How Human Resource Management (HRM) Is Enacted in the Restaurant Industry: An Exploratory Study of Managerial Mental Models HR Partnerships and Enacted Human Resource Practice in New Zealand

Kapukotuwa, Lakshika Dulmini
Ho, Marcus
Wang, Pola
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Master of Business
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Auckland University of Technology

The New Zealand hospitality industry opens the areas of exploring the human resource management (HRM) mental models (MM) in restaurants connected to HRM practices in the companies. HRM can be identified as a vital aspect in the hospitality sector in studying discrepancies in the intended and enacted HR practices in the restaurant industry while looking into the HR partnership role in such small-medium entrepreneurial restaurant setups in New Zealand. This research focused on exploring how HRM is translated into the restaurant industry, exploring managerial mental models, HR partnership, and enacted HR practices in New Zealand. Since this study explores how HRM is translated in the restaurant industry, including how managers enact HRM, it is an area for a more significant study. Insights into these topics can benefit the hospitality industry, influence policymakers, and develop labour conditions and managerial solutions to employee turnover within the industry. As a significant popular industry that provides enormous employment opportunities in New Zealand, this study aims to address HRM and management issues associated with the industry. The case study method has been used to collect rich qualitative data on HRM practices of the restaurant industry by conducting semi-structured interviews with employees, HR personnel and restaurant owners and collecting documentation and archival data. This exploratory study used three cases by conducting interviews at three different restaurants in Auckland. As a qualitative study, the case study methodology used in this study compares and contrasts the managerial MMs against the HRM practices implemented in three restaurants selected in the Auckland region. The data analysis utilised triangulated method and cross-case analysis methods (Gioia, 2013). The findings showed that two cases (Robata and Thalis) have similar HRM enactment from their managerial MMs. In one case (Taj), only the control/ coordination element differs from HRM and MM of the management. The findings demonstrate that managerial MM affect the implementation of HRM practices in the firm. Additionally, the findings showed the factors that influenced the gaps between MM and HRM, and how SME sector can develop effective HR practices in the restaurant industry. This thesis will discuss the theoretical and practical implications of these findings in detail.

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