The Portman Hotel runs on a system that, for the most part, focuses on one main employee, the Personal Valet. This position is really the heart of the organization and is the main selling feature of the hotel. Unfortunately the Portman Hotel has experienced low morale, poor performance, and poor attendance from the PVs due to several factors. These will be explained along with the three theories they fit into. The theories we will examine are the Fundamental Attribution Error, the Expectancy Theory, and the Operant Conditional Theory.
First we will examine the Fundamental Attribution Error. This error is described as “people’s tendency to place an undue emphasis on internal characteristics to explain someone else’s behavior in a given situation, rather than considering external factors.” This problem “is compounded by the tendency to extrapolate big conclusions form small samples.” An example of this in the Portman Company would be the relationship between the PVs and the “Floaters.” After the upper management decided to implement the 5-star Plan, they realized that they were overstaffed when the hotel was not at full staff. The solution to this problem was to add a number of Floaters to cover for low occupancy. Ultimately floaters ended up causing the same issues that the 5-Star Plan was supposed to resolve. PVs and Supervisors believed that Floaters were detrimental to the team. According to one supervisor Floaters had a tendency to “care less” which lead to “wasted time and lowered responsiveness to guests.” Permanent PVs also felt like Floaters were untrustworthy and were stealing tips. Permanent PVs and Supervisors failed to understand that the issues with the Floaters may have been external issues instead of internal ones. The Floaters experienced many of the same issues that permanent PVs had in the first couple of months of the business. They worked on multiple floors which all had different floor plans. They also worked with multiple groups, so they did not have the opportunity to build a strong relationship with the current “team” that was working a particular floor. PVs were also concerned that Floaters were stealing tips, but Floaters did not get the opportunity to build long-lasting relationships with the guests, which led to lowers tips for those designated as Floaters. It is very possible that it was not the fact that Floaters cared less that led to a loss of team loyalty and wasted time, but rather the Floaters were never afforded the ability to truly join the team and become fully functioning cogs in the PV system. If the fundamental attribution error had not been made, and the permanent PV’s had embraced the Floaters rather than assuming they were uncaring thieves, the relationship between the two parties would be significantly different. If the permanent PVs had been more understanding, they would have realized that the Floaters were really assisting them when they were short-staffed. They should have assisted the Floaters and trained them on what each specific team did. That way the floater would have a better chance of blending in with the team. It also would have improved responsiveness to guests because Floaters would have a better idea of what was going on within each team. The second theory to examine would be the Expectancy Theory. The Expectancy Theory states that “individual motivation to put forth more or less effort is determined by a rational calculation in which individuals evaluate their situation.” Individuals ask themselves three questions: 1. Will my effort lead to high performance? 2. Will performance lead to outcomes? And 3. Do I find the outcomes desirable? If the PVs did not find the outcome desirable, it is understandable that they began to engage in “shirking.” PVs were expected to have “broad” responsibilities within the company. They were maids, bartenders, butlers, friends, etc. all rolled into one. Even with all the work they