Unmasking the face of hospitality : a postfoundational approach to a new spirituality of hospitality

Previous research conducted on the topic of workplace spirituality seems to indicate that workers often associate spirituality in the workplace with their personal religious orientations. This article, however, presents an alternative approach to the understanding of workplace spirituality. In this...

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Published in: Verbum et ecclesia Vol. 37; no. 1; pp. 1 - 10
Main Authors: Meletiou, Crystal, Meylahn, Johann-Albrecht
Format: Journal Article
Language: English
Afrikaans
Published: Pretoria AOSIS 01-01-2016
AOSIS (Pty) Ltd
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Summary: Previous research conducted on the topic of workplace spirituality seems to indicate that workers often associate spirituality in the workplace with their personal religious orientations. This article, however, presents an alternative approach to the understanding of workplace spirituality. In this article, the contemporary hospitality industry is presented as two metaphorical stage worlds, a front-stage world and a back-stage world, where actors perform the play of hospitality. Each of these worlds observes an ultimate concern: the workers of the front-stage world observe an ultimate concern of unconditional hospitality and guest satisfaction, whereas the workers of the back-stage world observe an ultimate concern of profit. Because these two worlds have opposing ultimate concerns, the current spirituality of the contemporary hospitality industry is one of dissonance and unhappiness. However, as this article will show, there is a possibility for an alternative spirituality – a spirituality of hope and endless possibilities. This spirituality will come to be through the life-giving words of the entire community. The uniqueness of the front-stage world and the back-stage world lies in their respective constructions. Some of the dominant elements that affect each of these worlds are discussed in this article. It will also be shown that the language of religion plays a role in the construction of reality. Understanding these elements is important, for only when hospitality workers recognise the elements that influence the construction of the front-stage world and the back-stage world will they be able to deconstruct and reconstruct these two worlds.Intradisciplinary and/or interdisciplinary implications: This article presents empirical research on the spirituality of the contemporary hospitality industry. The results indicate that the current spirituality of the hospitality industry is a spirituality of dissonance and unhappiness. This research presents the prospect of a new spirituality, a spirituality of hope and endless possibilities.
ISSN: 1609-9982
2074-7705
DOI: 10.4102/ve.v37i1.1656