An investigation of the causes of non-adherence to set quality standards in lodges in Zimbabwe: A case of operators in Harare
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The study sought to investigate the causes of non-adherence to set quality standards in lodges in Zimbabwe. Literature relevant to the topic was reviewed and it mainly focused on the obstacles to effective quality management and standardization in lodges, stakeholder support interventions for quality management and strategies for the enhancement of quality management. A quantitative and qualitative approach was employed to solicit opinions and information from Lodge Owners, Managers and stakeholders such as the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) and the Hospitality Association of Zimbabwe (HAZ). Using simple random sampling a sample of 99 lodges was extracted from about 115 lodges in Harare. Two key Tourism and Hospitality organizations in Zimbabwe namely ZTA and HAZ were interviewed. In the research process the study administered 2 questionnaires; 1 for lodges and the other for stakeholders. The study established the causes of non-adherence to set quality standards in the lodges’ day to day operations. Amongst other causes, the major ones included the lack of capacity and resources to maintain quality standards, lack of skills and expertise in lodge owners and support staff, lack of quality management systems and failure to communicate and link up with Tourism and Hospitality stakeholders. From the findings, the study recommended amongst other things that lodge owners needed to establish formal and standardized operational systems and to adopt quality management models and frameworks that have been found to work internationally. Government together with the Tourism and Hospitality stakeholders are advised to run training and capacity building programmes, targeting lodge owners and support staff, in the nature and application of quality management strategies. It is also recommended that a strategic quality management information exchange platform be established for the benefit of all stakeholders in the accommodation sector and most importantly the lodges.