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An investigation into the factors which influence the service orientation of the front-of-house employees within a restaurant group in Barbados

Norville-Rochester, Cathy I.R.

Authors

Cathy I.R. Norville-Rochester



Abstract

This thesis investigates the factors which influence employees’ service orientation within a Restaurant Group. Homburg, Hoyer and Fassnacht’s (2002) Perspective on Service Orientation is used as the framework to examine employee service orientation. Service orientation is studied from the individual and organisational levels to identify the factors at each of these levels which influence employees’ service orientation. Understanding the factors which influence employees’ service orientation within the Restaurant Group is important, as Barbados’ economy is heavily dependent on tourism and the hospitality sector.

The research is undertaken within an upscale Restaurant Group in Barbados and focuses on the front-of-house employees. This is underpinned by a research philosophy of realism at the ontological level with critical realism at the epistemological level. An exploratory mixed method approach is taken, which included managerial interviews, employee surveys and a focus group with some members of the front-of-house team. From an axiology perspective, the research seeks to provide a voice to the front-of-house team and hopefully to provide information which will promote change within the organisation.

The qualitative data is analysed using a thematic approach, whilst quantitative data is analysed with Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS), using both descriptive and inferential statistics. Principal Component Analysis (PCA) is key to identifying the variables which influence employee service orientation at both the individual and organisational levels.

The research shows that at the individual level there were four main variables which impact employees’ service orientation: Understanding of the Job Role; Nature of Work; Work Environment; and Individual Employee Disposition. At the organisational level, although the PCA identified five possible variables, only one, Organisational Culture and Support, directly impacted on the employees’ service orientation. The research also identifies possible mediating factors.

This thesis contributes both to the practice and the body of knowledge. It identifies four recommendations that the Restaurant Group can implement to assist in shaping an environment in which employees can be more service oriented. They can also be embraced by other restaurants within the upscale and fine dining sector. Finally, the research contributes to theory by firstly, identifying an element that was not highlighted within Homburg et al.’s (2002) research, that is, the possibility of mediating factors at the organisational level which indirectly influence employees’ service orientation. Secondly, a contribution is made through the development of a conceptual framework which can be useful to other restaurants outside of the Group. The framework provides a lens for restaurants to examine their operations as it relates to fostering an environment that supports employees being service oriented.

Thesis Type Thesis
Deposit Date Jan 10, 2022
Publicly Available Date Jan 10, 2022
DOI https://doi.org/10.17869/ENU.2022.2833400
Public URL http://researchrepository.napier.ac.uk/Output/2833400
Award Date Jul 31, 2021

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