Marriott Internationals Management Style Essay

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Marriott International is one of the largest hotel chains worldwide. With its headquarters in Bethesda, Maryland, the organisation has over 5,700 properties spread across more than 100 countries around the world. Throughout its nine decades of operation, the organisation has undergone numerous changes in terms of management, processes, as well as corporate and business strategy. This paper discusses a number of change aspects relating to the organisation. These include two key changes in the organisation's management style, role of senior management in preparing the organisation for its most recent change, use of vendors and spokespersons, an innovation that could positively impact on the organisation's employees and customers, as well as the organisation's ability to adapt to the changing needs of customers and the market environment.



Changes in Management Style



Marriott has been in operation since 1927. Though the organisation has undergone several changes in management style over its operational history, two key changes occurred in 1992 and 2011. In 1992, Marriott split into two divisions, Marriott International and Host Marriott Corporation (Marriott, 2013). The former would offer management services to hotel owners while the latter would retain firm-owned properties. This marked a momentous change for the organisation. The company would now focus on management contracts and franchise agreements as opposed to hotel ownership. In fact, majority of the organisation's revenue today come from offering management services and franchisees (Touryalai, 2013). This has enabled the organisation to minimise the risks associated with hotel ownership. Shift of focus from hotel ownership to management services meant a number of changes in the organisation's management structure. For instance, each division would have its own board of directors and administrative system (Marriott, 2013).



In 2011, the organisation's long time CEO Bill Marriott stepped down from his position for Arne Sorenson. This marked a major change in management style. Bill has historically been described as a hands-on manager, a style predominantly inspired by his father, the founder of the organisation (Touryalai, 2013). His management style was largely characterised by leading from the front, a significant degree of micromanagement, as well as inclusive and participatory decision-making. Bill's employee-oriented style of management saw the organisation generate positive employee outcomes over the years.

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From inception, the organisation has been a firm believer in the adage "take care of your employees, and they will take care of your customers." Sorenson, the first non-family member to serve as CEO in the history of the organisation, brought a rather different style of management. Indeed, Sorenson is somewhat the opposite of Bill -- he is a hands-off manager (Touryalai, 2013). His style is largely characterised by a great deal of delegation and autonomy. For Sorenson, a multinational organisation such as Marriott requires a substantial amount of decentralisation.



The tremendous success of the organisation is enough evidence of the effectiveness of its management. The success evidently indicates proper strategizing and sound decision-making. The hotel industry is one of the most dynamic industries, constantly bombarded by challenges such as terrorism as well as changing consumer tastes and preferences. Marriott has over the years weathered these challenges, growing from a small, family root beer company to an international hotel chain. Therefore, there is reason to believe that the organisation is managed properly.



Senior Management's Role in Preparing the Organisation for Change



The role of the senior management in preparing the organisation for change cannot be overemphasised. The top management plays a crucial role in communicating the vision and urgency for change, addressing employee concerns as a result of the change, as well as mobilising and providing the required support (Hayes, 2014). This is important for minimising resistance to change and ensuring the success of the change initiative. One of the major most recent changes at Marriott was the change of leadership from the long serving CEO Bill Marriott (a member of the founding family) to Arne Sorenson (a non-family member). Bill had served as CEO of the organisation for about four decades. The change was, therefore, a defining moment in the history of the organisation.



The transition was quite seamless. With a people-oriented philosophy, Bill invested a great deal of time and effort in preparing the organisation for the new CEO. Sorenson joined the organisation over two decades ago after being handpicked by Bill himself. He quickly rose through the ranks and was appointed to the position.....

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References


Berzon, A. (2011, December 14). Marriott CEO to step down. The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved from: http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052970203430404577097083490921006

Evans, C. (2016, August 5). The many side of Marriott's Arne Sorenson. Surface. Retrieved from: http://www.surfacemag.com/articles/power-100-hospitality-arne-sorenson

Hayes, J. (2014). The theory and practice of change management. London: Palgrave Macmillan.

Mandelbaum, A. (2015). Hotel technology innovations that will drive business in 2016. Retrieved from: http://www.hospitalitynet.org/news/4072364.html

Marriott, J. (2013). Without reservations: how a family root beer stand grew into a global hotel company. U.S.: Diversion Books.

Touryalai, H. (2013, July 15. Marriott's upgrade: new CEO Arne Sorenson freshens up the brand for millenials. Forbes. Retrieved from: http://www.forbes.com/sites/halahtouryalai/2013/06/26/marriotts-upgrade-new-ceo- arne-sorenson-enlivens-the-hotel-giant-aims-for-1-million-rooms/#4cf866dc5dd1

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