A study of the interaction between cross-cultural communication and management of employment relationship in relations to conflicts within cross-cultural organisations : sample from housekeeping departments in two Norwegian hotels
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- Master's theses (SV-NHS) 
This paper is a small pilot study and is attempting to look at the interaction between crosscultural communication and management of employment relationship, and how this may influence the managing of conflicts in a cross-cultural working environment. This paper will look at the phenomenon conflict within a cross-cultural working environment. The study in this paper is taking a qualitative approach, therefore, the results cannot be generalised outside the population chosen, but it may give an indication on how things works in a cross-cultural working environment. The aim of this study is to provide an in-depth and interpreted understanding of the social world of employees in a cross-cultural organisation – in this paper a group of housekeepers and managers in two different hotels in Norway, by learning about their social and material circumstances, their experiences, perspectives and histories when it comes to conflict, communication, cross-cultural work environment and culture differences. The paper tries to look closer into the importance of positive interaction between employer and employees, and communication when it comes to a cross-cultural work environment in managing conflict. The intention is to gain an enhanced understanding of the managing of conflict in a cross-cultural organisation, what the employees and the manager view as important in preventing and managing conflict and if the opinions and views between the employees and the manager compares. The scope of this study is limited to the hotel industry in Norway, and the sample population was employees and managers who work in the housekeeping department in two different hotels. The respondents varied in age, nationality, and work experience. One facility and service manager from each of the two hotels were interviewed; in addition five employees from one of the hotels and six employees from the other hotel. As this study is following an explorative design, communicating directly with the object is one of the most common research methods. Interviews were therefore chosen to collect primary data – the questions asked were open-ended and semi-structured. Secondary data has been used to establish the key issues relating to the concept of interaction between employees and manager, communication, conflict management and cross-cultural work environment, to compare responses from the interview to the theory, and to back up findings to gain the best result possible. In this study it has been discovered that the two organisations looked at do not consciously adopt strategies for managing conflict. The study indicates that language problems, misunderstandings and other communication problems are some of the main reasons for conflict in both of the hotels. The managers in both hotel 1 and hotel 2 said that they try to resolve a problem as soon as they get to know about it as an effective tool. They try to resolve small disagreements and misunderstandings while they are small preventing them to become big problems. Feedback was said to be another important tool in the attempt to prevent and manage conflict. When it comes to the conclusion of this paper it is difficult to suggest a concrete answer to the research question. As this is a qualitative study, the sample population in this study is small, and the findings are only opinions and views of the employees and managers interviewed in this particular study. If there was a bigger or different population, the results, and the comparison of the findings and the theory might look different. Furthermore, if different questions were asked, the findings could be different. Further research is needed to be able to generalise, confirm or reject the findings of this study. However, the findings may give an indication on important aspects in managing conflict in a cross-cultural working environment such as in a housekeeping department. A conceptual framework and the limitations of this study are used to suggest further research on this phenomenon.
Master's thesis in International Hotel and tourism management