Research On Factors Influencing Employees
Over the past decade, there has been overwhelming growth in the Chinese hospitality industry. The Chinese hospitality market is comprised of over 10,000 hotels most of which are located in the cities such as Beijing. For instance, there are 745 5-star and 2,373 4-star hotels in China. Various factors have contributed towards the tremendous growth of the Chinese hospitality industry and among them is employee performance. Employee performance being one of the critical factors influencing growth, companies have moved forward to find the best ways of motivating their employees to yield more results. A number of studies have been conducted to investigate the factors affecting employee performance. However, some of the key elements of the organisation culture, job stress and the manager’s attitude have been ignored.The findings of the current and previous research offer contradictory conclusions. Most of the previous literature only concentrates at only one or at most two elements of the mentioned variables. Using questionnaires, this research sampled eight big hotels out of which 140 respondents were drawn. The sampled population considered gender, age and occupational balance. 133 questionnaires out of the 140 were successfully filled and returned. The 7 unreturned questionnaires were either destroyed or lost but they did not have an impact on the final research findings. Descriptive statistical data analysis was employed and the study found out that more three elements of organisation culture, job stress and managers attitude either positively or negatively influenced employee performance. The research concluded that more than element of organisation culture, job stress and managers attitude can have either positive or negative attitude.
Key Words: Organisation Culture, job stress, manager’s attitude, employee performance.
1.0 Research Background
As a result of business environment dynamics and intense business competition, organisations and marketers are forced to reach certain standards by improving the level of business performance congruent to the rising demands (Klassen & McLaughlin, 1996). Failure to improve competitive business performance may lead to certain problems that include the risk of closing down entire business (Porter, 2008). This performance reflects the effort of employees as the key principle of achieving the objectives of the organisations. Based on this understanding, successful employee performance has become a foundation for the potential capability towards behavioural achievement congruent with the goals and objectives of the organisation (Legutko, 2012). In view of the existing literature, organisational culture, manager’s attitude and job stress significantly determine employee’s performance in Chinese hospitality sector as argued by Law et al (2013).
According to Schein (2010), organisational culture depicts distinct practices, beliefs, values and learned ways of behaviour that contribute to identifying an organisation as a distinctive unit that is very different from another organisation. To emphasise this definition given by Schein (2010), Martins and Terblanche (2003) argued that organisational culture is the patterns of beliefs, practices and learned ways of dealing with the experiences that have happened in the course of organisation’s history and which tend to be demonstrated in the behavioural patterns of the individuals. This dissertation takes the definition given of Martins and Terblanche (2003) as it examines the impacts brought forward by organisation culture which is embodied on the behavioural patterns of employees in performance. Moreover, in understanding the concept of manager’s attitude, it is cardinal to point out that attitude depicts the personality reflected in an individual’s behaviour (Ajzen, 2005). Ideally, managers must create accommodating working environment where employee’s objectives commensurate organisation’s objectives (Finney, 2008). Therefore, positive manager’s attitude motivates employee thus increasing the performance level in the organisation. Finally, Job stress is manifested when an individual cannot appropriately execute the tasks given and job demands with personal abilities as outlined by Muda, Rafiki & Harahap (2014). Besides, Muda, Rafiki & Harahap (2014) maintained that job stress manifests to an employee in the event of threats due to the situations emanating from the job environment. At times, employees may be required to produce a certain level of results yet situations at the workplace cannot allow (Babin & Boles, 1996). In such a situation, demands supersede the individual capacity to achieve a certain goal thus affecting the performance. Therefore, this dissertation seeks to shed more light on the impacts of job stress on employee’s performance in Chinese hospitality industry.
Technically, in the past three decades, China has shown remarkable changes in growth of hospitality sector (Hung, 2013). Furthermore, China has experienced an unprecedented growth in the hospitality sector ever since the introduction of economic reform in the year 1978 (Law et al., 2013). According to Law et al. (2013), China was marked and predicted to be the word leading destination in the world in the year 2020. However, several factors such as employee performance have contributed to the success of hospitality industry as observed by Law et al. (2013). This dissertation therefore undertakes to study factors influencing the employee’s performance in Chinese hospitality sector based on the specific attributing elements namely: organisation culture, manager’s attitude and job stress. Several studies about the factors affecting the employee’s performance have been done but little has been established in regard to what specific aspects contribute to the employee’s performance. In the bid to capture the three specific elements, this study seeks to fill the existing gaps by exhaustively establishing primary causative paths of employee’s performance in the organisations.
1.1 Research rationale
1.1.1 Theoretical rationale
Previous research studies have shown numerous instances of employee’s performance in the organisation but little has been done to highlight specific contributing factors to the influence of the employee’s performance level (Lifeng, 2007). In respect to this apparent existing gap, this dissertation focuses on analysing the impacts of organidsation culture, manager’s stress and job stress on the employee’s performance in the hospitality sectors. As aforementioned, organisation culture determines is the patterns of beliefs, practices and learned ways of dealing with the experiences that have happened in the course of organisation’s history and which tend to be demonstrated in the behavioural patterns of the individuals (Martins and Terblanche, 2003). In view of this definition, there are underlying aspects of organization culture that dictate the overall performance of the employees that have not been established in the previous studies. Therefore, in examining the impacts of organisation culture on the employee’s performance, this dissertation will be able to address this gap.
Meanwhile, the information provided by the extant literature on the concept of manager’s attitude on the employee’s performance is limited and merely speculative (Renwick, 2003). It is substantial to justify the need to assess employee’s personality that contributes to the attitude of the managers in the work environment that previous research has failed to address (Carmeli, 2003). Therefore, this dissertation attempts to fill the existing gap by assessing manager’s attitude and its impacts on the employee’s performance. On the other hand, job stress has been captured in the employee’s performance because it is one of the principle factors that reduce job performance since employees may be required to produce a certain level of results yet situations at the workplace cannot allow (Babin & Boles, 1996). As such, certain underlying factors which have not been exhaustively addressed in the previous research attribute job stress in the workplace. Based on this argument, research has shown that job stress has a significant influence on employee’s performance but limited has been done to deeply asses the underlying causative path and the impacts it has on the employee’s performance in the organisation. Therefore, this dissertation captures job stress as a factor of employee’s performance and the impacts it has on the employee’s performance in the bid to fill the existing gap. What more, the research endeavours to shed more light to the future researchers who intend to carry out a similar investigation to fill the existing gaps.
1.1.2 Practical rationale
On a practical ground, organisations can improve on the employee’s performance by effectively addressing the organisation culture, manager’s stress and job stress at the workplace. Failure to manage these factors effectively can negatively affect the employee’s performance and can signal perilous impacts on the overall performance of the organisation (Muda, Rafiki & Harahap, 2014). In view of this argument, this dissertation endevours to offer requisite information and provide more light to the senior management for improved employee’s performance in the Chinese hospitality industry. Additionally, this dissertation will contribute by helping the international marketers in understanding the key factors that affect employee’s performance and be in a position to make informed decisions in enhancing the level of employee’s performance in organisations.
1.2 Research objectives
Importantly, employee’s performance is greatly affected by organisation culture, manager’s stress and job stress (Muda, Rafiki & Harahap, 2014). There are several other factors that influence employee’s performance in an organisation but this dissertation takes specifically organistion culture, manager’s stress and job stress because of the following reasons. Firstly, organisation culture is cardinal aspect in this dissertation as it surrounds and dictates the behavioural patterns of the employees in the overall performance (Martins and Terblanche, 2003). Considerably, it is inevitable to incorporate the aspect of behaviour patterns of the employee when evaluating the level of job performance (Martins and Terblanche, 2003). On the other hand, manager’s attitude encompasses personality that greatly determines employee’s performance (Ajzen, 2005). As such, managers must create a conducive working environment where employees feel motivated for increased performance as highlighted by Finney (2008). Managers who have a negative attitude towards the employees can ultimately lower the level of employee’s performance and vice versa (Legutko, 2012). Lastly, job stress has a tremendous impact on the employee’s performance since it fails an employee to appropriately execute the tasks given and job demands as required (Muda, Rafiki & Harahap, 2014). This aspect has been captured in this dissertation to primarily outline the need for a relaxed, friendly and a conducive working environment that increase employee’s performance in organisations (Muda, Rafiki & Harahap (2014). Therefore this study gains a considerable influence on the employee’s performance by capturing the three factors selected in Chinese hospitality industry. As such, the dissertation obtains the following specific objectives.
- To examine impacts of organisation culture on employee ‘performance in Chinese hospitality Industry
- To asses impacts of manager’s attitudes on employee’s performance in Chinese hospitality Industry
- To evaluate impacts of job stress on employee’s performance in Chinese hospitality industry1.3 Structure of this dissertation
The key objective of this study is to factors influencing employee’s performance in Chinese hospitality industry. In the bid to acquire the stipulated objectives, this study is ordered in the following way. The first chapter gives a critical discussion on the research background of the topic under study to validate its importance of the current study. In this chapter also, discussion on the research rationale is provided alongside with the justification of the factors selected in the research objectives. Subsequently, chapter two gives a review of the previous work done by other researchers in the similar field by establishing the existing gaps. Thirdly, this chapter offers a discussion on the appropriate methods employed in the data collection procedure. Lastly, the dissertation gives recommendations and conclusion.
Regardless of the type of organisation, employee performance is major aspect in the success of any organisation. According to Shrestha and Shruti (2007), an organisation can only achieve its objectives through proper execution of the tasks that employees are assigned. The Chinese hospitality industry is one of the robust industries in China contributing to about 9.5% of the country’s gross domestic product. Moreover, as China expands its economic activities, Ahmad (2012) holds that the issue of employee performance is an important one in ensuring that the industry is able to perform at its best.
In relation to the Chinese hospitality industry, Ahari, et al (2013) identifies organisational culture, manager’s attitude and job stress as major determinants of employee performance. The review of the existing literatures will first, evaluate the concept of employee performance, the achievement of employee performance; discuss the main factors that affect the employees’ performance in China hospitality industry. Further, relying heaving on books and journals, this literature review will also explore about four job employment models and establish how they relate to job stress, managers attitude and organisation culture which are the factors affecting employee performance that will be explored in this chapter. Finally, the previous literatures on how these factors affect employee performance will also be explored.
2.2 Employee’s Performance
Employee performance is an important concept which has gained much attention in the organisation as it determines the overall organisational performance. Various authors have looked at the concept of employee performance from various perspectives such as the outcomes and also behavioural terms (Groen, Wouters & Wilderom (2012): Muda, Rafiki & Harahap (2014): Porter (2008). Employee performance is usually measured against set guidelines and standards by the organisation. Therefore, Porter (2008) elucidates that employee performance is usually evaluated in terms of productivity, organisational profitability, efficiency, quality and efficiency. According to Groen, Wouters & Wilderom (2012) employee performance describes the belief of an employee’s behaviour and how it affects his contributions to the organisational success. Similarly, the business dictionary defines employee performance as the work related activities and how well an employee is able to carry them out. In addition, employee performance is defined by Muda, Rafiki & Harahap (2014) as the extent to which an employee contributes to the achievement of the organisation’s objectives.
The term performance has also been described by Janssen and Van Yperen (2004) into three aspects namely: efficiency, effectiveness and economy. However, according to Gomes-Mejia et al (2010) employee performance is the extent to which the employees are involved in the achievement of company’s goals. Further, it represents the employees’ effort to attain specific objectives. Hamlett and Media (n.d.) view employee performance as the role of the workers in exchange for rewards while Casio (2006) defines employee performance as the extent of the employees’ ability to accomplish tasks assigned to him. On a similar note Awadh&Saad (2013) describe it as the ability of the workers to work effectively in the accomplishment of organisational goals. Moreover,Njugi and Agusioma, (2014) add that employee performance represents the workers ability to attain his mission on employment.
In China, Ahari, et al (2013) asserts that employee performance is referred as Biaoxian and entails much more than just the physical work carried by the employees. According to them, it includes the work performance concept and the organisational citizenship behaviour.
2.2.1 Factors Influencing Employees Performance
The existing literatures have provided a wide range of factors that affect employee performance (Muda, Rafiki & Harahap (2014): Shrestha & Shruti (2007).
Muda, Rafiki & Harahap (2014) categorises the factors that affect employee performance into three major groups namely: individual related factors, organisational related factors and job related factors. According to them, individual related factors include factors such as employees believes, work attitude and stress. Further the job related factors include factors such as feedback, compensation, characteristics of the job among others. On the other hand, the organisation related factors include organisational culture, supervisory support, work standards. This research will focus on organisational culture, managers’ attitude and job stress as the three major factors that affect employee performance as represented in the conceptual framework below:
Figure 1: Conceptual framework, source: author
Organisational culture: Organisational culture describes the customs, beliefs and values of an organisation. Widyaningrum (2012) asserts that a strong corporate culture is the key to good employee performance. In regard to the Chinese hospitality industry, culture is of importance to the employee performance, because in this industry, employees interact heavily with people from different cultural backgrounds. Therefore, Shahzad et al., (2012) purport that corporate culture is able to acquaint its employees with the acceptable values and behaviours in the organisation. According to Zhang and Zhu (2012) positive values adopted by the organisation impact positively on the employees attitudes positively influencing their performances.
Managers’ attitude: Managers attitude towards their employeesis an important concern for employee performance as the organisational performance in general. According to Chowdbury, (2006) the manager’s attitudes towards the employees holds is crucial to an organisation because it determines the type of relationship that the manager and the employee will have. In China, employees regard their managers highly due to the high power distance in the Chinese culture. As such, managers are regarded as knowledgeable, superior and in most circumstances employees hold their words as final (Mansor & Tayib, 2010). Moreover, the Chinese culture is highly collective and employees perform better through maintain good relationships. Thus, if the manager’s attitude is good, he will establish good relationship with the employees who will impact positively on their performance and vice versa.
Job stress: According to Mansoor et al (2011) job stress describes the situation where people interact with others in the workplace resulting to changes that affect the person’s ability function normally. Trivellas (2013) asserts that job stress has gained much attention in the recent past due to its affect on employees mental abilities, without which the employees are not able to perform well in their organisations. Ahari, et al (2013) explains that job stress causes negative effects to an employee such as fatigue, absenteeism issues and low morale among others. More so, Arshadi and Damiri (2013) explicate that stress minimizes the decision making ability of the employees thereby limiting them from making own initiatives which can negatively affect one’s performance.
2.3 Theories and Models Relating to Employees Performance
2.3.1 Job characteristics Model
According to Muchinsky (2006), although this is a motivational theory, it does not focus on individual but on the environment that the employee works in, and how it influences his employee performance. The job characteristics theory was proposed in 1976 by Hackman and Oldman (as contained in Muchnsky, 2006). Moreover, Judge and Church (2000) assert that the model consists of four sections namely: the job dimensions, impact of the job dimensions on an individual, individual difference variables and the equation depicting the potential of a job to motivate the employee. Further, as explained by Muchinsky (2006) the most important aspects of job dimensions include the skill variety which explains the skills and knowledge required to perform a particular job. More so, task identity refers to the extent to which a particular job can be identifiable as a part of the whole job. Task significance on its part identifies the extent to which a job impacts on the life of the employees while autonomy shows the degree of independence that the job gives to the employee. Furthermore, task feedback also shows how an employee is able to get clear information about his performance. The second part of this model shows the effect of the job dimensions of the employee. According to Judge and Church (2000) jobs which provide the above characteristics as discussed in the job dimensions are usually more satisfying, offer more job motivation and in turn enhance the employee performances.
Research On Factors Influencing Employees
According to this model, skill variety, task significance and task identity affect the level of job stress that an employee will have. Hamlett and Media (n.d.) elucidate that if the employees perceive that the tasks they are given are not significant, they are likely to be less motivated and worried every time the organisation mentions downsizing because they will think that they are targeted. This may negatively affect their performance. More so, Arshadi and Damiri (2013) point out that when employees are given jobs which can be identifiable as a part of the whole task, they perceive themselves as being highly regarded in the society and therefore will have low levels of job stress.
2.3.2 Job performance Model
This model was proposed by Mitchell in 1997 and shows that motivation is the key factor that influences the employee behaviour which in turn affects the performance of the employees (Poisat, 2006). According to Poisat (2006), this model focuses on the individual aspects as well as job context as the main determinants of employee motivation. Furthermore, the model purports that performance can be realised based on the individual inputs in a conducive and friendly working environment within the organisation (job context).
Figure 2: Mitchell’s job performance model, Source: Poisat (2006).
According to this model, motivated individuals are likely to uphold the organisational culture and social norms in the pursuit of organisational goals and objectives as observed by Tett& Burnett (2003). Individuals’ inputs such as the ability, job knowledge, emotions, beliefs and values constitute motivated behaviours and employee’s commitment towards his/her responsibilities and duties in an organisation resulting to a higher employee’s performance (Poisat, 2006). Besides, supervisory support and coaching can motivate employees to work harder in an organisation (Nohria, Groysberg& Lee, 2008). To beef up this argument, employees who work in a conducive job context tend to be self-directed and therefore encourage managers’ positive attitude. Imperatively, working in a motivated and a friendly environment (job context) can result to minimal conflicts encouraging managers’ positive attitude (Tett& Burnett, 2003). As such, the inculcation of managers’ positive attitude eventually results to increased employee performance (Nohria, Groysberg& Lee, 2008). This theory purports that rewards and reinforcement on the employees are the key determinants of motivation of the employees that leads to improved employee’s performance (Poisat, 2006). Rewarding and reinforcing the employees encourage them to effectively execute their tasks with focus in order to produce quality outcomes. Subsequently, this can result to building a friendly and a conducive environment in an organisation which in turn minimises the chances of job stress on the employees (AbuAlRub, 2004). Based on the above discussion, it is clear that this theory supports the three identified objectives and therefore indispensable in this dissertation.
2.3.3 Mc Gregor’s Theory X and Y
Douglas McGregor developed theory X and Y in the 1960 which uses philosophical beliefs in describing human kind (Kopelman, Prottas& Davis, 2008). According to Douglas McGregor, theory X generally assumed that human beings generally dislike work. As such, people have to be coerced, controlled or threatened in order to perform (Kopelman, Prottas& Davis, 2008). Consequently, this can result to low employees’ performance. Besides, managers can either create a friendly or unfriendly working environment depending on the employees’ level of motivation at work. In view of this, managers can develop a positive attitude if employees tend to avoid responsibility as maintained by Arnold (2010). On the same platform, stress can be initiated in case an individual cannot appropriately execute the given tasks unless forced to do so by the supervisors (Muda, Rafiki & Harahap, 2014). To beef up this point, supervisors are likely to employ threats of punishment to force such employees to perform creating unfriendly environment of work. Subsequently, this will ultimately lead to job stress that in turn results to poor employee’s performance (AbuAlRub, 2004). Based on the above points, theory X completely contradicts the three specific objectives of this dissertation.
On the other hand, theory Y assumed that people enjoy working because they realise that they must play their role in achieving the organisational goals (Kopelman, Prottas& Davis, 2008). Ideally, employees who realise their responsibility and commit to their work are likely to improve on the employee’s performance (Janssen & Van Yperen, 2004). Based on this view, individual behaviour that is congruent with the organisational culture and objectives can result to higher employee’s performance. Moreso, managers are likely to develop a positive attitude due to the employees’ self-direction in the achievement of organisational objectives. This is because such employees require minimal supervision to perform (Kopelman, Prottas& Davis, 2008). In the same breath, job stress is minimal as employees are motivated and self-driven towards the achievement of organisational goals, thus, increasing the level of employee’s performance (AbuAlRub, 2004). Based on the above argument, theory Y is therefore in agreement with the three objectives of this dissertation.
2.3.4 Denison’s model
According toAbiola-Falemu (2012) the impact of organisational culture on employee performance can largely be discussed through the Denison’s model of culture and effectiveness. According to Davidson (2003), the values and norms of an organisation which are deeply rooted in the organisation set the practises to be adopted in the organisation which determine to a large extent how the employees perform in the organisation. Further, the model posits four main cultural traits which impacts of the performance of the organisation. These traits are: consistency, involvement, mission and adaptability as shown in the diagram below:
Figure 4: Denison’s model of culture, source: (Davidson, 2003)
Davidson (2003) explains that the involvement trait describes the extent to which the employees at different levels of the organisation are fully engaged in ensuring that the organisation meets its own goals. Moreover, according to Uddin, Luva and Hossian (2013) an organisation with a strong corporate culture focuses on creating human capability, responsibility and instilling a sense of ownership. Davidson (2003) purports that when the employees feel that they have an input into organisations and can be allowed to make certain decisions in regarding their work, then their performance in the organisation improves noticeably. More so, Zhang (2010) elucidate that when employees feel like they are part owners of the organisation, the employees will be more motivated to work harder and more efficiently in order to ensure the success of the organisation. By so doing, their performance is bound to improve.
According to Nongo and Ikyanyon (2012) consistency is regarded as the core value of an organisation and also as the internal system that enables the efficiency and effectiveness of the organisation. More so, Davidson (2003) asserts that when an organisation has a strong culture which is highly consistent, such kind of organisation is likely to be very effective. As such, consistency enables the employees to understand the acceptable norms in the organisation and work within the laid guidelines. The employee performance increases when the employees are sure of what is expected of them.
According to Davidson (2003) the adaptability trait refers to the ability of a firm to evaluate the external environment within which it is operating in and be ready to respond and adjust itself to the changing needs of the industry. The mission trait on its part refers to the extent in which the organisation and all its employees are aware of the company’s goals, know what to do in order to achieve them and know how every employee contributes towards achieving those organisational goals (Davidson, 2003).
2.4 Empirical Research on Factors Influencing Employee’s Performance
2.4.1 Impacts of organisation culture on employee’ performance
Various studies have also shown that it is possible to improve the performance of the employees through developing corporate cultures. Accordingly, most of the existing literatures show a positive relationship between organisational culture and performance. As purported by Awadh and Saad (2013) organisational culture plays the role of internal integration between the employees and the operations of the organisation. Culture also plays the role of motivating the employees’ behaviour through the attainment of corporate objectives.
Ojo (2010) in his research in the Nigerian banking industry established that corporate culture had a positive impact on the employee performance. In his research, employees from both the old generation and the new generation Nigerian banks were sampled. However, due to financial constraints the employees sampled were only 100. Moreover, a research carried out by Uddin, Luva&Hossian (2013) in the telecommunication industry in Bangladesh found out that various attributes of organisational culture influence the performance of the organisation positively. Their research was largely qualitative and examined employee beliefs, gestures and norms as the main aspects of organisational culture and how they impacted on the organisational performance.
Another study, done by Kalyani, (2006) sought to establish various organisational factors that impact the job performances of employees. Kalyani (2006) carried out a research involving twelve clothing factories operating in Sri Lanka. The sample size included 22 employees from each of the firms. Through analysing the data collected through questionnaires through correlation analysis. The element of organisational culture was evaluated using six dimensions namely, philosophy, organisational climate, values, regulations, norms and rules. This research established that organisational culture impacted positively on perceived job performance. However, the regression analysis did not establish organisational culture as a predictor for job performance. This may have been as a result of the study using two other variables during the regression analysis. However Shahzad, Iqbal and Gulzar (2013) noted that organisational culture would only be linked with employee performance if the culture would be able to adapt to environmental changes.
However, a research carried out in Royal Malaysian customs established that organisational culture does not impact on the employees needs and therefore does not impact on their performance. According to Mansor and Tayib (2010) the study used job satisfaction as a mediating factor between organisational culture and employee performance. Using correlation tests, the tax employees’ job satisfaction was reduced when the organisation adopted bureaucratic culture. Moreover, the organisational culture assessment tool built by Quinn and Cameron, sought to establish the relationship of various types of organisational culture and employee performance. This research examined four types of organisational culture namely: adhocracy, clan, hierarchy and market. This research surveyed twenty five businesses from nine provinces in China focusing on over ten industries. Using various quantitative analysis such as correlation and regression analysis, this research established that the four organisational culture have a great influence on the employee performance. The research found out that when an organisation adopted the adhocracy and market culture impacts positively on the employee performance. However, when the organisation adopted the clan and the hierarchy organisational culture, the performance of the employees reduced. This is because; a strong culture has the ability to enhance the performance of an individual while a weak culture has the possibility of demotivating the employees.
Although most of the studies show that corporate culture and employee performance are related, the nature of this relationship usually show mixed results. Bulach, Lunenberg and Potter (2012) show that the impact of organisational culture on the employee performance can be narrowed down as follows: Understanding the culture of the organisation assists the organisation in understanding the history of the organisation and the organisational operations. Secondly, organisational culture fosters commitment to the organisational values and philosophies. Further, corporate culture plays the role of control mechanisms towards changing employee behaviours towards better performances.
2.4.2 Impacts of manager’s attitudes on employee’s performance.
The impacts of managers’ attitude towards employee performance have been discussed by various authors depending how they affect, employee satisfaction, employee loyalty and commitment. Hon, Wilco& Lin (2012) purport that; good employee boss relationship reduces the need for employee turnover, which improve employee performance. This relationship is usually a quality predictor of employee performance.
A research carried out by Saeed et al (2013) revealed that there is a positive influence between manager’s attitude and the performance of employees in the Pakistan Banking Sector. This research collected data from a sample of 200 employees working in over forty banks in Pakistan. The data was analysed using correlation and multiple regression analysis and in both cases, there was a positive relationship. However, a weakness in this research is that data was collected through close ended questionnaires which did not give the bank employees a chance to express themselves using own words.
Another study carried out by Ibok & Umana (2013) sought to evaluate the effect that different supervisory behaviours have on the performance of the sales employees. This research was carried out in Nigeria and targeted the micro finance banks. A sample of 120 marketers from Micro finance banks operating in AkwaIbom and Cross River state were surveyed. Using the analysis of variance and regression analysis, this research found out that supervisory aspects such as manager’s attitude had positive impact on the performance.
Further, another aspect that shows the managers attitude towards the employees is in regard to the attention levels that the managers show to their employees. As found out in the Hawthrone experiments, the time and attention that the managers provided to their employees were proportional to the results that they got. The Hawthorne facility studies carried out in the 1930s revealed that management attention to the employees’ results in increased productivity. More so, it was established that for long term performance on the employees, the management must make regular communications with the employees on the ability to perform to their expected levels.
Moreover, a study by Kohli (1985) sought to establish the relationship between various supervision and employee performance. The manager’s attitude was initially categorized into employee centred and production centred behaviours. He identified four supervisory behaviours that influence the employee performances as contingent approving, upward influencing, achievement oriented and arbitrary and punitive behaviours. This study established that the four supervisory behaviours impacted on the performance of the employees. Achievement oriented as well as the contingent approving behaviours had the highest positive impacts on the performance (Kohli, 1985). The upward influencing was the third important behaviour while arbitrary and punitive behaviour had the least impact on the employee performances. According to Chowdbury (2006) managers and supervisors need to understand that if their attitudes towards the employees show that the employees are competent and knowledgeable, then the employees are likely to be more effective and perform better. The managers’ attitudes towards the employees are likely to impact positively on the employee performances when they encourage the employees, are more responsive to their needs, offer challenging assignments and are ready to offer support as and when needed (Arnold, 2010).
Further, a study carried out by Chowdhury (2008) sought to examine two important behaviours that affect the manager’s attitudes in his role as a supervisor. These behaviours were the positive achievement motivation behaviour and the authoritarian behaviour. He collected his data from a survey of more than 100 sales personnel in two retail outlets. The hypotheses were tested using the Pearson correlation and regression analysis. The two supervisory behaviours were seen to have a positive impact on the employee performance. These behaviours enhanced good employee attitude which impacted positively on their work behaviour and their performance in general.
2.4.3 Impacts of job stress on employee’s performance
According to Yaşlıoğlu et al (2013) job stress affects both the employee and the organisation. Various studies show three kinds of relationship that exist between job stress and employee performance. First, there exist an inverse relationship between these two variables, second, there is a direct relationship where high levels of stress increase efficiency and lastly, mild stress levels boosts the performance but only for some time before performance starts reducing as the stress levels increase (Warraich et al, 2014).
A research carried out by Warraich et al (2014) in the universities of Karachi sought to establish the impacts of job stress on the universities employees. They collected data from about 133 employees in Universities in various disciplines including Medicine, fashion, Business, engineering among others. Using multi linear regression analysis, this research found out that stress related factors such as workload, role conflict, inadequate rewards reduced the job performance as well as the job satisfaction of the employees.
A similar study was also carried out by Adetayo, Ajani and Olabisi (2014) in the Seventh day Adventist hospital in Ile- ife Nigeria. Using stratified random sampling method, 65 employees were sampled. Using an 18 – item questionnaire, the participants were asked on various aspects of job stress and how they impacted on their performance. The employee performance was measured through productivity ratio. This study established that various causes of job stress such as work overload, career issues, family and work conflicts have the effect of causing disruptions on the employees therefore negatively affecting their performance.
Moreover, a similar study was also carried out by Usman and Ramay (2010) targeting the bank employees in Pakistan. These authors used a sample size of 144 employees including graduates, and senior employees from a recognised bank in Pakistan. Data was collected through questionnaires and analysed through correlation and regression analysis. The results indicated that there was a negative correlation between stress and performance. However, one weakness noted in this study is that it used convenient sampling method instead of probabilistic sampling methods which may result into biasness.
Ayyuob et al (2013) sought to identify the effect of job stress on employee performance in Al- Israa hospital. The population of the study included all the hospital’s employees who were about 295. A sample of 95 employees was selected and questionnaires issued to them. These researchers used various methods including Spearman correlation coefficient, frequencies and percentages. This study concluded that a number of internal stress areas such as job security, role conflict, and poor working conditions impacted negatively on employee job performance. Moreover external stress factors such as social and political pressures, cultural pressures were also found to have a significant negative influence on employee performance.
According to the authors who support a U shaped relationship between job stress and work performance, stress enhances the employee performance to a certain extent through acting as a motivator. For example, if the employees are given a relatively shorter duration to complete their tasks, they tend to work harder and usually this results to them being able to complete the said work (Groen, Wouters and Wilderom, 2012).
Employee performance describes the belief of an employee’s behaviour and how it affects his contributions to the organisational success. Moreover, it also refers to the extent to which an employee contributes to the achievement of the organisation’s objectives. The existing literatures show that there are numerous factors that affect the employee performance which have been categorised into individual related factors and job related factors. From these two categories, it emerges that organisational culture, manager’s attitude and stress and some of the factors with significant impact on employee performance.
The Job characteristics model shows four sections: the job dimensions, impact of the job dimensions on an individual, individual difference variables and the equation depicting the potential of a job to motivate the employee. According to this model, skill variety, task significance and task identity affect the level of job stress that an employee will have. In addition, the Mitchell job performance model focuses on the individual aspects as well as job context as the main determinants of employee motivation. According to this model, motivated individuals are likely to uphold the organisational culture and social norms in the pursuit of organisational goals and objectives. Mc Gregor’s Theory X any Y shows how organisational culture, manager’s attitude and stress can impact on the employee performance depending on whether the organisation and the managers adopt theory X or theory Y. Theory X generally assumed that human beings generally dislike work. As such, people have to be coerced, controlled or threatened in order to perform On the other hand, theory Y assumed that people enjoy working because they realise that they must play their role in achieving the organisational goals.
The empirical researches done on the impact of organisational culture, on employee performance indicate a positive relationship between organisational culture and performance. Further, impact on manager’s attitude on employee performance show a positive result when, the attitude is considered good by the employees. Moreover, most studies show a negative relationship between stress and performance, although some studies show a U shaped relationship.
Nicholls (2009) argues that the success of any research project depends on the methodology selected. Further, Flowers (2009) argues that the reliability of research findings depends on the appropriateness of the research methodology. This chapter puts more emphasis on the overall methodology that was applied in the study to achieve its core goals. The research hypotheses are formulated based on the literature review and the research objectives of this study. Additionally, this chapter discusses the research philosophy, research strategy and the research design. Data collection methods are discussed in detail with relevant justification. Thereafter, the chapter discusses data analysis and description in detail. The chapter concludes by providing a comprehensive summary of the methodology used to achieve the aims of this research.
According to Gay, Mills &Airasian (2011), research hypotheses can be opinions or phenomenal to speculate the outcomes of an experiment. Saunders, Saunders, Lewis &Thornhill (2011) define hypotheses from the scientific point of view arguing that they are statements or opinions that can be tested. Therefore, it is critical for a researcher to formulate hypotheses based on the existing theories. The researcher in this study formulated his hypotheses after making extensive reference to the literature review which is discussed in chapter 2.
A careful consideration of the existing literature shows that little has been done to underpin how the specific elements of job stress, manager’s attitude and organisational culture affects employees performance in the Chinese Hospitality Industry. However, the existing theory shows that employee performance is critical for the overall success of the organisation. Various authors in the literature review measured employee performance against the organisational standards’perspective. For instance Porter (2008) argues that employee performance can be evaluated based on productivity, organisational profitability, efficiency and quality. According to Groen, Wouters & Wilderom (2012), employee behaviour has a significant impact on employee performance. Employee behaviour can be influenced by the factors such attitude towards work, job related stress or the impending organisational culture. Similarly, employees’ performance is influenced by the attitude towards work, colleagues and even management. Further, Muda, Rafiki & Harahap (2014) categorised factors that influence employee’s performance in the Chinese Hospitality Industry into individual related, organisational related and job related.
Overall, the existing literature review indicated that employee’s performance has more to do with the organisation, the job itself and the attitude of the manager. However, the review failed to provide an insight of the exact elements of the organisation, job stress and the manager’s attitude that influence employee performance.Most of the authors considered the mentioned factors in isolation and that is why the specific elements were not identifiable. Therefore, based on the literature review, there was no clear explanation on how the three factors (organisation culture, job stress and manager’s attitude) influenced employee performance. Despite the limitations of the existing literature, it was evident that three hypotheses could be formulated and tested. The formulated hypotheses are discussed below:
- The organization culture and believes can have both positive and negative influence on employee’s performance in the Chinese Hospitality Industry
- Factors related to job stress can lower employee’s performance because they contribute to low morale in the Chinese Hospitality Industry
- Employees attitude towards work can greatly be influenced by the behaviour of the managers in the Chinese Hospitality Industry
- How does organisational behaviour impact on employees’ performance in the Chinese Hospitality Industry?
- What is the impact of job stress on employee’s performance in the in the Chinese Hospitality Industry?
- How does manager’s attitude affect employee performance in the Chinese Hospitality Industry?
Al-Habil (2014) argues that it is essential to deploy various research philosophies to test research hypotheses in order to achieve the aims and objectives of research. Easterby-Smith, Thorpe & Jackson (2012) categorise research philosophies into two categories namely positivism and interpretivism. The two mentioned research philosophies are based on different assumptions. Table 1 presents the key assumptions of positivism and interpretivism.
Table 1: The Assumptions of Positivism research and Interpretivism
|Assumptions||Positivism Research||Interpretivism Research|
|Emphasis and Interest||The focus can be average, general or representative||The focus and interest is unique, specific and deviant|
|Realities of Nature||The reality nature can be single, objective or tangible||The reality nature can be socially constructed or multiple|
|Desired Information||The information desired is related to how somepeople think, do particular things or facing a specific problem||The required information is related to what a section of individuals think and the type of obstacle or problem they face. The information also relates to how the problems are confronted.|
|Core goal of Research||Explanations||Understanding|
|Researcher Relationship and Subject||Rigidness||Cooperating, participating or interacting|
Source: Easterby-Smith, Thorpe & Jackson (2012)
The motive of this study was to investigate the factors influencing employees’ performance in the Chinese Hospitality Industry. To achieve the objectives of this study, the researcher had to measure observable facts which included job stress, organisational culture and the managers’ attitudes towards employee performance in the Chinese Hospitality Industry. The researcher measured the observable facts using the ordinal numbers scored on the five-point likert scale. Similarly, the researcher analysed the collected data using descriptive statistics and mathematical techniques which included the mean and the standard deviation. The findings of this research were purely based on empirical confirmation. Since this research was based on descriptive statistics, the most appropriate philosophical approach was positivism as opposed to interpretivism. The study relied on positivistic measurement tools to analyse the quantitative data which was collected through the use of questionnaires from the selected organisations. There are two key benefits of using positivism approach in this study. Firstly, by using the positivism philosophical approach, the findings were empirically verified thus making the results more reliable (Al-Habil, 2014). Secondly, positivism approach encouraged the use of strict methodological protocols which promoted objectiveness ensuring that the findings were free from bias (Al-Habil, 2014). Thirdly, positivism approach helped to researcher to establish the cause and effect relationship which was useful in predicting and controlling the outcome of the research. There are three basic reasons why interpretivism research philosophy was not fit for this study. Firstly, interpretivismis based on meanings, feelings and introspection. Secondly, interpretivism is based on gaining understanding of the underlying reasons and motivations but this research was based on quantifying data and generalising results from samples of to the target population of interest (McMillan & Schumacher, 2014). Lastly, interpretivism majorly provides insights into the sitting problem but this research was based on measuring the incidences of varying views and opinions from the chosen sample. Therefore, based on the nature of this research, positivism philosophical approach was the most appropriate as compared to the interpretivism philosophical approach.
According to Creswell (2013), any study that focuses on specific variables, figures and numbers rather than a whole is described as quantitative study. A quantitative study aims at establishing and identifying a statistical relationship between variables. Similarly, the objectives of a quantitative study are geared towards description or explanations rather than construction or exploration (Creswell, 2013). This study largely employed the use of numbers and figures to achieve its objectives. As discussed in the previous section, the responses were scored ordinally and the assessment was done using statistical techniques. Besides the usage of numbers and figures, the major focus was on particular variables in the Chinese Hospitality Industry rather than the Chinese industries as a whole. The key variables under consideration were job stress, managers’ attitudes and organisational culture. The analysis of the collected data aimed at identifying the statistical relationships rather than themes or patterns. For instance, one of the relationships studied was the manager’s attitude and the employee performance. It therefore implies that this research aimed at establishing the cause and effect relationships. More importantly, the three objectives of this research were achieved through analysis rather than social construction, exploratory and discovery. This study considered quantitative approach compared to qualitative approach because of two major reasons. Firstly, the quantitative approach can be administered easily especially when the research involves relatively large samplesand questions (Bernard, 2011). Secondly, findings of the quantitative research are more objective because they are empirically verified. Qualitative approach was not employed in this study because it is non statistical and it lacks consistency and reliability (Bernard, 2011). Qualitative approach also does not focus on specific variables thus making it inappropriate in this study.
The research was conducted using the survey method. However, due to the high number of hotels in the Chinese Hospitality Industry, it was not practical to carry out the survey from all firms. Instead, 140 respondents were selected using stratified random sampling technique. According to Mak (2008), China has over 10,000 firms operating in the hospitality industry. The researcher divided the hotels into two homogenous subgroups from which the firms were selected using stratified random sampling. The two homogenous subsets were the 5-star hotels and the 4-star hotels and most of them are situated in Beijing which is the capital city of China. According to Mak (2008), there are over 745 5-star hotels and 2,373 4-star hotels in China. For Simplicity purposes, the researcher put more emphasis on four hotels from each category summing up to a total of 8 firms. The sample frame representing this information is provided in Appendix 1. After stratifying the hotels, draws were made randomly. Ninety of the 140 respondents were selected from the 4-star hotels while the remaining fifty respondents were from the 5-star hotels. The sample of 140 selected included both employees and managers. After the researcher had explained the purpose of the research to the managers of the hotels involved, they requested their respective Human Resource Offices to provide a list of potential employees. The Human Resource Offices also provided the contact details of the chosen employees and managers who participated in this research. The researcher later made a follow-up and administered the questionnaires to those managers and employees who were selected.
Creswell (2013) postulates that it is essential to determine an appropriate research design to help in the achievement of the research objectives. The different research design includes descriptive research design, casual research design and exploratory research design (Creswell, 2013).Each research design has its merits and demerits. Therefore, the selection of the correct research design depends on the nature of the study and the hypotheses to be tested. This study aimed at investigating the key factors that influence employee performance in the Chines Hospitality Industry. As such, the researcher was required to investigate the statistical relationship between organisational culture, manager’s attitude, job stress and the employee performance. Mathematical and scientific tools were essential in the analysis of primary data to generate findings. Therefore, based on the nature of this study, the most appropriate research design was descriptive. The adoption of descriptive research design familiarised the researcher with the factors influencing employee performance in the Chinese Hospitality Industry. The researcher also used structured questionnaires designed with closed-ended questions on which the responses were scored using the five-likert scale. Each questionnaire contained fifteen closed-ended questions which simplified the analysis and helped in framing issues specifically to facilitate a similar meaning to all participants.
Harrell & Bradley (2009) argue that the method used to collect data can influence the research findings. The two common methods used to collect data are the primary and secondary data.
Secondary data is the available second-hand information collected by the previous professionals in different fields of study (Sullivan-Bolyai, Bova& Singh, 2012). Such information is accessible from the existing published and unpublished sources. However, Sullivan-Bolyai, Bova& Singh (2012) note that not all information can be found from the secondary sources. For instance, some primary research requires first-hand information which can only be obtained through primary methods. Further, Bernard (2011) notes that the reliability of secondary data can only be enhanced if the location of the data is evaluated and verified. Additionally, the researcher who relies on secondary data must use a critique approach in evaluating the data (Creswell, 2013). The critiquing method involves scrutinising the datasources to examine reliability. After scrutinising the secondary data, it is evaluated and verified to generate a summary of the original statistics. Based on the nature of this research, it will be challenging for the primary researcher to use secondary data to yield reliable results.
According to Sullivan-Bolyai, Bova& Singh (2012), collecting data using the primary method is the most efficient. Primary data refers to the first-hand information acquired from the field. The information is acquired directly from the source and that is the reason it is sometimes known as raw data. However, collecting information using the primary method is time consuming if not properly planned in advance. Further, Nicholls (2009) notes that the researcher must have prior experience in collecting primary data to ensure that the data compiled is error-free and accurate. The researcher who conducted this research had extensive experience in collecting primary data. Since this research was based on questionnaires, the primary method was the most appropriate as opposed to the secondary method. The researcher adopted the primary method because of three fundamental reasons. Firstly, the primary method enabled the researcher to collect data that was more specific in testing the research hypotheses toachieve the goals of this research.Secondly, the primary method was the most appropriate because it relied on questionnaires designed by the researcher to answer the research questions. Thirdly, the primary data collection method is cost effective compared to secondary data (Nicholls, 009). Therefore, based on the requirements of this research, the primary data collection method was the most preferred.
As mentioned earlier, the core aim of this research was investigating the key factors influencing employees’ performance in the Chinese Hospitality Industry. The objectives of this research were wide and the researcher needed to focus on large hotels present in china. The target population was selected from both the 5-star and 4-star hotels operating in China. The 5-star hotels selected were Intercontinental Beijing, New World Beijing, Fairmont Hotel and the Raffles Hotel. The 4-star hotels selected were Red Wall Garden Hotel, Park Plaza Hotel, Novotel Beijing and the Prime Hotel.
The intercontinental Beijing belongs to the global Intercontinental Hotels Group (IHG) (Gu, Ryan & Yu, 2012). The IHG was founded in 2003 and it is headquartered at Denham in the United Kingdom. The intercontinental Beijing is one of the biggest 5-star hotels in China. The Hotel is strategically located within the Olympic Business District. The hotel receives over 500 visitors a day (Gu, Ryan & Yu, 2012). The hotel has tremendously grown due to its strategic location attracting over $2 million annually. The hotel has over 300 employees most of whom are of Chinese Origin (Gu, Ryan & Yu, 2012).
New World Hotel Beijing
The New World Hotel Beijing is a 5-star hotel which was founded in 1990. The hotel is strategically located at Wangfujing, Beijing which is a fast growing commercial centre. It has over 716 beautifully designed rooms which attracts over 300 visitors a day. The hotel has over 250 employees (Yang, Wong & Wang, 2012).
The Fairmont Hotel is a global brand operating in the hospitality industry. The 5-star hotel was founded in 1907(Gu, Ryan & Yu, 2012). The hotel’s headquarters is situated in Ontario Canada. The Fairmont China was opened over a decade ago and the hotel averagely serves 300 visitors a day. The hotel has over 200 employees most of whom are of Chinese Origin (Yang, Wong & Wang, 2012).
New Raffles Hotel
The Raffles is a 5-star international hotel chain established in the 1900s in Singapore. The hotel has a branch in Beijing situated at the heart of the city(Gu, Ryan & Yu, 2012). The hotel 103 rooms serving over 100 visitors daily. The hotel has over 100 employees. The hotel generates over $1 million annually.
Red Wall Garden Hotel
This is a 4-star hotel located in the Wangfujing Street at the heart of Beijing City. The Hotel serves over 200 visitors a day. The hotel has over 150 employees who work full time. The hotel genets over $1.5 million annually (He, Li & Keung Lai, 2011).
Park Plaza Hotel
The Park Plaza Hotel is an international 4-star hotel brand whose main markets are Europe, Asia and the USA. The company entered the Chinese over 20 years ago and it serves averagely 250 visitors a day (Yang, Wong & Wang, 2012). The Park Plaza Hotel is situated at the Wangfujing Street in Beijing. The hotel has over 150 employees most of whom are of Chinese origin.
Hotel Novotel Beijing
The Hotel Novotel China was founded in 1954. The hotel is centrally located at the heart of the Forbidden City in Beijing. The Hotel has over 700 guest rooms and it serves over 500 guests daily (Gu, Ryan & Yu, 2012). The hotel has over 150 full time employees and less than 50 part-time employees.
The Prime Hotel is a 4-star hotel located at Wangfujing Street in China (Mak, 2008). The hotel has over 150 magnificently designed rooms. The hotel serves over 200 guests daily. The hotel has over 250 employees most of whom working full time.
Data analysis is the systematic use of logical and statistical techniques in describing, evaluating and recapping data (Saunders et al., 2011). According to Creswell (2013), data analysis is vital because it makes the findings of research to be more convincing and observable. The quantitative data in this research was analysed using descriptive statistics. The descriptive statistics involved the use of the measures of dispersion and central tendency (mean). Saunders et al. (2011) define the mean as the arithmetical average of the distributed scores. The hotel’s employees and managers who participated in this research ranked their responses concerning the specific variables on a likert-scale with scores of 1-5. The inferences were made based on the average of the responses made for each variable. The mean is ideal when the distributed data is normal or ordinal. This research greatly utilised ordinal data because all scores of the distribution were normal (less than 50% of the total scores were close to the mean). This justified the use of the mean as a measure of central tendency in this analysis. Standard deviation was used as a measure of dispersion in this analysis to check variability. The standard deviation was deployed in this analysis to show the extent the distributed scores scattered around the mean. According to Easterby-Smith, Thorpe & Jackson (2012), the standard deviation can best indicate variability because it includes all scores. Further, the standard deviation is superior to the range and quartile when indicating variability because it is reliant on the weight of each score. Thus, the researcher in this study considered the standard deviation and the mean as the most useful descriptive statistical measures.
This chapter provided the overall methodology that the researcher employed when conducting this study. Foremost, the researcher formulated three hypotheses based on the existing literature review. The researcher used the formulated hypotheses to generate three corresponding research questions. Additionally, the chapter explained the research philosophy employed by the researcher. The researcher adopted the positivism approach because he had to measure observable facts using statistical analysis. Positivism was also the most appropriate because the researcher needed to establish the statistical relationship among the variables under study. Therefore, the research approach selected was quantitative. Similarly, the researcher adopted survey strategy to conduct the research. The survey strategy was the most appropriate because the study required a large sample for analysis. A total of 140 respondents were selected using the stratified random sampling from the 8 hotels. Based on the nature of the study, the researcher chose the descriptive research design because the analysis of data required statistical tools. The study as well utilised primary data collected using questionnaires. The eight hotels selected for the study included four 5-star hotels and the four 4-star hotels. The 5-star hotels chosen were Intercontinental Beijing, New World Beijing, Fairmont Hotel and the Raffles Hotel. The 4-star hotels selected were Red Wall Garden Hotel, Park Plaza Hotel, Novotel Beijing and the Prime Hotel. The statistical methods chosen for data analysis were the measure of central tendency (mean) and the measure of dispersion (standard deviation).
The overall research findings based on data analysis are presented in this chapter. The structure adopted by the researcher focused on the achievement of the research’s core objective of investigating the factors influencing employee performance in the Chinese hospitality industry. This core objective was achieved by analysing the impact of job stress, manager’s attitude and organisational structure on employee performance in the Chinese hospitality industry. The analysed questionnaire based on the research objectives is attached in Appendix 1. Bendat&Piersol (2011) note that data analysis is the simplification of data into observable and interpretable constitutes. Therefore, the key aim of data analysis was to ensure that the hypotheses formulated were testable. Data analysis also involves data interpretation to unveil any hidden trends to establish observable statistical relationships that can convey meaning. This chapter is divided into for critical areas. The first section describes the sample population in detail. The second section provides the profile of the respondents. The third section of the chapter explains the main results of the data analysis. The last section of the chapter provides a comprehensive summary of the main findings and analysis.
The core aim of this research was to investigate the factors influencing employee performance in the Chinese Hospitality Industry. It is therefore clear that this study mainly focused on Chinese firms operating in the hospitality sector. For the researcher to achieve the study objectives, he had to sample respondents from eight hotels all located in Beijing. Out of the eight hotels that were randomly selected, four were 5-star hotels while the rest were 4-star hotels. To achieve the aims of the research, the researcher targeted 140 respondents from the eight selected hotels. Out of the 140 respondents, 50 were from the 5-star hotels. The target population involved both regular employees and managers. The 5-star hotels selected were Intercontinental Beijing, New World Beijing, Fairmont Hotel and the Raffles Hotel. The 4-star hotels selected were Red Wall Garden Hotel, Park Plaza Hotel, Novotel Beijing and the Prime Hotel. It is also critical to recall that the data was mainly collected using paper questionnaires. Geographical limit was not a factor because the researcher reached all categories of respondents. Over 98% of the respondents had worked in the respective hotels for more than 8 years and had extensive experience on factors influencing their performance. The answering of the questionnaires was absolutely voluntary, therefore, the responses provided were reliable and honest. The paper questionnaires were administered to respective respondents by hand to all the 140 respondents who were the target of this research.However, out of the 140 questionnaires distributed, 95% (133) were successfully completed and returned. This implies that 5% (7) questionnaires were damaged or were not successfully completed. The 7% of the unreturned questionnaires were considered insignificant and could not affect the research outcome. In the 95% (133) successfully completed and returned questionnaires, the respondents were composed of different age groups, gender and occupational rankings. The analysis of the respondents is provided below under the respondent’s profile section.
Table 2: Gender
The results in Table 2 are summarised in the pie chart below:
Figure 5: Respondent’s Gender
Both Table 2 and Figure 5 shows that the difference in gender was insignificant and could not influence the outcome of the research findings. According to Tomba (2014), the percentage of Chinese male in employment is 54.7% compared to 45.33% which represent women. Therefore, the researcher achieved and justified the gender balance.
Table 3: Respondent’s’ Age Bracket
|18-36 years||37-49 years||Above 50 years of age|
The results of Table 3 are summarised in figure 6 below:
Figure 6: Age Bracket
As indicated by Table 3 and figure 6, majority of the respondents were aged between 18-36 years of age which represent 45.1% of the entire sampled population target. Out of the entire sampled population, 31.1% were aged between 37-49 years. Those respondents who were 50 years and above comprised of 21.8% of the target population. As indicated by He, Li& Keung Lai (2011), 60% of the Chinese Labour force in the hospitality industry are the youth between 18-35 years while 40% is made up of the elderly. Therefore, the researcher ensured a balanced representation of the age group in this research. Most of the hospitality firms prefer to employ the youth to execute marketing and other operations while the elderly work as senior management officials (He, Li & Keung Lai, 2011). Based on the balanced age group selection in the sample, the researcher was able to get valid information regarding the factors that influence employee performance in the Chinese Hospitality industry.
Table 4: Occupational Ranking
Figure 8 provides a summary of the respondents’ occupational ranking.
Figure 8: Occupational Ranking
The results presented by Table 4 and Figure 8 clearly indicates that the majority of the respondents comprised of both senior and junior employees. The senior employees only comprised of 33 in number. The researcher put more emphasis in balancing the senior management level (executive team), senior employees (managerial team and supervisors) and the junior staff. However, achieving the exact balance more so from the senior level of management was not practical due to their small number and busy schedules. As evidenced from Table 4 and Figure 8, the researcher’s findings could not be biased because he used a mix of the respondents based on employee ranking.
This study’s aim was to conduct an empirical investigation on the key factors influencing employee performance in the Chinese hospitality industry. The core aim of the research was achieved through the analysis of the respondents’ responses which were scored in a five-likertscale.A mean score of above 3.0 in the asked questions implies that respondents agreed with the question’s requirement. The respondents disagreed with the question if the mean score is below 3.0, while a mean score of exactly 3.0 implies impartiality (neither disagreed nor agreed with the question). Therefore, all the three hypotheses generated by the researcher were tested and verified. The hypotheses that were tested included:
- The organization culture can have both positive and negative influence on employee’s performance in the Chinese Hospitality Industry
- Factors related to job stress can lower employee’s performance because they contribute to low morale in the Chinese Hospitality Industry
- Employees attitude towards work can greatly be influenced by the attitude of the managers in the Chinese Hospitality Industry
Considering the first hypothesis, organisational culture can have both positive and negative impact on employee performance in the Chinese hospitality industry. Interestingly, sometimes the numerous elements of organisational culture that influence employee performance are ignored. In order to test and evaluate the first hypothesis, the researcher asked several questions that were closely related to the impact of organisational cultureon employee performance. Table 5, provides the descriptive statistic results.
Table 5: Organisation Culture
|Organisational success is employee participation||140||1.00||5.00||4.0429||1.07202|
|Managers and supervisors facilitators.||140||1.00||5.00||3.8929||1.03671|
|Organisational values and believes are fixed||140||1.00||5.00||2.7143||1.35862|
|High stretch targets lowers Employee Morale||140||1.00||5.00||4.0500||.99151|
|Organization shares financial information||140||1.00||5.00||3.9857||1.03177|
|Valid N (listwise)||140|
The above descriptive statistics are presented in figures 9providing the mean scores and the standard deviations respectively.
Figure 9: Descriptive Statistics: Organisation Culture
The first question asked the respondents whether their engagement and participation contributed to organisational success. The mean score achieved based on the responses was 4.0429, which clearly indicates that employees believe that their participation and engagement is critical for organisational success. The high mean score implied that employees in the Chinese hospitality industry value their participation and engagement. Additionally, the high mean score is an indication that the Chinese hospitality firms involve their employees in decision making process and other critical matters affecting their organisations. When employees are involved in organisational processes, they feel that they are part of the company’s success. This is critical and it motivates employees to work harder because their participation is highly recognized. He, Li & Keung Lai (2011) argue that failure to involve employees in critical matters make them feel ignored. Employee performance can be adversely affected if employees’ efforts are not recognized.
The second question asked employees whether they considered their managers and supervisors as facilitators and the mean score was3.8929 which indicated that they agreed. Most of the employees in the Chinese hospitality industry viewed their managers as facilitators rather than taskmasters. Chiang & Hsieh (2012) define a facilitator as an individual who engages in group activities to help employees understand their core objectives and help them strategize on how they can achieve them. On the other hand, a taskmaster is an individual whose aim is to make others toil to achieve their objectives. For instance, a taskmaster can decide to impose a large workload to an employee and expect the tasks to be accomplished in the shortest time possible. The high mean score achieved from the participants’ responses is an indication that the Chinese hospitality industry’s organisation culture embraces facilitation. Facilitation motivates employees to work harder because managers and supervisors play a critical role in helping employees to plan on how to accomplish tasks to achieve higher results. Therefore, an organisation culture that believes in task mastery can adversely affect employees’ morale and this can greatly reduce employee performance.
Thirdly, respondents were asked whether in their respective organisations the norms and values were fixed and unquestionable. The mean score was 2.7143 which is lower than 3.0 implying that they disagreed. According to Alvesson (2012), norms and values contribute to a distinguished social and psychological environment of an enterprise. Therefore, norms and values are viewed as significant components of the organisation culture. Based on the employee’s’ responses, the organisation culture in the Chinese hospitality industry is flexible. This implies that elements of the organisation culture can be adjusted to match with the changing environment. An organisation culture that is rigid can affect employee performance. For instance, if an organisation has a rigid dress code, employees may feel uncomfortable with the dresses and this may haunt them psychologically. Psychological torture can reduce employees’ morale and this can adversely affect performance. However, in the Chinese hospitality industry, the organisation culture is flexible and the norms and values can be adjusted to match the current environment. A flexible organisation culture makes employees confident and this impacts positively on performance. For instance, employees can be given an opportunity to propose their desired dress code on Fridays and weekends. Therefore, in the Chinese hospitality industry, the organisational norms and values are flexible and this motivates employees to perform better.
The fourth question asked respondents whether very high stretch targets lowered their morale. The responses scored a mean of 4.0500 which is an indication that they agreed that very high targets can kill their morale. Manson (2014) defines employee morale a spirit of confidence, cheerfulness and willingness to participate or perform. The success of an organisation greatly rely on employee performance. High employee performance is a reflection that employee are confident and ready to undertake tasks. The high score in this question implies that unachievable organisational targets can not only reduce employee confidence, but also adversely affect performance. An organisation must consider the size of the work load and the duration taken for its completion. A careful consideration will ensure that management sets achievable targets that do not strain employees. The high mean score in this question implies that the Chinese hospitality industry is keen on achievable targets and this is a key ingredient of employee performance.
The last question asked employees whether their organisations were open enough to share financial performance with them. Financial information is critical in showing the company’s performance which is a result of employees’ input. The mean score achieved from the responses was 3.9857 indicating that employees in the Chinese hospitality industry accepted that their respective companies disclosed financial information. Disclosure of financial information is essential because it helps employees to comprehend their participation and input into the company. A healthy financial performance is an indication that employees are working hard. Sharing financial information with employee does not only acknowledge employees’ input, but also helps them to feel that they are part of the organisational success. This motivates employees to exploit their potential to achieve better results, thus impacting positively on employee performance.
4.4.3 The Impact of Job Stress on Employee Performance in Chinese Hospitality Industry
The second hypothesis was that elements of job stress lowers employee’s performance in the Chinese Hospitality Industry. To test this hypothesis, the researcher asked respondents five questions linked to job stress. The responses were descriptively analysed and their results are indicated on Table 6. Interestingly, the employees’ responses contradicted the secondary research findings which mostly focused on interpersonal job related stress.
Table 6: Job Stress
|Pressuretodeliver lowers employee morale||140||1.00||5.00||3.8429||1.08138|
|Career concerns affects employee performance||140||1.00||5.00||4.1714||.82185|
|Unpredictability of work schedules||140||1.00||5.00||3.9786||1.08931|
|Interpersonalconcerns influence performance||140||1.00||5.00||4.0357||3.46881|
|Valid N (listwise)||140|
Figure 10: Descriptive Statistics: Job Stress
Foremost, the respondents were asked whether demand to deliver had impact on their morale. The responses recorded a mean score of 3.8429 which indicated that indeed pressure or demand to deliver lowered employee performance. According to Chiang & Hsieh (2012), job-related stress is the mental and psychological tension which can cause exhaustion and depression. In most cases, work-related stress occur when employees are given tasks that do not match their qualifications and skills. Regardless of giving employees tasks that do not match their experience, management expect high outcomes. The high mean score recorded proves that high pressure to deliver lowers employees’ performance in the Chinese hospitality industry. In the context of hospitality industry in China, employees perform better when they are given tasks that match their skills, qualifications and experience. Additionally, such tasks must have reasonable timelines to ensure that employees are not constrained.
Respondents were later asked whether career concerns had influence on their job performance. The responses recorded a mean score of 4.1714 which is above 3.0 implying that career concerns influenced performance. The three aspects of career concerns targeted were job security, promotions and growth opportunities. Staufenbiel&König (2010) argue that job security is essential in motivating employees. An employee who is assured of job security is confident and relaxed. However, an employee who is scared of losing his job unexpectedly may suffer from mental torture which is detrimental to job performance. The other career concern that influence employee performance is promotion which provides career growth. Further, Staufenbiel&König (2010) note that promoting an employee can greatly reduce mental and psychological worries. Based on the employees’ responses, it is clear that career concerns influence job performance in the Chinese hospitality industry. Therefore, failure to assure employees of career growth and security can adversely affect employee performance in the Chinese hospitality industry.
Afterwards, employees were asked whether abrupt changes in the work schedules had influence in their work performance. The responses achieved a mean score of 3.9786 which showed that they agreed. Simply, work schedule defines the number of hours, days and the amount of work to be completed within a specified time. In most cases, employees work under tight work schedules and to achieve this, one has to plan well in advance on how to manage time. The responses provided indicated that unpredictable changes in work schedules exert pressure on employees. Adapting to abrupt changes in work schedules is a traumatising experience that results to job stress. It implies that one has to adjust to the new working hours, days and altered workloads to be delivered within the new set deadlines. The higher mean score is an indication that unpredictable changes in work schedules results to stress and this negatively affects employee performance in the Chinese hospitality industry. Therefore, it is critical for the firms to prepare employee for change in advance. Notifying employees of change in advance will help them to adjust in advance to accommodate the new change.
Poor Interpersonal concerns also proved to have negative impact on employee performance. Based on the question regarding interpersonal relationships, the responses recorded a mean score of 4.0357, indicating that poor relationships hinder employee performance. The two key elements of interpersonal relationship tested included poor social environment and support from the core works. The findings indicated that both social and core-worker support has a direct impact on employee performance. A poor social environment can be stressful especially to new employees who are not used to the new working environment. In such cases, the new employees will expect a positive support from the core-workers. However, lack of support from the core-workers makes an individual feel isolated and neglected. This increases stress that can lead to lose of confidence which is key to better performance. It is therefore evident that poor interpersonal relationship in the Chinese hospitality industry negatively affects employee performance.
The last question focused on the impact of environmental concerns such as high noise, crowding and pollution on employee performance in the Chinese hospitality industry. The analysed responses recorded a mean score of 4.2643 which is above 3.0 implying that environmental concerns have an impact on employee performance. The findings indicated that a noisy working environment and pollution may not only result in job stress, but can also be detrimental to health. It is critical to note that good health is essential for improved performance. Therefore, based on the mean score, poor working environment can increase stress on employees, thus adversely affecting performance in the Chinese hospitality industry.
Table 7: Manager’s Attitude
|Manager offers Compensation and Rewards||140||1.00||5.00||4.0929||1.16851|
|Manager is Understanding & Problem Solver||140||1.00||5.00||4.0429||1.04483|
|The Manager is a Facilitator||140||1.00||5.00||4.0429||1.07871|
|The Manager Values Employee Training||140||1.00||5.00||3.8714||1.06510|
|Simple to Understand the Manager||140||1.00||5.00||3.9857||1.01773|
|Valid N (Listwise)||140|
Table 7’s findings are summarised in figure
Figure 11: Descriptive Statistics: Manager’s Attitude
The last hypothesis tested by the researcher was that employees’ behaviour towards work can greatly be influenced by the attitude of the managers in the Chinese hospitality industry. Employees were asked whether their manager was understanding, caring and ready to listen to people’s problems. Based on the responses represented in Table 7, a mean score of 3.9857 was achieved. He, Li & Keung Lai (2011) argue that employee behaviour is greatly influenced byattitudes. Further, it isnoted that employee behaviour refers to employees’ response to particular workplace scenarios. Therefore, a manager who is understanding, caring and ready to solve problems is more likeable and this impacts positively on employees’ behaviour. An understanding and caring manager is gentle and treats all people with respect. However, a manager who is not caring and ignorant may put off employees’ willingness to cooperate. Considering employees’ responses, the manager’s attitude towards caring and understanding positively influences employee performance in the Chinese hospitality industry.
Employees were also asked whether their manager was a facilitator and their responses scored a mean score of 4.0429 which is above 3.0 indicated that they agree. The willingness of the manager to help others in planning and strategizing on how to achieve objectives impacts positively on employee performance. The high mean score implied that employees are happy with their manager’s attitude to cooperate and help then in achieving their objectives. Therefore, in the Chinese hospitality industry, the manager’s willingness to facilitate improved employees’ performance. However, in situations where the manager is gloomy and not ready to show others on how to succeed, employee morale is adversely affected.
Similarly, employees were asked whether they were happy with the way their manager valued their training and career development. The responses scored a mean score of 3.8714 which implied that they were happy with their manager’s attitude towards their career growth. Manson, (2014) postulatesthat employee training is key in developing new skills. Additionally, employee training does not only lead to career development, but also motivates employees to exploit their potentials. Therefore, managers who have positive attitude towards employee training can have a positive impact on performance. Based on the findings, manager’s attitude towards career development positively influences employee performance in the Chinese hospitality industry.
The other question,asked employees whether it was simple to understand their managers. The responses scored a mean score of 3.9857 which showed that the managers were simple to understand. It is difficult to get to know a manager who distant himself from the employees. The higher mean score is an indication that the managers intermingle and interact freely with the employees. Similarly, the higher mean score is an indication that the managers in the Chinese hospitality industry consider employees as significant assets to the companies. It also implies that there is openness between the employees and the managers and this creates confidence among employees. Manson (2014) notes that when employees share their challenges with managers and supervisors, the chances of them improving is very high. This is evident in the Chinese hospitality industry because the managers’ attitudes towards employees is inclusive and that positively influences higher employee performance.
When employees were asked whether their managers provided compensation and rewards for the work well done, the responses attained a mean score of 4.0929. According to Staufenbiel&König (2010), it is important to appreciate employees when they perform well. Appreciation acts as a motivator that triggers employees’ urge to achieve great results. A manager should therefore have a positive attitude towards appreciating others. Based on the employees’ responses, the Chinese hospitality industry managers appreciate the hardworking employees. Therefore, a positive attitude towards employee’s hard work influences employee performance positively in the Chinese Hospitality industry.
Considering the research findings from the data analysis, the researcher was able to achieve the core aim of this research. Data analysis justified the deployed methodology in chapter 3 because data was collected using questionnaires and descriptively analysed using SPSS which is a statistical package. This also justified the research approach, strategy and philosophy. Based on the findings under organisational culture, employee performance is reliant on employee engagement and participation. Similarly, employee performance is enhanced when managers and supervisors act as facilitators rather than taskmasters. Flexible norms, values and openness are also key ingredients of high employee performance. Based on the findings from the job-related stress, performance is adversely affected by the pressure to deliver high targets, job insecurity, poor interpersonal relationships and the unconducive working environment. Lastly, the manager’s positive attitude towards employee development, facilitation, understanding and appreciation improves employee performance in the Chinese hospitality industry.
Conclusion and Recommendations
This is the last chapter and its main focus is to highlight the key findings of the whole project. The primary research conducted is linked to the findings of previous research findings discussed on chapter two which is the literature review. This chapter discusses three main findings from the data analysed in chapter four. Firstly, the chapter discusses the findings on the organisation culture’s influence on employee performance. Secondly, the chapter discusses the findings of the impact of job stress on employee performance and thirdly the chapter discusses the findings of the impact of manager’s attitude on employee performance. The chapter also provides recommendations on the future research. Finally, the chapter highlights the limitations experienced by the researcher when conducting this research.
This sections has summarised the key findings based on the research’s main objectives.
5.2.1 The Impact of Organisation Culture on Employee Performance in the Chinese Hospitality Industry
The researcher confirmed that the elements of organisational culture have a big impact on employee performance in the Chinese hospitality industry. Most of the questions linked to organisation culture scored a mean score of above 3.0. Majority of the respondents believed that their commitment, engagement and participation greatly contributed to organisational success.The organisation cultures in their respective companies are accommodative because they involve employees in decision-making and other key processes. This contradicts the findings of Shahzad, Iqbal and Gulzar (2013) who argued that organisational culture would only be linked with employee performance if the culture would be able to adapt to environmental changes. Involving employees in decision making makes employees feel that they are part of the organisation. This is a key motivator because it gives employees the synergy to exploit their potential. Employees also agreed that their managers are facilitators but not task masters. An organisation culture that creates room for a free interaction between the employees and management has a positive influence on performance. The responses related to facilitation scored a mean score of 3.8929 implying that the culture of facilitation has a positive impact on employee performance in the Chinese hospitality industry. The other elements of the organisation culture that proved to impact positively on employee performance included openness to disclose financial information and setting achievable targets. The findings greatly contradicted Mansor and Tayib (2010)’s study which used job satisfaction as a mediating factor between organisational culture and employee performance. The findings of the previous research mostly focused on the norms and values as the key organisation culture factors that influence performance. However, the researcher tested his first hypothesis and discovered that employee commitment, engagement and openness are essential influencers of employee performance. Similarly, the researcher confirmed that a flexible organisation culture which can be adjusted to match the current business environment impacts positively on employ performance in the Chinese hospitality industry. It also implies that a fixed organisation culture with rigid norms and values such as one particular dress code can adversely affect employee performance in the Chinese hospitality industry.
5.2.2 The Impact of Job Stress on Employee Performance in the Chinese Hospitality Industry
The research confirmed that work related stress has both mental and psychological effects which lowers employee performance. The researcher asked various questions to test the hypothesis that job stress affects employee performance. Interestingly, the respondents’ answers in all questions achieved a mean of above 3.0 implying that indeed job stress is detrimental to employee performance. Unlike the research conducted by Warraich et al. (2014), the researcher focussed on environmental concerns, career concerns and unpredictable changes in the work schedules. Abrupt change of working schedules is stressful because requires employees to suddenly adjust their working hours and days to deliver the newly assigned tasks. This impacts negatively on employee performance. Warraich et al. (2014)’s study focused more on workload, role conflict, inadequate but ignored the concept of abrupt work schedules. Employees’ response regarding environmental and career concerns scored mean scores 4.2643 and 4.1714respectively implying that factors such as noise, pollution overcrowding and job insecurity contributed to mental and psychological torture. Similarly, the primary research findings related to pressure to deliver and interpersonal relationships confirmed poor support from the core workers and setting high targets adversely affect employee performance in the Chinese hospitality industry. Responses related to pressure to deliver and interpersonal relationship recorded mean scores of 3.8429 and 4.0357 respectively which were above 3.0.The findings in this research also heighted more on how job stress influences performance unlike Adetayo, Ajani and Olabisi (2014)’s study which majorly focused on work overload, career issues, family and work conflicts.
5.2.3 The Impact of Manager’s Attitude on employee Performance in the Chinese Hospitality Industry
This primary research revealed that the attitude of the manager towards employees can have a big impact on employee performance in the Chinese hospitality industry. A positive attitude towards employees proved to be one of the key ingredients of improved performance. The researcher tested the manager’s attitude and perception towards employee performance, career growth, facilitation and the ease in in understanding and solving problems. The mean scores in all questions were above 3.0 as indicated on Table 7 implying that positive attitude towards the mentions elements of manager’s attitude had a positive impact on performance. For instance, employee are free to interact with the manager who perceives them as equal beings. This does not only improve confidence but also stimulates employee performance. The manager’s positive attitude towards employee’s career growth and facilitation also foster improved employee performance. This research therefore confirmed that the attitude of the manager has big impact on employee performance in the Chinese hospitality industry. The findings in this study shed more light on how manager’s attitude can influence performance unlike the study conducted by Ibok & Umana (2013) which only focused on supervisory aspects.
The research findings in this project confirmed that some of the critical elements of organisation culture, job stress and manager’s attitude are ignored in practise and this has a negative influence on employee performance. For instance, organisations should adopt a flexible organisation structure whose norms and values can be adjusted to match the current working environment. Rigid organisation cultures limit employees’ choices of exploiting their potentials and this can adversely affect employee performance. The organisation culture should also create room for achievable stretch targets by considering employees’ skills, experience and qualifications. Therefore, the organisation culture should not only be profit oriented but also consider employees’ welfare. The researcher also discovered that sharing financial information with employees is critical in improving employee performance. However, most firms only concentrate on publishing financial statements without providing detailed explanations to employees who have limited accounting and finance knowledge. It is recommendable that the organisation should dedicate resources and time to provide detailed information to employees regarding financial performance. This is critical because it will help employees to comprehend their participation, engagement and participation on the success of the organisation.
Also, this primary research revealed that besides the pressure to deliver and the interpersonal relationships, the other elements of job stress such unconducive working environment, job insecurity and unpredictable changes in work schedules lowers employees’ morale. Therefore, it is essential for the organisations in the industry to ensure that they provide a conducive working environment and ensure that there is good relationships among employees to foster performance. Additionally, management should ensure that it prepares employee for change in advance to avoid stressful adjustments which lower employee performance.
This primary research also confirmed that the attitude of the manager and supervisors can significantly influence employee performance. This research therefore recommends that organisations leaders should refrain from negative attitudes such ignoring employee growth, rewards and dismissing employees’ opinions. Instead, managers should be facilitators and help employees in strategizing on how to achieve organisational objectives.
Attempting to discover conclusive findings in future related to employee performance in the Chinese hospitality industry, this research suggests the following recommendations. Firstly, the future researches should target on more study samples to enhance expansive conclusions. Secondly, most of the respondents in this study were of the Chinese origin. The future studies should target at diversified study samples that will entail respondents from different cultures and races and compare the outcome with the findings of this research. Lastly, the future studies should attempt to study the impact of other variables such as ethics on employee performance to increase employee productivity.
Various challenges faced the researcher when conducting this research. Foremost, there is a big number of firms operating in the Chinese hospitality industry. The researcher only concentrated on 8 firms selected based on random stratified sampling. Therefore, the research findings may not explicitly exploit the factors affecting employee performance in all the firms. The researcher also only relied on the 133 successfully filled and returned questionnaires. However, the mentioned challenges did not hinder the researcher from achieving the three objectives of this research. The sampled population was balanced based on gender, age and occupational rankings which implies that the findings were balanced. All the hypotheses were descriptively tested and analysed, therefore, the target aims and objectives of this research were achieve regardless of the limitations.