A survey of employee relations practices and demographics of MNC chain and domestic luxury hotels in Australia
Purpose - The paper aims to examine employment relations practices and labour market features of 4-5 star luxury multinational chain (MNC) and domestic hotels operating in the Brisbane-Gold Coast corridor in Australia and discuss the implications that competing on price and quality has on employment, wages and training. Design/methodology/approach - The study used data drawn from a large managerial and employee relations/demographic survey covering wages, employment status, age, gender, working conditions and training, including interview data from hotel HRM managers. Findings - The data showed a persistence of gendered, low waged and segmented labour markets dominated by flexible labour. Competition between MNC and domestic hotels were not found to be the conduit of "new" HRM practices as a competitive edge. Both MNC and domestic hotels shape the hotel labour market in a way which perpetuates cost minimization strategies based on an increasingly skilled, yet flexible and low cost labour force. Research limitations/implications - Of the 14 hotels, only three were domestic. MNC luxury hotels dominate the sample. Rather a straight forward convergence thesis, MNC and domestic hotels have been compelled to compete on price and standard quality. Originality/value - While not a deliberate strategy of a "a race to the bottom", the 4-5 star luxury MNC and domestic hotels in the study have re-shaped employment relations practices perpetuating a cost minimization competitive strategy suggesting that a "high road" competitive strategy as portrayed in HRM literature strategy is not the only way for firms such as hotels achieving a competitive edge.