Organizational Control and Customer Service Delivery at Mountain Hotel in Buea
|Tourism and Hospitability Management|
No of pages
|MS Word & PDF|
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This study was designed to examine “Organizational Control on service delivery in Mountain hotel”. From the main Research Objective, four specific research objectives were formulated which were; to assess nature of organizational control in the hotel.
The methodology of the study employs a survey research design with a questionnaire for guest with close and open-ended items and an interview guide for management staff used for collection of data.
The target population was made up of guests and management staffs of the hotel and a purposive sampling technique was used to select respondents. A sample of 100 respondents was selected and they were selected because they are well placed to respond to the various research objectives of the researcher.
The finding indicates that, majority of the respondent assessed the level of organizational control in the hotel such as hotel culture, policies and staff training and development has helped to promote efficiency and delivery.
The respondents also identified major challenges such as the issue lack of trained personnel and lack of some amenities that can promote staff efficiency and it was recommended that the hotels should provide such services and there should be in-service training to the staff and they should be given scholarship for further training in specific domains.
A report from the World Travel & Tourism Council released in March 2011, states that tourism constitutes one of the largest industries worldwide, contributing 6 trillion dollars annually to the global economy (or 9% of global gross domestic product), with nearly 260 million jobs worldwide either directly in the industry or in related sectors.
It equally highlights that global travel and tourism are expected to grow by an average of 4% per year between 2011 and 2021.
By 2021, tourism is predicted to account for 69 million more jobs; almost 80% of which will be in Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and Africa (World Travel & Tourism Council, 2011). Moreover, the United Nations World Tourism Organization (2011) expects that international tourist arrivals will reach 1.8 billion by 2030.
Thus, the GDP of some countries is almost entirely generated by tourist traffic. This indirect influence takes place through tourist’s spending and respectively received income of tourism, transport, trade and other organizations (UNWTO, 2016).
Historically, a hotel is one of the oldest industries in the world. According to Eku (2000), the first inn appeared in the Sixth Century B.C when some couples provided large halls for travelers to drink and the entire service was done by the owners. In early biblical times, the Greeks developed thermal baths in villages for rest (Levy-Bonvin, 2003).
Later, the Romans built mansions to provide accommodation for the government business (Skwe, 2002). However, the real growth of the modern hotel industry took place in the USA by the opening of the City Hotel in New York in the year 1794.
It emerged as a wave of hotel building activity in different cities (Levy-Bonvin 2003). Some of the best hotels of the USA were built in this era, but the real boom came in the early 20th Century (Eke, 2000).
The World Tourism organization (UNWTO, 2016) stated that the global number of hotel rooms has grown from 14 million to 17 million between 1997- 2010 and the figure is expected to increase astronomically by the end of 2020.
The growth in the hotel industry has been identified as one of the major facilitators in the development of Tourism and hospitality industry (UNWTO? 2016). Hence, if this industry is expected to grow, there must be an effective control and delivery of customer services.
The operation of hotels require meeting international standards to ensure the delivery of quality to achieve world class standards. Customer service delivery is an approach to manage business processes in order to ensure full satisfaction of the customers which will help to increase competitiveness and effectiveness of the hospitality industry (Skwe, 2002).
Quality in service is therefore considered very important especially for the growth and development of the service sector business enterprises (Rahaman, 2011).
Services are intangible and heterogeneous, at the same time being judged by the performance and the experience of those who use them, with the possibility of interpretation and different judgments, according to the provider and the user in question (Tronchin&Melleiro, 2013).
Notable scholars have argued that the main aim of a service delivery is to bridge the gap between customer expectations and customer experience (Lodorfos&Kaminakis, 2015).
Lodorfos&Kaminakis(2015) asserts that the key determinants of customer service delivery effectiveness are the front-line employees role, their ability to adapt to individual customers’ needs, the effectiveness of their coordination and the effectiveness of the process control.
Adetulu, (2010) in an article argue that, customers are not placed at the core of service provision, as there are cases where a customer walks into a hotel and the receptionist promptly asks “yes what do you want?” or can I help you?”, in a very patronizing yet rude tone.
Thus, suggesting the customer is there at the wrong time. Akparata (2011) puts it that some receptionists who are often the first contact to hospitality service providers; do not show decorum in the way they speak to customers.
According to Lovelock & Wirtz (2011) hospitality related services should ideally reflect pleasure at meeting new and old customers by extending warm receptive greetings when they come or when the old ones return.
Courtesy and consideration for customers need to be applied to both face to face encounters and telephone interactions, although its fullest expression is through face-to face encounters (Lovelock and Wirtz, 2011).
Delivering services of high quality is an important pursuit for service providers that seek to create and provide value to their customers (Gronroos&Ravald, 2011). Through the provision of high levels of service quality, companies can achieve increased customer satisfaction, loyalty and therefore long-term profitability (Zeithaml & Bitner, 2000).
In order to provide high levels of service quality and therefore create value for their customers, service organizations need to plan the delivery of their services and to ensure the successful implementation of the actual plan (Berry & Zeithaml 1999).
Therefore, good planning, control and effective implementation of the developed delivery plans are key factors for the service delivery system. Furthermore, continuous improvement of service procedures contributes to the optimization of customer service delivery and enhances the organization’s standards of service.
In that light, one of the variables of an effective implementation of customer service delivery is the process of organizational control (Zeithaml, 1991). Hence, it is the sum of the systems and procedures for controlling the work flow and the utilization of capacity resources in order to meet specific performance standards (Armistead, 1990).
Such procedures, which include the use of specific standards, performance measurement tools and control charts, can improve both the effectiveness and the efficiency of the service delivery process (Antony, 2007).
Organizational control is a key managerial function, and the focus of a great deal of research in the management and organizations field. Research on organizations goes as far back as the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s, and discussions and advice date back even farther to the ancient Chinese.
\Organizational control is also seen as any process by which managers direct attention, motivate, and encourage organizational members to act in desired ways to meet the firm’s objectives.
Control, thus, is central to organizational and strategic management theories. It can be distinguished from other managerial functions by being goal-oriented and being multifaceted, that is, not being represented by a single managerial practice.
It comprises a wide myriad of practices that correspond with concepts such as market, clan, and bureaucratic control; formal and informal control; input, behavior, and output control; and belief, boundary, diagnostic, and interactive control (Gosh, 2009).
One of the aims of organizational control is to help departments work better together. Managers can do this by instituting specific communications procedures, weekly interdepartmental meetings and regular management memos.
To improve the performance of individual employees, your controls might include sharing a detailed organization chart so everyone knows who reports to whom. Controls can include requiring managers to create written job descriptions for every subordinate.
Companies might hold mandatory orientation sessions for new employees, require certification for some employees and create an employee handbook that sets workplace policies such as attendance rules, grievance policies and safety regulations (Kwah, 2008).
Organizational control is essentially a benchmark, moving the company towards optimal levels of operation. Important characteristics of an organization’s structure include span of control, departmentalization, centralization, and decentralization.
Organizational structures provide basic frameworks to help operations proceed smoothly and functionally. Each of these structures provides different degrees of four common organizational elements: span of control, departmentalization, centralization, and decentralization.
Span of control or the number of subordinates a supervisor has is used as a means of ensuring proper coordination and a sense of accountability among employees. Centralization occurs when decision-making authority is located in the upper organizational levels (Dash &Bamk, 2009).
Through effective organizational control, the service provider continuously monitors, evaluates and refines the service delivery process in order to make it more effective, more cost-efficient and more customer-driven.
Therefore, the control process continuously improves the service delivery and upgrades the quality of the service provided to customers (Deshmukh and Vrat, 2005).
Since it is an inseparable part of the customer service delivery, any improvement in the process of control by hotels will result into more effective and efficient delivery procedures thatresult into better customer service (George & Gibson, 1991).
Consequently, hospitality services in organizations are facing increasing competitive pressures due to recent environmental changes (Gursoy&Swanger, 2006).
In recent years, the significance of hospitality related services has increased significantly in developing countries. Overall, the hospitality industry is becoming a truly competitive, global industry (Clav, 2006).
Due to increasing level of competition in the global hospitality industry, organizations in this industry are becoming more aware of the need to customize services and service performance to the emerging requirements of the sophisticated global customers.
Thus, monitoring, tracking and improving service quality, availability and efficiency are becoming more critical than ever before in hospitality operational service settings.
In Cameroon today, quality customer service relations has become very paramount, but as important as this seems, organizations still perform in below expectations despite the keen competition prevailing around.
Many factors are responsible for the poor customer service relations. Some of them include the nonchalant attitude of employees of the organization as a result of the bad recruitment process used in recruiting into the organization, poor remuneration, inadequate training for the staff of the organization among others.
Some of these factors responsible for the poor customer service relations are what this research work will want to evaluate and bring into the open their consequential effect on the organizational growth.
It must be noted that, every organization today including hotels need to maintain a cordial relationship with their customers. As such, hotels need to have a sense of what the customers need
In order to enhance the above objectives, the following research questions were posed. They are grouped into general and specific research questions.
To what extent does organizational control impact customer service delivery?
- What is the nature of organizational control in Mountain Hotel?
- How effective is organizational control on service efficiency?
- What are the challenges faced in providing excellent control for excellent service delivery?
- How can these challenges be overcome?
The general objective of the study is to examine the impact of organizational control and service delivery in Mountain Hotel in the Buea municipality
Specific objectives seek to:
- To investigate the nature of organizational control in Mountain Hotel
- To assess the influence of organizational control on service efficiency
- To examine the challenges faced in providing excellent organizational control for excellent service delivery.
- To propose solutions that can be used to enhance better customer service delivery