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This paper proposes that strategic plans are most likely to be implemented successfully when hospitality leaders listen well and when hospitality organizations develop strong learning environments. It is proposed that leaders who listen effectively can influence organizational processes at three levels of analysis – individual, team/interactional, and organizational. Examples are provided of the specific listening challenges hospitality leaders confront at each level. The HURIER model proposes a 6-stage listening process. A discussion then follows describing how listening skills can be applied to address the challenges posed at each of the three levels of analysis. It is argued that when leaders listen effectively they can create learning environments that then facilitate the implementation of the strategies they propose. When such organizational cultures are created and maintained, both employee empowerment and organizational performance are increased. Suggestions for increasing listening effectiveness are presented. A conceptual model is offered as a tool for identifying questions for future research.


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© Taylor & Francis. Final version published as: Brownell, J. (2008). Exploring the strategic ground for listening and organizational effectiveness. Scandinavian Journal of Hospitality and Tourism, 8(3), 211-229. doi: 10.1080/15022250802305295
Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.