BHM302 Contemporary Leadership Techniques

BHM302 Contemporary Leadership Techniques

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BHM302 Contemporary Leadership Techniques

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BHM302 Contemporary Leadership Techniques

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Course Code: BHM302
University: Deakin University is not sponsored or endorsed by this college or university

Country: Australia


What is contemporary leadership in hospitality? What will be the challenges facing future leaders of the industry?
This essay requires you to explore how contemporary leadership in hospitality addresses specific leadership issues. You will need to use your research skills to find academic literature and credible industry information, on ONE of the key topic areas below:
Topic areas (choose 1 only):

Organisational culture & change
Developing and retaining talent
Ethical leadership
Workforce diversity
Business sustainability vs socio-environmental sustainability

This essay has two areas of focus in relation to your topic:
1) What does a contemporary (hospitality) leader need to know, and do?
2) What will a future hospitality leader need to know, and do, based on challenges to the hospitality industry you have discovered?
Use these questions to help develop your essay structure:

What are the contemporary leadership practices around your topic in hospitality?
Has leadership thinking and practices on your topic evolved or changed?
How do the issues you’ve identified impact the hospitality environment?
What will be the key challenges for new leaders coming into the industry?


A leader is an individual who does not only guide and support the subordinates to achieve the objectives they also participate in the process of progress with the people (Ersoy, 2014).  The style of leadership that is approached by an individual depends upon the ways on the circumstances of the organisation, the objective of the organisation as well as the nature of the people who are following the leader. According to Slåtten & Mehmetoglu, (2015) the leader is responsible for developing the values, culture and principles that run in the organisation. For a business organisation it is important for the leader to run the business based on the objectives and goals that are laid out. Contemporary business organisations are not only focused on the profitability of the business but also find it important for the company to ensure that the responsibility towards the planet and the people are also fulfilled (Ersoy, 2014). Business sustainability is important for the business to continue its operations and grow similarly it is also important for the business to understand that there are obligations and responsibility each one owes to the environment and the society which has to be fulfilled. This essay is going to focus on the how contemporary leaders in the hospitality sector will face challenges in the future based for keeping a parity in between the business sustainability and socio-economic sustainability.
Contemporary leadership in hospitality
Owing to the rising complexities in the modern business world, traditional leadership approaches are failing to comply with the dynamics and hence it is important to focus on developing contemporary approaches in order to lead the organisations in a more effective, efficient and engaging way (Ersoy, 2014). In the hospitality industry it is paramount to keep the people in the business motivated as well as train them with the trick of the trade, to boost the capability and efficiency is one of the major reasons for contemporary approaches. As the hospitality industry directly deals with the customers first hand it is important to develop an understanding of the needs and requirements of the people who are being served as well as other stakeholders. It is also important for the leader to have an open mind and develop understanding; they are required to be far sighted in order to foresee the dynamics in the external business environment (Kužnin & Walker, 2017). Since there are so many facts that impact the hospitality industry, it is also important for the leaders to ensure that the services change and develop from the traditional form. For example: technology has changed the face of the hospitality industry and hence, changes should be adapted in terms of providing the people with better service, the use of technology are not only the guests or customers but also the people. All these aspects that are discussed are for the development of the business and sustainability of the growth of the organisation (Kužnin & Walker, 2017).
Similarly, it is important for the leaders to understand the role that they play in the society and the responsibility that they have towards developing a sustainable environment. Traditionally businesses focused on the development of the business and thus had the objectives set on the expansion and profitability of the business. With the development of the idea of triple bottom line, organisations are now focusing the resources equally on the sustainability of the business as well as the sustainability of the socio-economic aspects (Ersoy, 2014).
Transformational leadership is a concept that is explained to be the approach where the leaders concentrate on the improving the motivation of the people in order to reach the objectives of the business. Wang et al. (2014), argued as one of the most important approach towards business leadership this style focuses on inspiring people, motivating them to achieve better outcome. This approach helps in building a relationship with the subordinates that is based on trust and loyalty (Wang et al. 2014). Change is one of the major aspects of the approach and is used by the leader to improve the process of business (Ersoy, 2014). The contemporary leaders in the hospitality industry have to focus on the dynamics of the external business environment and for that they require a vision for change and to deal with change management (Wang et al. 2014)
Another modern approach thus can be said to be visionary leadership, leaders in the hospitality industry requires them to be far-sighted in order to deal with the dynamics of the industry as well as the intense competition in the market (Taylor et al., 2014). A visionary leader will also help the organisation to stay aligned with the socio-economic sustainability actions taken by the company. Some of the traits of a visionary leader are an inclination towards innovation and creativity; this is where the approach is similar to the transformational approach discussed above (Taylor et al., 2014). A visionary leader develops strategies and ideas based on the innovation model and motivates, inspires the people in the organisation to develop innovative ideas. Taylor et al. (2014), a visionary leader is a strategic thinker and thus it is well suited for a business organisation in the hospitality industry to follow this approach, as the strategies of the business to maintain sustainable growth is important. Visionary leadership is very important to ensure business sustainability as the strategies that will be formed by the leader will have a long term impact on the business (Taylor et al., 2014).
Marriott International, Inc is one of the big players in the hospitality industry the company has a number of properties all around the world. The company was established 90 years ago and since then the focus of the company is to work with the employees help them achieve the best of their capabilities and in turn develop the business. Under the leadership of J.W. Marriott Jr. the company has developed the organisation and has gained revenue. However, the company has also developed a number of CSR plans which has helped the company to fulfill the responsibility towards the planet and the people. Marriott has developed 2025 sustainable development goals which the company is actively striving to achieve. Not only that the company has also been challenging a number of traditional practices in the hospitality business for example uplifting the number of women chiefs etc.
The concept of CSR or Corporate Social Responsibility has enabled the companies to develop dedicated action towards the areas in the Society or the issues in the environment which is either relevant to the industry of operation or has to be addressed immediately. Hence the contemporary leader in the hospitality industry has to also understand the importance of a sustainable environment and the duties that the company has towards the society (Ersoy, 2014). A transformational or a vision leader should understand the importance of the obligations that organisations as well as individuals have towards the society and the environment. The resources of the company are based from these factors and thus it is the duty of the company as well to give the society and environment in return. Therefore, a contemporary leader has to focus on the issues in order to ensure sustainable development (Kužnin & Walker, 2017).
Leaders in the contemporary hospitality industry develop plans for ensuring and maintaining competitive advantage to deal with the intensity in the industry. They inspire people to innovate and create unique service or product ideas and also drive the management to develop strategies that are innovative (Slåtten & Mehmetoglu, 2015). Contemporary leaders are believers of change; they practice improvement and change in the company in order to ensure that the process of development is aligned with the needs and requirements of the industry. Contemporary leaders are also focusing on maintaining an aligned growth in the CSR activities as well. The leaders abide by the norms and conditions of the country of operation and develop their CSR plan at the end of each financial year there are a number of organisations in the hospitality industry which comes out with an annual CSR report. Contemporary leaders also focus on maintaining the dynamics of the industry especially with technology. With the digitalization of data and information leader try to improve the quality of the services with the help of the advances in technology (Taylor et al., 2014).
Leadership approaches and practices in the hospitality industry has changed dramatically, leaders are more focused on developing the workforce not only in terms of their skill and performance but also in terms of diversity. Leaders in the contemporary industry view the employees to be one of the most important stakeholders of the company and their contribution is directly responsible for the performance of the company (Slåtten & Mehmetoglu, 2015). Another perspective that has changed is the importance of the understanding of responsibility of factors outside the business objectives. Leaders of the organisation are focused on the ways in which they can give the society or the environment back for the resources these factors have provided the company to run the business in the first place. Therefore resources are being equally channelized for not only the expansion and profitability of the business but also for the people and the planet (Slåtten & Mehmetoglu, 2015).
Challenges for the future leaders
For the business sustainability there are a number of challenges that the future leaders can face:
Intensity of competition: More and more disruptive innovations are being developed by a number of entrepreneurs around the world, which is challenging the established businesses in the hospitality industry. For example: AirBnb is a travel application and website that allows the visitor to choose their accommodation. The specialty of the application is that this encourages the people who want to put up their homes on rent for travelers and earn money out of the logging services. Such innovations in the industry are causing challenge in the process of maintaining competitive advantage for hotel business. There are number big players in the market who operate in this sector of the industry (Slåtten & Mehmetoglu, 2015).
Anticipation of the change: as discussed above it is important for the leaders to have a far sighted outlook. But in order to ensure that the anticipation is accurate analysis and research is important even then the chances of the dynamics being aligned to what is anticipated is low. Future is uncertain and the leaders also should focus on the resources and capabilities to develop contingency plans in order to deal with any unforeseen circumstances. Remaining agile in order to ensure that the business is sustainable the company has to keep on engaging the customers with new and improved products and services. The needs and requirements of the customers change with time and thus the leaders should ensure a constant change in the organisation and in order to peruse the change the company should be backed up with adequate resources (Slåtten & Mehmetoglu, 2015).
Aligning diversity in the workforce: diversity in all directions is important for encouraging innovation and creativity it is aligned with the challenge that is discussed above. The challenge is to make the people in the organisation agree to work with a wide diversity of people.
From the above discussion it can be said that in the contemporary business environment in the hospitality industry. Business sustainability and socio-economic sustainability are both related, if the leaders do not focus on business sustainability then there will be no revenue for the company to invest in the society or the environment.  There are dedicated organization to the society and environment in the hospitality industry; however, their objectives are different form a business organisation. Contemporary leaders are required to have a far-sighted vision and long term approach in their short term strategies. The leaders should be able to take risk and support the organisation while going through times of risk. It is also important for the leaders to encourage diversity among the workforce in order to deal with international challenges in the multinational organisations. The most significant aspect of the contemporary leader which has to be focused upon in order to maintain business as well as socio-economic sustainability is the aspect of encouraging innovation in the business. Investment in research and development, providing the space for the employees to envision creatively are some of the aspects of the contemporary leader. The challenge in the process is to maintain the agility of the business in order to keep up with the changing demands of the customers as well as advancement in the business environment.
Reference list:
Ersoy, A. (2014). The Role of Cultural Intelligence in Cross-Cultural Leadership Effectiveness: A Qualitative Study in the Hospitality Industry. Journal of Yasar University, 35(9).
Kužnin, M., & Walker, J. K. (2017). Contemporary Leadership Challenges in Hospitality Organizations in Times of Uncertainty and Change. In DIEM: Dubrovnik International Economic Meeting (Vol. 3, No. 1, pp. 455-468).
Taylor, C., J. Cornelius, C., & Colvin, K. (2014). Visionary leadership and its relationship to organizational effectiveness. Leadership & Organization Development Journal, 35(6), 566-583.
Slåtten, T., & Mehmetoglu, M. (2015). The effects of transformational leadership and perceived creativity on innovation behavior in the hospitality industry. Journal of Human Resources in Hospitality & Tourism, 14(2), 195-219.
Wang, C. J., Tsai, H. T., & Tsai, M. T. (2014). Linking transformational leadership and employee creativity in the hospitality industry: The influences of creative role identity, creative self-efficacy, and job complexity. Tourism Management, 40, 79-89.

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