How do stereotypes affect the ability to deliver good service in the hospitality industry?

2017-06-06T01:08:22Z (GMT) by Ramirez, Alberto Hartel, Charmine E. J.
The hospitality industry, which generated US $445 billion dollars in 1999 (WTO, 1999), has enabled many nations to develop their economy and consequently is the most important legal business in the world. Moreover, the hospitality industry is one of the most important job creators in the world, providing employment to approximately 100 million people internationally, a figure 1.5 times greater than any other industrial sector (WTO, 1999). Given the importance of this industry, it is a business and government imperative to ensure that business understand and possess the capacity for quality service provision to the international consumer. Our paper helps illuminate this little understood issue in service provision by analysing how stereotypes affect the delivery of good service in the hospitality industry. A theoretical model of factors affecting the cross-cultural service experience is developed from a review of the literature on the Theory of Reasoned Action, the Similarity Attraction Paradigm, Prejudice Theory and Communication Theory. The research uses a multi-method research design incorporating three studies, a participant observation study, an interview study and a survey study. Results of correlational analyses showed that as hypothesised, positive and negative stereotypes were associated with customer satisfaction and dissatisfaction respectively. The research findings have important implications for organisational policies and practices regarding the selection, performance management and training of service staff.