Management competencies for graduate trainees of hospitality and tourism programs

Christou, Evangelos/ Eaton, Jack/ Χρήστου, Ευάγγελος

Institution and School/Department of submitter: ΤΕΙ Θεσσαλονίκης
Issue Date: 4-Oct-2000
Publisher: Elsevier
Citation: Christou, E. (2000). Management competencies for graduate trainees of hospitality and tourism programs. Annals of Tourism Research 27, (4). Διαθέσιμο σε: (Ανακτήθηκε 13 Ιουλίου 2015).
Journal: Annals of Tourism Research, vol 27, no 4, 2000
Abstract: In order to satisfy customers through the delivery of quality services by skilled and competent staff, an effective hospitality and tourism education system must exist. An efficient national system of education also helps shape future managers to provide sound leadership. The development of value-adding skills among human resources (Baum 1995) adds to the comparative success of a hospitality or tourism firm (Go, Monachello and Baum 1996). This workforce is required to possess the appropriate skills in order to build a value chain serving both internal customers (other employees) and external customers (consumers). The relevant management competencies should be reflected in the curriculum of any program which otherwise would lack validity and credibility (Luke and Ingold 1990). To fulfill the needs of the industry, it is appropriate to explore the employers' expectations regarding the management competencies of graduate entrants in the industry. In 1988, Tas carried out a study that targeted the management competencies required by graduate trainees in the hotel business. It involved the examination of the views of the general managers of 75 properties with 400 or more rooms. Baum's (1990) replication in the United Kingdom was based on the response of 118 general managers out of 223 hotels with 150 or more rooms. The present research describes the replication of Tas' and Baum's studies in Greece, a traditional destination in Europe. Similarities and differences among the findings of the three surveys are identified and examined. Due to the structure and size of the Greek hotel sector, the survey population was slightly altered; the research was concerned with all five-star properties regardless of their size and all four-star hotels with 200 rooms or more. This provided a population of 178 establishments. Out of questionnaires mailed to this sample, 91 were returned (51%). The response rate achieved was thus close to Baum's 53%. The research instrument, in the form of a checklist accompanied by an explanatory letter, was mailed to the general managers. They were asked to rate each competency statement by using five points for essential competencies, four points for important, and three points for competencies of moderate importance, two points for little importance, and one point for unimportant. The survey was anonymous, but limited data regarding the respondent and his organization were requested. According to Tas (1988) the competency responses can be categorized as essential, when the mean rating is over 4.50, of considerable importance when it is between 3.50 and 4.49 and, moderately important when between 2.50 and 3.49. The main limitation of the present survey seems to come from its quantitative approach. Due to the fact that the overall objective of this survey was the examination of people's views and attitudes, the survey could have been carried out by using qualitative research techniques (perhaps through in-depth interviews using projective techniques). The most obvious result of the study is that general managers identified “soft skills” as most essential. Even six years after the first two studies (Table 1) similar results to those by Tas and Baum resurface. This has to be taken seriously by hospitality educators in Greece and elsewhere. Compared with the British hotel managers, the Greek showed little reluctance to rate competencies as “essential”. The gap with the American professionals was even larger: the Greeks were very reluctant to consider any area as “unimportant” (Table 1). This is reflected in the composite mean for all 36 competencies (not tabled here) which was 4.08 for the Greek study, 4.02 for the British, and 3.82 for the American surveys. Thus, one may assume that Greek employers have higher demands and expectations of potential recruits than their British and American counterparts. A further interesting outcome of the survey is that the majority of the hoteliers in these countries agreed to what is the most essential competency for trainees: the ability to manage guest problems with understanding and sensitivity. “Soft skills” figure in the first position of most general managers' checklist in these countries.
Description: Δημοσιεύσεις μελών--ΣΔΟ--Τμήμα Εμπορίας και Διαφήμισης,2000
Other Identifiers: 10.1016/S0160-7383(99)00129-2
Appears in Collections:Δημοσιεύσεις σε Περιοδικά

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