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Just-in-time labour in the hospitality sector?

Baum, T.G. and Lai, P. (2005) Just-in-time labour in the hospitality sector? Employee Relations, 27 (1). pp. 86-102. ISSN 0142-5455

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Abstract

In this paper, we address the following: labour demand in the hotel sector; labour force flexibility in hotels; just-in-time management; and just-in-time labour supply in the hotel sector. Discussing the characteristics of hospitality services and demand fluctuation in the hotel sector helps us to comprehend the variable nature of hotel staffing practices. Second, in order to acquire the ability to adjust in response to fluctuating and uncertain circumstances in hotel operations, we address both flexibility strategies, such as functional and numerical labour flexibilities, and potential influence and/or drawbacks of adopting these flexible approaches. Third, the short lead time between demand (e.g. customer ordering) and supply (e.g. production of the service and/or products ordered) coincides with the philosophy of the JIT system, in terms of zero inventory, waste elimination, and quality concern. Several techniques will also illustrate how to enhance the success of JIT management, such as the kanban pulling system and keiretsu supply chain cooperation. Through these elements, this paper conceptualises a model of JIT labour supply for the hotel sector.