Picture of a black hole

Strathclyde Open Access research that creates ripples...

The Strathprints institutional repository is a digital archive of University of Strathclyde's Open Access research outputs. Strathprints provides access to thousands of research papers by University of Strathclyde researchers, including by Strathclyde physicists involved in observing gravitational waves and black hole mergers as part of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) - but also other internationally significant research from the Department of Physics. Discover why Strathclyde's physics research is making ripples...

Strathprints also exposes world leading research from the Faculties of Science, Engineering, Humanities & Social Sciences, and from the Strathclyde Business School.

Discover more...

Distancing flexibility in the hotel industry : the role of employment agencies as labour suppliers

Lai, P.C. and Soltani, E. and Baum, T.G. (2008) Distancing flexibility in the hotel industry : the role of employment agencies as labour suppliers. International Journal of Human Resource Management, 19 (1). pp. 132-152. ISSN 0958-5192

Full text not available in this repository. (Request a copy from the Strathclyde author)

Abstract

Two interrelated aspects of the debate on the nature of labour supply chain in the hotel industry form the focus of this research article. First, the notion of a shift to some forms of human resources recruitment strategies which seeks to use agency staff as a means of generating economical benefits - as opposed to conventional permanent staffing; and, second, the paramount importance of using distancing flexibility through effective agency utilization with the consequence of controlling labour costs, satisfying firm's demand for labour, and to respond to possible fluctuations in manpower needs. To this end, the research advocates the use of qualitative methodology in the form of semi-structured and in-depth interviews with hotel housekeeping managers, their partner agency managers and their flexible workers. Based upon the interviewees' responses and other documentary sources, we find, among others, that pursuing labour flexibility appears to be inevitable in the hotel industry; that the three-tier flexible firm model (Atkinson 1984) does not provide a full account of the supply chain relationship between hotels and employment agencies; and that employees are being relatively treated as a 'cost' - as opposed to a 'resource' (see Slack, Chambers and Johnston 2004). To conclude, the research evidence is used, combined with previous literature, to discuss the implications of these results for broader debates on the utilization of flexible workers in the supply chain relationship between the client hotels and their partner agencies.