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The Preferences of Restaurant Operative Staff Concerning Leadership Style: A Study in Thailand.

Phornprapha, Sarote. (1995) The Preferences of Restaurant Operative Staff Concerning Leadership Style: A Study in Thailand. Doctoral thesis, University of Surrey (United Kingdom)..

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Abstract

The aim of this study is to explore leadership style at the supervisory level in a service environment setting, namely restaurant service. According to previous research, the successful leader is a person who understands the importance of controlling staff so as to complete the work, as well as to maintain good relationships with his/her employees (performance oriented and maintenance oriented). However, no researcher has produced empirical research to prove that this concept is significant for supervisory jobs in the restaurant service industry. The nature of supervisory work requires superiors to possess certain types of skills, such as technical, conceptual, administrative, as well as human relations skills. But, it is hypothesised that a Superior in the service setting also has to control his/her emotions when interacting with both customers and staff. In conducting this research, four related areas of literature have been reviewed: first the area of leadership; second, the role of the supervisor in the organisation, as well as the nature of restaurant sendee; third, the perception process and work related stress, as well as the management of emotion in the organisation; finally, the impact of national culture on the behaviour of operative staff since this research has been conducted in Thailand, where Thai culture affects behaviour and thinking. The sample used was a group of staff who work for S&P: the biggest Thai chain restaurant. In order to form a comparison between two main groups of staff, the sample included "front of the house" staff, whose job requires interaction with the customer (i.e. waiter, and bakery shop staff), and "back of the house" (i.e. kitchen staff and the drinks bar staff). Using the critical incident technique, staff were asked two open ended questions to review the best and the worst things that their supervisor had ever done. These questions led to various kinds of response, from personal matters to work related answers. A total of three hundred and twenty-seven incidents were collected. The richness of data suggested many possibilities of data interpretation and categorisation. Seven categories emerged when these responses were coded, and there were no significant differences between the response of "front of the house" staff and "back of the house" staff. The research confirmed that, to be effective, a leader's style must fit the situation. The leader must correctly identify the behaviour required in a given situation, that is, appropriate to time, place, culture and people involved. Indeed, in almost any leadership situation, one will need to balance the two dimensions of task orientation and people orientation. The research also suggests that staffs preference of a supervisory leadership style in the service and food production setting, is for a "maintenance oriented" style. Moreover, this research argues that it is possible to identify the specific functions which are required by a supervisor in each situation. The first category of incidents suggests that operative staff tend to believe that their supervisors must have appropriate technical and coaching skills. Next, the category of misuse of power as well as the mismanagement of emotions, suggests the possibility of bullying and the risk of employees being-exposed to abusive behaviour. Thirdly, the category' of bias represents the normal human behaviour of supervisors, and suggests that they can be selfish as well as prejudiced against operative staff. The fourth category is very interesting: staff recall incidents when supervisors have gone beyond their roles (in the case of helping staff with their personal problems), to be one of the best actions that a supervisor can perform, but do not complain if this does not happen. This type of "sacrifice" may be related to Thai cultural norms. The other categories seem to be less significant (i.e. representing company, lacking self-assertiveness and general behaviour). Operative staff pay most attention to activities concerning the communication skills of their supervisors. Good communication does not simply concern the actions and necessary skills required by a supervisor in each situation, but also the correct mode of behaviour which staff feel their supervisor should display in that situation, to accomplish the intended goal.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Divisions : Theses
Authors : Phornprapha, Sarote.
Date : 1995
Additional Information : Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Surrey (United Kingdom), 1995.
Depositing User : EPrints Services
Date Deposited : 06 May 2020 14:23
Last Modified : 06 May 2020 14:33
URI: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/id/eprint/856236

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