Alameeri, A., Ajmal, M.M., Hussain, M., Helo, P.
1 October 2018
College of Business Administration, Abu Dhabi University, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Department of Industrial Management, University of Vaasa, Vaasa, Finland.
Purpose: Sustainability has become an important objective for most organizations, as it is emerging as a competitive necessity. This study aims to develop a framework for the identification, categorization and prioritization of sustainable management practices (SMPs) in the hotel sector. Design/methodology/approach: An extensive literature review was conducted to identify SMPs in the service sector, and a survey tool was used to categorize and prioritize the most important practices based on expert opinion. An analytical hierarchical process (AHP) was used to prioritize the main criteria and sub-criteria of SMPs. The study is composed of 8 main criteria and 33 sub-criteria relevant to the hotel sector. Findings: It is observed that employee management and government management take top priority under the main criteria, and policy requirements, customer culture and education and training were determined to be the three most relevant sub-criteria as SMPs for hotels in UAE. The results indicate that hotels mostly focus on economic sustainability; however, the environmental and social dimensions of sustainability are ignored in management practices. Research limitations/implications: The results are derived from four- and five-star hotels and therefore cannot be generalized. In addition, future research on specific categories of hotels is needed in other countries. The current research model can be also applied in different types of companies in tourism and other sectors. Practical implications: Hotel managers should exert greater effort with regard to the environmental and social dimensions of sustainability practices, as they are highly important. Internationally, there has been considerable debate with regard to these issues, and at present, customers are well aware of such social and environmental efforts. Originality/value: This study offers original insights into the area of SMP in UAE, especially in the hotel sector. © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited.