"Responsible drinkers create all the atmosphere of a mortuary" : policy implementation of responsible drinking in Scotland

Alexander, Matthew J. and Beveridge, Euan and MacLaren, Andrew C. and O'Gorman, Kevin D. (2014) "Responsible drinkers create all the atmosphere of a mortuary" : policy implementation of responsible drinking in Scotland. International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, 26 (1). pp. 18-34. ISSN 0959-6119

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    Abstract

    The purpose of this paper is to explore the reaction of customer facing staff and their attitude to the introduction of high profile corporate social responsibility (CSR) programmes; in particular their level of awareness and willingness to implement them. Conducted using a series of site visits and interviews with managers working within the licensed trade, this was followed up with structured interviews of "front line" staff. Despite high levels of awareness of both the social problems relating to alcohol consumption and the legislative changes, engagement with operational CSR was limited and often disinterested. Legal and societal expectations regarding drunkenness are of little concern. This paper is concerned with nascent legislation, the full impact and success of which has not yet emerged. Reviewing this study in five years would add to the strength of the results. Limited to Scotland due to its devolved licensing laws, however, it clearly highlights lack of employee engagement with CSR. Despite placing CSR issues at the forefront of day to day operations within the licensed trade there is little empirical evidence around customer facing staff engagement. CSR is a dynamic process that relies on the involvement of employees for its successful implementation. A new CSR implementation matrix is presented which allows hospitality businesses to be positioned according to levels of both management and employee engagement with CSR policies.