More than Smiles – Employee Empowerment Facilitating High-Quality, Consistent Services – The Wakaya Club, Fiji

Author: Dawn Gibson (Email:


Tourism and Hospitality service organisations are increasingly searching for suitable management strategies that enable the delivery of consistent-quality services, and enhanced customer satisfaction and loyalty. An approach that has gained much support in academic discourse is employee empowerment. However, questions have also been raised as to the applicability of Western-designed management concepts to multi-ethnic workforces within such developing countries as Fiji. More realistic implementation of Western management strategies is likely to be more successful if they were adapted to consider cross-cultural management and the different characteristics of national cultures. Organisations in Fiji are constantly plagued with problems related to the delivery of quality-consistent services. This study revealed that employee empowerment evolved at The Wakaya Club as an inherent part of the high-quality, luxury tourism services they offered, and was not specifically implemented. Through careful research and planning, together with a clear guest orientation and understanding of their needs and expectations, consistent, enhanced service quality was maintained at the resort. Within their planning and operational procedures and policies, cultural characteristics of their multi-ethnic employees were considered. The Wakaya Club (TWC) practices have the potential to create significant improvements if transferred to other service organisations in tourism, hospitality, and Fiji generally.

Keywords: cross-cultural management; cultural dimensions; employee empowerment; Fiji; tourism services

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