Management Principle – Case Study Of Four Season
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One of the worlds leading operators of luxury hotels, Four Seasons, renovated George V and operated it as Four Seasons Hotel George V Paris in 1999, which is its first property in France. George V was opened in 1928 and since that has been a landmark which is located in the Triangle dOr (golden triangle). In “Four Seasons Goes to Paris” case study shows how Four Seasons developed the diversity and adapted to French market, with the Four Seasons outstanding standards.
The purpose of this report is to analyse how Four Seasons, a Canadian company adapted the big cultural difference, also to be able to apply and explain the management principles identified in the case study and the management strategies in todays reality. Furthermore, by understanding how the management adapt to become the French employer and what the company core values were implemented in Four Seasons team, in order to know how the management stand out in this process. Finally, comparing to Four Seasons years of management in Paris how does the current internal and external environment affect the managers to be more entrepreneurial.
Cultural awareness, Adaptation and Management Changes
“Cultural awareness can be thought of as internalized attitudinally insights about those common understandings held by groups that dictate the predominant values, attitudes, beliefs and outlooks of the individual.” (Adler, 1986:31) Four Seasons opened its first property in Paris and it was a huge challenge for the management to go into the local.
According to the case study, French is characterized by cultural researchers as having Polychromic Culture, which means they consider the importance of human relationships and they prefer building lifetime relationships. On the contrary, Americans are much more easygoing to develop short-term relationships. French do different tasks at the same time usually, but their attention can be taken away very easily. Additionally, the management explained that “there is simply an incredible pride in being French” and “the French have a very emotional way of doing things”. They cannot keep the standards and do not respect the Golden rules as it is too American as well as changing plans often because their decisions sometimes are unpredictable and not based on any reasons. For the management has to adjust to the French regulations especially in labor policy regarding to the staff working hours and conditions.
David Crowl, noted that “each hotel is tailor made” and adapted to its national environment. Four Seasons have learned across borders from different countries and properties, trying to incorporate the native elements inside the property. Richey, the president of Richey International, which was hired to audit service quality and he felt that Four Seasons adapted to the local market very successfully from a design perspective at the first place. Also they understand the national idiosyncrasies, business culture and labor laws in order to become a French employer.
Besides, Four Seasons hired Didier Le Calvez to be the General Manager of George V. He had 25 years working experience outside France and he acquired patience and tolerance to prepare the hotel opening. Four Seasons had assigned a 35-person task force which composed of experienced Four Seasons staff to help Le Calvez and his teams, to be “Four Seasonize” as well as making sure that the opening will be succeed. It helps to establish norms, attitudes and beliefs by reflecting the operating needs and is a good way for communicating the right information to all staff.
In addition, the management implemented the 35-hour workweek at George V in order to meet the spirit of French law. Besides, starting “direct line” meeting for General Manager with managers, supervisors and employees in groups of 30 once a month, in order to promote communication and address the problems.
It is very important for staff to be aware of different national and organizational culture because management is a process of coordinating work activities with the management skills in order to complete the work efficiently and effectively with and through people. (Robbins and Decenzo, 2008) It enables to work well with other people both in a group and individually, as hospitality is a people industry and about interaction with people from different culture, language and beliefs, communication can be improved by developing and understanding the cultural awareness Besides, a successful management for today should be able to be flexible, create ethical work environments and exhibit entrepreneurial skills when facing the changes. As we are not all the same and everyone is unique, we have to recognize the similarities and differences of each individual us, in order to achieve the same goal for the company.
Instilling the Core values into the team
Core values are “operating philosophies or principles that guide an organizations internal conduct as well as its relationship with the external world.” (businessdictionary.com, 2010) It is important for stakeholders of the organization because it is a performance guide and clarification of what behaviour and attitude should be performed. According to Sharp, founder and CEO of Four Seasons, he mentioned that the reason for their success is no secret. It comes down to one single principle that transcends time and geography, religion and culture. Its the Golden Rule – the simple idea that if you treat people well, the way you would like to be treated, they will do the same. (Fourseasons.com, 2010)
Sharp emphasized that “The Golden Rule is the key to the success of the firm”. It is not only a positive belief that provides consistently exceptional service and “just for you” to the guests, but also is a monitor to the employees and helps to shape relationships between the guests and staff. Base on the Golden Rule, the management needs to stand out by directing the activities of other people in the company with the functions of management, which is a “process have generally been condensed to the basic four: planning, organizing, leading and controlling” (Robbins and Decenzo, 2008:7)
It is a process to establish an overall strategy for achieving the goal of organization and helps to remind the staff what is the most important. (Robbins and Decenzo, 2008). The management mentioned the Four Seasons is a family and completes with rules, traditions and tough love. In order to provide consistently exceptional