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ASSESSING THE IMPACT OF QUALITY MANAGEMENT PRACTICES ON CUSTOMER SATISFACTION IN THE HOSPITALITY SECTOR OF CAMEROON

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ASSESSING THE IMPACT OF QUALITY MANAGEMENT PRACTICES ON CUSTOMER SATISFACTION IN THE HOSPITALITY SECTOR OF CAMEROON

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background of the Study

"Quality" and "quality management practices" have been top buzzwords in the corporate sector for over a decade.These subjects have formed the foundation of many consultants' careers, and business quality concerns have given rise to new companies and even entire industries.

Among the largest service industry sectors is the hospitality sector. This industry places a high value on quality, which has been the management's top priority in recent years. Reevaluating quality management procedures became necessary since ensuring excellent production is a difficult task in the hotel business. However, there are some particular challenges the hospitality industry pose that made providing a high degree of service even more difficult (Ndante, 2019). While, employees are the hospitality industry's most precious resource. Employees working in front of the hotel have a direct relationship with guests and are vital to providing high-quality service. Therefore, their success should come as no surprise to businesses looking to build long-lasting relationships with customers and outperform rivals in order to ensure long-term competitive advantages in the hospitality industry. Likewise, it is essential to hire and retain qualified employees who can provide high-quality work. The word ‘quality’ refers to the degree of excellence or superiority of a product, service, process, or experience, as perceived by the consumer or user. It include various attributes such as reliability, durability, functionality, aesthetics, safety, and conformance to specifications or standards. According to  involves meeting or exceeding customer expectations and requirements, as well as striving for continuous improvement. In business, quality management principles and practices are implemented to ensure that products or services consistently meet or exceed customer expectations while optimizing resources and processes. According to Lee & Asllani (2018), quality management is not solely focused on fulfilling standards, but rather on constantly surpassing them in order to provide outstanding products or services that bring great satisfaction to consumers and contribute to the success of the organization. Furthermore, a federation of 132 national standards agencies, the International Organisation for Standardisation, developed the ISO 9000 family of quality management systems (QMS) standards. The ISO 9000 QMS standards are applicable to the processes that produce goods and services, not to goods or services themselves. The broad character of the standards allows the industrial and service industries to apply them globally. However, in order to obtain ISO certification, a company must fulfil all requirements outlined in the ISO standards and pass a thorough audit conducted by an ISO auditor. Certain industries have made ISO certification mandatory; for instance, certain major manufacturers demand ISO certification from all of their suppliers. Even though ISO certification is highly regarded, most managers find the added expense of certification to be a turnoff if it is not a trend in their particular business. If an organization has a well-designed quality system and doesn't want to go through all the extra processes required for ISO certification, it is extremely simple to achieve the appropriate quality level within the organization. Although the relationship between quality management and customer satisfaction has generated theoretical interest, most research has focused on either quality or job satisfaction (Ali, 2021). There are currently few studies, especially empirical ones, looking at the connection between the two. On the other hand, the study of quality management in the hospitality sector has drawn more scholarly interest recently. Consequently, a multitude of research have surfaced that have essentially investigated the association between these two factors, albeit from different perspectives and producing differing conclusions.  However, a number of writers have questioned this relationship, offering a modern perspective that takes the customer's point of view. Therefore, a survey will be conducted in order to assess the impact of quality management practices on customer satisfaction in the hospitality sector of Cameroon.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

The goal of modern business strategies is to guarantee the calibre of goods and services. However, these days, quality is a managerial tool rather than a byproduct of production. An increasing number of manufacturing and service-oriented companies are participating in the enterprise-wide competition to obtain ISO-9000 accreditation. Furthermore, the poor quality of Cameroon's services is one of the country's economic vulnerabilities, which lowers organizations productivity and lowers the level of customer satisfaction. According to Michael (2020), quality is both a requirement and an advantage of market competitiveness. But there are difficulties in putting into practice and keeping up good quality management techniques in Cameroon's hotel industry. Strict regulations, cultural differences, and a lack of resources can all be obstacles to providing excellent service. Nevertheless, companies can overcome these obstacles and benefit from increased customer satisfaction and loyalty by making investments in infrastructure, technology, and training (Akinboboye, 2019).Thus, it is in the light of this, the study seeks to assess the impact of quality management practices on customer satisfaction in the hospitality sector of Cameroon.

1.3  Objectives of the Study

The main purpose of this study is to assess the impact of quality management practices on customer satisfaction in the hospitality sector of Cameroon. Specifically, the study will;

1.Investigate the extent quality management practices is adopted by hospitality sector in Cameroon.

2.Investigate the relationship between quality management practices and customer satisfaction levels in the hospitality sector of Cameroon.

3.Examine the  economic benefits associated with improving quality management practices and enhancing customer satisfaction for hospitality sector of Cameroon.

1.4 Research Questions 

The following questions have been prepared for the study:

What is the extent of adoption of quality management practices in the hospitality sector of Cameroon?

What is the relationship between quality management practices and customer satisfaction levels in the hospitality sector of Cameroon?

What are the economic benefits associated with improving quality management practices and enhancing customer satisfaction in the hospitality sector of Cameroon?

1.5 Research Hypotheses

H0: There is no significant relationship between quality management practices and customer satisfaction in the hospitality sector of Cameroon.

Ha: There is no significant relationship between quality management practices on customer satisfaction in the hospitality sector of Cameroon.

1.6 Significance of the Study

The results of this study will provide valuable insights for hospitality industries in Cameroon seeking to improve their operational efficiency, customer satisfaction, and overall performance. Also, it will help the management understand the history of the quality management, who the major players were, and how quality programs have affected the business world. More specifically, managers must know how quality programs have affected their specific industry in the past. Furthermore, it will help them identify and understand areas for improvement and implement evidence-based strategies to enhance their competitiveness and sustainability in the marketplace. Additionally, it will serve as a valuable resource for scholars conducting literature reviews in this area, contributing to the academic discourse and serving as a foundational text for future research endeavors. Ultimately, the study's results make a substantial contribution to the body of academic knowledge concerning the phenomenon of the impact of quality management practices on customer satisfaction in the hospitality sector of Cameroon.

1.7 Scope of the study

The scope of this study is boarded on  the impact of quality management practices on customer satisfaction in the hospitality sector of Cameroon. Empirically, this study will investigate the extent quality management practices is adopted by hospitality sector, the relationship between quality management practices and customer satisfaction levels in the hospitality and examine the  economic benefits associated with improving quality management practices and enhancing customer satisfaction for hospitality sector.

Geographically, the study will be delimited to employees in some selected hotel industry.

1.8 Limitation of the study

In the course of carrying out this study, the researcher experienced some constraints, which included time constraints, financial constraints, language barriers, and the attitude of the respondents.In addition, there was the element of researcher bias. Here, the researcher possessed some biases that may have been reflected in the way the data was collected, the type of people interviewed or sampled, and how the data gathered was interpreted thereafter. The potential for all this to influence the findings and conclusions could not be downplayed. 

More so, the findings of this study are limited to the sample population in the study area, hence they may not be suitable for use in comparison to other schools, local governments, states, and other countries in the world.

1.9 Definition of Terms

Quality management practices: is defined as systematic approaches, strategies, procedures, and techniques implemented within an organization to ensure that products, services, and processes consistently meet or exceed customer expectations and organizational standards.


This material content is developed to serve as a GUIDE for students to conduct academic research



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