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Department of Hospitality Tourism & Leisure Management Academic year 2007/2008 ASSIGNMENT TOPIC: Social Sciences for hospitality managers Introduction "Social science is the process of explaining, describing, and predicting how individuals and groups act and behave." (http://maps.csc.noaa.gov/socialscience_2/ intro.jsp). Some of the most challenging decisions in management depend between people. According to Rita Carmouche & Nancy Kelly, the hospitality Industry has frequently been described as a "People industry". Effective management is therefore about working with people. And of course people differ as individuals. As Laurie J Mullins said "People are not all made the same way. They are not all rounded. Some are angular, some are difficult, and you have to fit in with them and their personality". Our case study below is a great example which will verify the author sentence which we had just mentioned. CASE STUDY: "CO-WORKER PROBLEMS" Eric is the front office manager and one day Scott, one of his subordinates, knocked on his office door and after a small-talk he asked if it would be possible to be transferred to the F&B department of the hotel. Eric was shocked as Scott was one of his best employees and regarded Scott as a close fiend. After a shift Eric went for a drink with Scott in order to find out the reason behind the request as he did not like the idea of losing him to another department.
People have much in common but each person in the world is also individually different. All people are different. This is fact supported by science. The idea of individual differences comes originally from psychology. From the day of birth, each person is unique, and individual experiences after birth tend to make people even more different. Individual differences mean that management can get the greatest motivation among employees by treating them differently, and this is what Eric did in our case since he understood Scott's behaviour. Motives are perceived as expressions of a person's needs; hence they are personal and internal. Scott's need to change department was a psychological need which he wish to fulfil it. As we have seen in our critical incident people differ, therefore, in the extent and manner of their involvement with work. Goldthorpe, for example, has identified three general sets of attitudes, or orientations, to work: instrumental orientation, bureaucratic orientation and solidaristic orientation. We will state at the last one which involves ego involvement with work groups rather than the work of the organisation it self. In our problem there is an ego attitude of an employee which makes him want to leave the department. Attitudes and motives are interlinked and, depending on an individual's motives, Katz has suggested that attitudes can serve four main functions; Knowledge, Expressive, Instrumental and Ego defensive.
The selection of theories depends upon the problems or issues in which we are interested. Moreover Wood suggests the need for of a substantial reappraisal of social science education. The use of social sciences should be seen as a part of the tool kit of management, to be drawn upon and used as particular circumstances demand. The overriding objective must surely be how an understanding of the practical application of relevant aspects of social science can improve the people organisation relationship. Conclusion Organisations are social systems and there is a need of social sciences in order to understand better human behaviour which exists in them. Social sciences refer to the behaviour of people, organisations are consisting of people, and therefore there is a need of such sciences to managers in order to act and behave properly in different kind of problems among people. As we have agreed changes in the working environment can affect badly any organisation and there is a need for managers to understand individuals' behaviour in order not to take negative decisions which may affect the whole organisation. We have also seen that individuals have different kind of needs; in our case we had a psychological need which Eric needed to understand in order to solve the problem. So we can conclude that is always a need of social sciences whenever managers have to work in an establishment which consists of people.
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