Operational Level Strategies and Organizational Performance of Four-Star Hotels in Mombasa County, Kenya
Thoya, Emmanuel Mweni
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Performance is the key indicator to access the growth, stability, and capacity of an organization in any industry. Performance in the competitive hospitality industry is attributed to the never-ending strategies put in place by the hotels to either maintain the competition advantage or penetrate the industry. Further, the four-star hotels in Mombasa County are facing an unprecedented crisis due to the international travel restrictions and advisories imposed by foreign countries to contain and curtail the spread of COVID-19. The travel bans and restrictions reduced drastically foreign tourists visiting Kenya and Mombasa to be specific. A number of hotels shut down while others operating at severely reduced capacity with high reliability on the local tourists who are equally affected by the advisories. To survive in the industry, four-star hotels in Mombasa County have employed operational level strategies to mitigate the problem of organizational performance. Performance of the four-star hotels in Mombasa County has declined steadily and the hotels that adopted the operational level strategies have re invented their businesses. The main objective of this research was to examine the effect of operational level strategies organizational performance of four-star hotels n Mombasa County. The specific objectives of this study were to examine the effect of human resource strategies, customer service strategies, information and communication strategies and marketing strategies on the organizational performance of four-star hotels in the County. The study was soundly informed by Resources Based Theory, Balance Scorecard, SERVQUAL Model and Competitive Advantage Theory. The study population was 55 operational managers from all the five four star-rated hotels. Census technique was used since the target population was small. The research used questionnaire with closed-ended questions to collect data. Validity and reliability of the study was determined through a pilot study. The researcher used Cronbach’s alpha formulae to test reliability through internal measure of consistency. The returned questionnaires were analyzed using both descriptive and inferential statistics by use of the SPSS version 26. The study adopted regression and correlation models of analysis. The study found that there is a moderate positive and significant relationship between human resource strategies and organizational performance (r=0.305; p=0.026 < 0.05) and its alteration would also affect organizational performance (β=0.128; t=2.038; p=0.045). The study also revealed that there is a strong positive and significant relationship between customer service strategies and organizational performance (r=0.668; p=.005<0.01) and its improvement would affect organizational performance (β=0.220; t=2.742; p=0.005). The study found that there is a moderate positive relationship between information and communication strategies and organizational performance (r=0.404; p =0.003 <0.01) and its improvement would affect organizational performance (β=0.175; t=3.046; p=0.004). On the final variable, it was determined further marketing strategies significantly affects organizational performance (r=0.314; p= 0.022<0.05) but its improvement insignificantly contributes to organizational performance (β=0.127; t=1.264; p=0.226). It was concluded that operational level strategies (human resource strategies, customer service strategies, information and communication strategies and marketing strategies) affects hotel performance and the improvement of each strategy would lead to improvement in organizational performance. The study recommended that employees of the hotels can be retained, if the management of the hotels can evaluate, design and measure employee engagement practices. The study further recommended that employees at lower cadre can be improved if working conditions is improved. Finally, it can be suggested that managers of the hotels should adopt customer care services and customer relations to enhance performance.
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