|Type of paper:
|Human resources World Strategic management
SHRM is an area of HRM that have not been fully explored. The research investigates the level of adoption of SHRM by hotels in Saudi Arabia. The study uses a qualitative research design with interviews being used as primary data collection method. The data is further analyzed, and the findings used to make recommendations on ways that can be used to improve the adoption of SHRM.
Human resource management is an important function for any business organization. The strategic human resource management allows organizations to strategically position human resources through functions and practices that gets the best for the organization. In Saudi Arabia, there has been a growth in the tourism industry, particularly on hospitality. Hotels are coming up to millions of tourists who visit the country annually. Saudi Arabia is considered to be a religious destination, and millions of people visit the country during the annual Ramadhan celebrations. These people are hosted in hostels within the country's capital. As such, human resources play an integral role in ensuring that these visitors are received and accorded the best services. The research seeks to establish how hotels in Saudi Arabia have embraced strategic human resources and the benefits reaped from the move. Besides, it will evaluate potential benefits the hotel and tourism industry will reap where it shifts focus from traditional HRM practices to SHRM.
Saudi Arabia is a religious dream destination for all Muslims globally. The city of Mecca and Medina has a spiritual significance to the religion of Islam. It is estimated that over 15 million visitors come to Saudi Arabia for Hajj and Umra (Aleidan, 2017). The revenue collected from these visits is estimated to be over $100 million. These figures show that Saudi Arabia has great potential for tourism because of its religious importance. There has been a steady rise in the number of hotels in Saudi Arabia (Nieves & Quintana, 2018). In 2017, there was an increase of 7% in the number of hotels to 2,036 (Aleidan, 2017). Besides, the number of furnished apartments grew to 6,940, and hospital entities amounted to 506,716 rooms (Aleidan, 2017). These figures indicate that there is a rise in the demand for hospitality services during these celebrations. Hotel services are provided by employed staff who are experienced to serve guests of diverse backgrounds.
There is little understanding of SHRM in Saudi Arabia since the majority of the hotels stick to tradition HRM practices. The adoption of SHRM has been slow with hotels which have an understanding of the benefits of SHRM receiving quests which are willing to pay a premium price. There is a need to create awareness on the benefits of SHRM and the strategies these hotels should put in place to adequately maximize huge opportunities presented by SHRM (Allui & Sahni, 2016). There is little research available on how SHRM impacts the performance of hotels in Saudi Arabia. Researching this area will provide valuable information that can be used in the industry to improve HRM practices and maximize the benefits the industry can reap when it focuses on HRM as a strategic function. The research will further identify new areas of research that can be studied in the future.
1.2. Problem Statement
Hotels in Saudi Arabia are faced with challenges which can adequately be solved through SHRM. However, there is little information regarding the adoption of SHRM in the hospitality industry in Saudi Arabia.
1.3. The Overall Research Aim and Individual Research Objectives
- To examine the adoption of SHRM in Saudi Arabia's hotel industry.
- The establish the level of awareness on the benefits of shifting HRM strategies to SHRM.
- To identify approaches to enhancing the adoption of SHRM among hotels in Saudi Arabia.
1.4. The Research Contribution
The study will contribute to the growing research in the field of SHRM in Saudi Arabia. There is little information available regarding SHRM in hospitality. The research will borrow from existing literature on HRM and focus on how SHRM adoption in the hotel industry can be a game changer.
2. Literature Review
SHRM is a concept that was developed as a management practice particularly in managing personnel. The definition and understanding of SHRM have been changing due to different research that targets a specific industry. SHRM has been defined as a combination of different strategies aimed at deploying human resources to perform activities that maximize the opportunity of the organization to realize its goals. SHRM is a field that has significantly developed in the U.S. and western countries unlike in Asia. There have been numerous researchers seeking to identify the link between SHRM and the financial performance of an organization. Majority of the research has established a positive relationship between SHRM and the financial performance of organizations. However, AlGassim, Barry & McPhail (2017) found out that there was a weak relationship between the two factors.
According to Madera et al., (2017), SHRM helps organizations to identify key strategic areas that require the deployment of skilled staff. The findings from this research show that there are functions in an organization which is best done by certain employees. The issues raise things like skills, experience, and expertise in performing certain functions. The finding supports the fact that organizations must strategically deploy its staff to perform functions that are best suited to perform. Gannon, Roper & Doherty (2015) notes that HRM is a field that keeps changing and developing strategies to counter changes in HRM should be put in place to get the best out of human resources fully. As such, SHRM provides a solution to HRM where anticipated changes can affect business operations.
The hotel industry is a service industry where competition is high. However, in Saudi Arabia, hotels compete between themselves for a market that is readily available for all. Altarawneh (2016) explored the nature of HR practices in Saudi Arabia and found out that little regard is put on the importance of HR. Majority of the people working in hotels in Saudi Arabia have underpaid something that affects performance. a shift towards SHRM can help the industry to identify factors that contribute to poor performance in the Hotel industry (Budhwar & Mellahi, 2016). Besides, efforts need to be made to create awareness on HRM and SRM to improve services in hotels as well as expand revenues from the hotel industry. There is limited research that has investigated SHRM in the hotel industry in Saudi Arabia. This research provides the opportunity of expanding knowledge on SHRM in the hotel industry in a bid to find ways of pushing for the adoption of SHRM among Saudi Arabia Hotels.
2.1. User Acceptance Models
The Change Management model that is based on four phases will be used in this research. The model allows an organization to implement change initiative in a manner that is manageable and also provide an opportunity to make changes to the process that affect change. the same model will be used in this study in trying to implement change that would see hotels adopting SHRM in a bid to boost revenue as well as enhance the quality of services offered in the industry.
3. Methodology and Methods
3.1. Study Design
A qualitative research design will be used for this research. The research will select the participants whose data shall be collected for analysis. The design will focus on their views and existing strategies of HRM in various hotels in the region. The criteria for selecting hotels that will participate in the study will be based on size. The samples will comprise hotels with a capacity of less than 50 rooms, between 51-80 rooms, 81-140 rooms, and over 14 rooms. The design will select different employees including the top management for the interview and answering the developed questions. The design will be kept simple to ease the process of data collection.
3.2. Data Collection Methods
Personal interviews will be used for data collection. In this research, hotel managers, employees, and senior management will be interviewed. The data collection will be conducted in Mecca, Medina and other religious locations where there is an influx in the number of hotels. A convenience sampling will be used in this research to expand the scope of the participants. Before the interview, all the selected participants will be supplied with open-ended questions aimed at giving a clue on the interview questions. Written consent will be sent to the participants before the interview. The open-ended questions sent to the participants will include questions like; does your hotel have an HR system? What are some of the HR practices in your hotel? What issues exist in your organization that you think is not right? Are you aware of strategic human resource management? Do you think your organization practices SHRM? Do human resources contribute to the performance of your hotel? Do you think performance can be enhanced by improving HR practices? Each of the interviews will take 50 minutes. The interview will be recorded through audio devices for future review. The interviewer will also note down important aspects of the interview. Since the interview will be conducted in Arabic, it will be transcribed to ease the process of analyzing the data collected. The interviewer will be expected to give an honest opinion regarding the adoption of SHRM practices and ways in which specific organization can implement SHRM.
3.3. Data Analysis
The responses from the participants will be analyzed to establish the relationship between SHRM and hotel industry performance. the relationship will be established using Pearson's correlation coefficient. The data used will be on based on the judgment of the interviewer regarding the level of adoption of SHRM practices. The analysis will involve reviewing the performance of the selected hotels for the last four years. The trends on the changes in performance will be linked to the responses provided in the interview. The analysis will further look at the suggestions provided by the participants on weights in which performance can be improved from the perspective of human resources. These views will be incorporated to establish strategies that can be implemented to enhance the adoption of SHRM by hotels in Saudi Arabia. Further strategies can be developed based on the current context.
3.4. Ethical Issues
There are ethical issues that arise in this research. The main ethical issue is the procedure of selecting participants for the research. Even if sampling can be preferred, it can lead to the selection of hotels which might not give a true state on the affairs of SHRM in Saudi Arabia. The other ethical concern is the process of transcription to have the interview available in English. Errors on the context of the interviewed might be transcribed wrongly affecting data analysis.
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