In seeking to find a sustainable future for people and work in hospitality, what becomes apparent are the juxtapositions, dichotomies and tensions that are already inherent in much debate and practice, throwing into sharp relief a plethora of paradoxes that are clearly evidenced in the social ecosystem that is the hospitality workplace. Taking a current perspective, when we combine this complex context with the impact of the on-going COVID-19 pandemic and the dramatic effects it has had on the hospitality industry generally and on the people who work there more specifically, we are looking at the nexus of a perfect storm.
However, we recognise that the current situation is not exclusively framed by the COVID-19 crisis and its impact on hospitality work and employment. We subscribe to the views expressed by Baum et al (2020) in arguing that what COVID-19 has done is to amplify long-standing manifestations of workplace precarity, an environment that is frequently challenging and does not meet the ILO's criteria for 'decent work' (ILO, 1998; Thomas & Turnbull, 2017). At the same time, what has become clear over the past year is that efforts to secure recognition of the importance of a sustainable future for all people working in hospitality has become much more problematic.
It is the goal of this seminar to start conversations and from these we aim to argue that there is a practical need for a more sustainable approach to HRM and for dealing with paradoxical tensions in the hospitality industry. Further, it is our contention that in spite of or perhaps even because of the Covid-19 pandemic, it is now time to reflect more deeply about the systemic workplace tensions and deficiencies that are clearly evident in the hospitality sector and about alternative, perhaps more fruitful ways of handling them.
For those on campus the seminar will be followed by fika! In order to make sure we have space (and food) could I please ask you to contact David Scott, firstname.lastname@example.org, if you plan to attend in person.
For those unable to attend in person, take part of the semiar via Zoom.