A study of the internationalisation strategies of three hotel companies, with a particular focus on human resource management
The continuing rapid growth of the international hotel industry means there is a need for research to examine how hotel companies approach the internationalisation process. This thesis therefore develops a case study and interview-based analysis of three multinational companies (MNCs) who have sought varying degrees of global presence, and examines in particular the way they have managed human resources in the process of internationalising. It reports evidence from over 70 semi-structured interviews with corporate and unit level managers conducted in Austria, France, Great Britain, Poland, Sweden and the USA. The theoretical framework for this study is provided by three interreldted literature strands: the general processes of internationalisation; international human resource management; and the sectoral and industry context. These literature strands allow for an analysis of the dominant orientation adopted to internationalisation by the case study organisations, as based on Perlmutter's centricity profile. Furthermore there is an analysis of other factors which affect the behaviour of the MNC, most notably its country-of-origin and country-of-operation. The main findings from this thesis suggest the benefits of standardisation of the physical product remain an integral part of the internationalisation strategies of hotel MNCs; though there is also evidence of two of the companies drawing on obvious national signifiers to infuse their physical product with elements of 'Frenchness' and 'Swedishness'. In relation to human resource management (HRM), despite differing orientations in terms of the extent to which the case study companies are seeking a more global orientation, the evidence points to a high degree of similarity in many of the HRM practices utilised by the organisations, particularly those in support of a high quality approach to service. Nevertheless, this partial convergence is also offset by continuing diversity in the extent to which employees fully internalise the HRM practices transferred by the case study organisations.