Using the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award (MBNQA) criteria, this study compares perceptions of Malaysian hotel quality managers (HQMs) and employees on leadership and workforce practices. A mixed methods approach was used. Questionnaires were distributed to 35 HQMs and 576 employees of three-, four-, and five-star hotels. Interviews were conducted with HQMs. Descriptive statistics, t-test, and analysis of variance were used to analyze the data. All interviews were transcribed, hand coded, and analyzed for themes. Compared to hotel employees, HQMs had higher scores for all leadership and workforce items. Comparing managers’ perceptions revealed a statistically significant difference between three- and four-star with five-star hotels on developing explicit quality policies and measurable objectives. For employees, there were statistically significant differences for most of the questionnaire items between three- and four-star with five-star hotels. HQMs identified inefficient communication systems and failure to develop explicit quality policies and objectives as main reasons for perception incongruences between employees and managers. Two of the seven MBNQA criteria were used in this study; future research utilizing the other five criteria may be beneficial. This study provides hoteliers with quality practice perception differences between HQMs and employees in different star-rated hotels. Knowing these differences should compel hoteliers to review their leadership and workforce practices, identify reasons for discrepancies, and attempt to minimize the gap. No known studies in Malaysia, investigating this issue, have been conducted using a mixed methods approach. Additionally, this study provides empirical findings on quality practices from manager and employee perspectives.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/mack_shelley/5/