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HARRISON HOTELS INC. Harrison Hotels is a chain of wholly owned and operated large hotels. All are located in the downtown areas in 12 major North American cities. The corporate headquarters of the company is in Chicago, Illinois. All Harrison Hotels are now over 15 years old. The company has, over many years, developed standardized ways of organizing and managing its hotels and almost all hotel managers have many years of seniority in their current positions. The corporate officers spend much of their time traveling throughout the chain, monitoring hotel business and guest services practices. Recently the vice president of operations stayed at one of Harrison’s hotels for 10 days while on business. While he was in residence, as was his practice, he talked with many members of the hotel staff. Disturbed by some of the things he heard, he contacted you—an old acquaintance and well-known hospitality management consultant. After agreeing to meet with him you asked him to send you, by way of your getting prepared, a list of some of the things he heard at the hotel (he called them “problems”) and a copy of the hotel’s organization chart. He has done this (see Exhibits 1 and 2). EXHIBIT 1 “Problems” at the Harrison Hotel “Problems” at the Harrison Hotel 1. Too much is being spent on manager/supervisor salaries. 2. Supervisors are extremely dissatisfied. They complain that it takes too long to get decisions made when things have to be referred upstairs—which is too often. Front desk workers complain that the reservations department overbooks and that rooms are not clean enough. Everyone complains that the purchasing department takes care of them last. Shift supervisors complain their counterparts leave work undone. The housekeeping supervisors for floors 1–5 complain they have more rooms to care for than their counterparts. 3. The HR director complains that the line managers don’t seem to pay much attention to him and constantly fight the suggestions he makes or the programs he wants to get done. He says his supervisors get resistance from the other supervisors and that in disputes—which are many—the GM always sides with his managers against him. 4. The supervisors in purchasing, banquets, the spa, and engineering complain they are supervised too closely. Many managers say the same thing—that they are constantly being checked up on by the directors and assistant directors. 5. Supervisors complain that they are not allowed to make enough decisions and that they have to refer too many to their bosses for answers. They also say they don’t receive enough information from “upstairs” and that they don’t have much of an idea of what is going on in other parts of the hotel. Yet the managers say that the supervisors are not capable of making decisions because they do not have enough of the “big picture.” 6. Supervisors complain it takes too much time to get an engineering person when something goes wrong. Supervisors call the engineering department by phone but usually the engineering staff is all busy so they have to get their manager to put some pressure on. Supervisors say that with everyone competing for engineering, especially for maintenance, the guys who are friends with the maintenance supervisor get helped first. EXHIBIT 2 Harrison Hotels Organizational Chart Soon you will meet with the vice president of operations. As preparation you study the materials he has sent to you. What about the way the company and/or the hotel is organized seems to contribute to the “problems” listed? What changes in the organization structure might you recommend and why?
Read the following: Harrison Hotels Inc. (pgs. 201-202)
2. Read the case carefully. In an essay format, answer the following:
3. What about the manner in which the hotel is organized seems to contribute to the “problems” discussed within the case?
4. What changes would you make to the organizational structure? Explain.
5. Assume that you are presenting solutions to the Vice President of Operations.
6. Submissions will be graded against the “Writing Expectations” rubric posted in our online classroom as well as the strength of strategic recommendations.
7. Apply APA formatting (title page, introduction, in-text citations, concluding paragraph, headings, and reference page).Student answers will vary.
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