USP Theses Collection


close this section of the library Gibson, Dawn Jocelyn Alexis

View the PDF document Living in the moment : cultural challenges faced by indigenous owned budget resorts in Fiji ; case studies from Wayalailai, Yasawa Island group
Author:Gibson, Dawn Jocelyn Alexis
Institution: University of the South Pacific.
Award: Ph.D.
Subject: Resorts -- Social aspects -- Fiji -- Yasawa Group, Tourism -- Social aspects -- Fiji -- Yasawa Group
Date: 2013
Call No.: pac TX 907 .3 .F5 G532 2013
BRN: 1194205
Copyright:10-20% of this thesis may be copied without the authors written permission

Abstract: In the past fifteen years, the significant increase in Fiji tourist arrivals from the budget backpacker, GAP youth and Career GAP segments has led to the growth of indigenous-owned budget backpacker accommodation. A major dilemma facing i-Taukei entrepreneurs is how to maintain a balance between good business practice, profit maximisation and fulfilling social and communal obligations. As entrepreneurs are representatives of their clan, success should not be measured solely in financial or economic terms, but also on their ability to balance traditional and business obligations, and maintain their status within local society. Furthermore, rather than measuring firm success in terms of the traditional management paradigm of competitiveness, financial viability and market position; one should consider the owners’ aspirations and basic lifestyle motives for starting the business. The case study resorts, both belonging to the province of Vuda, are located on the island of Wayalailai (Wayasewa – little Waya) in the Yasawa Island Group in North Western Fiji. Like most resorts in the Western Division, they epitomise the attraction of an active adventure tropical island ‘sun, sea and sand’ holiday; appealing to the more limited-budget holidaymaker. They represent two different examples of challenges faced by community-owned SMTEs. Data, mostly qualitative, were gathered (over a period of three years during visits that varied from a few days to several months) by means of a detailed literature review, together with participant observation, and in-depth and focus interviews of community groups (youth,women, men, elders and staff) undertaken at the resort and in the village, to discover their primary motivations for owning an SMTE and to identify potential cultural challenges (See Appendix F and Appendix G). The thesis, through the two case studies, examines some of the inherent cultural challenges faced by indigenous-owned budget/backpacker small medium tourism enterprises (SMTEs) in the Yasawa Islands in Fiji. It suggests that for these businesses to succeed, placing culturally accepted limits on social obligations should enable entrepreneurs to meet social and cultural obligations. Success, for indigenous i-Taukei businesses, is valued differently to western counterparts and focuses on xviii using profits for community development and social and traditional obligations, rather than profit maximisation. Apposite training should be tailor-made to amalgamate traditional cultural values into modern business practices. Suitably designed training should enable greater flexibility and include tools that allow entrepreneurs to better balance traditional demands and business goals.
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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