Report

Question

This assignment consists of an individual 2,500 words report, which consists of a scenario-based issue confronting international hospitality operations and will require you to justify decisions taken and recommend appropriate options on a complex task. 

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this assessment the student will be able to:

– Demonstrate an in-depth awareness of the global nature of the hospitality industry in multicultural contexts and recognize the interconnections with the tourism and events industry.

– Evaluate information from different sources for two different purposes and audiences, one in the form of a presentation and another in report format.

Task

You work in a middle management position at the Headquarters of the hotel chain Britannia Hotel. The company currently operates in the UK, but they are also planning to expand to other countries, including some in South East Asia and Africa. Concerned about the reputation of the brand (both nationally and internationally) and how this could widen opportunities for the company’s expansion, your CEO has asked you to write a report about corporate responsibility. There, she has asked you to report on your findings from research on corporate social responsibility. This report should explain what is meant by this term, to include examples of good practice, and also to assess whether it would be beneficial to develop a corporate social responsibility policy for the company. If you succeed in providing an in-depth report, there would be an opportunity for promotion to a senior management position. 

The extent of collaboration allowed  

This work is an individual.

Marking criteria  
  1. Addresses and interprets the statement – 35%

The student shows an understanding of the task and the work is directed to answer the question. Furthermore, the student demonstrates the ability to undertake a critical reflection on the work.

  • Knowledge/Content – 35%

The work shows that the student is familiar with the topic. Furthermore, the student also demonstrates his/her ability to analyze, interpret and present data and information.

  • Organization/Presentation – 15%

Arguments are coherently presented. The report follows a good structure, is well presented and clear to read. Images are of good quality and help towards communicating the message.

Acknowledgment of sources and citations in Harvard style, legible, length, clarity, grammar, and spelling, etc.

  • References – 15%

At least 10 academic references have been provided throughout the presentation and no more than 50% of the references will be from the Internet.

Assignment Detail  

1. The theory:

Use one or more theories to support your standpoint. The theories used should be applied to practical situations. 

2. The structure: The following structure is recommended,

– Executive Summary: a 200 words summary of the main aspects of your report.

– Introduction: 250 words. In this section, you should include a description of the task and the case study, as well as an explanation of the structure of the report.

– Evaluation of alternatives: 1500 words. This section should include a definition of the term corporate social responsibility, as well as other related terms, and it should also report on the history and evolution of this topic (in our society, businesses, and hospitality). Furthermore, the section should include examples of good and not so good practice from the hospitality industry, an explanation of the expected benefits and challenges, and what developments would be needed within the organization in order to put a corporate social responsibility policy in place.

– Suggested approach: 300 words. This section would explain whether you would recommend that corporate social responsibility is put in place and the reasons behind it. You should also make reference to the case study: what are the characteristics of the company and what are the expected benefits and challenges?  

– Conclusion: 250 words. This section is for you to bring the report to the end. Remind the reader what the report is for, what task has been given, what you have done in order to address it, and what your suggestion is and why.

3. The link between theory and cases:

Remember to relate the two together sufficiently! You need to relate the theory to evidence in your assessment. The evidence needs to be specific. Don’t use generalized and anecdotal evidence.

4. Use of literature:

Use academic sources, i.e. books, journal articles, etc. A minimum of 10 referenced academic sources is required. Do not overuse Internet sources (50% maximum). Academic journals can be good resources for industrial cases which may give you some good ideas about the situations. You are required to have proper in-text reference and the reference list, in the end, using the Harvard Referencing System.

5. The presentation:

Try to approach this assignment in a logical and systematic way. Produce a plan for the report before you start. Make sure you have a logical structure, a convincing argument, a clear description of the situations which ‘set the scene’, and a clear explanation which relates to theories, and a conclusion that draws your argument together.

IMPORTANT: REFER TO THE MARKING CRITERIA FOR GRADING GUIDELINES

Answer

Corporate Social Responsibility Report: The Case of the Britannia Hotel

Contents

Executive Summary. 2

Introduction. 3

Evaluation of Alternatives. 4

Suggested Approach. 10

Conclusion. 11

Reference List 12

Introduction

The aim of this report is to create a framework for the evaluation of corporate social responsibility (CSR) efforts and their application to a UK-based hospitality company. The selected company, Britannia Hotel, is a chain of hotels that are contemplating expanding into Africa and South East Asia. It is a medium-sized firm that has high levels of organization and emphasis on quality among all its employees. The working force of the company is hugely integrated with a synchronized schedule and communication system.

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 The report will include a brief history of corporate social responsibility and how it evolved to its current form today. This will be followed by a few general instances of good and bad hospitality CSR examples. Finally, more concentration will be put into developments and changes the company needs to take internally in order to be able to implement a corporate social responsibility that will be beneficial to it in their native market and also in international markets. This section will lead to recommendations on an approach that takes into account the structure and operations of the company. Thus, proper recommendations will be those that encourage financial transparency, accountability and especially employee participation and involvement. With this in mind, it appears to be more beneficial for the company to implement a CSR strategy and put enough effort into it for it to be of equal importance to the economic realm of the company. Finally, the report will provide a conclusion that will add emphasis to the most crucial aspects and the need to research and test out on a particular policy before it is fully implemented through expansion strategy execution.

Evaluation of Alternatives

Corporate social responsibility is a form of operational governance that is merged with an existing business model. This system of governance known as self-regulation is a process through which a company or organization regulates its legal structures, ethical and operational standards (Weiss 2016). This process of regulation is identified and enforced internally (Jones & Maurrasse 2003). This factor requires that strict rules are also laid out for the regulation process which may be marred by errors of conflict of interest, especially where the breach of ethics is beneficial to the organization or where exposure o the breach could cause particular harm to particular individuals.

Internal self-regulation, which is the basic unit of corporate social responsibility, can have both advantages and disadvantages in different degrees varying on the mode of enforcement and execution. This regulation allows for early detection of problems and early development of effective solutions that can eradicate these constraints before they evolve into complex multi-leveled challenges (Biehoff & Auhagen 2001). In addition, it reduces any potential negative public relations in case the public becomes aware of its internal affairs. In the long run, this will avoid costs on two levels: solving a fully developed problem and rectifying bad public relations through promotional advertisement, communication campaigns, and intensive branding.

All the same, the efficiency of internal self-regulation may be extremely compromised by the high levels of bias due to conflict of interest. This leads to poor policies that are then exposed in the future due to their negative impact, especially on the public. The result is often a harsh external regulation body that imposes difficult regulations and subsequent consequences. The operational environment becomes tough, uncomfortable and extremely unproductive (Lee & Kotler 2004).

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), also known as corporate conscience or responsible business, integrates systems of regulations based on national and international restrictions. Modern CSR has become extremely detailed with modern corporations assuming a form of social enterprise business model. This means that CSR now pushes an organization to make social improvement a conscious goal in their operations (Sparks 2002). This means that it ceases to be a mere by-product or secondary focus but a complete area of focus with allocated funds, a team behind it ensuring it is made a priority. The aim of CSR is to promote maximum profits through and for good public relations and ethics. CSR aims to balance economic efficiency and progress while maintaining social growth.

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The Industrial Revolution era shaped the business environment as one that primarily and solely focused on profit margins, production, manufacturing, and labor. Until the Second World War, this continued to be the norm of business operations. Beginning in the 1960s, the business world began to wake up to the reality of the unsustainability of a market-driven by norms centered on the Industrial Revolution (Sparks 2002). The previous era had been dominated by quantity and exploitation of resources on large scale. For many centuries, this had led to great and rapid development. It was not until after the Second World War that global leaders began to prioritize sustainability. With these efforts, the first instances of CSR began to emerge. The earliest and impacting modes took the form of environmentalist and civil rights movements.

Notably, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) was formed in 1960 to ensure sustainable economic growth and financial stability through standardized and ethical operations of the business by the member states. The organization, which had a global and international focus worked directly with its member states and indirectly with non-member states with the long-term goal being on global economic stability and multilateral free trade. In the following decade, the United Nations took leadership in creating the United Nations Environment Program to address the issue of environmental exploitation and degradation growing at an alarming rate for both the flora and fauna (Broadhurst 2000). The Impact and Benefit Agreements (IBA) between the Canadian Aboriginal groups and the extractive sector held an important position in the OECD regulation outline and in much of Canada’s CSR efforts.

By the 1990s the effect of overexploitation, extraction, harsh economic times and financial instability had manifested itself through extreme poverty, social inequality, and unequal resource distribution. This situation eventually developed into more profound challenges on basic amenities such as food and shelter. During this period, the International Union for Conservation of Nature was formed to strategize on sustainability efforts. There was great global activity facilitated by national bodies and the United Nations during this period combined with a great deal of financial support and contribution.

Evidently, the idea of CSR had been fully conceptualized by the beginning of the 21st Century and it is now a well-understood theory that commands profound attention. More importantly, the movement which had begun in most of the westernized and developed countries had now moved to the developing regions in Africa, Asia, and South America which continue to be the main epicenters of extreme resource exploitation and industrialization. For this exact reason, these regions have experienced dramatic effects of unsustainable operations such as poverty, a problem that continues to be prevalent in these regions (Sparkss 2002).

Meanwhile, the hospitality industry has experienced a boom in the past decades encompassing tourism, nature, and food with many economies and individuals depending on it directly and indirectly. Hospitality revolves around human interactions and service. CSR is therefore very important even as a means of making profits and sustaining profitability while at the same time providing social benefits (Warneyrd & Lewis 1994). In hospitality, it is extremely diverse owing to the different instances of operations that arise through daily operations.

Some CSR strategies have proved to be extremely effective while others have created controversy and conflicting interests. In terms of food and commodity sourcing, those at the top of the distribution chain have taken steps to eliminate the middlemen so that the original producers, mainly farmers, receive more income for their produce. While the farmers largely benefit from this direct supply, the elimination of these middlemen translates into job loss and increased unemployment.

On the other hand, many large organizations are focusing on wellness, healthy living, proper nutrition, and physical activity through the respective categories so that to promote healthy vacationing and leisure which is the main goal of hospitality. Others choose to work on completely unrelated social goals such as education and environment conservation (Bierhoff 2001). This opposite focus on unparalleled goals has been considered extremely difficult especially considering the need to prioritize economic and financial aspects. The hospitality sector is extremely delicate and intensive, and the slightest form of negligence or ignorance leads to counterproductive results and lost business opportunities.

Finally, in the hospitality industry, CSR efforts are mostly geared towards the consumer. This approach constitutes a short-term solution that has very little effect on long-term success in terms of sustainability. The alternative route should involve creating CSR initiatives that have a specific focus on the facilitators and staff. This is because, the industry is highly dependent on consumer-personnel interaction, therefore improving conditions for the staff promotes their efficiency. This negligence has been a common CSR failure due to misdirected focus (Sims 2003).

Expanding into Southeast Asia can prove to be a very economically productive move for Britannia Hotel especially if carefully planned and well-executed. Furthermore, an organization with a CSR goal has a wide opportunity and capacity to make an impact in these areas. For success in these areas to be achieved, the organization must concentrate on tailoring solutions to suit the specific needs of these areas as opposed to implementing the strategies that have been proven to work in the UK. The reason for this is simply that though the constraints may be similar, these emerging economies exhibit completely different manifestations, realities, and responses that require technical creativity to find solutions.

According, the Southeast Asia region has a huge market potential as a result of a growing middle-income category and a strong population size. These areas hold their religions and cultural beliefs with utmost respect and strictness. This factor is important in ensuring acceptance upon entry and commencement of community engagement initiatives (Warneyrd & Lewis 1994). The company should offer positions to the local people to promote idea integration as well as a feeling of inclusion. Thus, it has to strongly consider vigorous integration and diversity promotion efforts. Financial organization within the company is necessary for budgeting, planning, and preparation of statements. Financial stability and transparency are useful during CSR project planning and sourcing for funds for project development.

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In the meantime, a crucial area of internal focus and development should entail efforts to enhance employee participation and active involvement in social responsibility. Companies seeking to harness the potential of motivated and involved employees are now investing funds into leadership and team seminars as a means of obtaining a high level of productivity. Employee involvement in social responsibility is useful in identifying policies and developing relevant solutions. Involvement guarantees practical policies that are more often derived from personal experiences and trials in different settings. Additionally, it leads to open communication both internally and externally thereby benefiting the targeted communities (Besser 2002). Thus, clarity and organization should eventually become an integral part of the CSR policy in the Southeast Asian market for Britannia Hotel.

Finally, the employees should be openly involved in the process of developing CSR policies so that the company creates a feeling of ownership and personal responsibility. There should be enough education on balancing the business and social aspects especially in the hospitality sector which has a great possibility for overlap of these two core areas (Nemeth 2003). The organization may choose to work on a wide range of areas such as environmental issues, education, poverty, nutrition, employment, and social inequality through genuine immersion into the community. Slow entry will be more efficient to allow time for acceptance by the new markets as well as adjustments by the chain in the new market. Public relations and advertisements using social and economic markers will be helpful in getting the market to warm up for entry. In regions experiencing rapid change, the policies must be formulated in a manner that allows for adjustments and improvements while still retaining its initial role and goals.

Suggested Approach

There has been great debate as to whether the limitations of corporate social responsibility outweigh the advantages. This becomes even more uncertain in the hospitality sector when trying to strike a balance between social and business aspects. However, social responsibility is undoubtedly a global responsibility (Sparks 2002). It is for this reason that the company should be no exception and should formulate a CSR policy. For this policy to have a positive impact, it will require adequate research on UK hotel chains, possible markets, and its own internal organization.

This research should be followed by a thorough analysis and piloting to observe the weaknesses and strengths of the policies. Even though corporate CSR is an internally self-regulated affair, in such a situation, it would be beneficial to incorporate an external source with global experience to act in the internal regulation and promote unbiased and legitimate policy formulation. This resource could also promote more insights into the target markets and marketing strategies (Samli 1992).

Lastly, it is imperative that the organization masters the policy and forms its own identity before it venturing into the Southeast Asian markets. This should be coupled with the definition of market identities and then weigh in on compatibility and where possible to find integration mechanisms. As a diverse and well-organized company, Britannia Hotel can succeed in demonstrating a high regard for quality service and consumer satisfaction using ethical and non-exploitative practices.  This transparency and openness will provide a ground for a well-directed policymaking and execution strategy that will be beneficial to all stakeholder groups.

Conclusion

This report has merged a wide range of ideas on both extremes of opinion to create an understanding of corporate social responsibility as a theme of expansion specifically for Britannia Hotel, a UK-based hotel chain that is contemplating venturing into the African and southeast Asian markets. An understanding of the history of CSR has provided insights into the emergence and evolution of philanthropy and social responsibility. The integration of factors such as culture, religion, communication, geographical location, and economic power into a CSR strategy has been identified as an important factor for policy success.

A deep analysis of the subject demonstrates the need for a CSR policy for the Britannia Hotel. The report has also outlined how the strategy would affect the expansion scheme both negatively and positively. Social responsibility goals can indeed be actualized through proper research, analysis and perfect timing of execution. The company should be ready to invest time and resources in actualizing a working policy for both financial success and meaningful contribution to social responsibility. Britannia’s leadership has so far been very organized, a fact that is reinforced by the excellent performance of its hotels across the UK-based Company. Strategic planning of its CSR activities in the new markets can lead to an even more successful expansion into regions that have immense market growth opportunities.

Reference List

Besser, T 2002, The conscience of Capitalism: Business Social Responsibility to Communities, Praeger, Westport.

Bierhoff, AA 2001, Responsibility: The many faces of a social phenomenon, Routledge, London.

Broadhurst, GL 2000, Environment Ethics and the Corporation. Basingstoke, Macmillan, London.

Maurrasse, HK & Jones, DM 2003, A Future for Everyone: Innovative Social Responsibility and Community Partnerships, Routledge, New York.

Lee, PK & Kotler, PR 2004, Corporate Social Responsibility: Doing the most good or your Company and cause, Wiley, New York.

Nemeth, N 2003, News Ombudsmen in North America: Assessing an experiment in social responsibility, Praeger, Westport.

Samli, C 1992, Social Responsibility in Marketing: A proactive and profitable marketing Management Strategy, Quorum Books, Westport.

Sims, R 2003, Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility: Why giants fall, Prager, Westport.

Sparks, R 2002, Socially Responsible Investment: A Global Revolution, Wiley, New York.

Warneryd, AL 1994, Ethics and Economic Affairs, Routledge, London.

Weiss, MN 2016, Corporate Social Responsibility, Forbes, Web.

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