The strength of hotel industries in terms of performance index lies with the level of service delivered to their clients. In fact, serious hotel industries would invest more on their mode of service delivery to hit an all time favorite against their opponents in the same business segment. Such motive will boost the turnover gains and replicate it into tangible results. This paper is a critique review of ‘Service quality and business performance in the UK hotel industry’ by Harrington and Akehurst (1996). The paper provides an elaborate overview of the nature of service quality in the UK hotel industry. The author does a good job in bringing out the institutionalization and the impact of these services to the sector as a whole. This involves examination of past literature work on the same and examination of their take in the whole issue under discussion. The study begins by referring to the accepted idea that quality positively influence and improves both performance and competitiveness of an organization have a strict implementation of these services. In this respect, hotel industry is more dynamic and needs to adopt a novel approach that makes it vibrant and updated on the special needs of their clients to grasp of their customers.
The literature review examines several issues affecting hotel industry in a wider perspective by a critical review of operations and nature of services at large. This entails keen evaluation of past literature work and their report on the business segment; extend of addressing important issues, and the inadequacy of these work in touching all pivotal aspects of hotel industry. The author does a good job in addressing the knowledge gap within the industry and clearly makes recommendations viable to their effectiveness.
Even though a few other studies have not clearly stated the importance of service quality in the hotel industry, most of which seem to address the importance other factors such as the financial services in the hotel sector, the professional services the hotel offers and the health care factors as major factors that determine the attainment of a business strategy (Parasuraman, et al., 1998). This study attempts to address some of the important yet neglected aspects in the business segment in an elaborate approach to instill an insight for a critical evaluation and adoption of practical ways of improving service quality. The service quality of a hotel associates with profitability, customer satisfaction, the retention of customers, and the word of mouth influence that is the source of repeat business (Andersen, Henriksen & Aarseth 2006). Most of these are only circumstantial evidence rather than the much needed empirical fact, an assertion to which the authors strongly agrees.
Service quality in the hotel industry faces a number of challenges and at times it is hard to implement it considering some of these hindrances, each of which has a unique characteristic in making the move an uphill task. Hostile economic conditions is one of these setbacks, many managerial policy institutors will shift their attention in cases of economic crisis by ignoring services on offer to their clients (Blaikie, 2000; Monks, Sinnott & Buckley, 1996). Further, studies by Bolton & Drew (1991) reveals on these challenges. They assert that service quality will requires a business to understand how it works and having clear guidelines on its implementation, this creates an important aspect that needs emphasis from the hotel industry management. However, it is true that the current work fails to institute a probe that adequately addresses these issues because the aspects of top management response are missing.
Lack of elaborate and in-depth understanding of this concept also does more harm than good to the industry. Other critics like Carson & Coviello (1996) assert that only a few researches have been able to address the real meaning of service quality in business and its implementation. In most of the UK hotel industries, there is little understanding of the service quality issue and most of the hotels do not invest their concerns in understanding the importance of middle level managers implementing service quality (Harrington & Akehurst, 1996). This has a negative effect in the sense that implementation will not attain the level upon which most would feel the impact. The authors correctly identifies the aspect of ignoring the middle level management in the implementation process of quality management systems as a constituent to the root course of limited evidence regarding the benefits of quality service in the industry. The authors did a nice job by defining several aspects while attempting to answer some of the issues not dealt with in past research.
The study succeeds in drawing out a working definition of the word quality service, which suffices for the scope of current research. This includes a business that meets customer expectations and is important for a business industry performance in gaining competitive advantage over others in the same line of business (Glaser, 1999). In addition, Cresswell (2003) defines service quality as ‘fitness for purpose’ this is not very far from what Crosby (1984) states as ‘conforming to requirements’. However these leave us with a wide scope within which to interpret the true meaning of quality service as the study fails to narrow down to the best working definition. In spite of this, it is true that the authors’ point of view is the other important segments neglected by most researchers when dealing with this business segment.
Harrington & Akehurst (1996) assert that the performance of a business and its definition largely depends on the business strategy. By acknowledging the existing definition of performance and its indicators as the challenge in addressing the issue, they simply ignite the need for critical elaboration of such assertion in the future. This paper deeply examines the influence of service quality, its definition, and its determination through. Service quality aimed at achieving the business strategies can be either through attraction of new customers or through the retention of the already existing ones. However, according to studies most of the UK hotels have not done much with regard to service quality and business performance (Clark, Tynan & Money, 1994).
The study utilized two methods to undertake the research. The first section used a structured undisguised survey in which it sends similar questions to all the participants, these restricted their response within a given alternatives. The data measured two entities of the research; these are performance in the financial frontiers and the competitiveness in the business. The second part, which used descriptive statistical technique, measured the relationship between performance and quality, this last part is necessary in aiding a formulation method that explores the performance and nature service quality at large. These methods were similar to those of data collection employed in other fields of science, to enable validation and authentication of the research (Getty & Getty, 2003).
The first choice comes with demerits in that it limits the respondents’ answers to only a few preset choices and this may have an impact on the nature of data obtained for analysis, the measurable outcome may not clearly come out because some resource personnel may fail to respond for the anticipated result. The second option relying on documentations like Policy documents, the manuals that indicated how the hotels functions, performance records, reward schemes, quality and performance measurement instruments, and how staff was trained to deliver services may not represent the true value of important data for analysis unless such organizations have a mechanism of ensuring these are up to date. A more appropriate approach of following up the letter send to the managers could suffice and even make the entire process a success. It is also possible to argue that the responded chosen may not give the needed information; since this is an email mode of communication it is not clear who filled the questionnaire. The most limiting factor is the inability of the chosen research technique to enroll a good number of participants in the study, despite settling for 250 participants only 74 responded, this cannot resource parsons cannot represent the true value of hotel operations in the entire UK. Despite all these, the study succeeds in justifying the methods used particular by laying underlying challenges, which makes the chosen methods the practical in the given situation.
The study reveals that hotels share the same perceptions with regard to the connection between service quality and business performance. A demonstration by various literatures the study referred to, the findings are within expected criterion. The different definitions shows that the the industry have different methods and ways of implementing these concepts. Service quality concept provides an important tool that enables the hotels achieve their goals through differentiation of their services. Some hotels believe that the issue of service quality is vital for business performance, while utilization of hotel resource is paramount to achieving goals (Buber & Gadner, n.d).
The study also reveals that most companies are not able to define quality and are therefore less equipped to measure it. In this regard the study fails to lay a better foundation for delving in to major issues affecting the hotels management. Nevertheless, this evidence reveals differences in service quality that advocates for strong policies and practice to facilitate business performance (Antony & Ghosh, 2004). The case study also reveals that managers of the hotels do not use the performance measurement system in the proper way and this affects the strategies of the hotels. This is a clear indication that the hotel managers were failing to realize the real value of measurement systems that are vital to the hotel performance. According to Bazeley (2004), managers need to have action plans on the information of the measurement systems so that the performance of the business is not affected (Asher, 1996).
To conclude this critique, it is important to state that it is a perfect evaluation of the role of quality service and its impact on the business performance of hotel industry in the UK. This is because the analysis provided by the authors is good in the sense that they give an analysis of forgotten issue from past article in the same segment and goes ahead to ascertain their importance in the business sector. This goes further to fill the knowledge gap, which is very commendable. This leads us to recommend subsequent studies to address alternative issues using authentic number of resource personnel and to carry out a more specific analysis. Also, these studies should consider crafting out form of controlling the demographics and other factors that affects responses.