A framework for intercultural training in hotel workplaces
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More and more cultural conflicts have affected the efficiency of the employees’ performance at a lot of international hotel workplaces and it is believed that employees from different cultural backgrounds will have to improve their communication skills. An intercultural training programme is needed in order to prepare multicultural employees for surprises that could arise in complex cultural situations without being frustrated, stressed, and puzzled. The purpose of this study is to design an effective intercultural training programme especially for hotel operations, to enhance the quality of international service, retain the current customers and attract more international customers. The new training programme is designed to help employees feel comfortable in problematic cultural situations and gain the necessary problem solving skills. There are some cross-cultural or intercultural training programmes available on the market and some of the international hotel chains also have their own intercultural training programmes, but most of them are only designed to compare some major national cultures or targeted on coaching specific cultures or countries. It is thought that those programmes are not good enough to help hotel employees cope with cultural problems and conflicts. Therefore, a new intercultural training programme will be developed to meet the actual needs. The new intercultural training programme will be developed by synthesising some other researchers’ relative studies and combining with Harzing’s Cross-cultural Training Model and Hofstede’s Ten Synthetic Culture Model. The case study and semi-structured interviews are suggested to be used for training needs assessment, and lectures, case study, film and computer-based training are recommended as the coaching methods. There will be questionnaires and observations to evaluate the effectiveness of this training programme. One of the challenges for this study is that there are not enough systematic cross-cultural or intercultural training programmes available currently and this study has to rely on some limited literature. However, this study is designed to identify the major cultural differences and effectively help trainees understand cultural problems and conflicts, and be prepared for surprises in foreign cultural situations.