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The weakest link? Product market strategies, skill and pay in the hotel industry

Lloyd, Caroline and Warhurst, Chris and Dutton, Eli (2013) The weakest link? Product market strategies, skill and pay in the hotel industry. Work, Employment and Society, 27 (2). pp. 254-271. ISSN 0950-0170

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Abstract

There is a widely held assumption that product market strategies, skill and pay are linked. Supportive evidence is typically drawn from manufacturing and using quantitative analyses. Emergent research of the link in services is ambivalent and has methodological limitations. This article addresses this weakness. It compares the skills and pay of room attendants in upper and mid-market hotels using qualitative research. It finds that the link is weak, even decoupled. The findings suggest a reconceptualization is needed of the link in services and that interventions other than product market re-positioning are needed to deliver higher skills and better pay.