The theory was developed by Frederick Winslow Taylor at the turn of the nineteenth century. The theory/ approach advocates for the use of scientific methods to establish the “best ways” of accomplishing tasks in an organization (Ivancevich & Gilbert, 2000). Based on observations in his engineering field, Taylor was keen on the absence of working standards, poor staff interrelations, inefficiency in service delivery and recruitment of unskilled personnel.
Therefore, the scientific management theory provides the scientific means of solving work-related problems through proper training of workers in order to prepare them adequately for assigned tasks. Similarly, the approach advocates for the fair division of labor among common employees and their managers, cooperation at the workplace and development of principles of management. The use of rewards and punishment is also applied in the model to reinforce the behavior of workers. The success of the theory as experienced by Taylor increased his firms’ productivity and better relationships in the workplace. Currently, the approach has been adopted and further modified to boost efficiency, reduce wastage of resources, recruitment of best-suited personnel and the initiation of incentive-schemes (Esty, et.al., 1995).
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The bureaucratic management theory (1930-1950)
The bureaucratic management theory (1930-1950) was propounded by Max Weber after much dominance of the scientific management theory. The approach is founded on the hierarchy systems and bureaucracy. In this theory, the establishment of clear boundaries exists in terms of authority, leadership and control of management functions. Tasks that are standardized are well-organized into routines and operate according to schedule. Rules and regulations must be strictly followed to ensure that an organization is well operated. As a result, maximum efficiency is achieved.
However, the approach has been largely criticized for its rigid nature since flexibility is proven to increase output among staff. In addition, communication breakdowns are a key characteristic of the bureaucratic management approach.
Human Relations Movement (1930-today)
The radical change in the management approaches was experienced with the rise of this approach. In the system, more focus is placed on the unique characteristics of individuals in an organization and their ability to achieve the set goals and objectives rather than pushing them towards a goal. The previous working conditions as posed by the earlier systems are dehumanizing and do not seek to establish the needs of workers/ staff. Research findings indicate the importance of employee satisfaction in productivity of organizations.
With the human relations movement, the Human Resource Department has become a significant component of many firms all over the world in all industries. The department aligns the needs of the organization and all its workers to increase efficiency and productivity. The hospitality industry has been revolutionized over the years. As a result of the dynamic nature of the industry, it is appropriate that the management of firms invests in the human relations approach so as to capture the creativity and innovative nature of employees. This can be of great benefit to firms in the long run (Johnston, 1987).
Diversity is regarded as the acknowledgment, acceptance, valuing and comprehension of differences among individuals in regard to age, ethnicity, class, race status or any other paradigm. Many organizations in the world have embraced diversity in the workplace due to the changes/dynamics of the contemporary society. Respecting individual differences in the workplace serves great benefits to an organization (employer). With an array of personalities, any organization stands to benefit from the creativity and positive business image that is associated with the incorporation of different groups in an institution. The current generation and business scenes are highly characterized by competition, creativity and innovation. Therefore, embracing the workplace diversity ensures the firm’s success as it taps to all resources and ideas offered by the employees (Esty, et.al., 1995).
With increased globalization, the world has experienced more interactions of individuals from varying backgrounds, culture and beliefs. Consequently, organizations have experienced a shift in the quest to embrace diversity, competition and constant changes. In the hospitality industry, the worldwide economy has brought with it its dynamics of continuous innovation, creativity and competition. Therefore, the workplace diversity is very important as a management issue in the tourism and hospitality industry today.
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Companies’ management structures have embraced the concept of diversity in the workplace so as to be inclusive in the provision of their products/ service. Diversity yields the potential for gaining the competitive advantage of an organization (Loysk, 1996) since it improves people management and boosts productivity. Managers and supervisors in the hospitality industry need to appreciate the changes and evolution of the hospitality industry and be subject to change and creativity.
With the incorporation of new ideas and attitudes at the workplace, greater productivity is an ultimate result. Creative and flexible approaches towards management increase customer service and heighten work performance. Indeed, the capitalization of workplace diversity and proper management has been empirically established as effective strategies towards gaining the top-notch in any industry today.
The resistance perspective
Disparities of physical nature (visible differences) such as race or gender grant discrimination by the larger unified group in an organization. The approach/ paradigm is as a result of working conditions at the workplace and the obvious individual differences. Resistance to workplace diversity has been a lasting phenomenon which may be attributed to the lack of willpower in embracing diversity. However, with the rise of civil rights movements, the resistance paradigm is becoming a thing of the past. Ethnic minorities also get equal opportunities in the workforce as their rights are advocated for. A distinctive characteristic of the resistance approach to workplace diversity is the use of avoidance, manipulation and denial as the retreat/ reaction when approach. This way, substantive reasons are not given for the resistive actions (Loysk, 1996).
Japan as a country is male-seniority based, leaving women at the bottom levels. The Japanese industry has also for long been termed as being unfair and unfriendly to women. Japanese companies have been reported by the World Economic Forum to be discriminative especially against women. As a result, Japan was further downgraded to the 101st position in 2009 from the 98th position in 2008 out of 130 countries. The decrease in population in Japan and the global financial crisis; have however limited many cases of discrimination since industries have to retain their employees due to the high costs of recruitment. The establishment of anti-discriminatory policies in Japan has also reduced the cases of discrimination.
On the other hand, Australia has implemented anti-discrimination legislations such as the Sex Discrimination Act of 1994, Discrimination Act, 1991 and the Anti-Discrimination Act. These legislations have therefore reduced to remarkable extents, the rates of discrimination in Australia as compared to Japan. The mechanisms prohibit discrimination of individuals according to gender, race, background or socioeconomic status.
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Institutions with low motivation to embrace workplace diversity are often reactive in their response to change and may apply the resistance paradigm in retreating, defending, manipulation or the state of denial. To many individuals, the approach is often perceived as being unfair and biased. Therefore, it is important that all staff members are treated equally with a sense of fairness to ensure that productivity in the firm is enhanced. In addition, management systems should be considerate of diverse staff, especially from minority groups so as to ensure that their work is not affected by negative working environments. In the hospitality industry there is a major focus on the appearance of staff which acts as a ready leeway for exploitation and/or harassment. Therefore, it is important for managers and supervisors at hospitality firms to treat forwarded cases of that nature with the weight it deserves rather than treating the cases as normal or pervasive. Employees should neither be manipulated nor threatened to subdue to any unethical practices in the workplace.
Learning and effectiveness perspective
This approach towards diversity in the workplace is gaining more popularity among many organizations globally. Contrary to the resistance paradigm, this perspective embraces the need for workplace diversity with emphasis on tapping the different talents that different individualities offer the workplace. Organizations stand to benefit from individual differences among all employees (Ivancevich & Gilbert, 2000). This paradigm embraces the beauty of diversity in the accomplishment of key roles such as innovation, customer satisfaction and fairness. Firms profound in this philosophy embrace the integration of varying ethnic groups and genders in their day-to-day activities. The differences and similarities of the workforce are seen as great potential to the organization in offering opportunities for all individuals.
In learning and effectiveness, hospitality firms further improve their markets, products and strategies of coping with competition. Business growth is also experienced as the staff members of firms are allowed to improve their knowledge and talents. Unlike the responses of manipulation, denial and threats as experienced in the resistance approach, the learning and effectiveness sphere responses are pro-active in nature and always seeking for efficiency in the workplace.
Japan is largely a homogenous country, thus more reluctant to incorporate foreigners in their workforce. The incorporation of multiculturalism and different aspects of talent have not been well embraced in Japan. The natives take all organizational positions, therefore limiting the channel of new ideas from various individuals. The learning and effectiveness paradigm in Australia is highly effective due to the multi-cultural advantages it enjoys. According to the Australian Bureau of statistics (2006), the country is the most diverse in the world, with 50% of its population of 20 million being non-natives. This way, the Australian hospitality industry has been able to utilize the diversity under the learning effectiveness perspective.