Discuss in detail whether you consider the innovation strategy suggested by Kattara and El-Said (2014) can be successful given that "consumers are increasingly searching for eco-friendly hotels over conventional hotels" (Han et al. 2011, p. 346)

Discuss in detail whether you consider the innovation strategy suggested by Kattara and El-Said (2014) can be successful given that “consumers are increasingly searching for eco-friendly hotels over conventional hotels” (Han et al. 2011, p. 346)

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Hospitality Concepts and Innovations

Topic:

Discuss in detail whether you consider the innovation strategy suggested by Kattara and El-Said (2014) can be successful given that “consumers are increasingly searching for eco-friendly hotels over conventional hotels” (Han et al. 2011, p. 346).

Tip 1

Take time to read the university guidance on essay writing. This is available on your SHUspace. The guide gives you useful information about how to plan an essay and what it is.

You must hand in by the deadline, unless you have submitted extenuating circumstance to your Student Support Officer before the hand-in date. These are submitted on form EC1 which is under the assessment regulations section, within support and guidance.

Discuss in detail whether you consider the innovation strategy suggested by Kattara and El-Said (2014) can be successful given that “consumers are increasingly searching for eco-friendly hotels over conventional hotels” (Han et al. 2011, p. 346).

This therefore involves you in accessing and reading these two papers. They are provided for you to download on the assessment section of Hospitality Concepts and Innovations Blackboard site.

Your assignment should be presented as an academic essay of 1,500 words and should include:

•    evidence of your understanding of  innovation

You will therefore need to define what is meant by innovation and you are expected to draw upon course materials, linked resources and other academic resources to do this.

•    a synopsis in your own words of the innovation strategy suggested by Kattara and El-Said (2014)
•    a summary and evaluation of the key features of Han et al.’s (2011) article.

You must use your own words to explain and evaluate the key messages in these articles.

•    a critique** of  whether Kattara and El-Said (2014)’s innovation strategy is likely to be successful
** “A critique is a careful analysis of an argument to determine what is said, how well the points are made, what assumptions underlie the argument, what issues are overlooked, and what implications are drawn from such observations. It is a systematic, yet personal response and evaluation of what you read.” (hws.edu 2010)
Last accessed 19 August 2010 at: http://www.hws.edu/academics/ctl/pdf/critique.pdf

Tip 2

A key skill that is developed on the course is the ability to evaluate information and to present reasons for either agreeing or disagreeing with it.

In carrying out your evaluation you should draw upon additional academic and other sources to support your arguments. This is very important to the successful completion of this assignment.

This assignment requires you to access other academic journal articles.

* A journal is a refereed publication, whereas technical articles are often published solely relying on the expertise of the author

You therefore need to seek out relevant academic journal articles to inform your work. All your sources need to be referenced using the Harvard conventions and there is University and Module Blackboard site guidance regarding this.

Tip 3

As you can see the essay is quite open and allows you plenty of scope to structure and plan the essay around themes that interest you when critiquing the article.

You will probably find that by no means all the interesting things written about innovation are written about the hospitality industry.

In this case, try to apply generic management ideas within the hospitality industry context.

Tip 4

The mark breakdown shows you how the marks awarded for this assignment are broken down. You can see that how you write and following the protocols for essay writing and referencing are very important, alongside the evidence that you draw upon and your application of comments to the hospitality industry.

Within the overall mark breakdown above, we award marks according to how your work meets the criteria.

Recovery of a mark less than 40%

Providing you have completed and handed in assignment 1, in the unfortunate event of your work being assessed as “not yet competent” (below 40%), you will be given the opportunity to resubmit the work by Week 25. In this case, the maximum mark that you can achieve for the assignment will be 40%.

Tip 5

For many of you, this will be one of your first assignments at Sheffield Hallam University and this can be daunting.

Providing you make a start NOW and ask about any aspect that is not clear, there should be no need for in module recovery of your mark!

The essay title asks you to assess the extent to which the innovation strategies suggested by Kattara and El-Said (2014) will lead to successful innovations.

Tip 6

Can you identify the innovation strategy suggested by Kattara and El-Said (2014)? What is it?

What kind of innovations do you think they are likely to lead to?

The question then asks you to link the Kattara and El-Said (2014) and Han et al.’s (2011) articles by asking whether the Kattara and El-Said (2014) innovation strategy will be successful.

Tip 7

Can you discuss “consumers are increasingly searching for eco-friendly hotels over conventional hotels” and the kind of innovations that are required as a consequence?

Understanding customer attitudes towards eco-friendly hotels choices is important in helping you determine whether or not the innovation strategy suggested by Kattara and El-Said (2014) can be successful. Your answer to these questions will affect how you answer the question set.

Tip 8

At this point you might want to draw upon a wider range of evidence about the nature of hotels and the kind of experiences that guests require.

This also needs to be connected with whether the strategy suggested by Kattara and El-Said (2014) are likely to be innovative for hoteliers given that “consumers are increasingly searching for eco-friendly hotels over conventional hotels” (Han et al. 2011, p. 346).

Tip 9

Your module handbook provides you with a list of references which you can use as a base to gain plenty of additional references. Other references can help you critique the innovation approach proposed by Kattara and El-Said (2014).

Consider, to what extent do the innovation processes identified by the other authors provide?

Both papers are empirical pieces of work however you might consider the methodology of the articles and the population under investigation as part of your critique in determining whether the innovation strategy suggested by Kattara and El-Said (2014) can be successful.

Tip 10

What is the sample frame for the both articles article?

Both papers administered a questionnaire, are there any limitation to this? One paper used mixed methods – did this lead to more valid research?

Did the two papers focus on the same types of organisations?

What are the implications of the both of the above, in terms of reliability and generalisability?

By now you should be generating themes that you can incorporate within the essay and build further on. Hopefully you are becoming aware that this is not a question to which there is an easy answer and that there is plenty to write about!

You should begin to plan how you will tackle the essay. Don’t forget you should start of the main body of the essay by defining innovation.

The introductory paragraph should set out what you will cover in the essay.

Tourism andhttp://thr.sagepub.com/
Hospitality Research
Innovation Strategies: The Implementation of Creativity Principles in Egyptian Hotels
Osman Ahmed El-Said and Hanan Saad Kattara
Tourism and Hospitality Research published online 4 February 2014
DOI: 10.1177/1467358414522053
The online version of this article can be found at:
http://thr.sagepub.com/content/early/2014/02/03/1467358414522053
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Innovation strategies: The implementation
of creativity principles in Egyptian hotels
Tourism and Hospitality Research
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DOI: 10.1177/1467358414522053
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Hanan S Kattara and Osman A El-Said
Alexandria University, Egypt
Abstract
The concept of employee creativity enhancement is an important factor that impacts hotel position. Therefore,
this study aims at studying the implementation of creativity and idea generation principles in upscale hotels in
Egypt. It tries, as well, to identify the internal barriers that hinder the greatest implementation of creativity
principles in hotels. The study is the first outcome of a series of research examining innovation strategies
in hotels.
Results of the study revealed that means of scores, regarding the agreement of hotel managers that creativity
principles are implemented in their hotels, are high. The results proved that creativity was well valued in
hotels and the general work climate and culture promoted creativity. Results reveal that managers face
several internal barriers which slow down the proper implementation of creativity principles and make it
complicated to grasp the perspective of employees in this context. Moreover, international hotel chains were
found to be more innovative than independent hotels, and no significant differences were detected between
managers of different educational and experience levels. The study ended up with valuable recommendations
and implications of the results.
Keywords
Creativity, idea generation, creativity barriers, Egypt
Introduction
The concept of employee creativity enhancement is
overlooked, although it is as an important factor that
impacts hotel position. In a competitive and an uncertain economic environment, organizations need creative employees to improve service quality, enhance
organizational effectiveness, and ensure long-term
survival (de Jonge et al., 2012; Lusch et al., 2007).
Moreover, the success of any organization
depends on its ability to adapt to change, that in
turn requires creativity and innovation (Carr and
Johansson, 1995).
Therefore, the research objectives for this paper
were to investigate the level of implementation of key
creativity principles from hotel managers’ point of
view, to compare the implementation of key creativity
principles between chain and independent hotels, and
to compare the implementation of key creativity principles among managers according to their demographics. This study is the first outcome of a series of
researches examining innovation strategies building
blocks and their implementation in Egyptian hotels.
Theoretical background
Creativity concept
Creativity means the capability to produce novel ideas
or effective solutions to problems (Amabile, 1988),
and organizations with creative employees can thus
create extra value and maintain competition advantages in a dynamic business environment (Amabile
et al., 2005; George, 2007). Basically, there are two
main definitions of creativity. The first defines
Corresponding author:
Osman A El-Said, Faculty of Tourism and Hotels, Hotel
Management Department, Alexandria University, Ibrahimia,
Alexandria, Egypt.
Email: Osman_ahmed12@yahoo.com
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creativity as the production of ideas that are both novel
and applicable to an identified opportunity (Amabile,
1997; Oldham and Cummings, 1996). The second
describes it as the mental process that allows people
to think up new and useful ideas (Gaspersz, 2005).
Recently, Marja and Tomic (2010) viewed creativity
as the production of new and useful ideas or solutions
by one or more individuals within a work environment.
From another perspective, Zeng et al. (2010) defined
product and service creativity as the subjective judgment of a product or service to exhibit novelty and
appropriateness, which elicits a positive emotional
response compatible with users’ preferences and
evokes their intentions to purchase, use, and value it.
There are three main types of creativity involving
different ways of generating the novel ideas (Boden,
1998). First, the combinational creativity that involves
new combinations of familiar ideas. Second, the
exploratory creativity that involves the generation of
new ideas by the exploration of structured concepts.
Third, the transformational creativity that involves the
transformation of some dimension of the structure so
that new structures can be generated (Boden, 1998).
Work environment requirements for
creativity
Researchers have indicated many work environment
practices required to promote creativity in different
organizations such as giving rewards to creative
employees; setting clear visions and goals for employees; encouraging creative thinking; removing constraints; providing information and helpful feedback;
creating a risk-taking environment; promoting open
communication including everybody in the creativity
and innovation process; sharing knowledge; bringing
people from different disciplines together; creating a
climate with tolerance for failure; making sure that
team members have an equal status; and creating an
open, fun, trusting, and caring environment where a
new understanding is valued (Deci and Ryan, 1987;
Drazin et al., 1999; El-Said, 2013; Mumford, 2000;
Mumford and Gustafson, 1988; Shalley, 1995; Weiss,
2001; Woodman et al., 1993; Zhou, 2003).
In the content analysis of the research study by
Amabile and Gryskiewicz (1989), they reviewed nine
qualities of environments that served to promote creativity, including (1) freedom; (2) good project management; (3) sufficient resources; (4) encouragement;
(5) various organizational characteristics; (6) recognition; (7) sufficient time; (8) challenge; and (9) pressure. Similarly, they also reviewed another nine
‘‘environmental obstacles’’ that inhibit creativity.
They are (1) weak organizational characteristics, e.g.
inappropriate reward system; (2) lack of freedom; (3)
organizational disinterest; (4) poor project management; (5) inappropriate evaluation; (6) insufficient
resources; (7) time pressure; (8) overemphasis on the
status quo; and (9) competition.
Information flow is also a crucial aspect of promoting creativity throughout the organization. Adams
(2005) showed that creatively healthy companies
have a high volume of diverse information that flows
freely throughout the organization, increasing the likelihood of collision among beliefs, presumptions, possibilities, and new facts. Mauzy and Harriman (2003)
assumed that this ease of information flow can be
attained through designing the physical workspace to
create opportunities for interaction among otherwise
separate workers, which may also help improve the
flow of unrelated information to spark new connections leading to creativity. Welby (2005) added that,
in order to encourage creativity, management must
also build diverse teams and create mechanisms by
which individuals with different perspectives can interact productively. Leonard and Straus (1999) explained
that the successful manager figures out how to get different ideas and approaches to collide in a productive
process called ‘‘creative abrasion’’; by deliberately
creating diverse organizations and explicitly helping
team members appreciate thinking-styles different
than their own, creative abrasion can result in successful innovation.
Encouraging creativity in the workplace also
requires the establishment of the right environment
for the creativity process. Results of a recent study
conducted by Hon (2011) indicated that the organization environment plays a significant role in predicting
employee creativity. Johnston and Bate (2003)
explained that the creativity process must be built
based on the interactions and immersions of the creativity team which provide them with a deep understanding of customers and what they value, the
emerging marketplace of the future, and the potential
for business model innovations. The creativity team
has collected experiences and valuable insights that
now can be used to create the business opportunities
of the future. The environment for the creativity process is a very important consideration.
Creativity and innovation
Creativity and its support of innovation are vital for
long-term corporate success. Firms that deliver the
same products and services in the same way will not
survive for long, especially in the growing global economy, which continually emphasizes creativity
(Gautschi, 2001). The success of the innovation process in an organization depends on the way of organizing the search for new ideas that have commercial
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potential outside the organization (Salter and Laursen,
2005). New models of innovation have suggested
changing the way organizations search for new ideas,
and adopting open search strategies that involve the
use of a wide range of external actors and sources to
help them achieve and sustain innovation (Freeman
and Soete, 1997; Tidd et al., 2000).
Chesbrough (2003) suggested that many innovative
firms have shifted to an open innovation model, using
a wide range of external actors and sources to help
them achieve and sustain innovation. In this respect,
innovators rarely innovate alone. They tend to band
together in teams and coalitions based on ‘‘swift
trust’’, nested in communities of practice and
embedded in a dense network of interactions (Brown
and Duguid, 2000; Scott and Brown, 1999).
To gain access to networks and external sources,
organizations need the capability to absorb ideas
from external sources and to integrate them with
their internal processes in order to achieve an innovation (Cohen and Levinthal, 1990). The openness of
organizations to external sources is also profoundly
shaped by the search activities of other organizations
in the industry and by the nature of the environment in
which they operate (Cohen and Levinthal, 1990). In
this respect, the openness of organizations to external
sources of innovation is subject to a degree of managerial choice, but many of these choices are conditioned by the external environment and by their past
(Salter and Laursen, 2005).
The role of managers in enhancing
creativity
Many studies have investigated the role of managers in
encouraging work-place creativity. Robinson and
Beesley (2010) conducted a study on hotel chefs and
indicated that their sample ranked creativity more
highly than working conditions and that there is a
clear relationship between creativity and both organizational and occupational satisfaction. Ladkin and
Wong (2008) used a case study of hotel employees in
Hong Kong. They found a relationship between creativity and job-related motivators. Therefore, companies have to enhance the creative climate in different
ways (Mauzy and Harriman, 2003). Adams (2005)
stated that management must truly want and be committed to creativity and be willing to sacrifice shortterm results for innovation. One essential element is
that top management should respect creativity outcomes from all levels of management. Unfortunately,
many managers equate creative ability with position or
rank within the organization, assuming that only the
higher-ups have the best ideas and decision-making
abilities (Adams, 2005).
Mauzy and Harriman (2003) concentrated on a
three-pronged approach that managers must take
into consideration in order to promote creativity
known as (1) a top-down approach involving seminars
on entrepreneurship for management, (2) a bottom-up
approach involving company-wide training focused on
personal transformation and building skills necessary
for creativity and innovation, and (3) brush fire teams
that undertook projects to create products or processes
of immediate value.
Creativity importance in the hospitality
industry
With increasing competition and an uncertain economic environment, many hospitality firms require
their employees to work creatively to improve service
quality, enhance organizational effectiveness, and
ensure long-term survival (de Jonge et al., 2012;
Kattara et al., 2008; Lusch et al., 2007; Robinson
and Beesley, 2010; Tag-Eldeen and E l-Said, 2011;
Wong and Pang, 2003). Applying creative concepts
in hospitality operations will not only influence guest
and customer satisfaction, but also increase financial
performance (Chang et al., 2011; Hon, 2012; Kwong,
2005; Wong and Ladkin, 2008). The research conducted by Wong and Pang (2003) indicated that creative ideas generate business benefits to the hotel
industry. Additionally, a job creativity requirement
has been championed as one of the ways in which
firms can secure their profitability and growth
(Barnett and McKendrick, 2004 and Shalley et al.,
2000). For example, studies examining creativity’s
influence on restaurant performance and profitability
(Kim et al., 2006) have elucidated how creativity factors such as dining space design and environment are
related to restaurant performance. Tsai and Lu (2012)
noted that creative restaurant environments influence
customers’ dining experiences and their intentions of
returning.
As the world becomes more complex, the tourism
and hospitality industries are continuously submitted
to change and to the new global challenges, compelling
the companies to adapt to this new, accelerated, and
discontinuous environment. The traditional solutions,
which granted success for a long time, are no longer
suitable. New, innovative ways of doing business
are imperative (Monteiro, and Sousa, 2011).
Organizations need flexibility to face the unexpected
changes, in addition to efficiency, to maintain successful routines (Basadur, 1997). Further, organizations
should be able to analyze and reflect upon their routines, in order to anticipate environmental changes
and adapt by creating new products, services, or processes (Monteiro and Sousa, 2011).
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Creativity barriers
There were many attempts to determine the barriers
and challenges that face creativity efforts in different
organizations. Among them was the study of Jeston
and Nelis (2006) who found that the biggest challenge
for creativity and innovation has often proven to be the
actual implementation. Moreover, Tiwari and Buse
(2007) compared the findings of international surveys
and listed the most dominant barriers to innovation in
small- and medium-sized enterprises. These barriers
include financial barriers, shortage of qualified
personnel, limited management capabilities, lack of
customers’ information, and lack of intellectual
property rights.
Dube et al. (2000) examined the barriers of creativity and innovation in hotel organizations. They argued
that one factor that can become a barrier is that operational procedures and policies for chains are usually
established in corporate echelons. Thus, the chances
for developing innovative practices are much greater at
the corporate level than at the property level. They
added that the barriers to innovation at the property
level may be restrictive vertical relationships within the
organization that prevent dialogue and personal relationships between members of different functional
areas; constrained resources, particularly for new or
unproven ideas; limited mobility across job positions
and job assignments so narrowly defined that employees face only their own personal situations.
Research questions
The present study is aiming at testing the propositions
cited in the following questions from hotel managers’
point of view:
1. Are creative ideas and knowledge constantly generated and valued? Does creativity have a role to play
in employee advancement and the hotel financial
position? Does the general work climate and culture
promote creativity?
2. What are the internal barriers that hinder the greatest implementation of creativity principles?
3. Do hotel management types and hotel managers’
education and experience affect the implementation
of creativity principles?
Research methodology
This study adopted both qualitative and quantitative
methods to investigate differences in managers’ perceptions regarding the implementation of creativity
practices. The quantitative approach involves statistical analysis and thus depends heavily on numerical
findings in drawing conclusions. Such an approach is
suitable for examining trends, attitudes, and perspectives at a subgroup level, and for making comparisons
and connections. Furthermore, this study adopted a
sequential exploratory design as the qualitative data
collection, in order to examine the underlying problem
and then follow up on this exploration with quantitative data.
The data of the study were collected using two
instruments. Firstly, a questionnaire survey was
designed, based on the scale developed by Goktan
(2005) in addition to the related literature review.
Survey study was deemed as the most appropriate
methodology to follow because (1) survey study is
the most useful tool for studying sensitive opinions,
attitudes preferences, and behaviors of individuals,
particularly when the opinions are reflections of
larger underlying attitudinal constructs; (2) questionnaire surveys could be analyzed in a short period of
time and with a minimum of expense; (3) they also
permit the measurement of variables as well as the
relationships among them. The researcher preferred
to use a self-completion questionnaire over a structured interview because it is cheaper and quicker to
administer, it has the absence of interviewer effects, no
interviewer variability, and it is convenient for
respondents. It aimed at collecting data in order to
elicit managers’ opinions concerning the implementation of creativity and idea generation principles in
their hotels.
The questionnaire comprised three main parts. The
first part was concerned with gathering data on the
implementation of creativity and idea generation principles from hotel managers’ point of view.
Respondents were also asked if their organizations
were successful at coming up with new and innovative
ideas and if they are better at generating ideas compared to their competitors. The questionnaire consisted of seven impact variable items incorporating a
5-point Likert scale to measure respondents’ level of
agreement or disagreement with a statement about
innovation generation and creativity in the hotel.
Some statements were expressed positively and
others negatively to encourage respondents not to
respond automatically, but to think about each
statement.
The second part of the questionnaire was
concerned with the profile of respondents and the
characteristics of the hotel. The questionnaire was
first pre-tested to ensure the clarity of the questions
and to measure whether the questionnaire could be
completed within a reasonable period of time. The
survey instrument was modified on the basis of comments and suggestions made by the pre-test subjects.
Re-wording of the questionnaires was done in order to
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remove any jargon, inconsistencies, or leading
questions.
Secondly, in order to trace the internal barriers that
hinder the greatest implementation of creativity principles, a face-to-face interview was held with hotel
managers. To encourage participation, interviewees
were assured confidentiality of their data. Interviews
were conducted using a semi-structured format.
In this study, the target population consisted of 156
five-star hotel managers in Egypt. Stratified random
sampling technique was employed, as it has the advantage that every element in the defined population has a
known, independent, and equal chance of being
selected as a subject, and selection of one element
does not affect the selection of another element.
Therefore, a random sample of 60 five-star hotel managers was taken, representing 38.4% percent of the total
population. From the 60 distributed questionnaires, 46
were answered, giving a response rate of 76.6%.
Results and discussion
Data analysis and interpretation
for research question no. 1
The objective of this section was to evaluate managers’
agreement/disagreement on the implementation of
basic principles of creativity. Results shown in
Table 1 revealed that most managers indicated that
they agreed that creativity principles were implemented in their hotels. The overall average mean
score for all the creativity principles reached a high
score of 4.08. This indicates a strong awareness and
basic knowledge of the principles of creativity.
Moreover, means of scores of all phrases regarding
the existence of creativity principles in the workplace
were noted to be high. Managers’ responses were
ranked using scores of means. Principle (3)
‘‘Creativity is not valued in this hotel (!)’’ was recorded
as the highest existing principle by hotel managers with
a mean score of 4.39, and was followed by principle
(6) ‘‘The general work climate and culture in this hotel
work against creativity (!)’’ with a mean score of 4.35.
On the other hand, principle (4) ‘‘Our hotel is better at
generating ideas compared to our competitors’’ recorded
the least agreement and practice among hotel managers with a mean score of 3.65, followed by principle
(2) ‘‘This hotel is successful at coming up with innovative
service techniques’’ with a recorded mean score of 3.96.
Data analysis and interpretation
for research question no. 2
When hotel managers were asked to determine the
internal barriers that they face and prevent the greatest
implementation of creativity principles, hotel managers indicated several internal barriers making it difficult to completely grasp the potential of employees in
this important area. They were namely (1) high rate of
labor turnover; (2) the increase in employee workloads; (3) the lack of motivation; (4) poor management; and (5) poor labor.
Managers stated that the first barrier, that is High
rate of labor turnover, affects employees’ working culture and their rehabilitation, and causes the lack of
skilled labor, which impedes the creativity and idea
generation process within the hotel. In addition, the
increase in employee workloads in some hotels as a
result of the high rate of labor turnover is a second
barrier to the development and implementation of creativity. The lack of motivation amongst hotel employees is another barrier that makes creative thinking
quite useless. Poor management is another important
barrier in many hotels, as well as poor educational and
Table 1. The implementation of creativity principles in hotels.
Creativity principlesa
Mean
S.D.
Ranking
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
Overall
4.20
3.96
4.39
3.65
4.07
4.35
3.98
4.08
0.78
0.79
0.77
0.82
0.74
0.90
0.86
0.84
3
6
1
7
4
2
5
New ideas and knowledge are constantly generated in this hotel
This hotel is successful at coming up with innovative service techniques
Creativity is not valued in this hotelb
Our hotel is better at generating ideas compared to our competitors
Creativity has a role to play in employee advancement in this hotel
The general work climate and culture in this hotel work against creativityb
Creativity has a positive effect on the financial position of this hotel
agreement regarding the presence of creativity principles
a
Likert Scale: where 1 ¼ completely disagree and 5 ¼ Completely agree.
Negative statement where the scale is converted.
S.D.: Standard deviation.
b
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professional levels for most employees in the hotel
sector making it harder for them to acquire the necessary skills.
Data analysis and interpretation
for research question No. 3
The objective of this section is to present results
related to the implementation of creativity principles
in hotels. First, in order to indicate the difference
between chain and independent hotels concerning
the implementation of creativity principles, means of
scores for managers’ responses were compared. As
apparent in Table 2, all P values were above 0.05,
which means that a significant difference between
chain and independent hotels regarding the implementation of all creativity principles exists. Results demonstrate that chain-managed hotels have higher scores for
the implementation of all principles.
Second, when investigating the level of creativity
principles implementation based on respondent’s profile, results were as shown in Table 2. For the level of
education, managers were classified into two categories: tourism degree graduate and non-tourism
degree graduate. Significant difference between the
two categories (P <.05) was only detected in the
implementation of one of the creativity principles.
On the other hand, no differences were identified
when comparing between respondents’ experiences.
Discussion of results
The results of the study revealed that the means of
scores, regarding the agreement of hotel managers
that creativity principles are implemented in their
hotels, are high. The results proved that creativity
was well valued in hotels and the general work climate
and culture was promoting creativity. Although new
ideas and knowledge are constantly generated and
valued, more enhancements are required. On the
other hand, creativity has to play a more important
role in employee advancement in hotels, and hotel
managers have to focus on bringing in more innovative
service techniques. Moreover, creativity has to be
valued as a tool for improving the hotel financial
position.
Moreover, managers stated that they face several
internal barriers which hinder the proper implementation of creativity principles and make it complicated to
grasp the perspective of employees in this context. On
top of the barriers list were the high rates of labor
turnover, the increase in employee workloads, and
the lack of motivation. Managers clarified that the
high rate of turnover is due to several reasons, precisely, the low level of salaries, which attract only a
poor quality of staff or part-time employees, and alienate qualified employees who choose to work in highly
paid jobs in other industries. This, in return, causes a
decline in the level of labor and eventually a moderate
level of hospitality service quality. As a result, hotel
management in such a situation has no chance to
improve concepts of innovation and creativity.
In conclusion, the study findings are in agreement
with Adams (2005) who stated that management must
truly be committed to creativity and be willing to sacrifice short-term results for innovation. The most difficult task for most hotel managers was how to turn
employees’ creative ideas into economic values
(Morris, 2006).
Many of the studies indicated that hotels employ
useful practices to promote idea generation and creativity (employing an ambassador committee to present new ideas, the use of idea box in the staff
cafeteria, open-door policy where employees could
Table 2. Comparing managers’ responses regarding the implementation of creativity principles.
Management types
Education
Chain
Tourism
Independent
Experience
Non-tourism
<3 years
3–5 years
>5 years
CP M.
S.D M.
S.D
P value M.
S.D M.
S.D
P value M.
S.D
M.
S.D
M.
S.D
P value
A.1
A.2
A.3
A.4
A.5
A.6
A.7
0.61
0.69
0.53
0.68
0.62
0.76
0.72
0.91
0.76
0.83
0.83
0.84
1.07
0.73
0.002*
0.001*
0.001*
0.001*
0.005*
0.018*
0.001*
0.6
0.7
0.6
0.7
0.9
1.0
1.0
0.77
0.80
0.82
0.86
0.68
0.85
0.77
0.008*
0.257
0.192
0.415
0.330
0.438
0.289
0.87
0.9
0.9
0.5
0.7
0.8
0.8
4.27
3.90
4.54
3.72
4.18
4.27
3.81
0.90
0.83
0.68
0.78
0.75
1.00
0.87
4.29
4.05
4.52
3.94
3.94
4.47
4.29
0.58
0.65
0.62
0.96
0.74
0.87
0.84
0.176
0.265
0.093
0.015
0.207
0.262
0.037
4.40
4.18
4.68
3.90
4.25
4.53
4.28
3.71
3.43
3.71
3.07
3.64
3.93
3.29
4.6
4.08
4.5
3.6
4.1
4.3
3.8
4.0
3.9
4.3
3.6
4.0
4.33
4.0
4.5
3.8
4.1
3.3
4.1
4.2
3.7
CP: creativity principles; S.D.: standard deviation.
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introduce new ideas directly to the manager, and
giving incentives and thanks letters to creative
employees).
Moreover, hotel managers indicated that there are a
number of reasons why creative ideas fail to become
innovations in their properties. Sometimes, it is
because the idea, which seems brilliant in concept, is
flawed in application. Managers indicated that at some
point between the identification of a promising idea
and beginning to implement that idea, the idea may
be killed and mentioned many reasons why creative
ideas are killed; however, almost all of them have to
do with the associated risk. Implementing a new idea is
perceived as risky and people in the hotel do not wish
to undertake that risk.
Therefore, these hotel properties must design the
workplace in a way that encourages creativity and
idea generation. This conclusion is in line with results
of a recent study conducted by Hon (2011) who indicated that organization environment plays a significant
role in predicting employee creativity.
Limitations of the study
This study shows very promising results with respect
to creativity awareness, but it represents an initial
attempt to investigate the phenomenon. It is noteworthy to mention that several limitations were
encountered in the current study. These included
that the research was limited to the category of fivestar hotels in Egypt. Future research should explore
other categories of hotels as well as other types of service contexts such as restaurants, motels, etc.
Moreover, due to time restrictions, this research was
conducted at a single time point. Suggestions for
future researchers are to adopt a time crossing methodology for research design rather than a single time
point. Findings of the research were, therefore, indicative rather than conclusive. Therefore, a lot of future
studies are needed, in order to ensure the reliability of
results.
Recommendations and directions
for future research
This research can be used to derive many ideas for
possible future researches. Further research attempts
should aim at investigating the same questions but
from other perspectives. Moreover, further research
in this area may adopt the extension and testing of
the seven principles introduced in this study within
different types of organizations. Since this research
collected data via a questionnaire survey and the
data were from the same source, a common method
variance is possible.
Finally, a great effort should be made from the side
of hotel managers such as;
. They have to develop a vision for change and creativity through the integration of employees’ suggestions. An idea creation advisory board has to be
created where professionals of the industry will be
involved.
. Human resources departments have to identify specific skills and behaviors essential for creativity and
develop policies to recruit, promote, and reward
employees with these attributes.
. Hotel managers also have to develop training programs for improving employees’ problem-solving
and creative thinking skills. Budget allocation for
employees’ training and development programs, in
order to enhance their creativity and develop them
must also take place.
. Hotel policies have to empower creativity through
providing rewarding programs, to encourage
employees who develop innovative ideas, and
resources for creative ideas, and by allowing an
open-door policy for employees to introduce new
ideas directly to management.
. Open communication and interaction between
management and employees in order to have a
clear and well-defined concept of the company
vision and mission.
. Recognize and praise employees when creative ideas
are given regardless of success or not.
. Everyone in the organization should know that constant feedback is important to ensure the successful
implementation creative ideas.
. Employees should be encouraged to be involved in
the daily operation. Management should empower
them to make decisions, allowing them to make
mistakes during the planning process and the decision-making process, but also providing corrective
measures to ensure such mistakes are not repeated
in the future.
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Author Biographies
Dr Hanan S Kattara is a professor of hotel management at Alexandria University. She has a research and
publications profile with both national and international focus. Her prime research area is in human
resource management, applied to the hospitality and
tourism sector. Particular work focuses on general
hotel management, marketing, and hotel operations.
She also has an excellent work experience with extensive practice knowledge and know-how. Professor
Kattara has a relevant number of research publications
in distinguished journals. She is actively involved in
collaborative research networks and projects with outstanding international education and research
institutions.
Dr Osman Ahmed El-Said is a lecturer at the Faculty
of Tourism and Hotels, Alexandria University, Egypt.
He prepared his Master Degree in the area of
employee behavior and customer satisfaction. The
author also contributed in organizing various conferences, organized by the faculty of tourism and hotels.
The author’s doctorate research covered issues related
to innovation strategy implementation in the hotels
sector.

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