Job Satisfaction Within The Hospitality Industry

This dissertation will discuss all the highlighted important aspect of job satisfaction within the hospitality industry and show the significance of the contended, dynamic and motivated staff. Every organisations responsibility is to give appropriate training for the development of the skills and attitudes to the new as well as active employees through various different strategies used within that organisation to accomplish organisational needs, to improve employee satisfaction and their output. In Hospitality Industry employees are the key asset to the productivity of the organisation for the guest satisfaction and guest’s loyalty. “Sustained customer satisfaction over time leads to customer relationships that increase the long term profitability of the firm.” (Barnes, 2000, pp 51)

Employee motivation can be explained as both intrinsic factors that drive actions and extrinsic factors that serve as encouragement to actions (Locke & Latham, 2004). The intrinsic motivators are the individuals desire to do activities, regardless of whether it is a hobby or a work assignment. Extrinsic motivators are factors that are used to try to affect individuals’ motivation (Tremblay et al., 2009). Employee motivation can affect three aspects of actions which are direction, intensity and duration. The first aspect, direction, implies that the individual has an opportunity to choose which way work will progress. The second aspect, intensity, refers to how much effort an individual put into work. The third aspect, duration, explains how persistent an individual are at work. These three aspects of action has a significant impact on how an employee’ performs and utilizes skills at work (Locke & Latham, 2004).

Job and customer satisfaction are a matter of concern for any organisation especially hospitality industry, as the majority of staff working in the industry are part time. It is an area, which must not be taken frivolously as the hospitality industry has achieved a status of high employee turnover. According to Knox (2003), satisfied employees are more likely to provide exceptional service; they stay committed to the firm and have great sense of allegiance for the company to accomplish its success.


Hilton hotels throughout United Kingdom follow Hilton training policies that are selected and circulated by the head office. A training calendar is issued periodically by the head office and all the employees can apply for variety of courses held internally to improve service and technical skills. Hilton Plc. also has an online university which offers great flexibility and enables employees to do courses online.

Hilton Cardiff also promotes National Vocational Qualifications (NVQ). According to Torrington (2005), the basic idea behind NVQ is training measures for skills which should relate to brand standards. It directly develops the ability of trainees to perform specific tasks which are directly related to the job they are in or for which they are preparing, which is expressed in terms of performance outcomes and specific indicators. By adopting the NVQ as a part of a training policy, training efficiency is examined through external assessments. Each Hilton establishment is linked to a local collage and should elect an internal NVQ assessor who will attain assessor qualifications through local college. Any training completed by the employee of Hilton hotel Cardiff is paid for, therefore it motivates employees to learn new skills and provides opportunities to grow and develop themselves.

There are similar training methods for both full time and casual staff but for full time staff it is more comprehensive then casual staff. As most of the staffs are employed by Hilton Cardiff, Most of the staff has completed his departmental brand standard training (DBST). Departmental Brand Standards are very technical and in depth. It takes about three to six months to complete and requires ‘on the job’ training with written assessment, which is done by departmental trainer.

Training at Hilton

Training standards in all the Hilton hotels across United Kingdom are standardised. As the research at Hilton Cardiff indicates, the company encourages all of its employees to gain necessary qualifications through scheduled courses such as:

Development Programmes

First Aid Training

Health and Safety regulations

Fire Training

Revenue Development

Hilton Graduate Training Scheme

Cellar management

Departmental Training

Training is provided in set stages covering an extensive range from ground floor staff to senior management and trainer qualification

Hilton hotels follow similar training programmes called “Brand Standard for Service Delivery”. This ensures that all the new and existing employees are trained to deliver outstanding service and exceed the expectations of the guest. It also enables supervisors to ensure that all the team members are trained according to brand standards and identify where further training is required. (Hilton Department Trainer Manual)


Establish the motivational links between employee values and level of motivation with specific reference to job satisfaction for Cardiff Hilton employees.

Measure the effects of different techniques used at the Cardiff Hilton and Marriott to achieve job satisfaction and customer satisfaction.

Determine whether employee motivation leads to job satisfaction and job satisfaction leads to customer fulfilment in the case study hotels and hence to the hotel sector.


Delaminate and analyse the theoretical paradigm in modern management theory on job satisfaction and employee values.

Critically review and evaluate the current methodologies at Cardiff Hilton and Marriott to qualify and quantify the perceived customers.

Critically evaluate whether the case study employees perceive a link between their own motivation and customer fulfilment.

Literature Review

The introduction to the literature review outlines theoretical link between job satisfaction, employee motivation and customer satisfaction. Job satisfaction can be seen to be a complex and multifaceted concept, and is thought not to be easily measured in an objective manner. In the experience of the author, something that satisfies one person does not necessarily fulfil the next.

According to Fisher (2007), the purpose of literature review is to take a wider prospective and also to eliminate the necessity to revitalize knowledge that has already been reported. In the literature review section of this dissertation the author will illustrate the readers’ attention to significant results and conclusions of other studies, related data, and trends from preceding researches completed by different authors in similar subjects. The Literature review will illuminate the principles of work motivation and how employee satisfaction can guarantee customer satisfaction and growth of business.

“To interact effectively (present ourselves and communicate appropriately, influence others, work with them in relationships and groups or lead them) we must have a grasp of what others are thinking and feeling including their motives, beliefs, attitudes and intentions.”

(Guirdham, 2002 in Mullins, 2005, p. 434)

According to Mullins (2005), “Satisfaction is not the same as motivation” Job satisfaction is often linked with motivation, but the nature of this relationship is not clear. The difficult part of job satisfaction is describing the exact meaning of its terminology:

“Job satisfaction is more of an attitude, an internal state. It could, for example, be associated with a personal feeling of achievement, either quantitative or qualitative.”

(Mullins, 2005, pp700)

Tosi et. al. (2000) feels that, job satisfaction is all about emotions. It comes from the conceptions of fair outcomes, treatment, and procedures. If the employee is not satisfied by associated colleagues, organisational procedures, incentives, or pay, satisfaction is likely to suffer significantly. Employees’ will give the best output only when they feel that the processes and outcomes of that organisation are fair.

“When you trust your employer, you are more willing to voluntarily engage in behaviours that go beyond your formal requirements.”

(Tosi, 2000, p. 68)

Tack (1999) agrees with Tosi (2000) by stating that, satisfied employees are confident and work with positive attitude in an organisation. They will always be ready to help others and take challenges confidently beyond expectations. Satisfied employees would be prone to go beyond their normal duties because they want to reciprocate their positive experiences. According to research carried out by Herzberg, et. al. (2003), an employee can derive job satisfaction from being given responsibility for their own work, that of others or a new responsibility.

In a latest research on organisational commitment and job satisfaction carried out by Paik, et. al., (2007) results to the coloration that when managers and employees have a mutual understanding of what factors employees feel are most important when motivating themselves, organisational commitment, job satisfaction and performance is likely to increase.

The development of motivational theories took place from 1950 to 1970. Although they are heavily criticised and questioned in terms of their validity, they are probably still the best known theories available which provide clear understandings of employee motivation and job satisfaction, as they both could relate to customer satisfaction. They laid down the foundation and gave the basic understanding of the motivation concept to the contemporary theories which have grown in modern time and are still in use by many management establishments to measure staff performance. (Robbins, 2003)

When Herzberg (2003) researched constructed a two-dimensional paradigm of factors affecting people’s attitudes about work. He concluded that such factors as company policy, supervision, interpersonal relations, working conditions, and salary are hygiene factors rather than motivators. According to the theory, the absence of hygiene factors can create job dissatisfaction, but their presence does not motivate or create satisfaction. In contrast, he determined from the data that the motivators were elements that enriched a person’s job; he found five factors in particular that were strong determiners of job satisfaction: achievement, recognition, the work itself, responsibility, and advancement. These motivators (satisfiers) were associated with long-term positive effects in job performance while the hygiene factors (dissatisfiers) consistently produced only short-term changes in job attitudes and performance, which quickly fell back to its previous level.

Maslow (1943, 1954, 1971 in Buchanan and Huczynski 2004) believes that human motivation and satisfaction can easily be gained through 9 basic needs. He further mentioned that, “a satisfied need is not a motivator” a motive to satisfy the need could result to job satisfaction, for example if a person is well fed and safe, it would be difficult to motivate him with offers of food and shelter. Employee motivation theory is also divided into cognitive theory and process theories. Cognitive theory is based on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs which states that employees’ behavior will focus on satisfying lower needs in order to be able to reach a higher level on the hierarchy of needs. It is also assumed that if the individuals’ needs are unsatisfied it will change its behavior to achieve self-satisfaction which can result in inadequate work performance. Therefore, managers have to recognize that the individual needs depend on where they find themselves in the hierarchy of needs (Udechukwu, 2009)

McGregor (1960 in Torrington, et. al., 2005) has described human nature in his X and Y theory. According to his theory ‘X’ human nature is characterised by avoidance, where efforts are only seen when pushed or monitored. Theory ‘Y’ identifies humans who enjoy satisfaction by good performance, and as being naturally committed and motivated by giving their best on the job. He further explains that pay and incentives should be related to increase the output of the employees, which belong to theory ‘X’ and in contrast theory ‘Y’ tends to trust employees to produce the best possible output and will achieve rewards and motivation in terms of recognition for their achievement.

Lawler, 1973; Porter and Lawler, 1968; Vroom, 1964 (in Meudell and Rodham, 1998) suggested that money will motivate to the extent that it is seen as being able to satisfy an individual’s personal goals and is perceived as being dependent on performance criteria. Motivation within a job could be a reason which may lead to job satisfaction, and satisfaction in job may motivate an employee to achieve high level of work performance.

According to Barnes (2000), satisfied guests will not only continue to do business with the company but will also support it with strong enthusiasm. Guests today are aware of the industry and have high expectations from big brands, when these expectations are not satisfied they develop negative perceptions about that company. On the other hand if a guest’s expectations are exceeded they are more likely to express high levels of satisfaction. In 21st century where the competition is at its peak companies can only succeed by creating an astonishing experience for their guests. Schmitt (2003) also agrees with Barnes (2000) and suggests that achieving highest level of guest satisfaction should be the key goal of any company. In this era of competition companies should aim to achieve ‘Total Customer Satisfaction’ to achieve customer retention and loyalty.

In an article by Ekinci (2003) he has mentioned that guest satisfaction is achieved by fulfilling guests desired service expectation. Desired service expectation is the standard of service a guest expects to receive in an establishment. It corresponds to a combination of what a guest believes the level of performance could be and should be. Hence, it is necessary for an organisation to recognise and exceed guest’s desired service expectations to create an outstanding image in the market.

3. Methodology

According to Saunders et al, he explains the research philosophy you adopt contain important assumption about the way in which you view the world. These assumptions will underpin your research strategy and the method you choose as part of the strategy. As Johnson and Clark (2006) ‘note as business and management researchers we need to be aware of the philosophical commitment we make through our choice of research strategy since this has significant impact not only on what we do but we understand what it is we are investigating’

There are 3 approaches how research can be done




Positivism: working in the tradition of the natural scientist

According to Remenyi et al. 1998:32 was site in Saunder’s, 2009 he states that working with an observable social reality and that the end product of such research can be law-like generalisation similar to those produces by the physical and natural scientist. Another important factor is research is taken to extend to of it end and in a value-free way. This is an independent way of research with no obligation and neither affects nor is affected by the subject of the research as per Remenyi et al. 1998:33.

‘It is frequently advocated that the positivist researcher will be likely to use a highly structured methodology in order to facilitate replication.’

(Gill and Johnson 2002)

Realism: do objects exist independently of our knowledge of their existence

The philosophy of realism is that when the senses show us, as reality is the truth and at the same time object have an existence of an independent human mind. Realism is a give the complete knowledge that is similar to positivism in that it assumes a scientific approach to the development of knowledge. This assumption concentrates on the accumulation of data and complete knowledge of data, which further has two types of realism, which are Direct Realism and Critical Realism.

Direct Realism: What you see is what you get, the experience we go through the experience expects the world to perfect.

Critical Realism: Things which are hidden behind the reality, for example when you next watch an international rugby or cricket match on television you are like to see an advertisement of sponsors in a prominent position on the actual playing surface. This looks like its standing upright on the field. However, it is an illusion.

Interpretivism: Understanding the difference between humans as social factors.

Saunders, 2009 Interpretivism has formed many of the above critiques of naturalism. Interpretivism rests upon idealism. Idealism holds the view that the world is the creation of mind; the world is interpreted through the mind; e.g., classificatory schemes (such as the classificatory scheme of species into mammals, insects, birds, etc., or of the human population into caucasians, negroids and mongoloids). Given this, we cannot know the ‘true’ nature of the object world, separate from our perception of it.

3.1 Qualitative / Quantitative approach

The author has the choice between two major approaches which are quantitative and qualitative. Moreover author has decided to use the mix of both approaches and decided the choice between qualitative and quantitative methods in fieldwork (empirical) research. (Cavaye, 1996; Darke et al., 1998)

Myers (1997), distinguished between qualitative and quantitative research methods:

“Quantitative research methods were originally developed in the natural sciences to study natural phenomena. Examples of quantitative methods now well accepted in the social sciences include survey methods, laboratory experiments, formal methods (e.g. econometrics) and numerical methods such as mathematical modelling. Qualitative research methods were developed in the social sciences to enable researchers to study social and cultural phenomena. Examples of qualitative methods are action research, case study research and ethnography. Qualitative data sources include observation and participant observation (fieldwork), interviews and questionnaires, documents and texts, and the researcher’s impressions and reactions,”

(Myers, 1997: online)

As this research would seek to understand, “people and the social and cultural contexts within which they live,” (Myers, 1997: online), a mainly qualitative approach to data gathering was used. The selection of a qualitative approach also fits well with Hussey and Hussey’s views (1997:20) who defined qualitative research as, “a subjective approach which includes examining and reflecting on perceptions in order to gain understanding of social and human activities.” This was planned to be the case for this research project.

Quantitative methods were used for part of the empirical study, to assist in the assessment of maturity of knowledge sharing and maturity in the use of stories and storytelling as knowledge sharing practices.

3.2 Methods or research strategy

A variety of techniques and paths from different authors has been defined by the author to understand the real concept of methodology. But in this type of research, researcher will follow only selective parts of the onion strategy (see figure) which has been mentioned by Saunders et al., (2003). The large existing secondary data base will be the main target in this research for data collection methods to highlight the importance of motivation and job satisfaction especially in Marriott and Hilton hotels taken a case study for this research.

The onion strategy (Saunders, Philip Lewis and Adrian Thronhill, 2003)

As the Author has a personal experiences in the hospitality industry regarding motivation and job dissatisfaction formed the root of this research. With regards to collection of data it was decided that the dissertation would be a comparison between two key hotels of Cardiff, Marriott, and Hilton. The industry aims for strong attitude towards enthusiastic and well-motivated work force. Hilton identified this theory as the reason towards customer loyalty. As the Marriott is the chief competitor of Hilton in Cardiff, the author decided to compare them in depth. The study will embrace a series of empirical, primary research comprising both qualitative and quantitative data collection in the form of interviews and questionnaires. The author felt that the research involved a great deal of statistical comparison, enormous amount of sensitive and detailed opinion, generating the need for use of both qualitative interviews and quantitative questionnaires.

It has been decided by the author that the interview will undergo qualitative direction as well as quantitative. Approaches for the interview of the staff such as General Manager, Human Resources Manager, Operations Manager, HOD’s with structured interview allowing an in-depth yet flexible converse. In the quantitative approach questionnaires will be given to staff and data will be analysed numerically. It can range from simple counts such as frequency of occurrences to more complex data such as test scores or prices. Quantitative data collection refers to all such data and can be a product of all strategies.

4. Ethics for research

The author will follow all the rules and ethics during this research. For example, the author will protect against plagiarism by ensuring that all data and pieces of information used in this study are properly referenced.

O’Leary (2004) advocates for research to be valid, neutral and authentic, if it is to be recognised as credible. Otherwise, there are risks of being rejected as making a meaningful contribution to wider knowledge. Pellissier (2008) and Saunders et al (2002) also share the same view. Therefore, in conducting this research the author will keep in mind these views to make it sure that the study would not only follow suitable procedure but also be of quality and meet generally suitable level of dependability and reliability.

The author will try to make sure that anyone who agrees to be part of this research knows what it is about and that their consents are fully granted. Among other things, the author will undertake to protect the privacy and anonymity of participants of the author’s research questionnaires and other involvements. Sensitive and personal details such as age and names would be avoided to remove any issues of possible discrimination of workers by superiors who might view hurtfully to views expressed by respondents.

5. Time Scale

For time scale see the Gant’s chart in the appendix.

Cite This Work

To export a reference to this article please select a referencing stye below:


Leave a Reply