20 results for Poulston, J

  • Terrorism, rugby, and hospitality: she’ll be right

    Peter, C; Poulston, J; Losekoot, E

    Journal article
    Auckland University of Technology

    In 2011, international attention was focussed on New Zealand, host of the Rugby World Cup (RWC 2011), which brought 133,200 visitors to New Zealand over a three-month period. This exploratory study, undertaken before the event, investigates the attitudes of hotel managers and staff as they prepared to host spectators, rugby teams, and media personnel. The aim of the study was to determine preparedness for an attack, and assess attitudes and approaches to risk management in relation to terrorism. Interview data collected from senior hospitality managers revealed a distinctly laissez faire approach to security, which is partly explained by Hofstede's (1984) low uncertainty avoidance category for New Zealand. This attitude is reputedly common in New Zealand, where it is proudly expressed as 'she'll be right'. It is hoped that this study will bring attention to the weak security measures in New Zealand, which would have been insufficient protection for life and property, had a serious terrorist attack been planned.

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  • The Elephant in the Room: The Accidental Prostitution of Hospitality Service Workers

    Waudy, B; Poulston, J

    Conference item
    Auckland University of Technology

    This study investigates sexual harassment in hospitality work, by interviewing women working in customer service roles. It explores their experiences and views on sexual harassment in hospitality service work. Semi-structured interviews were used to understand the relationship between women's experiences and their views of harassing behaviours, as well as influences on the incidence of harassment. Findings showed that participants cooperated with harassing behaviours because of their role view, and that older women were less prone to harassment, mostly because they were more skilled at rejecting unwanted advances. The study concludes by outlining management's responsibility to prevent harassment by recognising the assumptions implicit in servers' roles. These assumptions effectively prostitute the innate skills of young women who are keen to please management and customers, but not at the risk of assault and abuse.

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  • Critical issues in food and beverage productivity

    Poulston, J; Luo, Y; Milne, S (2011-08-08)

    Conference item
    Auckland University of Technology

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  • Employee theft in hospitality: causes and excuses

    Poulston, J (2011-08-08)

    Conference item
    Auckland University of Technology

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  • Sexual behaviour and harassment in hospitality: 'just good fun - nothing serious'

    Poulston, J (2011-08-08)

    Conference item
    Auckland University of Technology

    This study examines hospitality workers’ comments about sexual behaviour in hospitality to help understand the relationship between their attitudes to sexual behaviour and the nature of harassment. The traditions of sexual behaviours are discussed, along with the nature of hospitality work, workers’ characteristics, the customer’s role and the preoccupation with meeting customer’s needs. Customer contact is found to be a firm predictor of sexual harassment, but the characteristics of staff and the traditions of the industry are also considered important causes.

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  • Death by hospitality: beyond the call of duty

    Poulston, J (2011-08-08)

    Conference item
    Auckland University of Technology

    Hospitality staff are often very dedicated to their work, protecting guests’ privacy even when circumstances are suspicious, and treating their wants and needs as paramount. In November 2008, several hotel staff were killed in India while protecting hotel guests from terrorists. This paper briefly overviews the circumstances of a death in which a hospitality employee went beyond the call of duty to protect guests. The implications of extreme dedication to service work are explored in terms of the duty of hospitality, along with the concept of sacrifice, particularly with respect to the exploitation of hospitality workers. Topics for further study are suggested, particularly that of identifying the essential characteristics of hospitality service workers. The concept of lifestyle labour is proposed, as this, in conjunction with the characteristics of ‘hospitality people’, is thought to explain the dedication to service exhibited by many hospitality workers.

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  • Taking feng shui seriously

    Poulston, J (2011-08-08)

    Conference item
    Auckland University of Technology

    Feng shui is a form a geomancy (divination) based on the landscape, and was initially used to select burial sites in China to ensure the spirits of the dead were protected from evil spirits. According to Eastern traditions, landscape feng shui principles can be applied to many aspects of life, such as the placement of buildings and the design of interior spaces to bring success to their inhabitants. Feng shui crosses cultural beliefs, psychology, and architecture, so is difficult to investigate scientifically. However, many hotel operators appear to follow feng shui practices to improve profitability, although there is little scholarly evidence of this, and none to suggest that it works. This paper therefore explores scholarly interest in feng shui and the use of feng shui in hotels, to determine whether or not the topic warrants serious research. A pilot study is outlined to determine whether a relationship exists between hotels with good feng shui and the number of times these hotels have changed their name, being an arbitrary indicator of the hotels’ economic stability. If the pilot study suggests a relationship, further study will be undertaken on a larger scale, using profit and loss statements where available, to more accurately determine the relationship between the use of feng shui principles in hospitality, and success.

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  • Enjoyment, tolerance, or rejection: responses to sexuality in the workplace

    Poulston, J (2011-08-08)

    Conference item
    Auckland University of Technology

    Sexual harassment in hospitality workplaces is endemic, with more hospitality employees reporting incidences of harassment than in any other private sector industry. Various causes are proposed, but the sexualisation of hospitality labour, exacerbated by the blurred demarcation lines between flirtation, harassment and assault, seems the most likely. This paper explores the common features of sexually charged working environments, and presents qualitative data collected from hospitality workers, revealing a wide range of attitudes to sexual behaviour at work. A model is suggested to help managers and staff identify areas of disagreement about sexual behaviour, rather than merely imposing a proscriptive approach, which is neither achievable nor necessarily desirable. Recommendations for reducing harassment focus on the concept of choosing to either sanction or reject specific behaviours at work.

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  • Constructive dismissals in hospitality: perceived incidence and acceptance

    Poulston, J (2011-08-08)

    Conference item
    Auckland University of Technology

    Constructive dismissal and ad hoc disciplinary procedures are common in hospitality and many employees feel they are treated poorly by their immediate supervisors. This study identifies the perceived incidence and acceptance of constructive dismissals in the New Zealand hospitality industry, and the characteristics of those strongly associated with constructive dismissal. Quantitative data from 534 Auckland hospitality workers are analysed as part of a wider doctoral study, and results relating to constructive dismissal presented in this paper. The study expected to reveal management ’s passive support for constructive dismissal, but instead showed managers are substantially unaware of the levels of bullying and harassment reported by staff and supervisors. High incidence levels of constructive dismissals are associated with supervisors and casual employees, and low levels with older employees, higher salaries, and managers. Responses on perceived incidence of constructive dismissals from supervisors and full-time employees implicate them as the primary cause, and casual employees as the primary victims. Constructive dismissal is strongly associated with high staff turnover, and is therefore considered a likely cause. Supervisor training and improvement of selection and induction techniques are recommended as solutions for both staff turnover and constructive dismissal.

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  • Metamorphosis in hospitality: from prostitution to harassment

    Poulston, J (2011-08-08)

    Conference item
    Auckland University of Technology

    Sexual harassment is significantly more common in hospitality than in other industries, and has a negative impact on both individuals and workplaces where it occurs. The New Zealand Human Rights Commission ’s 2001 report on sexual harassment found that 60% of those harassed subsequently leave their place of work, indicating a significant cause of staff turnover, and a considerable expense to employers. The objectives of this study were therefore to identify the incidence and causes of sexual harassment in hospitality, so recommendations for prevention could be made to industry practitioners. As part of a wider doctoral study, quantitative and qualitative data from 534 Auckland hospitality workers were analysed, and results relating to sexual harassment identified. Of valid responses to questions on the incidence of sexual harassment, 24% reported they had been harassed, a proportion consistent with that found in Hoel ’s 2002 British doctoral study. Customer contact was identified as a strong predictor of harassment, especially for young European women and those working in food and beverages service. Harassment was notably less prevalent where respondents had their own codes of ethics, and where training was perceived as satisfactory. High tolerance of harassment evident in written comments was associated with enjoyment and the nature of the industry, implying a sense of duty and behavioural norm extending well beyond limits accepted outside hospitality. Recommendations include the discouragement of behaviours and appearances associated with harassment by guests, such as the use of sexuality in employee – customer relationships. Training employees to reject sexual advances skilfully and professionally is also recommended, as is promoting harassment-free workplaces to both guests and staff using codes of ethics, pamphlets, or posters. However, as the root causes of sexual harassment are may be outside the reach of such prevention strategies, the discussion also addresses the implications of working in commercial hospitality. The tradition of sexual behaviour in hospitality is therefore addressed, and its relationship to the sexual favours provided in pre-Christian taverns, where barmaids were also prostitutes. The study concludes that sexual harassment is pervasive in hospitality, in part, because it is perceived as integral to the industry by both staff and customers.

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  • Food and beverage service sector productivity study

    Milne, S; Harris, C; Clark, V; Poulston, J; Luo, Y (2011-08-08)

    Report
    Auckland University of Technology

    Workplace Group, New Zealand Department of Labour

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  • Getting on in hospitality: a preview

    Poulston, J; Jenkins, A (2011-08-08)

    Conference item
    Auckland University of Technology

    Although ageism is an acknowledged form of discrimination in employment (Snape & Redman, 2003; Taylor & Walker, 1998), compared to other discriminatory behaviours such as racism and sexism, relatively little research has been undertaken in this area. However, age discrimination in employment is not uncommon. A report on ageism by Age Concern England revealed that more people (29%) had suffered from age discrimination, than any other form of discrimination (Tasiopoulou & Abrams, 2006). Age discrimination is also prevalent in New Zealand (McGregor, 2001; Wilson, Parker, & Kan, 2007), and increases with increased numbers of older workers in the labour force (Wilson et al.). While some business managers appear positive about older workers (Davey, 2008), the views of New Zealand hospitality managers on ageism are not yet known. Older workers appear to be particularly disadvantaged in the labour force due to stereotypical views (Harris, 1990). Hospitality businesses are reliant on a young workforce (McNair, Flynn, & Dutton, 2007; Whiteford & Nolan, 2007) and much of the industry is style obsessed, particularly designer bars, boutique hotels and celebrity-chef restaurants. Aesthetic labour (work that values the way employees look) is a common feature of hospitality work (Nickson, Warhurst, Cullen, & Watt, 2003), and working hours are often long and unsociable. It therefore seems no surprise that the industry prefers young workers (McNair et al., 2007; Slonaker, Wendt, & Baker, 2007). This study aims to identify attitudes to the employment of older people, defined as those aged 50 and over, in the British and New Zealand hospitality industry. This paper presents a preliminary analysis of the New Zealand interviews, summarising industry’s views on employing older workers from both managers’ and employees’ perspectives. Early indications are that personality, team fit, and attitude are significantly greater influences on recruitment than age.

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  • Personality or skill? The differing expectations of hospitality managers and students

    Harkison, T; Poulston, J; Kim, J (2011-08-08)

    Conference item
    Auckland University of Technology

    This paper examines hospitality managers and students assumptions about the preferred attributes of hospitality employees. Using a quantitative approach, 74 hospitality managers and 137 students were surveyed, revealing a significant divergence in views. Students believed knowledge and skills were important for new employees and to get promoted, they would need to become good communicators. Industry however, was far more interested in the personalities of new employees and prioritised initiative over specific skills. The concern is that while educators are helping to develop graduates with specific skills, industry may not value these, being more intersted in the kinds of people they are. Their expectations and assumptions are significantly different and the gap is a cause for concern for educators and industry to address.

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  • Introduction to the NZTHRC 2010 Special Issue

    Orams, M; Luck, M; Poulston, J (2011-08-08)

    Journal article
    Auckland University of Technology

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  • Be prepared or she'll be right? Terrorism, hotels and mega events in New Zealand

    Losekoot, E; Poulston, J (2013-02-12)

    Conference item
    Auckland University of Technology

    Between 1972 and 2003 there were 168 attempts by terrorists to attack respondents or spectators at major sporting events around the world. A literature review of over 100 research papers outlines the reasons terrorist groups target such high-profile events, one of which, is the presence of the international media. This study considers how well New Zealand hotel managers were prepared for a terrorist attack, in their preparations for the 2011 Rugby World Cup. The senior managers interviewed operated a range of properties from serviced apartments to five-star hotels. The aim of the study was to determine levels of preparedness for an attack, and assess attitudes and approaches to risk management. The study finds that New Zealand hotel managers displayed a somewhat laissez faire approach to security, and it is suggested that Hofstede’s low uncertainty avoidance category may help explain their carefree attitude to security risks during sporting mega events. It is hoped that results of this study will bring attention to the weak security measures, as these were not sufficient to prevent a successful terrorist attack in New Zealand.

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  • The benefits of training

    Poulston, J (2011-08-08)

    Conference item
    Auckland University of Technology

    This study assesses whether hospitality employees consider workplace training is adequate and identifies management’s view on the importance of training. Links between inadequate training and problems such as sexual harassment, unfair dismissals, under-staffing, poor food hygiene, and theft are also identified. Results indicate that hospitality employees are commonly required to work without sufficient training, and that training has a positive effect on employee relations by reducing workplace problems and improving staff retention.

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  • From self-employed hospitality entrepreneur to paid employee: the motivational factors behind the transition

    Andringa, S; Poulston, J; Pernecky, T (2013-03-03)

    Conference item
    Auckland University of Technology

    The New Zealand hospitality industry is characterised by a high rate of business start-ups and closures, especially in small and medium enterprises (Inland Revenue Department, 2011). One reason for this is that many businesses are not financially viable. There are, however, successful hospitality entrepreneurs who are leaving self-employment to return to paid employment. This research presents evidence that some entrepreneurs leave self-employment in favour of paid employment from choice rather than being forced to take this step. Data are derived from interviews and placed into themes by using an interpretive paradigm. As many motivational push and pull factors are identified (family, work-life imbalance, health and stress, age, planned exit, security and stability of paid employment, education, expectations of others, lack of personal and professional development during the operation, and intuition) a diagram is designed to provide a broader overview. It shows entrepreneurs from a larger perspective, and that the exit process is influenced by a combination of factors such as their personal environment, personal goals and personal beliefs, social and economic factors, and the external environment.

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  • Serving those less able: are we up to it? accommodating aging and disabled travellers

    Schitko, D; Poulston, J (2011-08-08)

    Conference item
    Auckland University of Technology

    Tourism is an $18.6 billion industry, currently accounting for 19.2% of New Zealand’s total revenue (Ministry of Tourism, 2007), and New Zealand hosted around 2.l5 million visitors in the year preceding July 2008. However, statistics show that 10% of the world’s population has a disability. In New Zealand 17% of the residents are registered as having a disability (Statistics N.Z.) and almost half of New Zealand’s visitors are aged 45 and over. This demographic has the greatest discretionary income, and enjoys spending it on travelling. Also Statistics New Zealand (2007) has identified a significant increase in numbers of older residents, many of whom will not be as agile as younger travellers.

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  • Sacking, staffing and supervision in commercial hospitality

    Poulston, J (2011-08-08)

    Conference item
    Auckland University of Technology

    Anecdotally, hospitality has a reputation for poor ethical standards, and preliminary results from this doctoral study indicate such a reputation is well founded. However, the expected crimes of sexual harassment, theft, the service of alcohol to minors, and poor food hygiene, do not appear to be the main concerns. Instead, staff complain of persistent unfair treatment by supervisors, and the struggle to provide service in an environment of poor training and critical under-staffing. This paper investigates the incidence of constructive dismissals and harsh treatment by supervisors in the Auckland hospitality industry, and the under-staffing and high turnover rates currently being experienced. Initial quantitative and qualitative analyses from 453 questionnaires are presented, in an attempt to shed light on some disturbing trends in this industry. Hospitality has a crucial role in tourism, which accounted for 14% of New Zealand’s export earnings in 2002 (Provisional Tourism Satellite Account 2000-2002, 2003). Understanding the cause and extent of unethical behaviour is a significant step towards protecting the New Zealand industry from the traditions of opportunism and moral insensitivity prevalent in the hospitality industry in some countries.

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  • Sexualisation and Harassment in Hospitality Workplaces: Who Is Responsible?

    Waudby, B; Poulston, J

    Journal article
    Auckland University of Technology

    Purpose: This qualitative study examines employee responses to sexual behaviour in hospitality workplaces, to determine their roles and responsibilities in harassment prevention. Design: Female workers in restaurants and bars were recruited using the snowball technique, and data collected through 18 interviews. An interpretivist approach was used to guide the data collection and analysis. Findings: The study found that harassment coping strategies developed with age and experience rather than through training, and those who dressed and behaved provocatively attracted more unwanted sexual attention. Practical implications: Recommendations focus on the role of managers in moderating employee behaviour and providing training in assertiveness. Social implications: Industry norms and perceptions about managers’ expectations are considered strong influences on employee behaviour, and therefore, in attracting harassment. Originality: Although this study locates the responsibility for stopping harassment with management, it takes an unusual and potentially unpalatable approach by acknowledging the role of victims in stopping unwanted sexual advances, providing new approaches to reducing harassment.

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