Stelios Varvaressos

Tourism and Hospitality Management, TEI of Athens, Greece

Dimitris Papayiannis

Tourism and Hospitality Management, TEI of Athens, Greec

Dimitrios Laloumis

Tourism and Hospitality Management, TEI of Athens, Greece


As long as guests’ needs and wants are more demanding and as the international tourism market becomes more competitive, the hospitality industry managers should present a competitive advantage towards employees’ satisfaction and quality services offered.

The Greek Tourism and Hospitality Industry faces some characteristics that set some challenges for those involved, namely seasonality and size of hotel organizations which are very small.

Hospitality executives in order to operate more as “leaders” rather than as “managers”, have a serious list of options in relation to the sources of which can gain their Power.

The purpose of this publication is to focus on these sources and facilitate leaders in their daily managerial tasks, with an overall objective to facilitate employee’s motivation, beyond and in parallel with any motives offered within the Greek hospitality industry.

Firstly, an examination of the theoretical approach is made on the sources of power and then follows a focus on practical on possible practical implications for executives in the Greek hospitality industry.

Key words:

Sources of Power, Leaders, Greek Hospitality Industry, Employee’s Satisfaction

1. Introduction

Sources of Power of which an manager of the Hotel Industry should draw his/her "power", is influenced by many external and internal variables and factors (time pressure, nature of work, seasonal operation and size of the hotel, training experience etc.)

The source of this power directly affects the status and overall image of the executive against their subordinates. Increased status of the leader means a different level of respect from employees and potentially facilitates management and motivation.

In this article, initially a definition of Max Weber’s Power is demonstrated, then an exploration of theoretical approaches of French and Raven’ five Sources of Power, that is the Reward, Coercive, Legitimate, Referent and Expert Power. Then an Analysis on Entzionis’ Contingent Model of Power is highlighted.

In the next section an emphasis is given in the overview of the Greek Tourism and Hospitality Industry in which the human capital is been operating in, both managers and employees. In particular, Tourism in Greece: Travel and Tourism Indicators, the Greek Tourism: A Strategic Situation Analysis, the Tourism Demand for Greece: Inbound Tourists, Tourism Supply in Greece and the Competiveness of the Greek Tourism Sector will be examined. In the final section Practical impacts of Sources of Power in the Greek hospitality industry are presented and finally some conclusions as an overview for managers.

2. Definition of Power and Sources of Power

The Max Weber (Weber, 1947: 61) defines the power as:

"The probability that a person is able to carry out his will, regardless of the obstacles it encounters and regardless of the foundation of that likelihood.

Dahl (Dahl, 1957: 53) defines power as: "A has power on B grade which can force B to do something that otherwise would not do."

Moreover, according to French and Raven, (Cartwright, 1959: 18) there are five separate sources from which each manager can derive power:

2.1 Reward Power

This source of power depends on the person who has the ability and the way to reward subordinates. In the hospitality industry managers and owners have potentially many ways to reward employees, such as, salary increase salary, promotions and job allocation. This means that the executive has the power to control the employee.

In many cases the Reward Power loses its importance as a source of power for the department head. This may be valid in cases where the employee:

• does not consider the salary he/she to gets as satisfactory,

• if he/she has any other alternative, ie another employment opportunity in a similar job at another hotel company,

• if the promotion - and the consequent increase in his/her salary- comes along with over time or with a shift in unit of the hotel chain, away from the place of residence of the existing, possibly the employee dose not consider it as a priority due to family or other obligations.

2.2. Coercive Power

This power source is based on fear. The executive who has this power is able to admonish, punish and even to dismiss the employee. In the hospitality industry executives have this kind of power, although trade union movement has tried to minimize the impact of this - in comparison with the past -, to a certain degree this unlimited power source.

However, due to the overall economic recession that Greece is facing, coercive power despites the negativity bearing, has a great impact on the control of routine tasks. Shift change at punctual, time limitations in performing the task are everyday basis’ obligations in a hotel, where most of them are respected due to fear of dismissal. Right or wrong, the majority of the hotel business coercive power is used in practice very often (Papayiannis 2003: 78).

2.3. Legitimate Power

This kind of power source comes from internal personal values of the employee, which give the legal right to the head to influence and control them.

Subordinates feel obliged to accept this power onto the person. This concept is almost identical to the concept of jurisdiction (authority) and closely related to the strength of Reward and Coercive power and that is because the person who has the legitimacy, is also able to reward or punish.

The difference of Legitimate Power and Coercive is that the former does not depend on the relationships between superiors and subordinates but from the position where the head holds.

The Legitimate power derives from three different sources:

First, the prevailing values of society or of a particular organization, which determine what is legal and what is not. In some societies, most seniors have more legitimate power. In hotel business managers in general, have legitimate power because officials believe in hierarchy and in job position that have power over other job positions at a lower level.

Second, people may hold legitimate power from a total of acceptable social structure. In some societies there is a given ruling class. The same applies to businesses where there is an accepted group acts as ruling without necessarily hold high positions. In general such positions are in the Food and Beverage (F&B) department who are working for a long time in the job position.

Third, when a particular person or executive is authorized by a commission or a powerful person. Examples of this source of power within the company, is the representative of the Board or the son of the owner. The latter is the most frequent example since 95% of all tourism and hotel enterprises in Greece are small and medium size (Hellenic Hotel Chamber of Greece: 2011).

2.4. Referent Power

The type of this power derives from the desire of the individual to identify with the person who holds the power.

Other people want to identify with this powerful person regardless of the outcome. These individuals perceive as a strong person because it is attractive, has personal characteristics and naturally desired source of power. The power of reference also stems from the desire of people to identify with the values of such an attractive person.

The ads that use celebrities as product users are based on the power of reference, as the advertiser hopes that the public will buy the product in an attempt to emulate the behavior and attitude of the celebrity.

In a hotel company, the directors with Referent power must show attractive to subordinates, in order that they want to identify with them, regardless if these managers have the opportunity to reward or punish or if they have the legitimacy.

2.5. Expert Power

This type of power source based on the extent to which the person owns knowledge and expertise in specific and clearly delimited areas.

This power is limited to narrowly specific boundaries and not dissipated in areas with intense sociability. For example, accountants are perceived as having power of specialist accounting matters, but not in public relations.

The French and Raven recognize that there may be other sources of power, other than the five mentioned, but these are regarded as theprincipal. They also point out that these five sources are closely linked and the same person may use different types of power under different conditions and at different times.

Although the French and Raven had in mind the above observations, it can be noted that these power sources do not stand alone. It should be correlated with other variables involved in the process of management. As Shetty argues (Shetty, 1978, 186):

"First, the successful manager is the one who knows the existence of multiple power sources in the workplace. Secondly, the effectiveness of existing types of sources of power depends on the nature of managerial work, the subordinates and the existing labour variables".

3. Contingent Model of Power

From his part, Etzioni (Etzioni, 1975: 47-54) proposed a type of Contingent Analysis of Power in organizations (Contingency Analysis of Power).

The figure 1 shows the two factors which the Etzioni identifies as the most involved with the Power in Organizations:

  1. The Types of power that managers are trying to use in order to influence subordinates, and

b. The types of Involvement generated by the executives and employees.

Etzioni identified three types of power: Coercive, Utilitarian and Regulatory.

The Coercive force dictates the subordinate to act in certain ways. This power is similar with the Coercive power of French and Raven.

The Utilitarian power is the type of contingent reward. The subordinate behaves as expected to behave in order to be rewarded. Most businesses operate adversarial minimum under this type of power.

Under the Regulatory power subordinates obey because they accept the values of the company. This power is similar with f Reference power of French and Raven.

These three distinct types of power, separate ways which should be used by managers to achieve compliance by the employees. Nevertheless, the efficiency of these power sources depends on the type Involvement of members of the company. The type of Alienation is characterized by very negative and often aggressive feelings on the part of workers. Under the Computational involvement, existing have a rational attitude and seek personal gain. Finally, Moral involvement is characterized by high positive emotions and feelings of altruism on behalf of subordinates.

The Etzioni even suggests that managers in order to be effective should not be diverted from this model. They must use the appropriate type of power as appropriate in the work environment of their business.

For this reason, such variables the subordinates themselves their character and the variables in the work environment should be taken under serious consideration on behalf of the managers when choosing power source.

Classical theorists show business as high Rational Organizational Structures in which Jurisdiction is followed with excessive attention from the chain of hierarchy so that executives have Legitimate power.

A more realistic view for business, which upgrades the importance of the power from the political perspective, presented by Nord (Nord, 1978: 675) who proposes four axioms of power for business, which helps them to focus their attention in a more realistic policy based on:

a. Businesses are constituted of departments which compete one another for funding and influence.

b. Many of these departments will try to protect their interests and positions of influence, to alter the external pressure and its impact.

c. The unequal distribution of power has not humanitarian impacts.

d. The exercise of power within companies is a vital component of exercise power within the broader social system that prevails in the business.

Figure 1

Contingent Model of Power of A. Etzioni

Source: Etzioni A. ( 1961)

4. The Hellenic Tourism Industry

Tourism started to flourish in what became known as mass tourism. During that time, large-scale construction projects for hotels and other similar facilities were undertaken and the country saw an increase in inbound tourism over the years (Varvaressos, 2013). Greece is surrounded by water and consists of more than 1,400 islands and islets, but only 169 of them are inhabited. These Greek islands are the most popular Greek destinations (Gerrard, 2014; VisitGreece, 2014).

4.1 Tourism in Greece: Travel and Tourism Indicators

The key role of tourism in the Greek economy has been highlighted by SETE (2013): it contributes 16.2% to the GDP, covers 51.2% of the trade balance deficit, employs 1 out of 5 residents, and generates 34 billion euros total demand. This subsection presents Travel & Tourism (T&T) indicators that aim to provide a measure of the past and current activity of T&T in Greek economy.

The tourism industry has been and still is one of the main pillars of the Greek economy over a period of more tha