Breaking A Communication Barrier

The U.S. Department of Labor has reported that by 2050, minority groups will make up nearly half the U.S. population. With an increasingly diverse workforce including immigrants with limited English proficiency, communication barriers can be a challenge to effective management.

In the May issue of the Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Research, authors Juan M. Madera, Mary Dawson, Jack A. Neal, and Kristin Busch of the University of Houston studied the use of visual aids to guide workers in the foodservice industry, and found that the use of pictures can improve job performance, satisfaction, and commitment:

2JHTR07_Covers.pdfGiven the diverse workforce of the hospitality industry, language difficulties continue to create communication barriers for both employers and immigrant workers. As a result, these barriers have negative effects on job performance and organizational attitudes. In an effort to provide solutions, this article examines the effect of using pictures on job performance, task satisfaction, and job commitment when communication barriers exist in a food industry operation context. The results of this experimental study demonstrated that the performance of workers who used pictures when producing a dish was evaluated higher on dimensions of time, quality, and accuracy than that of workers who did not use pictures. Additionally, the participants who were given pictures reported higher task satisfaction and commitment than those who were only provided an abstract recipe.

Click here to read “Breaking A Communication Barrier: The Effect of Visual Aids in Food Preparation on Job Attitudes and Performance,” and browse the complete May 2013 issue of the Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Research.

This entry was posted in Communication, Hospitality Management and tagged , , , , , by Cynthia Nalevanko, Senior Editor, SAGE Publishing. Bookmark the permalink.

About Cynthia Nalevanko, Senior Editor, SAGE Publishing

Founded in 1965, SAGE is the world’s leading independent academic and professional publisher. Known for our commitment to quality and innovation, SAGE has helped inform and educate a global community of scholars, practitioners, researchers, and students across a broad range of subject areas. With over 1500 employees globally from principal offices in Los Angeles, London, New Delhi, Singapore, Washington DC, and Melburne, our publishing program includes more than 1000 journals and over 900 books, reference works and databases a year in business, humanities, social sciences, science, technology and medicine. Believing passionately that engaged scholarship lies at the heart of any healthy society and that education is intrinsically valuable, SAGE aims to be the world’s leading independent academic and professional publisher. This means playing a creative role in society by disseminating teaching and research on a global scale, the cornerstones of which are good, long-term relationships, a focus on our markets, and an ability to combine quality and innovation. Leading authors, editors and societies should feel that SAGE is their natural home: we believe in meeting the range of their needs, and in publishing the best of their work. We are a growing company, and our financial success comes from thinking creatively about our markets and actively responding to the needs of our customers.

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