Information technology and front office employees’ performance (published paper)

The manuscript “Information technology and front office employees’ performance” by por Santiago Melián-González and Jacques Bulchand-Gidumal has been published in Volume 29, Number 8 of the International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, a journal with an impact factor of 3,2.

Purpose
The aim of this paper is to analyze the role of information technology (IT) in the performance of front office employees in hotels. This is done by testing and analyzing up to what level the task performance content of receptionists depends on IT and by testing and analyzing up to what level the contents of the service encounters in which they participate depend on IT.

Design/methodology/approach
This paper includes in-depth interviews with 30 receptionists, using the job task performance model and the critical incident technique in the service encounter model.

Findings
IT takes part heavily in the task performance of front office workers, who rely on IT to get their job done. On the other hand, in service encounters, the value of the human presence is still high, and in most critical incidents, IT do not participate.

Research limitations/implications
The sample was located in the same destination with only two types of hotels.

Practical implications
The dependence of front office employees with IT is so high that some of the receptionists could be substituted by IT in the near future. However, human participation in satisfactory critical incidents is very high.

Social implications
Receptionists should get ready and trained taking into account that the value they provide is higher in tasks that are both not routine and in which face-to-face interactions take place.

Originality/value
Usually, front office employees are managed with human resources view, without taking into consideration specifically how IT has spread into the hospitality industry.

(Image by fhotels on Flickr)

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