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Sunshine Resort

Please read the case study on Sunshine
Resort and answer the following two questions:

With reference to topics 1-6


1.Create a behavioural description of
Isabelle and Michael, comparing and contrasting their profiles. Are they suited
to their roles at Sunshine Resort? Why or why not? (Remember the principle of
ACE – argument, concept, and example.)

2.With particular reference to the
relevant motivational theories (topic 6) and the section on learning and job
satisfaction (topic 5), and with reference to the behavioural description of
Isabelle in the above question, analyse the working conditions at Sunshine
Resort. If you were an external consultant providing advice to Sunshine Resort
senior management, what would you recommend they do to improve Isabelle’s job
satisfaction and motivation?

Sunshine Resort is a luxury six star
resort on the Far North Coast of Queensland that caters for wealthy holiday
makers and international corporate high flyers. The resort used to have an
unsurpassed reputation for excellence in hospitality with its famous day spa,
three restaurants, 18 hole golf course, and state of the art function centre. More
recently however, Sunshine Resort has been plagued by a number of customer
complaints, and has problems retaining staff. The staff complain of boredom,
and feel that their performance is not recognized by senior staff or by the

Isabelle recently joined Sunshine Resort
on their graduate development program after completing her Bachelor of Tourism
and Hospitality Management degree from Griffith University. The purpose of the
graduate program is to groom university graduates as future resort managers,
and beyond that as potential senior managers in the hotel’s international
chain. Since joining the graduate program six months ago, Isabelle has been
stuck in the front office, overseeing reservations for the Hotel, and has not
really had the opportunity to broaden her skills or experience in other aspects
of the business, such as sales, Marketing, HR, or other areas of the resort.
Isabelle’s main duties have included handling reservation inquiries and
bookings, and checking in guests to the Hotel. Isabelle has indicated to
friends that she has no job satisfaction or motivation. She believes that her
current role is not challenging enough for someone with a degree qualification.

The following observations have been
noted about Isabelle and her Manager, Michael, and the working conditions at
Sunshine Resort.

1.Isabelle is considered to be a very
social and outgoing individual. She often is responsible for organizing staff
social functions. She is known for her spontaneity and love for undertaking new
challenges. She tends to make quick decisions that are based on gut instinct,
rather than facts, which can get her into trouble at times. Isabelle is also
known for being somewhat disorganized.

2.Isabelle is known for her good
listening skills and ability to empathise with others. She believes she is well
suited to customer service work as she is always concerned about others and
ensuring harmony among her work colleagues. Isabelle prefers to learn by doing
hands on tasks, rather than by observing others do the work. She enjoys working
with others to solve tasks, especially since she tends to rely on their
analysis more than her own when solving problems.

3.Given Isabelle is relatively young and
not long out of university, her main goals in life are to have a high paying
and exciting job. She does hope that she could combine her love for travel and
meeting new people with a challenging career that has a lot of promotional
potential. One of the reasons why Isabelle joined Sunshine Resort was due to
the prospect of an accelerated career after completing the graduate program.
Isabelle was told that she had a range of career paths available to her in the
hotel industry. The working conditions of Isabelle’s job include: a starting
salary of $62,000 (considered average for a recent graduate); mobile phone;
flexible hours; and the bonus of working in one of Australia’s premier resorts
on the Gold Coast. Isabelle particularly values these rewards and loves to brag
about them to her friends, who only seemed to work long hours in boring high
rise accounting firms. Recently however, Isabelle has begun to doubt the
benefit of her seemingly “dream job”. In contrast to what she was told and
expected, the flexible hours have turned out to translate into working night
shift at times, over weekends, and often on public holidays, such as New Year’s
Eve. Such working hours are negatively impacting her social life. Furthermore,
rather than travelling around the world to other Sunshine Resort resorts, or
even working in other aspects of the Gold Coast resort, Isabelle spends nearly
all of her time behind a desk in the reception area of the Hotel.

4.Isabelle was also attracted to the
Sunshine Resort job as she was told during the selection process that the
Resort often paid large cash bonuses to staff if the resort performed well
financially in terms of consistently high occupancy rates in the Hotel, holding
a number of high profile golfing tournaments each year, and attracting large
functions to the conference centre regularly. After joining the resort however,
Isabelle has found out that the cash bonuses are only paid to senior
management, and not shared among other members of staff, in particular, staff
like Isabelle who were the real face of the resort and responsible for dealing
with clients/guests on a regular basis. Like other staff, Isabelle believes
that this system of rewarding bonuses is very inequitable, and thus represented
another reason for her growing dissatisfaction and lack of motivation.

5.Since joining the resort six months
ago, Isabelle has not had any performance reviews, or even any informal
feedback sessions with her direct manager. This has left Isabelle unsure of how
she is performing, and uncertain of her future direction in the resort.
Isabelle had been promised that the resort paid a great deal of attention to
its graduates, and managers were meant to meet regularly with them to review
past performance and discuss future goals and direction. Isabelle is generally
a confident individual who believes in her own abilities, and is willing to
take responsibility when things go wrong. She knows she is responsible for her
own future success and works hard to achieve those goals; however the lack of
feedback is starting to affect her confidence. The only contact Isabelle seems
to have with her Manager (Michael) involves her being told what to do with
regard to her job, how it should be done, in what time frame, and other such
strict instructions which leave no room for Isabelle to think for herself. This
is another aspect of the job that Isabelle finds particularly frustrating.

6.Isabelle’s Manager (Michael) does not
demonstrate very good people skills. His communications with staff are mainly
on a negative basis. For example, he has become known for his fiery temper.
Whenever Michael comes out of his office wearing his jacket and holding his
clipboard, staff know that this means Michael has got his “angry boss” persona
on. Such a display is generally associated with Michael yelling at staff and
accusing them of poor performance. He usually threatens staff that if they do
not improve their performance he will fire them. Isabelle, like other staff,
now know to avoid Michael if they see him come out of his office in such a
manner. Isabelle wishes that Michael would learn to be more positive in his
dealings with staff, and praise them when they perform well. Michael does not
believe in telling staff when they do a good job, as he believes “well people
should just perform well all the time, and why should I praise them for that when
it is just their job anyway”. Michael views Isabelle as just another typical
university student who does not care about work or doing a good job, and is
only interested in collecting a pay cheque (just like Michael did when he left

7.Isabelle is a person who strongly
values honesty and integrity; however she feels Michael does not display this
which is causing further stress and dissatisfaction for Isabelle. Michael
believes it is alright to deliberately include extra charges on some guest’s
bills, particularly when they are being paid for by corporate accounts. Michael
figures that such large corporate organisations would never notice the small
discrepancies, but the amounts help improve the overall figures for the Hotel.
Michael becomes angry at Isabelle when she fails to overcharge customers like

8.Michael is the type of person who
would prefer to work in his office with the door closed and likes to minimize
his contact with staff. He shows little regard for the feelings or concerns of
his staff. In contrast to Isabelle, Michael dislikes any change and prefers to
have a stable and organized workplace. He enjoys being manager because it gives
him power and control. With the decrease in Sunshine Resort’s performance,
Michael has started to receive a lot more pressure from senior management to
improve staff performance and cut costs. This is one of the reasons why Michael
has started to overcharge corporate guests. When questioned about his
performance by senior management, Michael typically blames it on others,
despite a history of staff complaints about him and a series of poor
performance reviews. For a manager, Michael shows little faith or belief in his
own abilities.



Motivation is one of the most frequently
researched topics in OB. One reason for the popularity is the low motivation of
workers which is costly to industry and the economy. Motivation is concerned with how human
behaviour is energised and directed. Motivation, then, is the force behind
behaviour, yet that it is not all there is to know about why people behave as
they do. Many managers believe that motivating employees is the only way to get
them to perform well. This over-simplified view of the world leads to
management strategies that focus almost exclusively upon remuneration (pay) and
other extrinsic rewards such as promotion and holiday time. However, there is
much more to work behaviour than just manipulating the motivation level of the
employee. All the motivation in the world will do nothing for a person who does
not possess the skills to perform the task(s) being required. Additionally, a
highly motivated worker will not be able to perform well if the organisation
does not provide the support (e.g., staff, technology, information) the person
needs to perform their job. So we see that motivation is a key component of our
understanding of behaviour, but it is not the only component.

This topic examines seven popular
motivation theories – three of which are content 1) Maslow’s Hierarchy of
Needs, 2) McGregor’s Theory X & Y, and 3) Herzberg’s Two-Factor Theory. The
other four are process theories 1) McClelland’s Three Needs Theory, 2) Locke’s
Goal Setting Theory, 3) Adams’ Equity Theory, and Vroom’s Expectancy Theory.


Learning and Job Satisfaction

This unit looks at two aspects of the
individual in the workplace. Firstly, we look at three individual variables –
biographical characteristics, ability, and learning. Then we follow with a
discussion on individual attitudes and their affect on job satisfaction.

Biographical characteristics are readily
available to managers. Generally, they include data that are contained in an
employee’s personnel file. The most important conclusions are that age seems to
have no relationship to productivity; older workers and those with longer
tenure are less likely to resign; and married employees have fewer absences,
less turnover, and report higher job satisfaction than do unmarried employees.
But what value can this information have for managers? The obvious answer is
that it can help in making choices among job applicants.

Ability directly influences an
employee’s level of performance and satisfaction through the ability-job fit.
Given management’s desire to get a compatible fit, what can be done? First, an
effective selection process will improve the fit. A job analysis will provide
information about jobs currently being done and the abilities that individuals
need to perform the jobs adequately. Applicants can then be tested,
interviewed, and evaluated on the degree to which they possess the necessary
abilities. Second, promotion and transfer decisions affecting individuals
already in the organisation’s employ should reflect the abilities of
candidates. With new employees, care should be taken to assess critical
abilities that incumbents will need in the job and to match those requirements
with the organisation’s human resources. Third, the fit can be improved by
fine-tuning the job to better match an incumbent’s abilities. Often
modifications can be made in the job that, while not having a significant
impact on the job’s basic activities, better adapt it to the specific talents
of a given employee. Examples would be to change some of the equipment used or
to reorganise tasks within a group of employees. A final alternative is to
provide training for employees. This is applicable to both new workers and
present job incumbents. Training can keep the abilities of incumbents current
or provide new skills as times and conditions change.

Any observable change in behaviour is
prima facie evidence that learning has taken place. What we want to do, of
course, is ascertain if learning concepts provide us with any insights that
would allow us to explain and predict behaviour. Positive reinforcement is a
powerful tool for modifying behaviour. By identifying and rewarding
performance-enhancing behaviours, management increases the likelihood that they
will be repeated. Our knowledge about learning further suggests that
reinforcement is a more effective tool than punishment. Although punishment
eliminates undesired behaviour more quickly than negative reinforcement does,
punished behaviour tends to be only temporarily suppressed rather than
permanently changed. Punishment may produce unpleasant side effects such as
lower morale and higher absenteeism or turnover. In addition, the recipients of
punishment tend to become resentful of the punisher. Managers, therefore, are
advised to use reinforcement rather than punishment.

Finally, managers should expect that
employees will look to them as models. Managers who are constantly late to
work, or take two hours for lunch, or help themselves to company office
supplies for personal use should expect employees to read the message they are
sending and model their behaviour accordingly.

Attitudes comprise three main elements –
cognition, affect and behaviour – these collectively determine how an employee
might behave given various environmental conditions. From these we can expect
certain job attitudes from staff. These include job satisfaction and
dissatisfaction, job involvement and organisational commitment.

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Title: please-read-the-case-study-on-sunshine-resort-and-answer-the-following-two-questions

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