The effect of Thai national culture and cross-cultural competency on multi-cultural team performance : a study of multi-national hotel chains in Thailand

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The effect of Thai national culture and cross-cultural competency on multi-cultural team performance : a study of multi-national hotel chains in Thailand

 

Author: Sucher, Worarak
Title: The effect of Thai national culture and cross-cultural competency on multi-cultural team performance : a study of multi-national hotel chains in Thailand
Degree: DHTM
Year: 2014
Subject: Hotel chains -- Thailand
Hotel management -- Thailand
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: School of Hotel and Tourism Management
Pages: xvii, 240 pages : illustrations ; 30 cm
Language: English
InnoPac Record: http://library.polyu.edu.hk/record=b2761693
URI: http://theses.lib.polyu.edu.hk/handle/200/7792
Abstract: Multi-national hotel chains, as they expand globally, are confronted with challenges inherent in the diversity of their central resources in an international context. With the workforce having diverse cultural backgrounds and the dynamic characteristic of the business environment in the hospitality and tourism industry at present, the complexity of the human resource management increases and is viewed as a fundamental endeavor to cope with a number of multi-national workforce. Cultural differences among employees can affect the development of efficient multi-cultural teams in multi-national hotels. Studies have noted the benefits of understanding the determinants of the competency of employees in cross-cultural settings and the cultural differences of employees. This understanding could benefit the management of multi-national hotels as well, particularly in strengthening multi-cultural team performance that is essential in improving organizational effectiveness. Based on intensive literature review, the present study notes the significance of national culture and cross-cultural competency on multi-cultural team performance. The objectives of this study are as follows: (1) to identify the measurement items of the Thai national culture, cross-cultural competency, and multi-cultural team performance of Thai hotel employees in the hotel context, (2) to investigate the proposed simultaneous structural relationships among constructs, and (3) to provide research contributions to relevant stakeholders in both theoretical and practical aspects. The research design for this study consists of two major stages: instrument development and survey. In the first stage, the measurement scale items of the constructs are developed based on the findings of a comprehensive review of related literature and in-depth interviews of Thai hotel employees. Eight panel members were invited to assess the validity and representativeness of the items in relation to the associated constructs. Seventy-nine items were finally retained for the pilot study to measure the scale reliability and validity of the domains. Thai national culture and cross-cultural competency of individual members and multi-cultural team performance are measured based on the perspectives of multi-cultural teams' members. In the second stage, the main survey was conducted in the fall of 2013, involving six different multi-national hotel chains in Bangkok and Pattaya. A total of 738 valid questionnaires were obtained from Thai hotel employees working in different departments, specifically those who are members of multi-cultural teams in multi-national hotels. Data were analyzed using Amos 20. Data reliability and validity were tested and determined to be acceptable. For the cross-validation, 370 cases were randomly selected and used for the exploratory factor analysis and 368 cases for the confirmatory factor analysis. The overall measurement and structural model were tested along with all latent constructs to derive their correlation using the full dataset (738 cases).
The research objectives of this study is achieved based on the following: (1) Three essential factors of cross-cultural competency that are necessary for Thai hotel employees prior to joining multi-cultural teams are categorized according to three underlying components, namely, relationship building, cultural sensitivity, and cultural awareness, (2) Five dominant characteristics of Thai hotel employees, namely, initiative to help others, maintenance of warm interpersonal relationships, knowledge of how to interact with others in different positions and situations, knowledge of expressing courtesy, and commitment to treating others as kin or family are shown to positively support collaboration in multi-cultural teams, (3) The essential factors of multi-cultural team performance of hotel employees in multi-national hotels could be categorized into three components, namely, team skills, team foundation, and team climate, comprising eight items, (4) Thai national culture has a direct positive effect on multi-cultural team performance and is essential in predicting multi-cultural team performance, (5) The direct positive effect of cross-cultural competency to multi-cultural team performance is supported, and hotel employees with high levels of cross-cultural competency are more likely to perform better in multi-cultural teams, (6) Thai national culture is determined to positively contribute to cross-cultural competency, such as hotel employees with strong cultural backgrounds could enhance their cross-cultural competency, and (7) Cross-cultural comptency has a mediating effect between Thai national culture and multi-cultural team performance. Hotel employees with high level of Thai national culture can achieve greater multi-cultural team performance than less committed employees through their cross-cultural competency. Lastly, this study presents significant theoretical and practical implications. The findings could benefit stakeholders in the hospitality industry, providing them with key information in producing effective human resources in the international hospitality industry and in identifying the best match through which the competency of potential employees to collaborate with colleagues from various cultures and in different cross-cultural settings is enhanced. Therefore, hotel practitioners and hospitality academe can gain from the practical implications of this study. In addition, research gaps will be addressed and the foundation for future studies in the Thai context will be established, specifically in the context of multi-national hotels.

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