Managing Cultural Diversity6HO 027

Critically evaluating theories of culture and cultural diversity within InterContinental Hong Kongand to manage a culturally diverse workforce in the service sector

FUNG Hin Kwan, Tidus (FUHI280890)

Prepared for: Ms. Zainab ATTA Submission date: 18th March 2011

An essay submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the Degree of Bachelor of Arts with Honors in Hospitality Management

SHMS UC University of Derby 2011

Acknowledgement I hereby present my appreciation to Ms. Also. the Training Officer from InterContinental Hong Kongfor providing the precious information to the successful completeness of this report. Theanna Wong. . the Director of Training and Developmentand Ms. Atta for her kindly teaching and giving advices for conducting this report. Regina Chu. by this opportunity. the author would like to appreciate Ms.

1996). These multinational corporations (MNC) have played an important role in globalization. like Hong Kong.³T l l i i i ii l l ´ T i & -T 3 If a company wants to gain loyalty and the understanding from their employees according to the viewpoints of corporate¶s commitment and goals. The globalization means that ³An increasing needs to get groups of managers from different nationalities to work together in MNCseffectively either as enduring management teams or to resource specific projects addressing key business issues´ (Higgs.The trend of globalization leads to the increasing numbers of people working overseas. such as Hyatt. companies. Starwood and last but not least. a place with different culture or even in a totally strange and new environment. With the advantages of being the international city and the rapidly growth of the hotel business. Particularly in certain places. 2007). since it¶s naturally a very labor intensive. services or products. have to real focus on this issue of managing cultural diversity among the growing fiercecompetition in the market. Hong Kong is one of the greatest concentrations of international branded hotel chainin the Asia-pacific region. they have to understand those aspects means in different cultures.Thus. Four Seasons. A successful company commonly develops and spread their business internationally. one of the most multiculturalcities in the world. the Intercontinental Hotels Group that is going to probe into in this study. the historical factor of the British colonization made Hong Kong to have a unique east meets west culture and working style. team working and human oriented industry. It also reflects the ³increased ease of mobility and communications for organizations and individuals´ (Crowe. especially the hospitality industry. . policies.

Hong Kong's Individualism ranks fairly low which is a ³high level of emphasis on a Collectivist society as compared to one of Individualism´ (Hofstede.400 hotels in 100 countries around the world (InterContinental Hotels Group PLC. the CEO of IHG. moderate between culture of masculinity andfemininityand long-term orientated which can describe the features of Hong Kong¶s culture. . Chinese has the majority of 95% among the total population and the other 5% are Filipino. It shows thatHongkongese tends to be a greater risk taker than the others. TheHofstede theory indicated that Hong Kong¶s is almost identical with other Asian countries. the theory also shows that Hong Kong has rather high power distance. being the major gateway to the Mainland China. 2011). highly dynamic cityfollowed under the rule of British and shortly occupation of Japan during the WWII which makes Hong Kong strongly influenced by other¶s culture. Indian and Japanese etc. there are 7097600 inhabitantsand 55% are female. The InterContinental Hotel (IHG) that is going to investigate is a MNC.This company emphasizes the importance of employee satisfaction and wantsto be one of the best companies in the world said by Andrew Cosslette. ³IHG is an international hotel company whose goal is to create Great Hotels Guests Love´ (InterContinental Hotels Group PLC. whichhas more guest rooms than any other hotel company in the world with 640. 2011). Giving the data from the Census and Statistics Department of Hong Kong.Besides.Hong Kong is a modern. Now. 2011). Indonesian. 2011).000 rooms and over 4. 2011). ³the Basic Law ensures the rights and freedoms of people in Hong Kong are based on the impartial rule of law and an independent judiciary´ (GovHK. (Census and Statistics Department of Hong Kong. especially the British. except the level of uncertainty avoidancewhich is dramatically lower. White.

With total 44 nationalities working in the hotel. the hotel works with around 460 full time workers. 2011)providesopportunities for the cooperation between the western management styles with the eastern workers and will occasionally create problems and conflicts because of the very different culture background. approximately 196 causal workers and 30 trainees on average. internationally acclaimed as one of the best hotels in the region. Understand the corporate culture is important since it becomes more important in local employees¶ value orientations. there is also a highly implementation of the hierarchy system with bureaucracy in the organization. However. it can be defined as Eiffel Tower in theTrompenaars' four diversity cultures. From the organization structure and culture. The majority of other head managements from both management and operationare coming from the western world. the hotel can be recognized as a very pluralistic organization. . (InterContinental Hotels Group PLC. it affects the staff¶s behavior (Hofstede. Also.The employees never overstep one's authority. 2011). On the other hand. the employees are necessary to strictlyfollow the Stand Operation Procedures of IHG. such as Norway and Germany. enjoyable place to work´. especially in the Great China Area with 147 new hotels in the pipeline (InterContinental Hotels Group. the front-line staffs areidentified as local Hongkongese. ³The Winning Ways provides a strong sense of shared purpose. InterContinental Hong Kong is a 496 rooms¶ five-star hotel. Moreover. as well as making us a great. The³Winning Ways´re-defines the corporate spirit and culture to be more employee-oriented. Jean-Jacques Reibel is the managing director.The hotel group is growing rapidly. The skilled labor shortage in China (NRC Handelsblad. 2011). and Japanetc.Nepalese.Having a culturally-diverse workforce structure. 2011). IHG formulated a new strategy called ³Winning ways´. and is critical to driving the business performance forward. coming from France but has worked in the States for long years.

The diversity consists of visible and non-visible differences which include factors such as sex. in managing the cultural diversity approach among the workforce. race and personality and more importantly. age. 1997). 2007). . background.Nevertheless. The concept of managing cultural diversity is to ³accept the workforce consists of a diverse range of peopleis to accept the workforce consists of a diverse range of people. it shouldn¶t be like a ³program´ or in a ³structure´ within the organization. 2007).T iz Wi Cultural diversity means a country where havingloads of cultures living together and be respectful to other cultures besides your own.From the points of view of the author. ³Culturealso plays a significant role in workplace assumptions. the working style. It¶s founded on the premise that harnessing these differences will create a productive environment in which everyone feels valued. ³Di i i Di li T i i i l i i i l i´ J . behavior and organizational cultures´(Crowe. ³The more fundamental differences in culture and their effects may not be directly measurable by objective criteria. where their talents are being fully utilized and in which organizational goals are being met´ (Kandola & Fullerton. but with more humanized diversity practice and integrated into short-term and long-term thinking. but they will certainly play a very important role in the success of an international organization´ (Trompenaars & Hampden-Turner. 1994 cited by Crowe.

Through the correct and effecti e approach. The involved employees may feel to be more respected by the company since the management notice and try to fulfill their needs. Many M Cs have done or is undertaking the initiatives for managing the cultural diversity. Since InterContinental Hong Kong is a hotel directly owned by IHG.(Kandola&Fullerton. . 1994:71).Kandola&FullertonCultural Diversity Strategy Web employees¶ potentials´(Kandola&Fullerton. the management style of the cultural diversity policies arestrictly following with the head office¶sinstructions and guidance. It¶s indeed. is a way to unite the company and make the staffs insist on the ability to achieve common aspirations. 1994). ³The eight elements that make up the model should be looked upon as the range of activities that need to permeate the entire organi ation if managing diversity is to be success´. In the following session.This vision should ³encapsulate the principles of managing diversity communicating a shared vision of where the . the authorwillelaborate and utili e the model of Kandola and Fullerton Cultural Diversity Strategy eb with implementation in InterContinental Hong Kong. However. ³It promotes co-operation fair and among harmoni ed employees of diverse groups and capitali e Figure 1. the organi ation can justify the releva training nt programs and policies. 1994:75). Organi ation vision is a form of share vision for the organi ation among the employees and based on their common values. It can be seen as a spider¶s web as the elements are related mutually. organi ation is going and he expected rewards´(Kandola&Fullerton. and of course the InterContinental Hotels Group is one of them. clear indications should be given. The Strategy Web consists of eight elements (See Figure 1). also the sense of care from the managers.

it¶s one of the ³big main reasons why organization had taken action´ (Kandola & Fullerton. the author believes that it¶s necessary to promote the diversity training to all people in order to treat everyone rational and fair with the equal opportunity to take part in. the group set up the Office of Diversity which is led by the senior diversity executives. Besides. recruitment. supplier relationships. It means creating a working environment and establishing business relationships in which every group fits. To have an internal audit can reveal the hidden issues as well as the potential bias that may existwithin the organizationstructure. community relations. it stated that. This includes ownership. The process of ii is rather essential. For the T i . the author found out that the company is rather focus on the guest expedition while their stay in the hotel and the service quality. In InterContinental Hong Kong. the top managements have to accountable towards themselveswhile making the commitment to be fair to everyone. They formulate and establish the policies and review them in a yearly based. In IHG. In InterContinental Hong Kong. Commitment is needed to be visible and achievable and evidently communicate in action but not only with writing. but without emphasizing the diversity on their workforce. it hasn¶t encapsulated the principles of managing the diversity. Through this statement. there . other than the internal audit. Thus. training department is mainly responsible for providing those diversity training and oversee the implementation at all levels in the hotel. 1994:75) and the specific and critically important aspect or of an organization. ³Our commitment to diversity and inclusion extends to all aspects of our business. feels accepted. the targets who mainly receive the diversity training are mainly from middle management or above. franchising and marketing. However. To oversee the diversity. 2011). policies and management process. has value and contributes´(InterContinental Hotels Group PLC. In addition.The mission statement of InterContinental Hong Kong is to ³Create Great Hotel Guest Love´.

Due to the limit of budget and policiesrestriction. the IHG rewarded withno. It needs to be flexible and quantifiable within the set time scales as well. 2004). and it¶s kind of unfair to them.14 among the 50 top best cultural diversity companies in the world (4Hoteliers. the data may not berepresentative. . feedback and for assessing the needs from the staffs. 2011) as their objectives. inspectors from the Research companies. However. It can increase the awareness of the issues. The feedbacks are positive and there¶s always a high satisfaction with 93% on average. are inclusive and non-discriminatory´(InterContinental Hotels Group PLC. IHG stated ³We recruit and promote individuals based solely on their suitability for the job without discriminating´ and ³We ensure that our training programs. However. the for the second one. non-permanent employees are not being allowed to be attending the training course. such as DiversityInc and also the executives from the head office will check the standard and comments. The management has to effectively communicate with their subordinates and to gain the support from them. The good feedback from the externals can also enhance the company¶s reputation and gain competitive advantages. 2011) that the employees are rarely challenge their superior and avoid trouble because the survey require staff to sign their names. The statement also doesn¶t indicate the flexibility and the time-scale which makes it to be immeasurable to the hotel. the author thinksthat it¶s unspecific and unclear regarding who is going to give the training and whom is going to receive the training. since the affect from the local culture of high power distance (Hofstede. In 2004.For reaching the world standard and the requirement from the Office of Diversity. and this gave a goodwill and status among the industry continuously. The objective and the action plan should be clear and can integrate and fit in the business also the employee survey conduct in a regular basis for collecting the attitudes. Company needs to Cl i j i before applying the policies. The first statement is undoubtedlyindisputable. including leadership and management training.

The individual should be accountability for their responsibilities. Team-building is an effective way to overcome this problem. It¶s good to see that the application of joining the activities is fair and open for all levels of employees in the hotel. The management should be accountable for running the system and modify the system to ensure the fairness (Kandola & Fullerton.ACl ili should be implementing and extend across the entireorganization. ³Implementation of communication strategy is a vital element to ensure all employees understand diversity issues and benefits. 2004). it emphases that they³listen to each other and combine the expertise to create a strong. . 2011). hence. focused and trusted group of people´ (InterContinental Hotels Group PLC. the information that regarding to the cultural diversity should be shared out throughout the organisation internally and externally. solicit feedbacks´ (Dessler. This may leads to the communication barrier between the staffs with different background since it¶s not most of the people speak Cantonese or English. The activities usually organize by the Human Resources or the Training Department in order everyone can receive the information accurately and impartially. For the E i i i . In the session that focus on their employees.³Winning Ways´ that mentioned in the front. there are no such policies that forcing the employees to use a particular language while at work. In the hotel. It shows that IHG encourages communication between all levels and lines in the organization structure. is a set of behaviors by IHG based on our values that are helping IHG to become a very best company. 1994:81).

the General Managers with the assist from the Training and HR Department have given to be the key coordinators. which can allow the opinion and feedbacks and be revised quickly in case there¶s any problems revealed. .Communication underpins effective leadership. the Office of Diversity and the hotel top management audit and evaluate the hotel¶s diversity policy in a yearly basis. Its core ideal is the leader who provides incentives for the employees to do what the leader wants as an exchange. people are try to take creditrivalry and exclusion strife. The feedbacks should be given from or to those employees to keep their attention to the importance of the diversity. and the company is very likely to be full of corporatepolitics. As stated on the above. Theirresponsibility is to keep supervise the implementation and to promote the alertness of the cultural diversity. For theE l ion. The strategies of MCD should be reassessed after the evaluations.special treatment. evaluation process while managing the cultural diversity.As have said.As have said. IHG has set up the Office of Diversity to oversee the issues of managing cultural diversity. however it doesn¶t provide the meaning of works to those staffs. the Office of Diversity and the hotel top management audit and It should be continuously to have the evaluate the hotel¶s diversity policy in a yearly basis. InterContinental Hong Kong is under the transactional leadership. The Coordi ion needs to take place at all levels within the organization. According to the IHG Reconciliation Action Plan 2010. It¶s good for increasing the work performance.

but there¶s a loophole of missing the parts of recruitment and training development. Cultural diversity management is not just about for making the organization to be more effective and profitable. the InterContinental Hong Kong is a pluralisticorganization and running under the transactional leadership. It has the clear guidance for implementing the diversity policies. the ³Winning Ways´ strategy compensate the shortages with the statements by the ideal of ³Celebrating the differences´ as well as ³Work better together´ (InterContinental Hotels Group PLC. It¶s recommend by the author that the InterContinental Hong Kong has to keep emphasize the importance and awareness of diversity to the employees. All staff including the part-time and casual workers can able to join the diversity training. their mission statements and goals are focus on the guest satisfaction and service quality rather than mention about the aspects on cultural diversity with the employees. The employee survey can be anonymous in order to embolden them to give out the ³real´ opinion instead of keeping by themselves. Nonetheless. the postural of initiative imposed to the public create the positive feeling to the general public and can benefit back to the company while gaining the competitiveadvantage and reputation. 2011). Whatever the MCD policies success or not. Managing cultural diversity is a long-term process so the management should be patience and keep eyes on it continuously. The Kandola and Fullerton Cultural Diversity Strategy Web is good for applying to the situation of IHG.Induction is somewhat a channel can provide an insight of the hotel¶s diversity policy which makes the new employees to have a better impression. However. but to value the employees. The setup of the Office of Diversity enable to company to manage to cultural diversity issue independently with professional view. . Encourage team works and avoid stereotypes among the working environment.All in all.

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