USP Theses Collection


close this section of the library Employee empowerment -- Fiji -- Wakaya Island

View the PDF document More than smiles : employee empowerment facilitating the delivery of high quality, consistent services in tourism and hospitality
Author: Gibson, Dawn Jocelyn Alexis
Institution: University of the South Pacific.
Award: M.A.
Subject: Employee empowerment -- Fiji -- Wakaya Island, Tourism -- Employees -- Fiji -- Wakaya Island, Management -- Employee participation -- Fiji -- Wakaya Island
Date: 2003.
Call No.: Pac HD 50 .5 .G5271 2003
BRN: 972474
Copyright:10-20% of this thesis may be copied without the authors written permission

Abstract: Tourism and Hospitality service organisations are increasingly searching for suitable management strategies that enable the delivery of consistent quality services to guests, resulting in enhanced customer satisfaction and loyalty. To this end, an approach that has gained much support in academic discourse, is employee empowerment. Empowered frontline employees have the potential to increase service quality, due to inherent characteristics of services, which require the presence of both the consumer and frontline employee in the production process. However, more recently, questions have also been raised as to the applicability of western designed management concepts to multi-ethnic workforces within less developed countries like Fiji. More realistic implementation of western management strategies are likely to be more successful if they have been adapted to consider cross-cultural management and the different characteristics of national cultures. Tourism and hospitality related organisations in Fiji are constantly plagued with problems related to the delivery of high quality consistent services. This thesis examined the extent to which employee empowerment could provide a potential solution to this problem. A case study of The Wakaya Club was used as an example of a local service organisation that practised employee empowerment. Findings from the case study showed, that employee empowerment evolved at the resort, as an inherent part of the high quality luxury tourism service that they offer, and was not specifically implemented. By careful research and planning, together with a clear customer orientation and understanding of their elite travel target market’s More than smiles vi needs and expectations, consistent enhanced service quality has been maintained at the resort. Within their planning and operational procedures and policies, cultural characteristics of their multi-ethnic employees, who are predominantly indigenous Fijian, have been taken into consideration. Employee empowerment, as it exists at Wakaya, is however, largely dependent on the complexity and type of service being delivered, and the extent to which employee or guest discretion impacts on guest satisfaction, and ultimate enhanced service quality. Wakaya is one of the few organisations in Fiji that consistently manages to deliver a quality world class tourism and hospitality service, and their practices have the potential to create significant improvements if transferred to other service organisations in tourism, hospitality and Fiji generally.
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