“Every man for himself”: Teamwork and customer service in the hospitality industry

James Richards, Shiona Chillas, Abigail Marks

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    9 Citations (Scopus)
    1000 Downloads (Pure)


    Purpose – This paper aims to examine the practice of teamwork in an under-researched, yet growing industrial setting.

    Design/methodology/approach – Longitudinal ethnographic-styled methods of data collection were used and data was examined using the Team Dimensions Model.

    Findings – The findings suggest the Team Dimensions Model, with the addition of a customer service perspective, is of use for identifying managerial objectives and organisational outcomes of teamwork. However, this does not suggest that teamworking is easy to implement in the hospitality setting.

    Research limitations/implications – The findings were obtained using unobtrusive participatory and observational methods and based on a single company.

    Practical implications – The paper allows management practitioners to reflect on realities of implementing teamworking under a corporate customer service initiative.

    Originality/value – The paper takes an existing theory on teamworking and develops the theory in an under-researched and growing industrial sector.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)235-254
    Number of pages20
    JournalEmployee Relations
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2012


    • Ethnography
    • Hospitality industry
    • Hospitality services
    • Team Dimensions Model
    • Team working
    • Teamwork


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