Human Resource Management in Hotel Units: The Portuguese Case

Susana Silva, Dora Martins


This paper presents the mainHuman ResourcesManagement (hrm) distinctives for Portuguese hotel units.We attempt to understand the role of various hrm practices promoted on organizational performance and their effect on the behaviour of coworkers and quality service in hotel units; some reflections on the future trends in this field are offered. This phenomenon has a particular relevance in the Portuguese context, because this country is known to have had a growing tourism industry in recent years. However, little is known about hrm departments’ contributions to their human capital management and development. This paper is one of the first to focus specifically on Portuguese hotel units and it also seeks to present findings that stem from the Human Resources Managers’ perspective. This paper is based on qualitative case studies; the data were collected through semi-structured interviews with 12 human resource managers from 12 hotel units located in Portugal. The results show that although there is not effective hrm, current hrm practices are sufficient to encourage pro-environmental behaviour in their staff, and they have a direct effect on customer satisfaction and competitiveness of the sector. However, managers recognize there is a need introduce some change in the short-term to promote the better performance of staffwith effects on customer satisfaction andcompetitiveness of the sector in Portugal. According to these results, the paper discusses themajor theoretical and practical implications for future research in the hrm field.

Keywords: human resources management practices, human capital, tourism, hotel industry, Portugal, exploratory study

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