“Effective leadership of work teams depends more on a through understanding of the dynamics of group interactions than on understanding the behaviour of individuals within teams. ”IntroductionServices in hospitality or hotel industry are perishable for a hotel room unsold is an opportunity lost forever as un-storable item. While in off-seasons, the fixed costs will be a drain on profitability due to high fixed cost, peak seasons will result in excess demand the hotel cannot make use of. The services are intangible in that is not possible to accurately attribute benefits to any particular feature of the hotel service.
Often they may be due to the personality of the hotel staff and image of the hotel establishment. Services rendered are heterogeneous because each guest has a different purpose for the visit. Where as one may be attending a conference, another one may be on weekend break package. The services are contact-dependant in that physical interaction between the service provider and service consumer is unavoidable and the consumer has to make choices staying in particular hotel before actually experiencing the service. And there is no ownership of services bestowed to consumers in a hotel industry setting.
Thus relationship between a hotel management and its customer is unique. (Jones & Lockwood, 2002 p11) The nature of the services therefore gains significance in that successful operations of hospitality industry depends on synergy of groups which should operate as teams with characteristics of interdependence amongst the team members. This calls for effective leadership to lead the teams. Supervision in hospitality management involves significant group dynamics for its success. InterdependenceInterdependence is the key to understanding successful teamwork. Teams are not merely groups of individuals having different objectives.
Members of the team are inseparably attached to one another with a common objective to achieve. In hospitality industry, this need for a cohesive team manifests in day to day operations. Interdependence in an organization are of two kinds; structural and behavioural. Structural interdependence signifies features that are not related to an individual’s behaviour. This may be as a result of the work itself. The structural interdependence again is of two kinds; task interdependence and outcome interdependence. The former arises when there are inputs required from multiple individuals to complete the work.
This is also known as means interdependence. Thus actions of one member of the team will elicit or constrain the action of other members of the team; The latter refers to the consequences of the outcome depending upon the collective performance of the tasks. For example a reward as an outcome depends on the collective performance of the team. (Wageman, 2001) LeadershipA supervisor in a hospitality industry must understand the dynamics of interactions of the individuals in a team for an effective leadership.
A greatest challenge before him in an industry of high labour turnover is that he must keep the employees adequately motivated. The high labour turnover is such that one of out of every eight Americans now in jobs has worked in McDonald’s which was started 55 years ago. The fact is 8 percent of Americans are employed in foodservice and the hospitality industry is comprised of 70 percent part-timers. Restaurants and hotels serve as launch pads for many job seekers and these jobs are invariably low wage and entry level positions.
They do the multiple tasks from cleaning of utensils, serving foods on the tables to cleaning messy rooms left by the occupants. (Miller, Walker and Drummond, 2006 p 40)