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Managerial Competence within the Hospitality and Tourism Service Industries “Excellent reading and source of knowledge for researchers and business practitioners who deal with the issue of managing culturally diverse workforces in the domestic or international setting. – Henri Jolles, European School of Management, France “A ground breaking research culminating in a new paradigm of managerial excellence on global managment” – Dr Willem Arthur Hamel, Chairman, Maximilian Press Publishing Company and President, Association of Management and International Association of Management, USA This timely book examines cross-cultural managerial communication competence and its application within the service industry.

Focusing particularly on the hospitality and tourism industry, John Saee examines the cross-cultural implications of competence across all managerial functions: planning, workplace communication, recruitment/promotion, induction, training, supervision, industrial relations, management of change, customer service, ? nancial management and marketing. This is the ? rst detailed study – at a national level – of current psychological and sociological theories of intercultural communication, linked to an investigation of the management of cultural diversity in the workplace within a multicultural society, a study which has global implications.This cutting-edge research advances new modalities of best practice on managerial competence which can be equally applied to all other industries around the world confronted with cultural diversity in the workplace. Incorporating well-structured discussion, the book demonstrates an excellent balance of theory and practical application, and takes an innovative angle on the analysis of host country managers’ undergoing culture shock.It will be topical reading for students across many disciplines: including cross-cultural studies, international business and tourism; as well as for professional organisations providing support services to the hospitality and tourism industries. John Saee, Ph. D.

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is Professor of International Business, Swinburne University of Technology, Australia and invited Professorial Senior Fellow at the IESEG-Grande Ecole (elite university), France.Prior to his academic appointment, he held senior management positions in private and public sectors, and has received numerous awards including the Associate Fellowship of the Australian Institute of Management. His books include Managing Organizations in a Global Economy, Global Business Handbook and Strategic Global Management. He is also editor-in-chief of the Journal of Management Systems, of? cial journal of the Association of Management, USA.

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Carter, Colette Henry, Barra O Cinneide and Kate Johnston 31 Managerial Competence within the Hospitality and Tourism Service Industries Global cultural contextual analysis John Saee Managerial Competence within the Hospitality and Tourism Service Industries Global cultural contextual analysis John Saee First published 2006 by Routledge 2 Park Square, Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon OX14 4RN Simultaneously published in the USA and Canada by Routledge 270 Madison Ave, New York, NY 10016 Routledge is an imprint of the Taylor & Francis Group, an informa business © 2006 John Saee This edition published in the Taylor & Francis e-Library, 2006. “To purchase your own copy of this or any of Taylor & Francis or Routledge’s collection of thousands of eBooks please go to www. eBookstore. tandf.

co. uk. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reprinted or reproduced or utilised in any form or by any electronic, mechanical, or other means, now known or hereafter invented, including photocopying and recording, or in any information storage or retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publishers.

British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data A catalog record for this book has been requested ISBN10: 0-415-38596-2 (hbk) ISBN10: 0-203-96620-4 (ebk) ISBN13: 978-0-415-38596-1 (hbk) ISBN13: 978-0-203-96620-4 (ebk) ContentsList of illustrations Preface Acknowledgements x xii xiv 1 Intercultural communication competence and managerial functions within the Australian hospitality and tourism service industries 1. 1 1. 2 Statement of the research study 1 Cultural diversity within Australian society and its organisations with reference to the Australian hospitality and tourism service industries 4 1. 3 Cultural diversity and managerial functions in Australia 5 1. 4 Cultural diversity and communication within the Australian hospitality and tourism service industries 6 1. 5 Theoretical perspectives on intercultural communication 7 1. 6 Justi? cation for the study 9 1. Research methodology 11 1.

8 Research aims 11 1. 9 Research objectives 12 1. 10 Research questions 12 1. 11 Structure of the research study 13 1. 12 De? nitions of the terms used in this study 14 1 2 Communication, culture and managerial functions 2.

1 2. 2 2. 3 2. 4 2.

5 2. 6 2. 7 The nexus between communication and management 17 Communication 19 Culture and communication 21 What is culture? 21 Major obstacles to intercultural communication 23 Cultural diversity and communication 28 Culture and management 29 17 viii Contents 2. 8 2. 9 2. 10 2. 11 2. 12 2.

13 Australia’s multiculturalism 38 Australia’s Anglo culture: dominant culture 39 Bene? s of cultural diversity 42 Managing a culturally diverse workforce in Australia 43 Key managerial functions 44 Corporate culture 49 3 Theoretical perspectives on intercultural communication 3. 1 3. 2 3.

3 3. 4 3. 5 3. 6 3. 7 3. 8 English language as a “panacea” for ineffective intercultural communication 51 Psychological theories of intercultural communication 53 General systems theory of intercultural communication 55 Uncertainty reduction theory of intercultural communication 58 Convergence theory of intercultural communication 65 Interpersonal theory of intercultural communication 67 Intercultural communication competence de? ned 73 Conclusion 77 51 4 Pro? e of the Australian hospitality and tourism service industries: challenges of cultural diversity 4.

1 4. 2 4. 3 79 4.

4 4. 5 4. 6 4. 7 4.

8 Introduction to the Australian hospitality and tourism service industries 79 Challenges of cultural diversity within the Australian hospitality and tourism service industries 80 The link between managerial communication and effective management performance within the Australian hospitality and tourism service industries 84 Current weaknesses in management practices in the Australian hospitality and tourism service industries 91 Pro? le of a culturally diverse clientele: implications for training in the Australian hospitality and tourism service industries 94 Future demands for ? ency in languages other than English (LOTE) for staff within the Australian hospitality and tourism service industries 96 Pro? le of the hospitality/tourism training in Australia 98 Conclusion 106 5 Research methodology 5. 1 5. 2 5. 3 5. 4 5.

5 Research aims 108 Research objectives 108 Research questions 109 Research methodology and rationale 110 Methodology overview 112 108 Contents ix 5. 6 5. 7 5. 8 5.

9 5. 10 Pro? les of representative organisations in brief 114 Means of gaining relevant phenomenological information 118 Phenomenological information collection procedure 123 Ethical issues 125 Further quality and bias checks 125 6 Results and analysis 6. 1 6. 2 6.

3 6. 4 6. 5 6. 6 6. 7 6. 8 6.

9 6. 0 Use of tables 127 Research question no. 1 Research question no. 2 Research question no. 3 Research question no. 4 Research question no. 5 Research question no. 6 Research question no.

7 Research question no. 8 Conclusion 202 128 139 147 151 156 168 176 201 127 7 Conclusion 7. 1 7. 2 7. 3 7.

4 7. 5 7. 6 Introduction 211 Rationale for the study 211 Major contributions of this study 219 Limitations of the study in this research 220 Implications of the present study for management training 220 Directions for further research 221 211 Bibliography Index 222 259 Illustrations Figure 6. 1 A new model of competent practice in managerial functions 210 Tables 2. 1 2. 2 2. 3 2. 4 2.

5 2. 2. 7 2. 8 2. 9 4. 1 4.

2 4. 3 Bypassing the hierarchical line Hierarchical structure and authority Comparative work goals: German, Japanese and American respondents’ rankings Cultural variations: performance appraisals The individualism dimension The power distance dimension The uncertainty avoidance dimension Feminine and masculine dimensions National culture in four dimensions Main countries of birth of Australian population The number of people who are speakers of languages other than English at home Forecasts of number of international visitors to Australia between 1994 and 2000 whose ? rst language is other than English Number of staff ? ent in a language other than English Estimated increases of language-? uent staff by language group Estimates of number of language-? uent staff required in 2000 by job category and language group Total clients (persons) enrolled in TAFE courses in food, tourism and hospitality, 1994 and 1995 Number of enrolments for hospitality and tourism courses Total clients (persons) enrolled in TAFE courses in food, tourism and hospitality, and speaking a language other than English, 1994 and 1995 Positivistic and phenomenological schools of philosophy 30 30 31 32 35 36 37 38 38 82 82 4. 4 4. 5 4.

6 4. 7 4. 8 4. 9 95 97 97 98 100 101 5. 1 106 111 Illustrations 5.

2 5. 3 6. 6.

2 6. 3 6. 4 6. 5 6. 6 6. 7 6. 8 6.

9 Countries of birth of employees and languages spoken by employees of Organisation 4 Processes involved in a narrative approach to research Presentation of results Managers’ perspectives on intercultural communication competence Managers’ perspectives on experiencing uncertainty in multicultural interactions Ways that managers experience uncertainty in their intercultural encounters Managers’ perspectives on their coping strategies in managing uncertainty in multicultural interactions Managers’ perspectives on psychological adaptation by international visitors Managers’ perspectives on challenges and bene? s of cultural diversity of a multicultural workforce Excellence model of intercultural managerial communication competence (ICC) Model of competent practice in managerial functions incorporating intercultural communication competence to manage cultural diversity xi 117 124 127 129–130 139 142 144 151 158 204–205 206–209 Preface This research study investigates the nature of intercultural managerial communication competence and its application within the service industry, in particular, the Australian hospitality and tourism service industries with regard to managerial functions such as planning, workplace communication, recruitment/promotion, induction, training, supervision, industrial relations, management of change, customer service, ? nancial management and marketing. This is the ? st detailed study at a national level where current psychological and sociological theories of intercultural communication are critically examined and linked to an investigation of management of cultural diversity in a workplace in a particular service industry in a multicultural Australian society. This particular service industry represents a very signi? cant economic sector in all industrial societies so that ? ndings from this research will have global managerial implications.

Meanwhile, Australian hospitality and tourism industries represent a signi? cantly high percentage of culturally diverse human resources. Also, coupled with a high degree of globalisation in terms of ownership and international clientele, as well as global trade (Noriander, 1990). These industries are also becoming increasingly important to the Australian economy.According to Tourism Training Australia (1998), hospitality and tourism are fast becoming Australia’s predominant foreign exchange earner, generating considerable employment, wealth and prosperity for the nation as a whole. For example, “There are more than 500,000 people employed by the tourism and hospitality industry in Australia. ” Equally, it is instructive to note that the revenue generated worldwide through global tourism and hospitality is phenomenal.

The World Travel and Tourism Council (cited in Adam, 1998) indicates that “tourism and hospitality global revenue stands at $4. 7 trillion, and is expected to rise to over $9 trillion in 2006. The number of jobs in the industry will jump up by 50 per cent to 385 million” (Adam, 1998, p. 30).

Further, research by WTTC (2005) predicts that by 2014, travel and tourism could generate 10. per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and some 260 million jobs, representing 8. 6 per cent of total employment worldwide. Similarly, within the European continent, the tourism industry and other related activities, for example, represent 12 per cent of the GDP and twenty million jobs. The continuous growth of tourism into the European Union has Preface xiii been enormous: twenty-? ve million international arrivals in 1950, 165 million in 1970, 693 million in 2001 and 1. 5 billion forecast for the year 2020 (Cabrini, 2002). From contemporary communication theories, implications were determined for managerial practices in a culturally diverse workplace and workforce. A pro? e of the Australian hospitality and tourism industries was produced, identifying the challenges of cultural diversity for managers.

Based upon the published literature on theories of intercultural communication and competence, eight research objectives and eight research questions were determined for investigation in the context of management in the industries. Research was conducted using a multiple case study of six major national and international organisations, involving in-depth interviews, ethnomethodology, historical analysis and documentary evidence. Senior managers representing different sectors of the Australian hospitality and tourism industries participated.The results suggested that these managers generally showed a limited understanding of the cross-cultural communication dimensions of management, precipitated by a lack of management training and education, for example, in communication theories.

This apparent gap in theoretical and applied knowledge of intercultural communication competence was generally re? ected in an inadequate ability to deal with cultural diversity in managerial functions such as planning, workplace communication, recruitment/promotion, induction, training, supervision, industrial relations, management of change, customer service, ? nancial management and marketing as well as in their perceptions of corporate culture.Arising from the grounded theory used in this study, two new models were developed of intercultural managerial communication competence and of competent managerial practice, respectively, for the management of cultural diversity in the workplace with global implications. These models can be applied to communication management and management of cultural diversity in other industries, domestic and international, and suggestions are made for future directions for research.

In summary, the study in this research project led to four major contributions. First, the study explained the psychological processes relating to the intercultural communication competence of members of the host culture, namely Australian hospitality and tourism managers.Second, the perceived knowledge of the representative managers about intercultural communication competence and its application to their daily managerial functions has been identi? ed and examined. The managers in this study were found to have shortcomings in their ability to apply intercultural communication competence to their managerial functions. Third, there is now a greater understanding of how members of the host culture empathise with sojourners’ psychological adaptation to that culture. Fourth, two new models of intercultural communication competence and competent managerial practice respectively for the management of cultural diversity in the workplace have been developed from both an analysis of published literature and the qualitative research ?ndings, new models with global implications. AcknowledgementsThe author owes an enormous debt of gratitude to scholars and to my students from around the world who have through their writings and debates helped me to extend the frontiers of knowledge in an area of increasing importance such as intercultural managerial competence within contemporary global economy. In particular, the author wishes to record his deep appreciation to a number of colleagues for their support in this intellectual enterprise, including Olga Muzychenko, Elias Hadzilias, Shirley Saunders, Michael Kaye, Dennis Ottley, Will Hamel, Jean-Phillipe Ammeux, Daniel Buyl, Elian Chekroun, Pascal Amaye, David Hayward, Henri Jolles, Heinz Klandt, James Liberty, Frank Percy, Bruce Roberts, Terry Clague, Katherine Carpenter and Hannah Dolan.

1Intercultural communication competence and managerial functions within the Australian hospitality and tourism service industries Human beings draw close to one another by their common nature, but habits and customs keep them apart. (Confucian saying cited in Irwin and More, 1994) 1. 1 Statement of the research study This research study investigates the nature of intercultural communication competence and its application within the Australian hospitality and tourism service industries to managerial functions such as planning, workplace communication, recruitment/promotion, induction, training, supervision, industrial relations, management of change, customer service, ? ancial management and marketing as well as managers’ perceptions of corporate culture. “Intercultural communication” is de? ned in the study in this research as “involving interpersonal communication between people from different sociocultural systems and/or communication between members of different subsystems (e. g. ethnic or racial groups) within the same sociocultural system” (Gudykunst, 1987, p. 848). “Competence” in this study is conceptualised in terms of the widely accepted de? nition of communication competence namely, fundamental competence: “an individual’s ability to adapt effectively to the surrounding environment over time” (Spitzberg and Cupach, 1984, p.

35). The central feature of this de? ition is the focus on adaptability, which is a widely accepted component of communication competence (Duran, 1992; Irwin, 1994, 1996; Lustig and Koester, 1993; Spitzberg and Cupach, 1984; Spitzberg and Duran, 1995; Wiemann and Bradac, 1989; Wiseman and Koester, 1993). Thus, for a manager working with a workforce and clientele of culturally diverse backgrounds it is important to develop an ability to be ? exible and adaptable to different cultural contexts, by being sensitive to the cultural situation and acting accordingly (Adler, 1997; Fatehi, 1996; Jackson, 1993; Mahoney et al.

, 1998). (Chapter 3 discusses theories of intercultural communication and intercultural communication competence. Scholars and policy makers suggest that increased intercultural understanding and improved intercultural communication have become increasingly important 2 Intercultural communication competence to our world of blending cultures, experiences and business practices (Saee, 1998). These views have emerged from recognising increasing globalisation of economies and tourism around the world. More speci? cally, with reference to the Australian experience, statistics released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics in 1993 showed that the total export of Australian merchandise trade to Asian countries was around 58 per cent, and “continued to rise to 60.

5 per cent (i. . $43. 3 billion) in 1995” (Sydney Morning Herald, 2 November, 1996, p. 1). Meanwhile, inbound tourism to Australia totalled 3. 2 million in 1995 (Bureau of Tourism Research, 1995). Increasing numbers of people from the countries of Asia and other nonEnglish-speaking countries are part of Australian workforces, including that of hospitality as employers, employees and clients.

Tourism to Australia particularly of travellers from non-English backgrounds is rising at a phenomenal rate. In 1995, over half of the international visitors to Australia came from Asia, and six of Australia’s top ten sources of markets were located in South East Asia.By the turn of the century, more than three in ? ve visitors will live in Asia (Tourism Forecasting Council of Australia, 1996).

Overall, the reality of contemporary Australian cultural diversity (multiculturalism), coupled with the increasing globalisation of business, demands that Australian managers become interculturally competent to capitalise on increasing opportunities and bene? ts afforded by cultural diversity both nationally and internationally (Saee, 1998). However, little research undertaken to date in Australia has explored the challenges and complexities of intercultural communication, especially relating to the hospitality industry.The absence of either quantitative or qualitative research in relation to the nature of intercultural communication competence within Australian hospitality suggests that it would be useful to design a study to identify and isolate the key determining variables for effective intercultural communication by managers.

Such a study is even more signi? cant because contemporary theories of intercultural communication focus on the sojourners/migrants’ responsibility to develop intercultural communication competence rather than on any equivalent requirement on the part of members of the host culture. Thus the aim of this research study is to explore how Anglo Australian hospitality and tourism service industries managers understand and use intercultural communication in their managerial roles.An Australian hospitality and tourism service industries manager is de? ned in in this research study as an Australian citizen whose mother tongue is English and who holds a management position within the hospitality industry. The hospitality and tourism industry is de? ned, in this study, in terms of a number of interrelated organisations namely, hotels, motels, clubs, restaurants, fast-food establishments, institutional catering organisations and leisure and tourism operations (Morrison, 1989). This de? nition is also consistent with the de? nition provided by the Australian Training Association (1998) in which it was argued that Intercultural communication competence 3The hospitality industry is made up of many different sectors including food beverage, accommodation, whether national or international markets, and tourism sector. The industry also includes motels, hotels, resorts, and restaurants, clubs, and casinos. The tourism sector of the industry deals with travel, domestic and inbound tourism, and includes travel agencies, tourist information of? ces, tour wholesalers, attractions, meetings and conventions and tour guiding. (p.

1) Australian hospitality and tourism were chosen for this study on intercultural communication competence and managerial functions for the following three reasons: 1 2 3 The Australian hospitality and tourism represent a signi? cantly high percentage of culturally diverse human resources.The industry represents a high degree of globalisation in terms of ownership and international clientele, as well as global trade (Noriander, 1990). The industry is becoming increasingly important to the Australian economy. In 2003/2004, tourism accounted for AU$32 billion of Australia’s total gross domestic product (GDP). International tourism exports contribute 12.

1 per cent of total export of goods and services. In 2003/2004, an increase of 1. 2 per cent over the previous year. The Tourism Forecasting Committee predicts that the value of inbound tourism will increase from AU$18.

5 billion in 2005 to AU$32. 1 billion in 2014, representing an average growth of 6. 3 per cent (ATEC, 2005).Further, Russell (1997) reported that the “Tourism business contributed more than $28,500 a minute into the NSW economy” (p. 1). Equally, it is instructive to note that the revenue generated worldwide through the global tourism and hospitality is phenomenal. The World Travel and Tourism Council (cited in Adam, 1998) indicates that “tourism and hospitality global revenue stands at $4. 7 trillion, and is expected to rise to over $9 trillion in 2006.

The number of jobs in the industry will jump up by 50 per cent to 385 million” (Adam, 1998, p. 30). This has obvious implications for the industries’ future potential in terms of increased revenue and employment opportunities.This introductory chapter provides a brief discussion of a number of foundation conceptual issues regarding the study of intercultural communication in this research study. The nature of cultural diversity within Australian society and its organisations, especially within the Australian hospitality and tourism service industries, is reviewed. Managerial functions within these industries are identi? ed and related to cultural diversity in Australia.

An overview is provided of differing perspectives/theories of intercultural communication. In addition, the structure of the study is outlined, including a justi? cation for the study and an overview of the research methodology. 4 Intercultural communication competence 1. Cultural diversity within Australian society and its organisations with reference to the Australian hospitality and tourism service industries Post-Second World War Australian society and Australian organisations have undergone massive transformations in terms of the cultural diversity of their workforce.

The scale of cultural diversity of Australia’s population is large: 42% of the population were born overseas or have at least one parent born overseas: approximately 23% were born overseas in a non-English speaking country or have at least one parent from such a country; about 17% speak a language other than English at home; in the last ten years more than 50,000 business migrants have settled in Australia; and about 21% of Australia’s 800,000 small businesses are owned or operated by people of non-English speaking backgrounds. (Beresford, 1995, p. 9) The in? ux of these people of diverse cultural heritage has enriched Australian society with a wide variety of cultures, arts, languages, philosophies, music, new cuisines, fashions, technology, skills, education and entrepreneurship (Saee, 1993). In relation to the composition of the Australian workforce, a report released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (1996) showed that the Australian-born labour force was made up of 6,789,400 workers while some 2,227,300 Australian workers who participated in the workforce were born outside Australia. Non-English-speaking background workers (NESB) comprised 15 per cent of the total workforce (EMD, 1994).In terms of the composition of the Australian hospitality and tourism service industries’ workforce, statistics released by the Bureau of Tourism Research (1995) showed that around 536,000 persons are employed in the hospitality industry. In 1996, this represented 6.

2 per cent of total jobs in Australia (Australian National Training Authority, 1996). The statistics on the breakdown of the hospitality workforce by ethnicity are currently unavailable. However present indications suggest that a signi? cant percentage of the hospitality workforce is comprised of people from culturally diverse backgrounds. Cox and Smolinski (1994) write of the bene? cial effect on organisational performance of the effective management of cultural diversity, including reater innovativeness, increased problem-solving capacity, marketing success and attraction of higher-quality staff. Notwithstanding these potential bene? ts, it has been argued that Australian management has failed to capitalise on its multicultural workforce (Cox and Smolinski, 1994; Karpin, 1995).

Intercultural communication competence 5 1. 3 Cultural diversity and managerial functions in Australia A number of researchers have argued that effective management of a diverse workforce does not just contribute to the welfare and wellbeing of all employees but, more importantly, the return of such “investment” is very rewarding to the development and growth of the overall organisation (Deresky, 1994; Fernandez, 1993; Morrison, 1992).Managing cultural diversity includes a process of creating and maintaining an environment that encourages all individuals to reach their full potential in pursuit of organisational objectives (Jenner, 1994; Thomas, 1994). In addition, management of diversity is about building speci? c skills, creating policies and drafting practices that produce the best from every employee.

This will not be possible without effective intercultural communication management. By and large, communication is the key to the effective functioning of an organisation. As Thayer (1990) has stated “without communication, nothing can be achieved in an organisation and . . . everything an organisation does and is, is dependent on communication” (pp. 6–7).The association between management and communication can be approached by determining the amount of a manager’s time spent on communication.

Managers typically spend between 70–80 per cent of their time each day involved in communication processes in the workplace (Harris and Moran, 1991). This includes writing, talking and listening. In fact, all business ultimately comes down to transactions which depend almost entirely on how well managers understand each other (Harris and Moran, 1991). Thus communication underpins all managerial functions. Effective communication is therefore essential for maintaining and enhancing organisational performance in a culturally diverse workplace (Putnis andPetelin, 1996). Both the Karpin inquiry (1995) and research by the Of? ce of Multicultural Affairs (1994) concluded that, in general, Australian managers failed to utilise cultural diversity in their organisations. In this research study, it is argued that this de? ciency will be re? ected in Australian managers’ key managerial functions of planning, workplace communication, recruitment/promotion, induction, training, supervision, industrial relations, management of change, customer service, marketing and ? nancial management and in their perceptions of corporate culture (OMA, 1994). (See Chapter 2 for a description of each managerial function.

) No speci? research has been conducted on management practices in the Australian hospitality industries, nor has a single research study investigated intercultural communication competence and its application to managerial functions in Australia. However, some studies of the Australian hospitality industries have highlighted a broad range of managerial problems (Beresford, 1995; James Cook University, 1992). Given the absence of a single study of intercultural communication competence and its potential application to managerial functions within these industries, this research was designed speci? cally to explore these issues.

6 Intercultural communication competence 1. Cultural diversity and communication within the Australian hospitality and tourism service industries Tourism and migration to Australia have presented considerable challenges for intercultural communication processes. More speci? cally, there is a growing cultural and ethnic diversity of hospitality and tourism consumers in Australia. “Inbound tourism alone accounted for 3. 2 million international visitors to Australia in 1995 who spent over $11. 9 billion in various hospitality related activities” (Bureau of Tourism Research, 1995).

Similarly, an increasing number of Australians of culturally diverse backgrounds themselves travel, eat out and engage in other leisure activities serviced by the hospitality industry.Further, Australia’s tourism industry directly employed approximately 5 per cent of Australia’s workforce in 1990 (Bureau of Tourism Research, 1993). Using the Australian Tourism Commission’s 2000 international visitor targets (6. 5 million overseas visitors), the Department of Tourism projected that by 2000, the tourism industry could employ 571,000 persons or 6. 3 per cent of the total workforce. Migrants are estimated to contribute annually around 46,000 persons of the total new labourforce between 1991 and 2001 (James Cook University, 1992). Notable is the fact that “the hotel industry is facing increased cultural diversity in terms of ownership.

There is a high degree of globalisation of hotel ownership taking place throughout the world” (Noriander, 1990). Effective communication management in a culturally diverse workplace such as the Australian hospitality and tourism service industries is important to the performance of major managerial functions including planning, coordinating, leading, staff motivation and industrial relations. More particularly, the role of communication in the hospitality industry cannot be overemphasised (Brownell, 1991; George, 1993; Powers and Riegel, 1993; Sparks, 1994). However cultural diversity within the hospitality and tourism industries, as for any other Australian culturally diverse industry, poses communication problems.Potentially, some key problems that affect managers’ intercultural communication competence result from factors such as: incorrect cultural assumptions; stereotyping; ethnocentrism; insensitivity to others’ cultures; prejudice; discrimination; fear of the unknown; threatened identity; fear of rejection; fear of contradiction to one’s belief system; misunderstanding of roles; perceptions of different values and behaviour; inaccurate interpretation of verbal and nonverbal behaviour; and uncertainty about gender roles within the cross-cultural setting. In addition, communication problems can arise due to a mismatch between corporate culture and a culturally diverse workforce (Saee, 1998). Because the hospitality industry is labour-intensive and service-centred, it is a people enterprise. To realise the industry’s potential, management needs to understand how ethnicity and culture affect human behaviour in general, and intercultural communication in particular.

“Examples of situations where culture can in? ence both management and a multicultural workforce in the workplace are: communication problems in recruitment/promotion policies, planning, supervision, motivation for professional development and employee counseling Intercultural communication competence 7 in the hospitality industry” (Tanke, 1990, pp. 46–47). Gaining an understanding of these issues in the Australian hospitality and tourism industries is the focus of this research study.

1. 5 Theoretical perspectives on intercultural communication In terms of communication within Australian culturally diverse organisations, including the hospitality and tourism industries, there is ? rst of all a popular view, promulgated by government policy makers and researchers, which emphasises the importance of English-language competence in a multicultural workforce.They suggest that acquiring the ability to speak and write English is enough: that is, any barriers between management and ethnic workers can be overcome by the use of a common language – English (Eyles et al. , 1989; Jupp, 1989; Harris, 1996; ROMMPAS, 1986). A major ? aw in this view is that it represents a message-centred view of communication which is inadequate for complex contexts involving many human interactions such as the provision of hospitality services. The “English is enough” view does not take into account, for instance, the signi? cance of cultural dimensions which both parties (i. e.

migrant and Australian managers) need to contextualise as part of their meaning-centred view of communication, as people attempt to share their intentions (see Chapter 3).In the past several decades, new theoretical perspectives have been developed to try to illuminate the nature of intercultural communication competence where migrants and the members of a host culture interact. These theories of intercultural communication have their origins in transdisciplinary areas of research and have been derived from the social sciences including cultural anthropology, sociology, general psychology, social psychology, philosophy, education and applied management. Hall (1955, 1959, 1976) offers a cultural anthropological perspective on intercultural communication, in which he divided cultures of the world into “highcontext” and “low-context” cultures and suggested that context in? uences interpersonal communication and hence intercultural communication (see Chapter 2).Irwin (1996) claimed that an understanding of the context in communication is crucial to avoid unnecessary frustration and misunderstanding. This raises a relevant point for investigation in this research study, namely, how do Australian hospitality and tourism managers consider differing cultural contexts when communicating with their culturally diverse employees and clientele? From sociology, Hofstede (1980) provides a more empirically based analysis of world cultures known as the cultural dimensions model. (See Chapter 2 for a further explanation of this theory.

) According to Hofstede, a number of sociocultural factors are said to in? uence management and, by extension, intercultural communication such as: 1 2 Collectivism vs individualism Small vs large power distance Intercultural communication competence 3 4 5 Femininity vs masculinity Weak vs strong uncertainty avoidance Confucian dynamism (also referred to as long-term orientation vs shortterm orientation) Psychological theories of intercultural communication hold that a range of variables peculiar to each individual person determine stages of acculturation (i. e. gaining knowledge of the new culture), alienation, assimilation or adaptation to a dominant culture (Bochner, 1981, 1982; Brislin, 1981, 1993; Gudykunst, 1983, 1986; Harris and Moran, 1979; Kim, 1988; Lysgaard, 1955; Oberg, 1960; Searle and Ward, 1990; Ward and Kennedy, 1996).

(For discussion of these theories see Chapter 3. One particular psychological theory of intercultural communication competence is general systems theory (Kim, 1988, 1990; Kim and Ruben, 1988), in which individuals are considered to be systems which function through ongoing interaction with the environment and its inhabitants. Essentially, it has been argued that cultural strangers can develop intercultural communication competence through undergoing a process with four identi? able stages: shock, stress, adaptation and growth (Kim, 1988, 1990). One major weakness of general systems theory, according to Kaye (1992), is that the responsibility for adaptation and therefore for developing intercultural communication competence appears essentially to lie with the stranger (migrant worker) and not with members of the host culture.In contrast Saee and Kaye (1994) argued that “Communication competence in intercultural contexts should be associated with members of the host culture (Australian managers) as well as with strangers (immigrant workers)” (p. 15) and the emphasis in this research is on a study of members of the host culture.

Closely related to general systems theory, the adaptation model of intercultural communication is another psychological theoretical perspective emphasising uncertainty reduction (Gudykunst, 1983, 1986). This model is based on the generally applicable principle that interpersonal communication is enhanced under conditions of reduced uncertainty. Again the focus is on the reaction of the stranger/migrant worker.It is argued that strangers attempt to reduce their uncertainties by seeking “information” which is perceived as adequate for making necessary decisions within an interaction. Thus the uncertainty reduction approach also reinforces an emphasis of general systems theory that it is the responsibility of strangers rather than host-culture members to develop communication competence in intercultural settings. There has never been a study of uncertainty reduction theory applied to the managerial functions of Australian hospitality managers. An aim of this research study is to explore the degrees of uncertainty which these managers (or ‘hosts’) might experience in their daily intercultural encounters in the workplace.

Another intercultural communication theoretical perspective is convergence theory (Kincaid, 1988). Essentially, the principle of convergence states that if two or more individuals share information with one another, then over time they will tend to converge toward one another leading to a state of greater uniformity. Intercultural communication competence 9 The main tenet of this theoretical principle is debatable, particularly “as it is hard to imagine that people of diverse cultural backgrounds would renounce their cultural heritage to communicate more effectively with members of the new host culture” (Saee and Kaye, 1994, p. 16).

In summary, dif? ulties arising from the foregoing theoretical perspectives are that they tend to focus analysis on the migrant’s assimilation to the host culture. They also ignore the two-way process inherent in communication and that there is a responsibility for developing competence by all parties involved in the communication process. Two other theoretical perspectives helpful for this study of members of the host culture are interpersonal theory and the psychological perspective of culture shock/adaptation processes. Interpersonal theory is informed and sustained by the ideologies of intimacy (closeness) and performance (competence). The ideology of intimacy holds that closeness between people is a moral good and emphasises openness, authenticity, honesty, trust and empathy.The ideology of performance contends that improved performance is desirable and possible and emphasises communication and relational competence (Irwin, 1996; Irwin and More, 1994).

According to the psychological theory of culture shock/adaptation processes, there are recognised stages of cross-cultural learning/acculturation and adaptation which individual strangers/sojourners experience before they are able to develop intercultural competence in an alien culture. These stages are identi? ed as: initial contact; super? cial adjustment; depression; isolation; reintegration/ compensation; autonomy/independence (see Chapter 3 for a discussion of these theories).A manager’s intercultural communication competence should ideally include an awareness of these stages and an ability to assist employees and clientele to deal with their experience of these stages. This research explores how psychological adaptation processes, as experienced by international guests during their visits to Australia, are understood by hospitality and tourism managers.

1. 6 Justi? cation for the study Greater intercultural understanding and improved intercultural communication are increasingly important to our world of blending cultures, experiences and business practices. Trends towards globalisation of economies and tourism around the world parallel the expansion in international trade which now far exceeds any single national economy including those of major industrialised countries (Saee, 1998).Rates of growth in international trade increased from a mere US$250 billion in 1965 to US$7.

4 trillion in 2002 (Saee, 2005). The continued rise in international trade has simultaneously led to a situation of growing interdependence of national economies around the world. In addition, there has also been an increasing degree of migration and tourism around the world.

In Australia, the momentum for globalisation has developed in recent decades. For example our trade with neighbouring Asian countries has been 10 Intercultural communication competence growing signi? cantly. Australia’s exports to Asia continued to rise to AU$43. 3 billion – 60. 5 per cent of total exports in 1995 (Sydney Morning Herald, 2 November 1996, p.

1).Australia’s total exports to the world exceeded AU$90 billion dollars, with a strong growth rate of just over 8 per cent over the last ? ve years (DFAT, 1996). In Australia, as has been noted previously, there is an intercultural imperative related to the composition of the population and its workforce which is highly culturally diverse. More speci? cally, the Australian hospitality and tourism industries represent a high degree of cultural diversity because of multinational corporate links and culturally diverse employees as well as international clients. Increasing numbers of people from countries in Asia and other non-Englishspeaking countries participate in these industries as employers, employees and clients (Beresford, 1995).The reality of contemporary Australian cultural diversity (multiculturalism), coupled with an increasing globalisation of businesses, means that managers need to become interculturally competent to capitalise on the enormous potential of opportunities and bene? ts afforded by cultural diversity both nationally and internationally. Unfortunately, research conducted here in Australia and overseas (Harris and Moran, 1991; Karpin, 1995) revealed that many corporate and government leaders have not changed their traditional ways of thinking about the nature of work, the worker and the management process itself. Meanwhile the majority of Australian managers appear to lack a sophisticated understanding of nuances inherent in cross-cultural dimensions of their work (Karpin, 1995).

The Karpin Inquiry (1995) in Australia showed that the costs associated with the inability of Australian managers to manage cultural diversity within their organisations accounted for the loss of AU$1 billion in productivity per annum. The Karpin Inquiry also estimated that the skills of 450,000 postwar immigrants were unused or signi? cantly underutilised. Research outside Australia (Frank, 1990) reported that there is a high failure rate of cross-national ventures. It is estimated that somewhere between 50 and 75 per cent of all mergers end in failure, due to lack of effective intercultural competence (Frank, 1990). There are no published quantitative or qualitative ? ndings in relation to ntercultural communication competence and its application to managerial functions within the Australian hospitality and tourism industries (see databases e. g. ABI Inform; ABIX (Australasian Business Intelligence); APAIS (Australian Public Affairs Information Service); AUSTROM; Business Australia on Disk; CAB Abstracts; Current Contents; ECONLIT; First Search; and Uncover Journals Database). Thus a study to identify and isolate the key determining variables for effective intercultural communication and its application to managerial functions should increase understanding of issues that are signi? cant for future productivity in a key Australian industry.

Such a study is even more signi? ant because contemporary theories of intercultural communication focus on the sojourners/migrants’ responsibility to develop intercultural communication competence rather than on responses of members of the host culture. As Durham (1989) argued, Intercultural communication competence 11 By placing the onus on those from ethnic/minority cultures to assimilate, those from the host culture can continue to view their culture’s checklist as the unchangeable and ‘correct’ way to communicate. The problem increases at the organisational level, with systematic discrimination occurring if organisational members accept the dominant culture as the “reality” and other cultures by default as “non-reality”. (p. 2) Durham (1989) further remarked that “intercultural studies are marred by being anecdotal, descriptive, prescriptive in nature; studies usually specify only short term adjustment; and little systematic validity is given to assertions of how personal skills help interpersonal success” (p. 54). Thus the major aims of this study were to explore how Australian hospitality and tourism managers understand intercultural communication and how this understanding is used in their managerial roles.

1. 7 Research methodology The methodology adopted in this study is based on qualitative phenomenological research, a multiple case study method which included six hospitality and tourism organisations.The six organisations were selected to obtain a sample that reflected a broad range of managerial opinions within representative sections of the industry. The study used multiple sources of evidence. Finally, twelve managers at different levels of hierarchy across these six organisations were interviewed. Particular care was exercised to select Australian managers who represented the members of the host culture. For this study an Australian manager or member of the host culture was defined as a person whose first language, or mother tongue, is English and who is an Australian citizen.

In addition, these selected managers were chosen because of their widely recognised management expertise or length of industry experience. This approach was consistent with the stated aim of this research study.In the absence of a fully developed conceptual framework on intercultural managerial competence, grounded theory was also incorporated in this study in an attempt to develop a new theory of managerial competence.

(A detailed discussion of the research methodology is given in Chapter 5. ) 1. 8 Research aims The aim of the research was to explore the nature of intercultural communication competence and its application to managerial functions of Australian hospitality and tourism managers. From interpersonal communication theory, theories of world cultures, uncertainty reduction theory and psychological adaptation theory, eight research objectives and eight research questions were identi? ed and explored. 12 Intercultural communication competence 1.

9 Research objectives The speci? objectives of the research were: 1 To ascertain potential problems, barriers and obstacles to effective intercultural communication competence, as experienced by the Australian hospitality and tourism managers; To investigate the managers’ understanding of intercultural communication in relation to dealing with staff and clients; To determine, in what ways Australian hospitality organisations re? ect cultural diversity within their corporate culture and hence their managerial functions; To determine whether the organisations’ managers deal effectively with culturally diverse staff and clientele as part of managerial functions e. g. planning, workplace communication, recruitment/promotion, induction, training, supervision, industrial relations, management of change, customer service, ? nancial management and marketing. To ascertain whether intercultural communication competence is in? enced by the ability of the managers to establish interpersonal relationships with their culturally diverse workforce; To determine, in what ways the managers experience uncertainty in their daily intercultural encounters in the workplace; To determine whether they have an awareness of psychological adaptation processes, as experienced by international customers during their visits to Australia; To make more general recommendations from this speci? c study for future research in the area of intercultural communication competence and crosscultural management.

2 3 4 5 6 7 8 1. 10 Research questions The following speci? c research questions were investigated: 1 2 3 How do Australian hospitality and tourism managers de? ne intercultural communication competence? In what ways do Australian hospitality and tourism managers experience uncertainty in their daily intercultural encounters in the workplace? How is the intercultural communication competence of Australian hospitality and tourism managers affected by the ability to establish interpersonal relationships?How are psychological adaptation processes, likely to be experienced by international customers during their visits to Australia, understood by Australian hospitality and tourism managers? In what ways do Australian hospitality and tourism managers consider a culturally diverse workforce a “challenge”? 4 5 Intercultural communication competence 6 7 13 How is cultural diversity re? ected within Australian hospitality and tourism organisational culture? In what ways has cultural diversity affected Australian hospitality and tourism management practices? 7. 1 In what ways is intercultural communication competence used by Australian hospitality and tourism managers in planning? 7. 2 In what ways is intercultural communication competence used by Australian hospitality and tourism managers in workplace communication? 7. In what ways is intercultural communication competence used by Australian hospitality and tourism managers in recruitment/promotion? 7.

4 In what ways is intercultural communication competence used by Australian hospitality and tourism managers in induction? 7. 5 In what ways is intercultural communication competence used by Australian hospitality and tourism managers in training? 7. 6 In what ways is intercultural communication competence used by Australian hospitality and tourism managers in supervision? 7.

7 In what ways is intercultural communication competence used by Australian hospitality and tourism managers in industrial relations? 7. In what ways is intercultural communication competence used by Australian hospitality and tourism managers in change management? 7. 9 In what ways is intercultural communication competence used by Australian hospitality and tourism managers in customer service? 7.

10 In what ways is intercultural communication competence used by Australian hospitality and tourism managers in ? nancial management? 7. 11 In what ways is intercultural communication competence used by Australian hospitality and tourism managers in marketing? 8 What training strategies are available for Australian hospitality and tourism managers to advance their intercultural communication competence and enhance their management of cultural diversity? 1. 1 Structure of the research study Chapter 1 introduces the research problem, giving an outline of the contextual background of cultural diversity and of managerial intercultural communication within Australian culturally diverse organisations, especially within the Australian hospitality and tourism service industries. Managerial functions are linked to cultural diversity. Existing intercultural communication theories are reviewed brie? y and the rationale for the research study together with a brief overview of the qualitative research methodology for this study given. In Chapter 2, the interrelationship between culture and communication is introduced and elaborated.The chapter examines Hall’s (1976) theory and Hofestede’s (1980) theory on world cultures and Australia’s multiculturalism 14 Intercultural communication competence and Australia’s dominant culture and implications for communication.

It also investigates the potential impact of cultural values on corporate culture and managerial functions including planning, workplace communication, recruitment/promotion, induction, training, supervision, industrial relations, management of change, customer service, ? nancial management and marketing. Chapter 3 looks at current theories on intercultural communication and identi? es their limitations in relation to the purpose of the research study. Chapter 4 analyses the pro? e of the Australian hospitality and tourism service industries, including challenges of cultural diversity, current weaknesses of management practices within the organisations and the industries’ training requirements, including intercultural communication and major tourism languages as well as the relationship of managerial communication to management performance within a culturally diverse workforce and clientele. Chapter 5 discusses in detail the design of the research study, focusing on its aims and objectives, questions and methodology. In Chapter 6, the results for each research question are given from multiple sources of evidence: interviews, transcripts of narratives and organisational documentation.

This chapter goes on to analyse the results and research ? ndings. Two new models of intercultural communication competence and competent managerial practice respectively for the management of cultural diversity in the workplace are proposed, predicated on the grounded theory. Chapter 7 provides a summary and concluding remarks on the contributions of the study as well as directions for future research arising from this study. 1. 12 De? nitions of the terms used in this study Acculturation The learning of a foreign culture.

Attribution con? dence The level of con? dence in interpreting others’ intentions, behaviour, personality and communication (Kaye, 1994).Cognitive complexity Refers to the number of interpersonal constructs we use to form an image or impression of someone. The greater the number of constructs, the more cognitively complex that user is considered to be (Kaye, 1994). Competence Conceived in terms of an individual’s ability to adapt appropriately to different others (Argyris, 1964; Argyris and Schon, 1974; Bochner and Kelly, 1974; Feingold, 1976; Hart and Burke, 1972; Irwin, 1981, 1991). Cultural relativism Holds that social scientists and others interested in studying other cultures must not impose their values or judge cultures under study on the basis of their own cultural beliefs (Saee, 1993).They must, to use Weber’s sociological terminology “verstehen”, attempt to understand the beliefs and values of other cultural groups under investigation within the cultural and social context in which they appear. The validity of cultural phenomena must not be questioned merely because other people think or act differently (Saee, 1993). Empathy De? ned in terms of emotional identi? cation with another individual Intercultural communication competence 15 (Rogers, 1975), as the process of cognitive role-taking (McCall and Simmons, 1978) and as communicating a sense of understanding to another (Rogers, 1975).

Empathy is the opposite of ethnocentricism in intercultural communication settings.An ethnocenthric communicator would view the world and his or her interactions with others from an excessively selfcentred point of view, an approach considered to be a great obstacle to effective intercultural communication. Empathy has been recognised as important to both general communication competence (Berlo, 1960; Bochner and Kelly, 1974) and as a central characteristic of competent and effective intercultural communication (Kim and Gudykunst, 1988; Martin and Hammer, 1989; Saee, 2005). Enculturation The learning of one’s culture through socialisation (Saee, 1993). Ethnocentrism A common perception held by many individuals and groups within communities/societies around the world that their culture is far superior to those of other cultures.

There is a tendency for these people to perceive their own society and culture as the main centre of the universe. These people evaluate the beliefs, values and behaviour of different cultural groupings/ individuals from the perspective of their own culture while rejecting persons who are culturally dissimilar. This type of bias to one’s own culture is known as ethnocentrism (Saee, 1993). Most people in society are conditioned to assume that their own culture is superior to that of others or that their religion holds the ultimate “truth”. Thus they perceive themselves to be more moral than others.

Ethnocentrism is particularly strong among those communities/individuals who have little exposure to other cultures.Interpersonal communication The verbal and nonverbal exchange and sharing of information (Kaye, 1994). Interpersonal relationships Af? liations between persons which may be intimate (personal) or impersonal; private or professional (Kaye, 1994). Intracultural communication Communication between two or more individuals of the same cultural background (Collier, 1989). Isomorphic attributions When we give the same meaning to the behaviour of others that they give, we are making isomorphic attributions (Triandis, 1975, 1977).

Monochronic use of time Typical of low-context cultures, monochronic time is characterised by