HR Transformation within the hotel industry: building capacity for change

Published on Feb 12, 2018in Worldwide Hospitality and Tourism Themes
· DOI :10.1108/WHATT-10-2017-0064
Tom Baum38
Estimated H-index: 38
Helen Francis12
Estimated H-index: 12
Purpose This study aims to identify recent trends in the strategic repositioning of the human resources (HR) function within the hotel industry, and to explore challenges facing HR professionals as they engage in strategies to develop talent and organisational capability, while adjusting to the shifting boundaries of the HR function. Design/methodology/approach The study provides a case study investigation based on a qualitative research design. It draws on a series of informal discussions with key informants, in-depth round table discussions with members of the HR function and a rich source of secondary (company specific) data about a recent strategic change initiative. Findings The study presents a rich picture of the contradictory nature of the strategic repositioning of the HR function, and the role of electronic HR systems in shaping this. It points to the significance of “higher-order” HR capabilities associated with the functions’ capacity to engage in strategies to develop talent and organisational capability. Practical implications This study points to contradictions and tensions in shifting the focus of the HR function from “operational” to “strategic” management of talent. It offers four practice implications in the areas of continuous professional development, and building HR and line manager skills in dialogue, project management and the use of new technology, talent data and analytics. Originality/value This study illustrates the deployment of talent management practices within a broader organisational development remit to restructure the business and HR function in pursuit of more efficient and effective people management.
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