Hospitality Managers and Communication Technologies: Challenges and Solutions
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A study on communication technologies among a convenience sample of 100 hotel managers found that email is both pervasive and intrusive, while other new media (i.e., instant messaging, intranets, wikis, and blogs) are only gradually gaining a foothold in the hotel industry. Although the volume of email was a concern for these hotel managers, even more challenging was the issue of ensuring that messages accurately conveyed both information and emotion. Respondents disagreed somewhat on how quickly one should respond to an email. While most thought a 24-hour turnaround was acceptable, others were willing to let matters slide longer—potentially incurring dissatisfaction from customers and coworkers. Even in such a small sample, respondents showed divergent attitudes toward the technologies based on their age, gender, and native language. For example, as compared to men, women were particularly unhappy with poor grammar and punctuation in emails they received. Young respondents differed considerably from older respondents on the challenge of clarity in received emails, and those for whom English was a second language were most concerned that they could send clear, grammatical emails. Respondents could appreciate the potential value of intranets and other new communication vehicles, but they reported little implementation of those technologies.