A Critical Analysis on the Development Trends of the Management of Hospitality
The field of hospitality management is diverse. It has got both academic and professional connotations. From an academic standpoint it entails the study of the proper ways of managing the hospitality industry, while from a professional standpoint it comprises of all efforts geared towards the management of all hospitality industry institutions such as hotels, tour and travel agencies, etc. In this regard, it can be argued that hospitality management begins right at the school level and proceeds into the active professional practice (Singh, 2000).
Ideally, the hospitality industry comprises a vast network of services. For instance, when persons travel to new places, book hotels, eat out in restaurants, watch movies, visit cultural sites, and engage in other leisure activities they are patronizing various institutions forming the broad hospitality industry (Talwar, 2006). In this regard, managers of these institutions need to be well aware of their duties as well as the expectations of their clientele so as to accord them the optimum hospitality. For instance, they (managers) should be experienced enough so as to comfortably accommodate any known and unknown managerial challenges that may crop up (Boella & Goss-Turner, 2005).
To achieve these seemingly complex feats the realm of hospitality management has undergone phenomenal developments over the years. When looking at hospitality management from an international standpoint many aspects emerge as may be determined by a number of factors such as, disposable income, assess to credit facilities, availability of leisure time, varying cultural needs and most importantly the urge to preserve unique cultural practices while still embracing globalization and integration (Talwar, 2006).
Studies that have addressed the Topic
Boella and Goss-Turner (2005) asserts that the management of the hospitality industry and/or institutions encompasses several chains of personalities. Over the years these salient management areas have experienced significant developments as institutions have struggled to remain competitive and hospitable (Andal-Ancion, 2003). Perhaps in trying to conceptualize some of these development trends in the management of hospitality it is wise to perceive a hospitality institution as a conventional business entity, say a beef factory. Under normal circumstances, business entities are expected to generate profit, hospitality institutions are also expected to make profit. Though hospitality institutions are meant to provide leisure-based services to their patrons, it is wise to assert that they can only be in position to achieve this feat if they are making profit.
As such therefore, one of the most phenomenal development trends in the management of hospitality institutions and/or industry is sales and marketing. Other salient development trends may be indentified from the realms of human resources, finance, risk mitigation, conservation of the environment, renovation of old captivating sites, and launching of new products among many other areas. Tellingly, these development trends have been taking place within Boella and Goss-Turner (2005) five-point job description framework whose central premise is that, development trends in the hospitality industry should be in harmony with the customer’s, society’s, colleagues’, employer’s and employee’s expectations (p.40).
The realm of event management entails the active utilization of project management skills. Over the years, the number of events falling under the hospitality industry has continued to increase. Cultural festivals, conferences, sports meetings, as well as musical events are some of these events that continue to draw large numbers of leisure enthusiasts. Tellingly, as Ramsborg et al (2008) assert, these large number of attendees have been occasioned by a range of factors which include but not limited to the following, wide-reaching and convincing marketing gimmicks, proper financial management measures, sound human resources management measures, sound product development strategies, and most importantly, sound operations management practices.
Hotels management is one of the critical facets of hospitality management. Over the years various cadres of hotels have sprouted courtesy of the new services which have been launched to carter for the diverse and highly dynamic leisure enthusiasts tastes. Today hotel management encompasses the realms of food and beverages, accommodation, conferencing, as well as indoor sporting activities. Basically, depending on the nature and scope of services accorded to clients, the following hotels cadres can easily be identified: full service, full service upscale, select service, extended stay, as well as limited service. Needless to say, these diverse services needs to be properly managed so as to enhance efficiency, as such therefore, persons occupying management position in contemporary hotels need to be academically and professionally competent (Singh, 2000).
The management of tour and travel agencies has undergone a rapid transformation. Ideally, this has made such agencies to move from the traditional businesses that merely sold transport related services to clients to more vibrant and integrated hospitality institutions. Initially, most travel agencies used to operate under large travel entities such as airlines and hotels. They used to make profit through commission given by these large hospitality institutions, however, with the advent of the internet; travel agencies have been forced to venture into other transport related services so as to remain relevant. Today, many travel agencies provide diverse range of services which include cruise vacations bookings, the provision of general tour and travel information as well as the provision of traditional transport services (Andal-Ancion, 2003).
Theme park managers have found themselves faced by new management challenges occasioned by the rapidly changing clientele demands. Technically, theme park managers are entrusted with the main duty of ensuring that proper business strategies are constantly formulated and implemented so as to ensure large numbers of leisure enthusiast throughout the year. Contemporary theme parks managers have been transformed from mere supervisors of employees tasked with cleaning and trimming overgrown bushes and lawns to active team leaders who carryout financial, technical, operational tasks related to organizing of recreational events, travel bookings, as well as the integration with other hospitality institutions (Woodside & Martin, 2007).
Scope of the Study
This study scope will be narrow by fair terms. Precisely, the study will narrow down its scope on four hospitality industry institutions – hotels, travel agencies, theme parks and event organizing firms. In each of these four core hospitality institutions the study will seek to extract critical information pertaining to the development trends that has since been witnessed in the realm of management of hospitality. The trends will oscillate within the following core areas: Dynamics of international tourism and hospitality; international tourism marketing; human resource management in organisations; managing tourism and hospitality among small medium enterprises; international hospitality case studies; decision making for managers; event management; and ethical dimensions of tourism. Even so, it is wise to point out that only information touching on the way managers in the hospitality industry go about serving their clientele while still maintaining good rapport with their employees as well the members of the public on one hand, and keeping at bay fierce competition from their rivals on the other.
Aims and Objectives
The core aim of this research study is to “carryout a comprehensive analysis of the development trends made thereof in the field of the hospitality management.” From this core aim the following objectives can be drawn out. To find out the:
Nature and scope of hospitality industry vis-à-vis the prevailing leisure demands.
Salient development trends registered among the four selected hospitality institutions.
Forces behind these development trends.
Impacts of such development trends on the four hospitality institutions.
The future of management of hospitality in the face of the contemporary challenges.
Impact of academic and/or professional training on developments trends registered in the management of the four selected hospitality institutions.
The realm of hospitality management falls within the social sciences domain. As such therefore, the study requires an appropriate research design capable of extracting the maximum amount of information from the respondents and the processing of such information in the most efficient yet simple methods. To this end, an exploratory qualitative research methodology will be the most appropriate as it is capable of the respondents’ perceptions of the development trends made in the realm of management of hospitality. Drawing on Creswell (2003) opinions on various research methods for tackling social phenomena it can be wisely asserted that a qualitative research design offers the best option for examining how various hospitality industry stakeholders perceive of the development trends that have since taken place within the industry.
The study population will be practicing managers of at least four hospitality industry institutions (hotels, transportation agencies, event organizing firms, and theme parks). To enhance fair representation of the target demographic, these institutions will be distributed within a 100 square miles area in California, US. In arriving at the sample, the researcher will identify at least five entities in each institutional category, that is, five hotels, five event organizing firms, five transportation agencies, and five theme parks. From each of these four sets of institutions, the researcher will randomly select two managers to make up a total of 40 participants.
As hinted only 40 managers from this study area will be considered for the study. This will be done in accordance with Ader, Mellenbergh, and Hand (2008) opinions on the ideal size of study sample. Tellingly, these authors hold that a study sample should not be too big neither should it be too small. Selecting mangers based on the length of their service will ensure that the number of potential participants is narrowed down while at the same time enhancing the quality of information to be collected. In this regard, the researcher will rely on the willingness of the managers to take part in the study.
The researcher will rely on the up-to-date employee inventory in each of the institutions sampled. From this employee inventory, the researcher will then single out managers with at least five years of working experience and list them in a list, for each entity, for example, five lists in the case of hotels. The researcher will then prepare consent request letters for participation and dispatch them to the identified mangers through the post office. A response form and an open “postage-paid” envelope will accompany these letters to ensure guaranteed response. The managers will be given at least one week to return the consent forms.
After studying the responses, the researcher will prepare 20 lists of managers willing to participate in the study. Each list will be numbered from number 1 to say, 20 in an alphabetical order. Then while utilizing a random number generator, the researcher will select 2 numbers from the alphabetically listed names. The names represented by these two numbers will form the study sample (Bartlett, Kotrlik, & Higgins, 2001).
The study will rely on primary data collected using interviews. These interviews will be structured according to the questioning techniques offered by Creswell (2003) so as to capture as much information as possible. In this regard, both open and closed questions will be used. In addition, some interview questions will include mini-questions (follow-up questions) so as to enhance depth of the information collected.
The interviews will be conducted on a face-to-face basis within the institutions so as not to interrupt the participants work schedules. Even so, to enhance participation the managers will be given the opportunity to choose the venues most convenient to them Creswell, 2003).
Due to the complex nature of the proposed topic, data collected through the structured interviews will be analyzed using the coding and memoing method. This method will enhance accurateness and preciseness is enhanced throughout the process of analyzing and drawing meaning from the data (Birks, Chapman, & Francis, 2008).
This data analysis method draws its impetus from Patton (2002) who opines that coding and memoing process entail singling out key themes from the raw data. In this regard, the raw data will be scrutinized then basing on the research problem, the researcher will closely study the information so as to identify all the salient development trends witnessed in management of hospitality realm. Then while employing the services of a transcribing machine, the researcher will prepare short notes representing these salient development trends (Reiss & Judd, 2000). The transcribed data will be further scrutinized and then coded into short meaningful units. Lastly, the coded information will be taken through an ad hoc process that will involve the filling of frequency tables and graphs (Birks, Chapman, & Francis, 2008).
Given the complex nature of this study topic it is expected that the study will engage a relatively large number of participants from a wide geographic area perhaps in all the US states. However, due to limitations of resources the study sample will only comprise of 40 participants selected from hospitality institutions spread across the state of California. This is by fair terms a significant weakness given that the few managers (40) may not hold similar perceptions on the development trends on the contemporary hospitality industry across the globe. Future studies should engage a larger and sample so as to enhance the validity of the collected and analyzed data.
Main Tasks and Timescale – Chart
No. Date Task
1. Jan 31, 2011- XXXX General preparation – reading of relevant literature.
2. XXXX – XXXX Sampling
3. XXXX – XXXX Fieldwork – collection of data using interviews.
4. XXXX – XXXX Analysis of data
5. XXXX – XXXX Interpretation of data
6. XXXX – XXXX Preparation of the dissertation manuscript
7. XXXX – XXXX Preparation of the dissertation fair copy
8. XXXX – XXXX Submission of the completed dissertation
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