The Royal Thai Hotel is a prestigious hotel that is known for its wonderful services they offer to their customers. The aforesaid firm has existed in the market for 15 good years making it a very reputable organization in the hospitality management. This work will now delve on the management issues centering on the firm considering the fact at the firm has now got a new general manager. It will further evaluate the success of his mode of leadership in the firm in comparison with the previous management and how it impacts on the employees of this venture. In the case study, there are symptoms of problems within the hotel that may have led to its downfall as explained during its post-acquisition period. These symptoms will be fully explicated in this work and provisions of the recommendation.
This is about the general management background of new incoming manager following the acquisition of the Thai hotel by the American hotel company. The mindset of the new manager, Williamson, is that what has worked in all his previous management positions will work in this case too. He therefore went ahead to implement his management technique, which was based on employee empowerment (Hendry, 2012).He failed to ask or investigate on the cause of success of the pre-existing management technique and weigh its profitability and employee satisfaction with it. Even as he proposed the new management system, his subordinates did not argue but most of them agreed to the idea to support it and others, who were clearly dissatisfied, still could not disagree but simply nodded, showing clearly that they were still rooted to the pre-existing management technique in which the superior’s word was final. This therefore shut him out on useful feedback on whether it was worth the change of management technique. Mind you that it is never the case that one management technique that succeeds in one organizational structure will succeed in all to which it will be applied. This move by the new General Manager to turn things around without proper evaluation of the past experience is therefore a symptom that there are problems in this work place (Legge, 1995). It is indeed clearly evident that there are multiple problems that besieges this firm as there are some lapses on the part of the management in that he cannot be able to easily get feedback from his employees as he set a wrong precedent to his staff and the organization.
This is from the perspective of the employees of the Royal Thai Hotel. In as much as Manager Williamson knew that there was a different management technique before his taking over and that the employees had not been used to any other technique, he introduced his technique without prior exhaustive training of the employees (Fee, 2014). He did not make it clear enough on who was to do what in this structure and how to do it. This led into an environment in which the employees were simply guessing around on what decision was minor and which one was major. This is a symptom of a problem in this work place. Similarly, the manager failed to assign different employees role for efficacy of the organization. According to Ulrich, Brockbank, Yeung and Lake (1995) it is always important for the management to delegate duties and ensure that the employees have the capacity to dispense the said duty effectively. It has been observed that the type of management employed in any organization matters a lot as it determines the relationship of the staff and the management in the bid of attaining the objectives of the business.
In the previous purely bureaucratic structure, the communication between the managers and subordinates was quite clear as the manager’s word was final and the subordinate had no say as all was expected of them was to follow instruction passed on from above. However, in the newly introduced less bureaucratic structure, the subordinate employee had a say in the decision-making process and therefore their opinion counted (Khanka, 2007). Misunderstanding came about during the down-top communication whereby the subordinate employees could not distinguish between a major and minor decision as they partook in the making of the decisions. More so, their superiors oftentimes reverted their decisions claiming that they were major decisions, hence they themselves could not understand the difference between them. Laurent (1986) asserts that this could be a symptom that there is a problem of lack of proper understanding of decisions at the various levels of the organizational structure. On the same breath, this results to differences which greatly affects the functionality of the activities in the venture. Once the employees find that it is very difficult for the management to take into consideration their plight they would tend to fully distant themselves from the management and as such the working environment would not be conducive to. inspire the workforce for better productivity.
As the new method of management was introduced, there was a significant number of managers that were not necessarily happy with the whole idea of empowerment as it would take away a considerable amount of their say over their subordinates. This is a sign of dissatisfaction and therefore a problem. As some of the subordinates went out of their way to take initiative and make good decisions to satisfy guest needs, their efforts were simply ignored by their superiors (Schuler and MacMillan, 1984). Their superiors did not commend them on their good work. This lack of positive feedback drained the subordinates’ morale and confidence and therefore, they stopped this practice and started depending on their superiors on decisions. This is a symptom of a problem in this work place due to the lack of subordinate motivation which hampered further innovative and creative ideas from the subordinates that could work for the good of the hotel. It is common knowledge that the role of the subordinate staff in any institution cannot be understated as they really play a major role in seeing to it that the organization realizes its goals (Sparrow, Brewster and Chung, 2016). It is for this reason that they are supposed to accord chance to air out some of the setbacks bedeviling the firm so as to expunge them for efficacy of the operations in the venture. Now that they are alienated from the superior this becomes the genesis of the firm’s failure as the employees at this particular level feel fully demotivated as their issues is not given prominence.
As time went by, the empowerment that the new manager, Williamson, thought would work for the good of the organization seemingly was working in contrast. The overall performance of the hotel began to deteriorate. Customer complaints became more formal and increased in writing by the day. The guests voiced their dissatisfactions to the employees and this was because the number of mistakes made by the employees was on the rise. This litany of complaints by the guests were a symptom of a significant problem in this work. They were symptoms of lack of proper decision-making skills by the subordinate employees which amounted to poor decisions that affected the guests’ experience in the hotel negatively (Storey, 2014).
Finally, with the increasing customer complaints and dissatisfaction about the hotel’s overall dwindling performance in service provision, another indication of a problem in this work place emerged. Two local and one overseas newspaper published negative feedback about the hotel (Purce, 2014). The empowerment that was introduced just increased the stress levels of the employees since they had no prior knowledge and training on the art of decision-making. Moreover, more of them took sick leaves from the organization and employee turnover reached an all-time high. The good working relationships that had been established during the previous management had been choked by this empowerment and employees settled on pointing fingers on each other instead of supporting each other. They were no longer united and “backstabbing”, instead of encouraging, became the order of the day whenever mistakes were made due to the decisions of some of the employees (Renwick, Redman and Maguire, 2013). This severe strain to the working relationships destroyed the togetherness of the employees, which is never a good thing to the success of any business. Williamson as the General Manager was profoundly distressed and therefore his leading morale was also dented.
In as much as empowering a workforce encourages employees to think, be innovative and creative on their own, it can be a significant cause of confusion by developing varied messages from the employees in a view to solve a problem. It is important to note that each employee has a best way to solve a problem and therefore what may work for one employee may not work for another, and rather than creating a cohesive company message, you can end up with different and fragmented messages from the different employees (Oke, 2016). The major differences in the system arises as a result of the staff not willing and able to cooperate together. This in turn would generally affect the service rendered to the customers as the staff would not work for a common goal of the organization due to their differences (Daniels, Wang, Lawong & Ferris, 2017). In this case study, the subordinate employees decided to make decisions but their decisions were not corresponding to their superiors. This messaged disconnect led to lack of understanding and demotivated the employees.
The problem of insufficient training of the subordinates and managers on decision making procedures has led to the downfall of the hotel as the employees could no longer handle the pressure of making sound decisions on their own without directions from above. Whenever the decisions failed. The employees could no longer handle it and therefore their stress levels went up to the point that the employees started taking sick leaves. There is always need for proper training which is geared towards empowering the staff for better production in the venture. However, lack of that makes it difficult for the staff to dispense their services well, as entropy will always be the order of the day due to the uncertainty in the system and how best one ought to conduct their work (Wilton, 2016). Once the top management has instituted a proper training in the organization, there is higher likelihood of the whole business in that firm to be carried out in a more professional way due to clear understanding of every one’s role and duty (Korff, Biemann & Voelpel, 2017).
This is a problem that caused the demoralization of the subordinate employees in the sense that the decisions made by them were not taken into account whether or not they were profitable to the organization. More so, when Williamson proposed his new strategy of management by empowerment, some of the managers could not concur with him and only agreed to support it passively (Sparrow, Brewster & Chung, 2016). This reluctance was one of the major issues that caused the organization to get the negative reviews, though indirectly. The reluctance showed only lack of preparation for this new change. The challenges in some empowered environments can come from the managers. Full involvement of the management in the venture’s operations is very crucial as they do set the pace for working. Therefore, reluctance on their part may greatly hinder the productivity of the organization since they will be unwilling to support nay effort put in place by the current General Manager and thereby affecting the whole system due to sabotage of the senior management who are the major driver of the organization.
Conflict among the employees was the reason as to why the employees of the hotel could no longer handle the pressure as they were no longer united. All they did was backbiting each other and not building each other up in terms of improving their decision-making skills. In this sense, interpersonal relations may suffer because there can be a clash between employees (Budhwar & Debrah, 2013).
The fact that the incoming manager, Williamson, never cared to check and see how the previous management method, which was authoritarian, worked for the good of the organization, was an act of indifference. This act of indifference is the problem that instantiated all the succeeding issues because it meant the manager walking into the position blindfold (Krishantha & Mohan, 2016). He did not have sufficient information to act as a guide to his actions and the kinds of management decisions that he was yet to undertake. He simply equated his past management decisions that led to a successful experience to this and applied all the things he had done in the different environment to this, in a view to replicate success. This too is an act of negligence. The differences that exists between this manager seems to be the major factor that would affect the organization (Chen, Tang, Lee & Jin, 2016). This is simply because the senior management are the ones who set pace for the activities to be conducted in the organization. Most importantly they are the ones who oversee different activities and its feasibility in the organization (Wilton, 2016). This will also open a leeway for the subordinate staff to do their activities sluggishly knowing that there is no senior management who would be supervising their duty on basis and as such it may in incredibly affect the business.
Williamson is well conversant with the US hotel development considering that he has worked in different capacity in the said field within the parameters of USA. However, he has very little knowledge on International Hospitality (Melton & Meier, 2017). This is very explicit in the manner in which he employs his leadership style. It would be very prudent for Williamson to have known the previous way of administration before administering his to see how best he can be able to integrate every member of the organization with his new approach. It is always common knowledge that any new manager in a firm has to undergo some sort of challenges before adopting the current system in the organization (Ones, Viswesvaran & Schmidt, 2017). Nonetheless, the cultural indifference may be averted if the manger is ready and willing to adjust to the previous approach so as to fully accommodate the divergent view from different parties in the venture.
I would recommend the following solutions to the problems and symptoms in this case study: Investigation on the benefit of the preceding method of administration. It is important that before implementing a new management style in a business, the management should have perfect knowledge of the previous one. This is important because it would ensure that the manager knows the feasibility of the new proposed system and its impact on the success and employee acceptance. Recognition approach: empowerment should involve recognition which in turn boosts the employee motivation and confidence to make new and better decisions each time. Some others define Empowerment as giving decision making authority to employees by managers. Any kind of participating management almost, treated as empowerment. Training-It is essential that the owners of any system are trained and given the right skill set to fit in and carry the new integrated system to success. Lack of training on proper decision making processes is one of the key factors that led to the downfall of the hotel in question. Educate the employees on the importance of the new system- this may boost employee acceptance of the new system as they are able to see the benefit that the proposed culture would have on their lives and the business. Through this education, they are able to own up the proposal and therefore view it as part of their responsibility and not just a single person’s vision.
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