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Employee Motivation in Tourism Industry

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Business
Wordcount: 3649 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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Employee Motivation

An important aspect for Service Excellence in Tourism Industry

Introduction: –

Employee Motivation is believed as one of the vital factor for any organisation in order to operate successfully and ensuring service excellence.

According to Charles Woodruffe (2006)

“More and more organizations – especially those in the service sector – have become attuned to the idea that there is not much point in employing people at all if you are not going to take steps to make them want to give their best to you. But by no means all organizations think this way, and even if they do, they still need to put this thinking into practice”.

Woodruffe (2006)

C Wiley (1997) also holds and accepts the fact that employee motivation is one of the important aspects for the organisation to achieve or fulfil its visions, missions and organisational goal and thus attain success in the business.

“Motivated employees can make powerful contributions to the profits and future success of a corporation”

(C Wiley 1997)

Paul Levesque believes that there is a unique relation between Employee Motivation and Customer Satisfaction. High level of Employee enthusiasm will result in higher level of Customer Satisfaction.

“Employee motivation and customer satisfaction fuel each other in a chain reaction of contagious enthusiasm”.

(Paul Levesque)

For any research to be carried out efficiently and effectively, it’s really important to jot down the main aims and objectives. Laying out clear aims and objectives would benefit during research and will also be helpful enough in attaining them.

The Rationale of this research topic is to critically review the importance of Employee motivation for achieving service excellence in tourism industry by conducting an extensive research and using different paradigm and methods for research.

The main aim of the Research Topic is:-

To evaluate the role and importance of employee motivation for achieving high level of service excellence in Tourism industry.

The above mentioned aim provides a broader idea for evaluating the role and importance of employee motivation for achieving high level of service excellence in Tourism industry. So in order to critically evaluate every aspects of the mentioned aim, some important objectives have been drafted which are given below:-

To identify employee motivation as an important tool for success of the organisations.

To examine the use of motivational theories and strategy in order motivate employees and ensuring Service Excellence.

To establish the growing use of reward and recognition and other methods like incentives as different ways of motivating employees

After drafting down the objectives of the research topic it would be worthy enough to understand that for achieving them, suitable paradigms, philosophies, approach and methodology should be used and reviewed.

Literature Review:-

Literature by many researchers has been identified as an important factor for carrying out any type of research as it plays major role in understanding important theories, data, figures etc and also help in relating them to the data collected. But it is also important to understand that while pursuing research reviewing the available literature is an important step which should be followed.

Veal (2006) believes that,

“Reviewing the Literature on a topic can be one of the most rewarding – and one of the most frustrating – of research tasks. It is a task where a range of skills and qualities needs to be employed – including patience, persistence, insight and lateral thinking”

(Veal: 2006).

Hence, literature review also becomes an important part of the research in order to analyze the content of the available Literature for meeting the objectives of the research.

This research is concerned to evaluate the concept of employee motivation, its importance for ensuring high level of service excellence and the role played by it for the success of the organization. For this particular research there are lots of Academics books, Journals Articles, Electronic Articles published on the Internet which provides extensive information. The data collected from the above mentioned secondary data play a crucial role in meeting the objectives of the research topic.

At this stage of the research proposal briefly reviewing the available literature for the achievement of the mentioned objectives is required

Hence, for the first objective which is to identify employee motivation as an important tool for success of the organisations mix and match of Primary and Secondary data would be referred. Good and comprehensive Academic books, journals and web articles are available in the form of Secondary Data which can be referred. There are numbers of journals and web articles which provide critical knowledge about Employee Motivation would also be referred. Journals articles and Web articles mentioned below gives information for the first objective:-

“Motivating Your Staff in a Time of Change” written by Susan M. Heathfield

This article provides vital information about the fact that employees are one of the factors in the success and motivating them is equally important for managers. Susan M. Heathfield believes

“In today’s turbulent, often chaotic, environment, commercial success depends on employees using their full talents. Yet in spite of the myriad of available theories and practices, managers often view motivation as something of a mystery.”


In the above article the author critically explains about the advantages of staff motivation, barrier in motivating staff and use of motivational theories and methods for achieving motivation.

“Motivating knowledge workers to innovate: a model integrating motivation dynamics and antecedents” by Amar, A. D

This article develops a conceptual model synthesizing motivations “what” and “how” that will bring human creativity in organizations which thrive on innovation and also understanding the theory and application of motivation which is very important in managing human resource and in making organizations succeed.

“How to Encourage Employee Motivation” written by Anthony Di Primo

This article gives information about the importance of employee for attaining efficiency and success. Author also point out some important steps for optimum personnel utilization.

“Do All Carrots Look The Same? Examining the Impact of Culture on Employee Motivation” by Justine Di Cesare and Golnaz Sadri

Provides extensive information about the effect of different dimensions of culture on Employee Motivation

The second Objective which is to examine the use of motivational theories and strategy in order motivate employees and ensuring Service Excellence. For achieving this objective, Academics books would be the best assets to use. There are many books on the topic of Human Resource Management and Organizational Behaviour which provide extensive knowledge about Motivational theories and there importance. Academic books given below provides information about Content theories which mention theories developed by Maslow, Hertzberg, Mc. Clelland, Aldefer and Process motivational theories like Expectancy Theory, Equity Theory, Goal Theory and Attribution Theory.

“Management and Organisational Behaviour” and “Managing People in the Hospitality Industry” by L.J, Mullins

“Human Resource Management in the Hospitality and Tourism Industry” written by Michael Riley.

“Human Resource Management” by Torrington, D., Hall, L and Taylor, S.

Organizational Behaviour” by H. Kirk Downey, Don Hellriegel, John W. Slocum.

“Strategic Human Resource Management”, by Mabey, C. and Salaman, G.

Apart from the above mentioned books, Journals article could be referred. Article written by Terence R. Mitchell

“Motivation: New Directions for Theory, Research and Practice” explains major theories of motivation concerned with the arousal and choice of behaviour, problems of implementation and directions for future research are suggested.

For the third objective which is to establish the growing use of reward and recognition and other methods like incentives as different ways of motivating employees, again mix and match of Primary and Secondary data would be referred. Following Books and Journals examine the use of reward and recognition and incentives as useful techniques.

“Strategic Human Resource Management”, by Mabey, C. and Salaman, G which critically evaluate the reward strategy used by Mangers.

“What motivates employees according to over 40 years of motivation surveys” by Wiley, C, which provide in-depth information about the changes in factors influencing Employee Motivation over the years.

“Recognise, Reward, Retain: The Three R’s of Performance Management” by Jennifer Juergens explains the concept of Reward, Recognition and Incentives for motivating employee and retaining them in the organisation for a long term.

“Employee Motivation and Work Incentives in the Service Industries” by Robert W. McIntosh. This article explains the fact that to effectively motivate, a definite system of incentives or rewards is necessary. It also provides information different techniques and suggestion for motivating employees.

“Incentive remuneration not delivering role ownership?” This article critically analyze to the fact that performance related pay is supposed to motivate people to take more ownership of their role, to work harder, be more productive and contribute.

Thus by doing a literature review of the current research topic, it could be said that the above mentioned Academics books, Journals and Articles provides an in – depth knowledge about the concepts of Motivation Theories, Employee motivation and its importance in Organisation’s success and achieving service excellence in tourism industry. Although in any research, literature review is an on-going process and in a same way for this research topic many more relevant Academic Books, Journals and Articles would be referred in order to gain excessive information about the topic.

Research Design and Methodology:-

Research Methodology according to Glyn Jackson,

“Methodologies are strategies with strong focus on gathering information, planning, and design elements”


Positivist Paradigm and Phenomenology Paradigm are considered to be main paradigm for any research hence it would be very important to understand them briefly in order to efficiently use them for the current research topic.

Positivist Paradigm

“Positivism is a framework of research, similar to that adopted by the natural scientist, in which the researcher sees people as a phenomena to be studied from the outside, with behaviour to be explained on the basis of facts and observation gathered by researchers, using theories and models developed researchers”

(Veal: 2006)

In Positivist approach the data collected through is highly specific and precise .It lays emphasis on quantitative observations and statistical analysis. (Collis, J: 2003)

On the other hand, Phenomenological paradigm

“Is a framework which gives more emphasis on the people being studied to provide their own explanation of their situation or behaviour.”

(Veal: 2006)

Phenomenological paradigm is predominately Qualitative in nature and data derived is highly rich and subjective (Collis, J.2003).

For the above mentioned Research topic, a PLURALISTIC approach which is a combination of both Positivist and Phenomenology paradigm. This approach has been taken as research process which includes both observations (Positivist) and the personal views (Phenomenology) of Managers and Employees on Employee Motivation and its relation to Service excellence. For this research Inductive approach has been applied as it believed to be a process whereby the exploration and analysis of related observation leads to the construction of a theory that systematically links such observations in a meaningful way” (Clark M: 1998). Hence for this research, it would be described that Employee Motivation is essential for Service excellence by collection of Primary (surveys) and Secondary (Books, Journals) data and then processing the collected data for explanation to fulfil the objectives of the proposed research.

In this research topic as informed before for the first and the third objective Primary and Secondary sources will be used for achieving them. As far as the first and the third objectives goes along with using books, journals and articles, Primary data will be collected with the method of Survey. Major survey techniques will be used like:-

Face to Face Interview


Telephonic Interviews

E – mails Interviews and Questionnaire

For the First objective at the preliminary stage, Telephonic Interviews or E mail Interviews would be conducted with Mangers and Supervisors in order to convince them about the research and also to carry out Face to face Interviews at the later stages. By using these survey techniques the first objective of how employee motivation plays an important role in success of the Organisations can be identified.

For the Third objective which is to examine the use of rewards and incentives as Motivators. A questionnaire will also be designed for employees in order to gain information on how reward, recognition and incentives help them feel motivated.

Telephonic and Face to face Interview will be conducted with managers and Supervisors to understand their views on the rewards, recognition and incentive plans as motivators for their employees.

Appendix 1 given at the end of the report consists some of the potential Questions to be asked at the time of Telephonic or Face to face Interviews.

For carrying out a successful survey it is very important for any researcher to use the technique of Sampling.

“Sampling is a process by which researchers select a representative subset or part of the total population that can be studied for the topic so that they will be able to draw conclusion regarding the entire population”

(Levent Altinay and Alexandros Paraskevas: 2008)

Thus for this research, the area and number of organisations to be surveyed will be determined by the use of Multi stage sampling under Probility Sampling approach, hence undertaking Survey in four major towns of UK namely Birmingham, Wolverhampton, West Bromwich and Walsall and at least 2 organisations will be surveyed from each town. The number of Managers and Employees to be surveyed will be determined by the use of Simple Random Sampling in which 20 employees will be surveyed from each organisation and 2 managers or supervisors will be surveyed from each organisation.

After discussing the Philosophy and Methodology of the research topic, another important step which would be taken care at the time of conducting the research is of Ethics. Ethics according to Veal (2006) is a behavior which is important in research, as in any other field of human activity.

Ethical issues arise in the design and conduct of research and in the reporting of results. The general principles in codes of research ethics are:

That no harm should befall the research subjects

That subjects should take part freely

That subject should take part on the basis of informed consent.

(Veal: 2006)

At the time of conducted research, the questions for the Interviews and Questionnaire would be carefully designed so that they don’t negative impression about the research. No individual will be forced to give interviews and answering questionnaire. The aims and objectives of the research will be discussed and made evident to the participant before doing survey of any kind.

After noting the value of Ethics in research it would be important to discuss briefly the importance of Reliability and Validity.

Reliability is believed to be the extent to which research findings would be the same if the research were to be repeated at a later date or with a different sample of subjects. In a phenomenological approach reliability is low as compared to positivist approach.

(Veal: 2006)

On the other hand, Validity is the extent to which the information collected by the researcher truly reflects the phenomena being studied. In phenomenological approach validity is high as compared to positivist approach

(Veal: 2006)

Thus the above mentioned Research philosophy and methodology are appropriate as the methods used for data collection are apt enough to meet the objectives of the proposed Research Topic.


Finally in the end it would be worthy enough to recognize the importance of Employee motivation for ensuring service excellence in tourism industry. Employee Motivation not only plays an important role for service excellence but it is also very important for smooth operations of the organisations. Wiley, C. believe “In order to attain to high levels of performance, employers depend on their employees to perform at levels that positively affect the bottom line. Thus, they must understand what motivates them. Such an understanding is essential to improving productivity and, ultimately, to ensuring the success of the company”. The aim and objectives of the research topic are clear and the method of survey and sampling seems to be the most suitable in order to collect primary data and the literature review also proves the availability of sufficient secondary data in the form of Books, journals and internet sources. Thus it can be said that the Positivist and Phenomenology paradigm , Pluralistic approach and methodology of Survey and Sampling of the research topic, if carried out in a systematic and organised manner keeping in mind the Ethics of research can be very helpful in conducting a valid and reliable research.



Mullins, L.J. (1998) Managing People in Hospitality Industry (3rd Edition)

Harlow: Longman

Mullins, L.J. (1999) Management & Organisational Behaviour (5th Edition)

FT/Prentice Hall: London

Veal, A (2006) Research Methods for Leisure and Tourism – a Practical Guide, (3rd Edition), Harlow: Prentice Hall

Mabey, Christopher (1995), Strategic human resource management. Oxford: Blackwell Business.

Torrington, Derek (2004), Human resource management (6th Edition), Harlow: Financial Times Prentice Hall

Altinay, L (2008), Planning research in hospitality and tourism, Amsterdam; London: Butterworth-Heinemann

Collis. & Hussey, R .(2003): Business Research – a practical guide for undergraduate and postgraduate students , 2nd Edition, Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan

Altinay, L, and Paraskevas, A. (2008), Planning research in hospitality and tourism, Amsterdam; London: Butterworth-Heinemann.

Mona A. Clark (1998), Researching and writing dissertations in hospitality and tourism, London: International Thomson Business Press.


Wiley, C (1997) What motivates employees according to over 40 years of motivation surveys, International Journal of Management, Vol 18, No 3, pp263-280

Di Cesare, J & Golnaz, S (2003) Do all carrots look the same? examining the impact of culture on employee motivation In Management Research News, 26:1

Woodruffe, C. (2006), The crucial importance of employee engagement, Human Resource Management International Digest, Vol.14, No. 1, pp. 3-5.

Jennifer Juergens (2005) Recognise, Reward, Retain: The Three R’s of Performance Management, Successful Sales Management, pp. 6 – 14.

Amar, A. D (2004), Motivating knowledge workers to innovate: a mode integrating motivation dynamics and antecedents, European Journal of innovation Management, Vol. 7, No. 2, pp. 89 – 101

Electronic Source (Internet Websites)

Paul Levesque, (no date) Turn Your Employees into Customer Service Dynamos [online]. [Cited 20th April 2008]

Robert W. McIntosh, (no date) Employee Motivation and Work Incentives in the Service Industry [online]. [Cited 20th April 2008].

Zealise, (no date) Incentive remuneration not delivering role ownership [online]. [Cited 20th April 2008].

Glyn Jackson, (no date) what is a methodology? [online] . [Cited 20th April 2008].

Appendix 1

Telephonic or Face to face Interview: – Some of the potential Questions to be asked at the time of Telephonic or Face to face Interviews

Worksheet: Interview Questions

What is the ‘primary aim’ of your company?

What really motivates your staff?

Are there any recent changes in the company that might have affected motivation?

What are the barriers in motivation which stop employees performing to best effect?

What are the patterns of motivation in your company?

How involved are employees in company development?

Does employee feel motivated when they take part in development process?


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