Desirable Competencies for Middle Managers in the Hospitality Industry

University essay from Umeå universitet/Institutionen för geografi

Abstract: The purpose of this thesis was to gain an updated understanding of the needs of thehospitality industry, and the desirable competencies for middle managers. Most previous studieshave stated the importance of continuant research on desirable competencies to update hospitalityeducators and students. This study was conducted to explore what competencies are desirable,why they are desirable, and how one can acquire them. Few, if any previous studies haveexplored how desirable competencies can be acquired. This thesis adapted qualitative methods togain a better understanding of the informants’ perception of desirable competencies. Theinformants were the general, front-office, food and beverage, and housekeeping managers, atthree different hotels of three different hotel-chains. The informants were personally interviewedwith the use of semi-structured interview guides and fake CV’s the informants had to rank duringthe interviews. The result demonstrated desirable competencies in seven different competencydomains: conceptual/ creative, leadership, human resource, interpersonal/communication, finance,technical and culture/language. The first six competencies are similar to Sandwith’s CompetencyDomain Model (1993); however, this thesis adds another competency domain, culture/language.The competencies were found to be desirable for all manager but were utilized in various waysdepending on the manager’s position. According to the informants, most competencies could betaught and developed through a mixture of formal education and work experience, while somecompetencies were considering part of one’s personality or upbringing. The results provide abetter understanding of desirable competencies in the hospitality industry and the importance ofcultural/language competencies which has not been highlighted in previous studies.

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