Impact Of Cultural Diversity On Team Performance In The Hotel Industry In New Zealand

Background Information

The world has become like a global village due to great technological advancements that has been realized over the last century. As a result of these changes hospitality industry has had an increase in the number of multinational visits or international customers checking into different hotels worldwide. This in turn has necessitated employment of foreign staffs who can prepare foreign cuisines to cater for foreign market a phenomenon that has lead to increase in cultural diversity in the hospitality industry’s workforce. International hotels also employ from different parts of the world due to various job applications from across the globe as the hotel is known internationally. New Zealand’s hotel industry is also characterized by culturally diverse workforce, a fact that needs to be managed appropriately in order to realize desired level of service and performance in the hotels in New Zealand. To put this into perspective, the more a manager understand his culturally diverse workforce the higher the chances of meeting set objectives of the team. The theory of cultural diversity points out a number of dimensions under which cultural diversity can be studied in order to came up with a more inclusive approach while finding how best to a manage a team composed of people from different nationalities.

Save Time On Research and Writing
Hire a Pro to Write You a 100% Plagiarism-Free Paper.
Get My Paper

The study will cover a wide range of the topic under discussion in order to exhaustively study the topic. The study will however confined itself within the specific factors of cultural diversity that affects the performance of a team in New Zealand. The study will consider how various backgrounds affects the synchronization of members of a team into one cohesive unit with the main objective of improving the overall output the team as a whole.

Much work has been covered in the previous researches but these researches have not been able to clearly quantify to what extend has this aspect of the team has affected its performance. Through the previous work it has been established that cultural diversity slows down the performance of a team but this has not been quantified. The general statements help to point out how cultural diversity affects team’s output in hotel industry. However it is of paramount importance to establish extend of this effect so that when mitigations measures are developed they would be more specific and targeted so as to have high chances of success.

The aim of this study therefore is to quantify to what extend does cultural diversity has slowed down the performance of teams working in hotel industry in New Zealand.

Scope of the Research

The study can help organizations with investments in hotel industry in New Zealand to better manage their culturally diverse groups of works for better performance and understanding which in turn translate to better profitability and growth for the organizations. The research can also be the basis or support document for future studies that will be conducted under the same or similar topic to this research.

Save Time On Research and Writing
Hire a Pro to Write You a 100% Plagiarism-Free Paper.
Get My Paper

The general objective of the research is to find out the Impact of cultural diversity on team performance in hotel industry in New Zealand. The specific objectives of the study are as follows;

  • To find out the effect of language barrier in the performance culturally diverse teams working in hotel industry in New Zealand.
  • To find out what extend language barrier affects the performance of culturally diverse team working in hotel in New Zealand.
  • To find out the extend norms and customs affect the performance of a teams working in hotel industries in New Zealand.
  • To make recommendations to various organizations with interest in hotel industry in New Zealand on how best to manage cultural differences in teams working in the hotels.

Cultural diversity continues to affect the performance of many hotels across the world because of culture shocks and different levels of expectations among the employees. Hotel industry is one of the most sensitive industries in terms of customer satisfaction and approval. A slight doubt on customers mind in the quality of service being offered in a certain hotel can spiral up to become a major issue of concern among majority of the potential clients. This therefore means than performance in hotel industry is most important part as it can affect the quality of service which in turn may drive away the customers. In various parts of the world customers tastes preferences and consumer behaviors vary according to the culture of the said place. Hotel employees working in this place will therefore get used to a certain way of doing things to meet the client’s expectations. (Olsen and Zhao, 2008) When this employees get employed in international hotels with different customs conflict arises among the team members as each one of them has different expectations regarding best ways to treat and serve customers. These conflicting view points more often than not result in poor service to the end user who is the customers. Work inside a hotel is mostly done in teams from preparation to serving the customer seated at the table. In order for the team to have same idea of what they are supposed to do, they must have similar knowledge and experiences for good and desirable results that meets the expectations of the client or the end user. Having a culturally diverse team coherent in such a manner is challenging and thus may result to poor service if not managed properly and keenly through intercultural induction and trainings. (Miles and Sledge, 2009)

In another view point, cultural diversity should be taken as an advantage not as a weakness. There is need for managers to have cross-cultural skills that enable them to effectively manage their teams and bring out the best out of them. The teams can be arranged in such a way that they are complimentary to each other as opposed to be antagonizing to each other. Managers with culturally diverse teams should know their teams well in terms of strengths and weakness and organize them strategically to have desired output of results. The phenomenon of cultural diversity comes with an advantage of having a team that has individuals who are good in diverse ways. If this is harnessed well the end user who is the client will get good and quality services thereby improving the performance of the hotel. The present world is full of interrelated activities such that travelling from one part of the world to another has become a norm. (Hospitality Management Education, 2007) The increased interrelation means that you can find a Japanese doing business in China or New Zealand and when he visits hotels in these countries he or she may want to see if there will be any Japanese cuisines available on the menu. If the hotel has a Japanese chef or any other employee who can prepare the Japanese cuisines well and serve the customer the hotel will likely retain this particular customer whenever he or she visits the country again. This scenario according to this research can be replicated elsewhere across the world with different nationalities. Cultural diversity can therefore be viewed as an edge or an advantage in hotel industry as opposed to a weakness as it helps hotels to meet the expectations of various markets and/or consumer tastes and preferences of clients. (Shen, 2016)

Problem Statement and Research Gap

Rapid demographic changes across the world have brought about cultural diversity in organizations across the world and hotel industry hasn’t been an exception to this trend.  There has been significant change in the way organizations run their business as a result of different ideas brought about by foreign expatriates hired in various international hotels. This point to a fact that foreigners have also taken over leadership positions in international hotels in countries different to their countries of origin, as a result introducing the way teams work by implementing different ideas from what the locals are used to. (Brien, 2010) Therefore diversity in culture has brought about diversity in management styles in hotels and the way different cuisines are prepared to attract more customers. Menus have also changed due to cultural diversity in teams working in hotels, new menus developed due to amalgamation of various menus that different members of the team are knowledgeable about. The end result is the development of the new menus altogether or small alteration of the existing ones to give clients a variety of food and drinks to choose from. (Lee, 2015)

Innovation is one of the key factors that define and organization’s growth and development or its expansion plans. Firms that employ fewer foreign workers were found to be more innovative than the ones with many foreign workers. According to this research, the tendency of a team working in one cohesive manner increases if the team shares more commonalities than having more differences. Innovations thrives more if the team keep on agreeing on the way forward or a certain way of doing things. (Rutherford and O’Fallon, 2007)It follows therefore that hotels with little or no diversity is likely to come up with a team’s innovation where every member agree that it is the best that the customers will like or receive well. On the other hand a team composed of individuals from different nationalities is likely to take more time before they can forge a common ground and unleash a team’s innovation. The study also indicates that in knowledge intensive disciplines like medicine and engineering, cultural diversity is found to be plus for quality innovations invented by a team. Therefore, in hotel industry where there is no much technicalities cultural diversity is likely to lead to fewer innovations as would be the case if the team is homogenic in nature. (Saunders, Altinay and Riordan, 2009)

Cultural diversity has also affected the performance of teams working in hotel industry by way of reducing the cost of labor due to it’s over supply. Hotel industry offers a large number of unskilled labor where almost every person can take up with minimal training. Following the law of demand and supply whereby if supply goes up demand goes down as well as the price, hotel industries will tend to give low wages to employees working in hotels with culturally diverse workforce. The reason behind this is that labor will still be available even if a section of it refuses the kind of wages offered for the jobs. The performance of the teams will therefore go down due to inadequate motivation to work. The link to this low motivation to cultural diversity comes as a result of likelihood of cheap labor in a culturally diverse labor market than in a labor market largely composed of locals. The study therefore establishes a significant impact of culturally diverse team in its performance more so because quality of service in hotel industry is the single most important aspect that wields immense power in attracting or shying away customers. (Casey, 2011)

Aim of the Study

Upon reviewing above literature emanating from previous work done on the topic the subject of this study, the following are the research questions;

  • What is the effect of language barrier in the performance culturally diverse teams working in hotel industry in New Zealand?
  • To what does extend language barrier affect the performance of culturally diverse team working in hotel in New Zealand?
  • To what extend does norms and customs affect the performance of a teams working in hotel industries in New Zealand?

The research will collect primary data through conducting interviews with employees working in hotels in New Zealand as well as customers who visit these hotels so that they can give their ratings of the hotel services in New Zealand. The study will also use questionnaires and observation method to collect data for participants who may not have time for one on one interview. The research will take both qualitative and quantitative approach so as to get the general trend in performance of a culturally diverse teams working in hotels in New Zealand as well as quantifying the trend(s) noted. The study will use 50 participants, 25 for employees of culturally diverse hotels in New Zealand and 25 for customers visiting these hotels. This number will be sufficient considering resources available to the research team. The participants of the study will be chosen in random basis to eliminate the personal preferences that may affect quality of the research. For the purposes of this research independent variables would be time, and number of participants while dependent variables will be trend established and customer ratings. (Male, Needham and Palaiologou, 2008) The data obtained will be analyzed through descriptive analysis to give simple and clear explanations and inferences that can be understood by wider audience. The research will take a duration of two weeks and will be back to the interested parties through compilation of a report which be availed to them. The limitations of the study will likely include securing appointments to interview employees and time availed by the hotels to conduct the research in their facilities. (Easterby-Smith, Thorpe and Jackson, 2015)


In conclusion the future studies should focus on the issue of cultural diversity and innovations. Innovation is likely to thrive in a place where there are a lot of varied ideas such as in a culturally diverse environment as a result of many brains working on a single project. There is need to further study in this area of knowledge because innovation is one of the most fundamental aspects of any industry looking to grow and develop. The notion that cultural diversity is likely to negatively impact innovation in hotel industry should be looked at carefully because ordinarily the more the diverse the group is the more it is likely to became innovative owing to the fact that in such environment there are many ideas that would easily lead to innovation. It’s therefore quite inconsistent to conclude that diversity in hotel industry is likely to lead to less innovation in the hospitality sector. The potential uses of the findings of this study include organizations or companies who have invested in hotels in New Zealand as well as other parts of the world. They can use the findings to better manage their culturally diverse workforce which in turn will help them boost performance and profitability of their investments. Employees in hotel sector can also read the findings of the research and use them to strike a better coordination amongst them while at work. The study will also help future researches in the industry to have prior knowledge about the hotel industry in New Zealand which it can form the basis of their research or help them as secondary data. The governments or authorities that deal with issues concerning tourism and hospitality in various areas of jurisdiction can use the findings of this report to find out ways through which they can support the growth and development of hotel industry under them. This can latter improve the country’s earnings through foreign exchange gains that is known to improve currency stability of the earning country. There is need therefore for concerted efforts to be made by all the stakeholders in the industry to ensure that the industry continues to achieve desired level of growth and development which will in turn benefit all the stakeholders in the hotel and hospitality industry. From the above observation it is clear that cultural diversity should be embraced not only in New Zealand but other countries across the world. 


Barrows, C. (2016). Introduction to management in the hospitality industry. [Place of publication not identified]: John Wiley.

Brien, A. (2010). The New Zealand Hotel Industry-Vacancies Increase. International Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Administration, 5(1), pp.87-104.

Casey, B. (2011). Tipping in New Zealand Restaurants. Cornell Hotel and Restaurant Administration Quarterly, 42(1), pp.21-25.

Choudhary, V. (2013). Hospitality industry. New Delhi: Centrum Press.

Easterby-Smith, M., Thorpe, R. and Jackson, P. (2015). Management and business research. Los ngeles: SAGE.

Hospitality Management Education. (2007). S.l.: Emerald Group Publishing Limited.

International hospitality industry. (2016). [Place of publication not identified].

Kainthola, V. (2009). Principles of hotel management. Chandni Chowk, Delhi [India]: Global Media.

Lee, T. (2015). Implications of Cultural Differences for Expatriate Managers in the Global Hotel ndustry. Tourism Analysis, 20(4), pp.425-431.

Male, T., Needham, D. and Palaiologou, I. (2008). Doing research in education.

Miles, A. and Sledge, S. (2009). Satisfaction, Service, and Culture: Cross-Cultural Reflections rom the Hotel Industry. Tourism Culture & Communication, 9(3), pp.165-179.

Nykiel, R. (2011). Marketing in the hospitality industry. East Lansing, Mich.: American Hotel & Lodging, Educational Institute.

Olsen, M. and Zhao, J. (2008). Handbook of hospitality strategic management. Oxford: Butterworth-Heinemann.

Perry, I. (2009). Safety puzzles for the hospitality industry. Amherst, Mass.: HRD Press.

Rutherford, D. and O’Fallon, M. (2007). Hotel management and operations. Hoboken, N.J.: John Wiley.

Saunders, M., Altinay, L. and Riordan, K. (2009). The management of post-merger cultural integration: implications from the hotel industry. The Service Industries Journal, 29(10), pp.1359-1375.

Schmidgall, R. (2015). Hospitality industry managerial accounting.

Shen, H. (2016). Social Network and Job Satisfaction of Female Migrant Workers in Hotel Industry. Journal of Hotel & Business Management, 5(1).

Walker, J. (2010). Exploring the hospitality industry.