employee commitment is an important consideration for large and small organizations. Commitment is one of the factors of HRM policy for an effective organization.

The study was conducted to draw a relationship between HRM practices and organizational commitment and to do the research we selected three hotels in London. The HRM practices differ from organization to organization so these HR practices should be framed keeping in mind the external as well as internal environment. The external environmental factors are market competition, government policies, globalization etc. whereas internal factors are trade unions, organizational structure and policies etc. all these factors need to be taken into consideration when the organization frames its HR policies and practices.

U.K's hotel industry is one of the flourishing industries and so it ahs to be proactive and innovative to stay competitive. The old HR practices today needs to be reframed and updated so that the employees are satisfied and remain committed, which is not possible in traditional based HR practices organizations.

What constitutes work commitment it is a strong desire to maintain organisational membership, a belief in, and acceptance of organisational goals and values, and a willingness to exert effort towards organisational goals throughout the literature there appears to be agreement on this definition. Despite the obvious straightforwardness of what compose commitment there is a clear distinction between those employees who have commitment to the organisation and those who are committed to work. These categories may appear similar but, confusion should be avoided in mixing these, as there are discrete dissimilarities between the two. One requires the employee to develop his or her efforts due to their commitment to the organisation whereas the other is motivated by the work itself. Employees loyal to the work itself often try to achieve occupational specialisation and therefore would be less likely to perform duties as required by the organisation to fulfil its objectives.

As there is a growth and expansion in the oragnisation there is more and more need for sound HR practices as the since there are exceedingly more people to manage and their alignment with align with the company's goals is important. Moreover as today's workforce is becoming excessively demanding, and loyalty and commitment have taken a back seat in organizations as compared to the past, an organisation in order to maintain its levels of productivity and employment stability in the long-term must develop a reliable human resource management strategy that effectively tackles all these issues. There is little to be gained by assuming sophisticated practices in one human resource management quarter without similarly sound fundamentals in the other areas.

In plain language best practice is likely to involve efforts to improve the skills base

of employees through HR actions such as comprehensive training , selective staffing and broad developmental efforts like job rotation. Furthermore, it also

promotes empowerment, performance-based incentives, teamwork as well as

participative problem-solving.


Every Organisation strives to attain maximum productivity by improving the through better commitment of its employees and thus improving the functionality of the organization. The basis for employee motivation and commitment are the stepping stones for accomplishing the organizational goals. The Human Resource practices have to be proactive to constantly engage employees at all levels and should examine the behavior and performance of the employees. A positive human resource management approach creates favorable conditions necessary for job satisfaction which will be explicated reversely on the turnover. Three main variables of HR practices namely recruitment and selection, training and employee development and fair performance appraisal practices play a crucial role towards enhancing job satisfaction in employees. The powerful affirmative link between HR practices and job satisfaction offer a perceptive way as to how an organization can encourage an employee to work efficiently. Also, the negative relation of HR practice and employee turnover clearly highlights the importance of providing good recruitment and selection, training and employee development and fair performance appraisal practices, in order to reduce turnover rates of employees. Job satisfaction has a direct effect on employee turnover, In other words, job satisfaction can help in reducing employee turnover & vice versa. Thus, the organization needs to take into consideration job satisfaction and apply appropriate HR practices in the workplace to minimize turnover and achieve the organization goals efficiently.

The relationship between HR practices and productivity may be enhanced by using organizational commitment as a mediator. Possibly HR practices do not directly influence service performance outcomes notably; however, some vital factors like organizational commitment may inspire changes in coping with performance, which in turn may augment the effect of service performance. Interaction between HR practices and organizational commitment affects service performance.

Employees organizational commitment that are caused by HR practices pave the way for enhancing service performance. Managers verify whether or not their HR practices are influencing productivity by observing changes in employees' organizational commitment. When managers put into practice new HR practices without subsequent changes which do not affect any change in employees' organizational commitment, then no positive result on service performance can be anticipated. However, commitment cannot be altered into a competitive advantage of service supremacy, until and unless the hotel management develops a reliable service standard that can be a source for adding value on service improvement to the customers, or a benchmark from the service industry. Human resource professionals can develop the HR practices on the basis of how the employees can attain their service targets.

There should

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