Labour productivity, work flexibility, and international migration in hotels

Start date

August 2013

End date

March 2015


This project analyses the extent to which labour productivity is determined by flexible work practices and the employment of international migrant workers in hotels, a relatively neglected but significant source of output and jobs. We also examine the extent to which there is a relationship between work flexibility and the employment of migrants, and how the interaction between these influences firm performance. In more general terms, the research contributes to the continuing debate about the performance of the UK economy, and its ‘productivity gap’.

The project overcomes the limitations of secondary data by having privileged access to a unique data base for three large companies, with some 80 hotels in the UK and the Netherlands. This provides data not just at establishment level, or even at departmental level, but at individual employee level. Data is recorded on an hourly basis for different types of labour inputs (part time, contracted, seasonal etc.) over a continuous five year period. Outputs are measured in terms of both service outcomes (rooms occupied etc.) and financial terms. The availability of data for 2007-13 also allows analysis of how firms have responded to a changing operating environment through the economic crisis.

Funding amount




Additional team members

Natina Yaduma


  • Webinar organised by Institute of Hospitality
  • Final symposium held in London 2015


Yaduma, N., Williams, A. M., Park, S., & Lockwood, A. (2015). Performance, Labour Flexibility and Migrant Workers in Hotels: An Establishment and Departmental Level Analysis, International Journal of Hospitality Management50, 94-104.

Park, S., Yaduma, N., Lockwood, A. J., & Williams, A. M. (2016). Demand Fluctuations, Labour Flexibility and Productivity, Annals of Tourism Research59, 93-112.

Research groups and centres

We have a world-class reputation for our research in hospitality, tourism, transport and events.

SCHOOL OF HOSPITALITY AND TOURISM MANAGEMENT Centre for Competitiveness of the Visitor Economy