Author: Tang, Benson
Title: Managing corporate travel : executive perceptions of work-life balance and their implications
Degree: DHTM
Year: 2018
Subject: Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Work-life balance
Quality of life
Work and family
Department: School of Hotel and Tourism Management
Pages: 280 pages : color illustrations
Language: English
Abstract: Over the past few decades, corporate travel expenditures have increased substantially. The growing scale and complexity of the phenomenon has prompted many medium to large scale organizations to employ dedicated full time staff to control and monitor travel costs and ensure efficient business travel practices through various travel policies. Corporate travel administration has emerged as a distinct management function. Employees occupying such professional roles are commonly referred to as corporate travel management executives. In today's highly competitive and dynamic business environment, global organizations are competing for high calibre employees and talented personnel at all levels. Attracting and retaining talent has become an integral success factor in the human resources and human capital management. This study identifies important factors for achieving work-life balance in the workplace as perceived by corporate travel management executives. According to previous researchers, achieving appropriate work-life balance for employees can be an effective tool for firms to retain existing staff, increase productivity and attract new staff. In the case of Hong Kong where there is a buoyant employment market, the pursuit of a work-life balance approach enables companies to gain a return on investment through staff retention. It is hoped that the findings of this thesis will provide a scientific basis to give corporate travel executives a better understanding of how their peers view issues of work-life balance. Previous researchers have reviewed the perceptions of work-life balance amongst executives working in the hotel, hospitality, meetings / incentives / convention / exhibition or MICE and travel agency about conditions in their particular sector. However, no empirical study has targeted corporate travel management executives to find out their perceptions about work-life balance in the corporate travel management sector. This study aims to fill this gap and investigate the perceptions of work-life balance from the perspective of corporate travel management executives in Asia.
Ten in-depth interviews were conducted with a view to acquiring a comprehensive view of the perceptions of corporate travel management executives towards work-life balance. All respondents are Hong Kong based members of the Association of Corporate Travel Executives, a leading not-for-profit global association representing the corporate travel industry with its head office based in Washington D.C., USA. The respondents' main job duties involve managing the corporate travel programs of their firms and ensuring travel policy compliance. The interviewees each had at least 10 years of experience in corporate travel management. In all cases, the firms were managing in excess of 2,000 staff. To encourage the validity of any diversity related issues, firms were chosen from a variety of industry sectors including: Accounting; Banking; Communication system; Conglomerate; Information; Insurance; Manufacturing; Retail; Technology and Telecommunication, to enable conclusions that took adequate consideration from different sectors in corporate travel management. The extensive professional knowledge and experience of the respondents formed a solid basis for opinions which made their comments valid, reliable and trustworthy. Moreover different genders, ethnicities and age groupings were selected. Following a systematic analysis and grouping using NVivo, the results of the ten in-depth interviews formed three major categories - "work", "balance" and "personal life". There were a total of eleven attributes under "work", seven under "balance" and six attributes and two sub-attributes under "personal life". The above mentioned categories, attributes and sub-attributes can be grouped further under two classifications: Intrinsic Factors and Extrinsic Factors. These may be viewed as weightings on a scale or balance. One sits on the left and the other on the right of the scale. Their interrelationship affects individual perceptions about work-life balance. A state of equilibrium over work-life balance is maintained in the minds of respondents when the centre of gravity on the scale is in balance. When one set of the factors weighs more heavily, perceptions of work-life balance lose their state of stability. The dimensions of work-life balance towards integration were identified as supplement aspects of work-life balance in addition to the various intrinsic and extrinsic factors that were generated by NVivo. These resulted from a further detailed scrutiny of the 10 interviewee scripts. That includes eight elements namely: Bleisure; Corporate Culture; Emergency Support; Human Resource Policy; Job Satisfaction, Motivation; Well-being and Working Environment. Finally, the author took note of the views of corporate travel management executives towards work-life balance and proposed suggestions for human resources professionals about appropriate future possible directions and actions.
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