Goss-Turner, S. and Jones, P. (2000) Multi-Unit Management in Service Operations: Alternative approaches in the UK hospitality industry, Tourism and Hospitality Research: the Surrey Quarterly Review, 2, 1, 51-66
This article reports on research in eight major UK hospitality companies in relation to the “first-line multi-unit management” level, commonly known as “area management”. Such managers in this role face a number of issues that arise out of their position within these geographically dispersed organisations. The research found that multi-unit managers’ have concerns about a range of issues relating to their task and roles, their relationships with superiors and subordinates, and the size and scope of their area. Four key aspects of the role are proposed: job scope, organisational congruence, geographic density, and unit conformity. Despite being drawn from a single industry, these dimensions vary widely. Goss-Turner and Jones (2000) propose that the two key factors influencing this diverse range of approaches are the “dynamism” of the firm and the number of concepts within the firm.
Hence they identify four alternative approaches to area management:
- ‘Archetype’ – operates in a single concept chain with relatively rigid operating system
- ‘Entrepreneur’ – highly dynamic single concept chain
- ‘Multi-brand manager’ – more than one concept, but each with relatively rigid systems
- ‘Business manager’ – dynamic chain with multiple concepts