Researchers have found that adhocracy culture – a type of organisational culture where decisions are made organically and focus on getting the job done – is key to creating an innovative service culture in hospitality.
“Hospitality organisations rely on employees who develop new service products or improve existing ones,” explains lead researcher, Dr Mingjun Yang. “These innovations might include things like developing online service platforms or designing customised service products.”
Service innovations are critical to the industry, where improvements may enhance existing customer satisfaction and loyalty, attract new customers, and contribute to business profitability.
We know that employees, especially those in service-based positions, play a key role in innovation. But how organisational culture shapes employee service innovative behaviour has been relatively unexplored, until now.
Dr Yang led a research team that examined service innovations in 34 hospitality organisations, including hotels and restaurants, in China.
The study found that adhocracy culture can foster service innovative behaviour, or indirectly enhance it, in teams where there is a mix of personality traits among employees, and work tasks that require high levels of collaboration.
“In these scenarios, team members draw on each other’s individual strengths, which often leads to increased performance and innovation.”
Dr Yang notes that by creating the conditions that maximise adhocracy culture, hospitality executives can build organisations that lead in service excellence.
The team are now conducting a qualitative study that examines the employee concepts of service innovative behaviour, adhocracy culture and task interdependence in hospitality.
“Through interviews, this qualitative study is expected to provide evidence to further support the importance of adhocracy culture for service innovative behaviour in the hospitality industry,” Dr Yang says.
Read the paper in the International Journal of Hospitality Management.