Center for Hospitality Research

Hospitality Leadership Through Learning
Center for Hospitality Research

A Contemporary Model for Human Resources


By: J. Bruce Tracey Ph.D. and Arthur Nathan


Executive Summary:

The human-resources model used by many hospitality firms centralizes HR functions in the human-resources department. One consequence of such centralization is that inefficiencies arise because HR decisions are being made by distant third parties who may not be familiar with the specifics of each situation. Rather than centralize HR-related decisions, the most effective model of a human-resources function is to support line managers in their own execution of personnel functions.

The model of HR department-asconsultant puts decision making in its most effective location-with the manager on the job. The HR function then becomes one of supporting the managers by providing training and information. The following are examples of how this model works in various HR functions.


  • Recruitment: Departments should be responsible for determining and justifying staffing levels, while HR suggests sources for obtaining applicants and assists in developing appropriate interviewing methods, as well as pay attention to legal requirements.

  • Compensation Salary administration can be managed by line departments by using technology that provides managers with the data and analytical tools that they need. HR facilitates the gathering of competitive data.

  • Training: Specific training should come from the line department, which also evaluates the new employee's performance. HR's role is to help create the training materials, train the trainers, and implementing a monitoring system.

  • Company policies: In place of hard-andfast rules, involve line managers in the process of determining flexible operating concepts based on company values and principles.

  • Organizational structure: Flattening the organizational structures to give line managers the flexibility and authority to make decisions. Self-managed work teams may supplant supervisory interventions and allow so that employees set the tone and monitor the behavior of their teams.

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