Previous research conducted on the topic of workplace spirituality seems to suggest that this concept refers to the personal religious orientations of workers and the principles and ethics they associate with their respective religions. This study, however, presents an alternative approach to the understanding of workplace spirituality.
In this research the contemporary hospitality industry is presented as two metaphorical stages on which actors perform the play of hospitality . One of the stages is the front-stage world. The employees who work in this world observe an ultimate concern of unconditional hospitality and guest satisfaction. The other stage is the back-stage world. This world observes an ultimate concern of profit. Because the ultimate concerns of the front-stage world and the back-stage world stand in contrast to each other, the current spirituality of the contemporary hospitality industry is a spirituality of dissonance and unhappiness.
Though both the front-stage world and the back-stage world are part of the contemporary hospitality setting, the constructions of these worlds are unique. This study aims to explore the different elements that affect the understandings of these two worlds. It is important for contemporary hospitality employees to understand the constructions of the front-stage world and the back-stage world for only when they understand which elements shape these worlds, will it be possible for them to de-construct and to re-construct these worlds.
In the de-construction and re-construction of the front-stage world and the back-stage world lies the hope for an alternative spirituality for the contemporary hospitality industry.
The purpose of this study is to explore the possibility of an alternative spirituality that can help create a preferred working environment for workers of the contemporary hospitality industry.