Hospitableness: driving Social Responsibility (SR) in hospitality businesses

Conference Presentation


Tomasella, B. 2018. Hospitableness: driving Social Responsibility (SR) in hospitality businesses. The INC: Tourism, Hospitality & Events in a Changing World. University of Derby.
AuthorsTomasella, B.
TypeConference Presentation
Abstract

This paper explores independent foodservice businesses' motivations for improving their SR, their implementation of socially responsible practices and the role hospitality plays in this. Investigating what motivates these foodservice businesses to adopt socially responsible practices is highly relevant for the industry (Brookes, et al., 2014; British Hospitality, 2017; Coles et al., 2013; Hawkins & Bohdanowicz, 2012; Sustainable Restaurant Association, 2013). It further supports a better understanding of what can encourage engagement with sustainability and corporate social responsibility (CSR) across the whole hospitality industry
(Lashley, 2016; Jones, et al., 2016; Farrington, et al., 2017; Cavagnaro, 2017). Interdisciplinary methodology and methods of research This research is inspired by a pluralistic understanding of CSR, as this is a broad, contested concept, adopted by a growing number of different members of society (Carroll, 1999; Carroll & Shabana, 2010; Dahlsrud, 2008); such approach recognises that CSR should be
interpreted and adapted to various institutional environments, according to the actors' sets of values and ideologies (Aguinis & Glavas, 2012; Farrington, et al., 2017). Therefore, this specific research supports the use of the terminology social responsibility (SR) for small
businesses, instead of CSR, in recognition of the key role played by the owner managers’ ethics and values in motivating small businesses’ engagement with CSR (Tomasella and Ali,
2016). Furthermore the study focuses on a specific business context, such as independent foodservice businesses in Britain: researching such context can highlight which specific personal and business values influence the understanding of SR among these small businesses. A qualitative methodology is a suitable research strategy for studying the phenomenon of SR in small businesses: with its flexibility, it allows to explore personal values and business values concurrently, to better understand the phenomenon of small business SR (Aguinis & Glavas, 2012; Lindgreen & Swaen, 2010; Spence, 2016). The related
methods involve primary data collected through documents and semi-structured interviews of small businesses' owner-managers. The sample includes twenty-five small independent
foodservice businesses, all operating within the same locality in the United Kingdom. The results revealed that the SR of these independent foodservice businesses is influenced
by their hospitality business values, which are expression of the personal values of the business owner. The benevolent hospitableness of the owner is a form of self-actualisation
and self-expression frequently found among small lifestyle hospitality and foodservice businesses (Lee-Ross & Lashley, 2010, p. 173; Lashley & Rowson, 2010; Ateljevic & Doorne,
2000; Lashley, et al., 2004; Carrigan, et al., 2017). The hospitality values of the owner influence the hospitableness of the business (Telfer, 2017; Wood, 2017), because the
business owner of these lifestyle or family businesses prioritises personal hospitality values as motives in business, alongside profit motives. The hospitableness leads these small hospitality businesses to implement caring actions towards staff, clients and local 4th Presentation Session Room: DOG/1788 community; in the long term, the actions that are prioritised, are those contributing to
increase branding and reputation of the business. Knowledge and local embeddedness also play a role in driving the long term implementation of SR actions, as it creates awareness
about local issues, of economic, social or environmental nature. This confirms the importance of the context in which the small business operates in determining the nature of
its SR practice. This research contributes to knowledge by identifying that the hospitableness of these businesses lifestyle and family businesses influences the implementation of SR actions. These businesses interpret hospitality as a social practice, inherently aimed at the fulfilment
of human needs, therefore shaped by the values and needs of those involved in such exchange (Brotherton, 1999; Lashley, 2007; Lynch, et al., 2011; Wood, 2017). For these
hospitality businesses, the hospitality SR practice is influenced by the cultural values and socio-economic factors of the people involved in the hospitality exchange. Therefore this work confirms that the nature of the corresponding small business hospitality SR practice overlaps with the concept of stakeholder theory (Freeman et al., 2010), because it is
inherently oriented towards providing well-being to all the stakeholders engaged in the hospitality exchange (Lee-Ross & Lashley, 2010, p. 173; Lashley, 2016b).

KeywordsSmall Business ; Social Responsibility; independent foodservice businesses'
Year2018
ConferenceThe INC: Tourism, Hospitality & Events in a Changing World
PublisherUniversity of Derby
University of Sunderland
Centre for Research in Tourism Excellence
Accepted author manuscript
File Access Level
Open
Output statusUnpublished
Publication dates
Online2018
Publication process dates
Deposited22 Jun 2023
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