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Research Proposal on "Customer Orientation of Service Employees on employee Commitment; a Case of Nuo Hotel Beijing”

Nyamweya is a Kenyan scholar who has done many years of research on a diversity of topics

1 Researchable Topic Area:

The topic for this research is A research on customer orientation of service employees on employee commitment; case of NUO Hotel Beijing” In essence, customer orientation has always been regarded as a critical factor in the economic wellbeing of businesses, especially those in the service sector (Ngacha and Onyango, 2016). Since the first generation of hotels in China, the hospitality industry has greatly changed and continues to do to a significant level. In other words, the sector is contantly evolving. The gentrification and rapid development of cities in China has created a need for “full service” destination hotels to offer urban oases within environments that are experiencing extensive reconstruction. Apparently, this sector is increasingly adapting to a maturing market, technological developments, increasing competitions and tremendous changes in China’s economy (Wallace, 2016).

There is no doubt that customer loyalty and retention is critical for the sustainability and good performance of any business (Mehta, Steinman, and Murphy, 2016). This owes to the benefits this brings to the company including reduced operational costs, enhencing word of mouth referrals hence; reducing advertising and marketing costs, and raise of earnings (Bouranta, Psomas, and Vouzas, 2019 ). Taking into concern that today’s market place is highly competitive, customers are exposed to appealing alternatives, creating a necessity for business firms to focus on retainining its existing marketplace. Researchers have furthure established that most customers judge the quality of services by looking at the behaviour of employees. Marketing theorists have affirmed that businesses that focus themselves towards meeting the needs of their customers are able to achieve more positive result compared to those businesses that are not oriented towards their customers needs (Ngacha and Onyango, 2016). For example, Wibawa et al (2018) substantiated the assumption that a firm’s customer orientation contributed to a positive economic potential. This research draws on the four key dimensions of customer orientation which include social skills, technical skills, decision making power and motivation which together formulate a framework for employees customer orientation, as well as its impact on employees core service marketing constructs (Irfan, 2015). Despite a number of studies being done on this construct, a majority of these studies are older and have not examined this impact from the conception of technical skills, social skills and decision making power. In this regard, the current study seeks to employ NUO Hotel Beijing in understanding the impact of customer orientation of service employees on employee commitment. NUO Hotel is a five star, luxuy hotel found in Beijing’s Art District 798, the center of China dynaic art culture. The hotel boasts of 438 spacious suites and rooms alongside 6 Restaurants, and several bars. Most of the raw materials for its food products are derived from its partner producers and green farms which are creatively prepared by a group of world class culinary experts. Besides, the hotel serves the most fine hotel in China which are sourced from several plantations. The hotel also harbours one of the largest Grand Ballrooms alongside several Spas (Tripadvisor. 2019).

2 Objectives for the Research:

The purpose of this research is to establish how customer orientation of service employees affect employee commitment using the case of NUO Hotel Beijing. Specific objectives are as follows:

1. To analyse the impact of technical skills on employee commitment in NUO Hotel Beijing

2. To evaluate the impact of decision-making authority on employee commitment in NUO Hotel Beijing

3. To examine the impact of social skills on employee commitment in NUO Hotel Beijing

4. To offer recommendations on how employee commitment in NUO Hotel Beijing can be improved through customer orientation of service employees


3 Literature Review:

Employee commitment

According to MBA Brief (2020), employee commitment is the psychological attachment employees have and the consequential loyalty towards an organization. On her part, Carnegie (2018) explains employee commitment as the level of engagement and job satistification an employee has towards an organisation. Among the indications of committed employees is the ability and willingness to contribute to realization of company objectives and success, their loyality, enthuasism for the job and positiveness. Other features of committed employees include team orientation, solution oriented, optimistic, selfless, passion for learning and accepting blame (Carnegie 2018).

Objective 1: the impact of technical skills on employee commitment

The skill set of an employee makes him or her comprehend the work duties and how to handle their daily job tasks in an effective manner(Pandey and Singh, 2017). Employees with sufficient skill set are better equipped in planning for everyday’s activities as well as in attaining their production objectives. Within the hotel sector, technical skills that are crucial for success include the ability to meet customer needs and expectations, cultural awareness and sensitivity, communication and multi-tasking skills. In addition, employees working in the hospitality sector are required to have knowledge in work ethic, language skills, problem solving skills, teamwork skills, and attention to detail (Philpott, 2019).

In this regard, the managers are required to help employees in developing and maintaining the skill set required in achieving company goals (Pandey and Singh, 2017). Porras et al (2018) established that when there is a gap between an employees skill set and what he or she needs to know, then that employees production declines considerably. This thus calls for employee training to improve understanding by filling in the required skills. Morever, employees who appear ambitious have a desire to improve their skill date on a considerable basis so as to move higher within the firm. Accordingly, a worker who is proactive develops or has a desire to develop and improve his/her skill set which will enable him or her become more efficient in the current job while also trying to get a promotion. In the process of seeking to move higher, the company also benefits through the capability of saving on production costs, human resource expenses through promoting from within and higher production. A study by Hanafi and Ibrahim (2018) sought to find out how employees skill set affected performance in the service sector. Findings from this study indicate a direct impact of employee competencies on the customer experience and service performance and that it is crucial. Furthuremore, the research went on to notice a direct effect of customer experience on service performance. Skills harbour a significant direct and positive effect on service performance. Basically, employees skills are critical for good performance in service business. This calls for managers to focus on employees skills in ensuring effective service performance.

Objective 2: the impact of decision-making authority on employee commitment

Spacey (2018) defines decision making authority as the power or right in making a decision alongside the obligation of answering to its failure or success. Typically, groups, teams, organisations and societies have systems which makes decision authority clear. This authority to make decisions need to be clear so as to avoid disagreements and confusions. For example, while some firms in the hotel sector accord their employees the right to make decisions, others don’t. Kuye and Sulaimon (2011) found a need for service oriented companies to accord their employees decision making power for an enhanced performance. In his research, the author established a positive, significant relationship between employee engagement in decision making process and firms performance. These authors observed a significant gap between business organisations that duly engaged their employees in decision making and firms that took less concern in this involvement. Ejimabo (2015) advises that each firm has an opportunity of being successful and great if all the employees are engaged and given autonomy to make decisions in their roles. However, there should be a clear set goal which all employees should be made aware of. Nonetheless, the leadership should be at the forefront in providing guidance. If there is poor decision making from the leadership, then there is high possibility of conflicts and chaos within the organisation. With consideration that leadership ought to be focused on influencing others in achieving a goal, organisational leaders are thus required to exhibit quality decisions so as to achieve success in their respect firms (Ferrell, et al, 2011). Furthuremore, since a good leader is expected to see the whole picture of the organisation, he or she needs to organise the experience of a team, provide the future vision, ensure the subjects are relevant skills and train them for enhanced competence and leadership ability. These activities will not only empower workers in executing their respective responsibilities but also enable them to be effective and creative as they are given authority to make decisions in their respective roles (Ejimabo, 2015). However, as much as it is critical to accord employees decision making ability in this responsibility, the leaders and managers need to make sense of what these employees are doing so as to provide the necessary guidance whenever possible (Government Social Research, 2013). Withouth this guidance, there could be confusion and sabotage arising out of these decisions.

Objective 3: the impact of social skills on employee commitment in service firms

The worker’s social context is also another important element that motivates workers to be committed in their roles/organisations (Beheshtifar, and Norozy, 2013). Taking into concern that man is a social creature, the approval or disapproval of a given employee’s team members or peer group could be a punishing or rewarding experience (Albrecht et al, 2015). In other words, if an employees finds himself in a wrong company due to mismatch of social behaviour/attitude, then the working environment might be unfriendly for him or her. On the other hand, if an employee finds the demands of a particular job easy going or conducive, then he or she will be happy or committed in the respective firms. Quinn (2013)explains that for one to work effectively in an hospitality sector, such a person should have various social skills. These includes teamwork, multi-tasking, flexibility, attention to details, communication, and problem solving skills. More particular, the skills of communication and interpersonal are quite critical in the hospitality industry, considering the high number of people that a staff working in this sector has to encounter each day. Furthuremore, the staff must harbour the interpersonal skills comprising of tolerance, patience, creative thinking, emphathy, listening and negotiation in order to get along well with both customers, other staff and the management. If the staff does not have these skills and abilities, then he or she will find it hard to work in this environment and may even contemplate looking elsewhere(Beheshtifar, and Norozy, 2013). In this sense, it becomes critical for organisations in the service sector, particularly the hospitality industry to ensure that the employees hired are job-fit by having the requisite social skills. In addition, these entities can also consider training their existing employees on the specific social skills so as to enhance their efficiency and commitment (Picker, 2015).

4 Details of your research:

Where the data will be collected

As already mentioned, this research seeks to find out how customer orientation of service employees affect employee commitment using the case of NUO Hotel Beijing. The data for this research will be collected from employees and managers working in this hotel. Nuo Hotel is considered to be a suitable case study for this research owing to its size, as well as the fact that it has a larger number of employees. The target participants are the hotels employees since they will be able to give their first hand experiences and attitudes in relation to their roles and the company. The managers will also be included owing to their positions and the fact that they are in a better position to understand their company’s performance as well as employee behaviour.

Data Collection Approach

In order to get the required data, the author will employ both questionnaires and interview. Questionaires will be designed in line with the objectives and distributed to current and former employees of this hotel during their free time. The researcher will issue these questionnaires to employees in the hotel through one supervisor in the hotel. The target of employees for this research is 60 with an allowance of 80% retrieval rate. After issuing these questionnaires to the supervisor, then author will then follow up after two days for collection in the hotels reception desk.

The questionnaire will also contain a request for each of these employees on their willingness and right to either participate or decline the invitation. The use of questionnaires were preferred owing to their easiness in analysis, familiarity with many respondents and even managers, grants respondents time to think about the questions and responses, whule also providing a standard way of analysing information (Robinson, 2018). However, among their demerits is that there is no possibility for the researcher to inquire for clarification of a respondents answer. Similarly, respondents may not be able to ask for clarifications for questions which they do not understand. Besides, there is a possibility of the questions being incorrectly completed. Nonetheless, the author intends to employ the interview in getting responses from the managers of the NUO hotel to augment those obtained from the junior employees (Saris, and Gallhofer, 2014).

The interview will be carried out with some identified managers of this hotel during evenings, preferably 5.30pm. The permission and discussion will be carried out before the actual interview with the managers to agree on this time since according to the author is the appropriate for the interview. This is because at this time, most of these senior managers would have completed their daily schedule and would be looking foward to wind for the day. The interview time will take approximately 25 minutes. The use of this approach is intended to provide a better response rate compared to the questions mailed to respondents while also making it possible for the interviewer to prod more questions according to the interviewees answers(Bechhofer, and Lindsay, 2000). Besides, there is a possibility of the interviewer to decide the place and time for the interview to ensure it is as convenient and appropriate as possible. However, some of the weakness of this approach is its inability to collect data from a larger number of responses within a given time. Furthuremore, the possibility for biases is high, taking into concern that many of them due to their position would want to protect their company, class, or even race from bad reputation (Bechhofer, and Lindsay, 2000).

Data Analysis

In analysing the data obtained from questionnaires, the Stastical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) will be used to establish the frequency and descriptive analysis. Data obtained from the questionnaires will be coded into the SPSS software after which the researcher will establish and analyze the frequencies generated descriptively as per the objectives. The outcome will be presented through pie-charts, tables and graphs. Furthuremore, responses obtained from the interviews will be arranged and analyzed thematically according to the objectives. This means that similar responses will be categorized together and the meaning deduced and compared with literature as per the research questions. From the analysis done on the questionnaire and interview data, the author will then proceed to drawing the conclusion made after which he will make the necessary recommendations in line with the objectives.

5 Research ethics: -

In conducting this research, the researcher will endeavour to follow the ethical principles laid out by the University in relation to the research process. At the beginning of every questionnaire, there will be information about the purpose of the study and the participants right to either participate or decline the participation. In addition, the author will make sure that confidentiality of the respondents details and demographics is maintained and that no third party will be able to access them minus their knowledge. On the same note, due process will be followed when seeking permission from the managers of the hotel which is the case study of this research. The researcher will duly take an initiative of seeking permission and clarifying the intent of the study, assure the respondents on the confidentiality of the details they provide and to maintain as minimal disruptions to their life and work as possible. What is more, all the information and data used in the study which are outside the authors or respondents origin will be duly cited and acknowledged.

6 What this research intends to achieve

At the end of this research, the researcher anticipates to answer the stated research questions and meet the laid down objectives. Precisely, the researcher will have established how technical skills, social skills, and decision making authority affect employee commitment in NUO Hotel Beijing. The author will then make conclusions and subsequently recommend on the best practices that can be adhered by NUO Hotel to improve employee commitment and hence; performance in the business. The results will be quite significant to businesses especially those within the service industry since they will understand the essential factors that contribute to employee commitment and its relevance to the business settings. From the reviewed literature, it is apparent that technical and social skills are paramount for any employee working in the service sector. This is the same case with the decision authority which works by ensuring that employees are engaged and able to make key decisions related to their works. In this regard, marketers and employers will understand why and how to inculcate the necessary technical and social skills among their employees and the need to make them engaged through according them decision making authority. Others who will benefit from the findings are scholars and researchers who are looking for new information in this field or those delving more in this topic.

7 Timetable for your research

Month

Dissertation Activity (parts)

Month 1

Drafting and compiling chapter 1

Month 2

Working on literature review (chapter 2)

Month 3

Compling the methodology part (chapter 3)

Month 4

Following up with the management of NUO Hotel for permission to conduct the study

Month 5

Collecting data and making analysis (chapter 4)

Month 6

Writing the conclusion and recommendations part (chapter 5 and 6)

Month 7

Compiling and proofreading the report

Month 8

Submitting the report for review

8 Reference List – in APA style.

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