The central hypothesis of this study, that employees with face to face contact with consumers in commercial hotels will hold different values to those who are working with physical products, was rejected. The possible explanations are offered for the above results, (1) the homogeneity of replies to fortyeight value statements, and (2) cross-cultural differences between Europe, the United States and Australia.
The homogeneity in the data might be explained by the difficulties some people encountered in assigning scores to the value statements. It was shown that considerable conceptual skill would be required to assign meaningful weights to these statements. It was further mentioned that managers might find it conceptually much easier to assign weight to the value statements than their employees whose life and work style is oriented towards “action” rather than “conceptualising”.
Cross-cultural differences might also have contributed to the above results. The hypothesis in this study was based on the author's experience and observation of different work groups in European hotels. The traditional “master-servant” relationship, evident and accepted in European societies, might be partially replaced by “Jack is as good as his master”, or egalitarian beliefs, in Australia, and could account for the similarity of values among Australian employees, irrespective of the level of consumer contact.
Clustering techniques were used to form a scale of nineteen clusters and ten single value statements for analysis. Coefficient alpha was used to establish the reliability of the above scale.
Chi-square tests of association between scaled value variables, consumer contact, -and occupational categories produced two groups of employees with significantly distinct sets of values. These groups were labelled “goal setters" and “goal followers", the former being "existential” and the later “socio-centric” as defined in the value scales used.
Those employees with existential values, described as “goal setters" tend to hold values which they use to achieve goals they set themselves. Employees with predominantly “socio-centric” values, described as "goal followers", on the other hand, tend to have values set by society which lead to socially acceptable goals. The analysis indicated that “goal setters" will be young, educated, single Australians, working in occupations involving them with some form of consumer contact. "Goal followers" tend to be older, less educated, married Australians' or Europeans, with between five and ten years’ service with an organisation. The above findings, although largely exploratory, may still be important for managers concerned with the appropriate management of employees with different value orientations.