Tuning into tensions in times of change – the experiences of managers in the contract catering sector.

D'Annunzio-Green, Norma and Francis, Helen (2005) Tuning into tensions in times of change – the experiences of managers in the contract catering sector. International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, 17 (4). pp. 345-358. ISSN 0959 6119

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    The purpose of this paper is to present case study evidence of how managers in a contract catering firm made sense of an organisational change initiative that encouraged them to become self-sufficient and display "entrepreneurial" behaviours in an environment where they were also expected to "comply" with new operating procedures aimed at strengthening central control. Design/methodology/approach - Uses 25 in-depth interviews with a cross-section of line and HR managers over an 11-month period to uncover practical experiences of change and their attempts to constructively manage the tensions between the opposing dualities that arise from it. The paper draws on empirical research from an in-depth case study of a leading multinational corporation in the contract catering sector. Findings - the findings expose the pressures that managers faced in the reconciliation of the contrasting need to develop as entrepreneurs alongside an organisational strategy driven by cost minimisation and control. It provides an empirical example of the duality that exists in organisations between the quantitative need for discipline in managerial procedures at the same time as the organisation has to pay attention to the qualitative need for investment in human resources. Originality/value - This paper provides insights to a relatively under-researched yet significant sector of the hospitality industry - contract catering. It provides a vivid empirical account of the tensions that managers face in times of change and a practical illustration of the creative ways that managers found to deal with the contradictions arising from the change initiative.

    Item Type: Article
    Print ISSN: 0959 6119
    Electronic ISSN: 1757-1049
    Uncontrolled Keywords: human resource management; organizational change; catering industry; service industries; entrepreneurialism
    University Divisions/Research Centres: The Business School > School of Management and Law
    Dewey Decimal Subjects: 300 Social sciences > 330 Economics > 338 Production
    600 Technology > 650 Management & public relations > 658 General management
    Library of Congress Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
    Item ID: 2094
    Depositing User: RAE Import
    Date Deposited: 20 Feb 2008 14:39
    Last Modified: 17 Jul 2015 13:27

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