Organizational Behavior in the Hospitality Industry

Traditionally, there is an interesting cast of characters that comprises the ranks of the hospitality contractor and chef journeymen syndicate. They come from all walks of life, but there is the common thread in the work they do and the services they provide. On the common ground of any given job site where these characters converge, philosophies and attitudes toward service and clienteles becomes remarkably similar to one another. This echoes the universality among the hospitality and service culture regardless of background, individuals’ cultures, or socio-economic status.

The organizational behavior within the hospitality industry depicts one of the most diverse cross-sections of all world populations. So as far as valuation is concerned, diversity it seems, is a precious commodity. If its constituents are not representative of the populations it serves, little else can be expected of your average contractor outside of his or her command of the tools in their tool chest. Collectively, the industry must have an intimate knowledge with whom it is they serve. What is special about a service contractor is they must possess human relationship skills not far removed of the level at which most politicians operate; this is key to the service industry culture. They must be keen to nuances in social settings, and be pragmatic with their listening skills. As diverse as service men and women are, they must also be as intuitive. And, well, we are indeed, diverse.

Who are we exactly? We are world travelers, some. And others of us are more sedentary. Some of us have MBA’s and others of us GED’s. Some service contractor’s have a full-time regular job, in addition; others subsist on the come and go, feast or famine nature of the special events business. For some, it is something to keep them afloat while they are transitioning, and there are those of us who’ve made a career out of hustling the work when it’s available. Long and short, the mix could likely be described as a chaotic melting pot. An article found in the International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management describes how one UK company has armed itself with preparedness techniques and a philosophy of the nature of the environments service men and women cater to as follows:

“Business environments can best be characterized by change, complexity, constraints and conflicts; some observers go even further to mention chaos as an important environmental feature.” (I.J.C.H.M., 1)

So, in studying the individuals and groups within the hospitality industry, they also appear to value chaos; apropos as they are a reflection pool of it. In so doing, the UK company that is the focus of the article, goes on to outline strategies for accommodating the chaos of change. In recognizing and appreciating the value of change, they presented their approach to, “âÂ?¦meet[ing] the challenges which the environment necessitates (I.J.C.H.M., 1);” an attribute and skilled refined by the hospitality contractor or journeymen, an integral part of their culture.

When its sink or swim, feast or famine and it comes time when the lights go down and the curtain goes up and it’s time to perform, hospitality contractors epitomize ‘High Performance’ and effective/ efficient communicators; their livelihood depends on it. And it’s not just an issue of working the customer for a gratuity, because in the case of the independent, he/ she needs word of mouth publicity for future work contracts too. Notwithstanding, at a special event, they have a relatively small block of time within which to accomplish their service tasks and networking goals, and it can often be only a one shot deal. They are usually long odds, but it’s a simple game of the well-dressed hustle so efficiency is necessary for efficacy.

In sum, the hospitality service contractor is on the front lines of his or her market. The organizational behavior of the industry speaks volumes about its professionals. They are adaptive in their nature and exude the ability to recognize and accommodate change well. They are great and efficient communicators, and offer up a proficiency and instinct on human relationships that rival politicians’; their livelihood depends on it. The culture of the hospitality industry is chaotic, but thrives because it’s comprised of a diverse cross-sectioning of society. Poised and perfectly positioned to transition as change abides.

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