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1 Wester Michiga Uiversity ScholarWorks at WMU Dissertatios Graduate College The Role of Experietial Learig i Nurturig Maagemet Competeciesi Hospitality ad Tourism Maagemet Studets: Perceptios from Studets, Facultyad Idustry Professioals Kriste Jack Wester Michiga Uiversity Follow this ad additioal works at: Part of the Higher Educatio Commos, Hospitality Admiistratio ad Maagemet Commos, ad the Tourism ad Travel Commos Recommeded Citatio Jack, Kriste, "The Role of Experietial Learig i Nurturig Maagemet Competeciesi Hospitality ad Tourism Maagemet Studets: Perceptios from Studets, Facultyad Idustry Professioals" (2011). Dissertatios This Dissertatio-Ope Access is brought to you for free ad ope access by the Graduate College at ScholarWorks at WMU. It has bee accepted for iclusio i Dissertatios by a authorized admiistrator of ScholarWorks at WMU. For more iformatio, please cotact

2 THE ROLE OF EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING IN NURTURING MANAGEMENT COMPETENCIES FN HOSPITALITY AND TOURISM MANAGEMENT STUDENTS: PERCEPTIONS FROM STUDENTS, FACULTY, AND INDUSTRY PROFESSIONALS by Kriste Jack A Dissertatio Submitted to the Faculty of The Graduate College i partial fulfillmet of the requiremets for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy Departmet of Educatioal Leadership, Research, ad Techology Advisor: Loua Bierlei Palmer, Ed.D. Wester Michiga Uiversity Kalamazoo, Michiga August 2011

3 THE ROLE OF EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING IN NURTURING MANAGEMENT COMPETENCIES IN HOSPITALITY AND TOURISM MANAGEMENT STUDENTS: PERCEPTIONS FROM STUDENTS, FACULTY, AND INDUSTRY PROFESSIONALS Kriste Jack, Ph.D. Wester Michiga Uiversity, 2011 Previous research has revealed that idustry professioals ad educators i the field of Hospitality ad Tourism Maagemet (HTM) agree that classroom theory ad experiece i the field are essetial compoets of udergraduate HTM educatio. Yet there is some disagreemet o itership hour requiremets, ad limited data o actual outcomes. This study therefore examies the perceptios of studets ad idustry professioals as to the extet HTM udergraduate studets actually develop key maagemet competecies while participatig i experietial learig compoets. I additio, it captures the views of uiversity faculty ad hospitality idustry professioals who work with these studets regardig essetial competecies ad the most beeficial itership requiremets. The study icludes the perceptios of 122 udergraduate HTM studets attedig oe mid-sized uiversity, 39 faculty members from various HTM programs at Midwest istitutios, ad 98 hospitality idustry professioals. O-lie surveys were used to capture data o five maagemet competecy categories coceptual/creative, leadership, iterpersoal, admiistrative, ad techical.

4 Data revealed geeral agreemet betwee faculty ad idustry participats regardig the competecies studets should attai prior to graduatio. Skills idetified as most importat are i the techical competecy category, followed by skills i the admiistrative, iterpersoal, leadership ad coceptual/creative categories. Specific top skills iclude commuicatig effectively both writte ad orally, maitaiig professioal ad ethical stadards, ad maagig guest problems. I referece to actual competecy attaimet durig iterships, studets geerally reported the highest levels of attaimet withi the techical competecy, followed by coceptual/creative, iterpersoal, leadership, ad admiistrative. Although two of the idividual skills attaied were i the list of most desired (i.e., maitaiig professioal ad ethical stadards, ad maagig guest problems), the top competecy categories were differet whe comparig skills studets should have ad skills studets actually attai. The overall idicatio is that studets attai fairly high levels of skill attaimet ad icreased cofidece i their abilities upo completio of itership experieces. Faculty ad idustry leaders also agreed that the best itership placemets ivolve payig studets for their work, treatig them the same as other employees, ad offerig traiig ad professioal developmet opportuities. Fially, icreasig the amout of required itership hours should be a priority i udergraduate HTM programs.

5 Huma Subjects Istitutioal Review Board Date: March 11, 2011 To: Loua Bierlei Palmer, Pricipal Ivestigator Kriste Jack, Studet Ivestigator for dissertatio From: AmyNaugle, Ph.D., cwv\ l im l\(lu Re- HSIRB Project Number ^ islam This letter will serve as cofirmatio that your research project titled "The Role of Experietial Learig i Nurturig Maagemet Competecies i Hospitality & Tourism Maagemet Studets Perceptios from Studets, Faculty, ad Idustry Professioals" has bee approved uder the exempt category of review by the Huma Subjects Istitutioal Review Board The coditios ad duratio of this approval are specified i the Policies of Wester Michiga Uiversity You may ow begi to implemet the research as described i the applicatio. Please ote that you may oly coduct this research exactly m the form it was approved. You must seek specific board approval for ay chages i this project. You must also seek reapproval if the project exteds beyod the termiatio date oted below I additio if there are ay uaticipated adverse reactios or uaticipated evets associated with the coduct of this research, you should immediately susped the project ad cotact the Chair of the HSIRB for cosultatio The Board wishes you success i the pursuit of your research goals. Approval Termiatio. March 11, 2012 Walwood Hall Kalamazoo Ml PHONE (269) FAX (269)

6 UMI Number: All rights reserved INFORMATION TO ALL USERS The quality of this reproductio is depedet upo the quality of the copy submitted. I the ulikely evet that the author did ot sed a complete mauscript ad there are missig pages, these will be oted. Also, if material had to be removed, a ote will idicate the deletio. UMI Dissertatio Publishig UMI Copyright 2011 by ProQuest LLC. All rights reserved. This editio of the work is protected agaist uauthorized copyig uder Title 17, Uited States Code. uest ProQuest LLC 789 East Eisehower Parkway P.O. Box 1346 A Arbor, Ml

7 2011 Kriste Jack

8 ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I wish to thak my dissertatio chair Dr. Loua Bierlei Palmer for her amazig support, dedicatio, ad hours spet with me o this project. I additio, thak you to my committee members Dr. Jessaca Spybrook, for her guidace ad isight, ad Dr. Charles Baker-Clark for ot oly his support durig this project, but beig there sice the begiig. Thaks also to Matt Malloure, my stats champio, without whom this project may ever have bee completed. Fially, thak you to my family for dealig with this log process ad your ever-edig support. Kriste Jack

9 TABLE OF CONTENTS ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS LIST OF TABLES LIST OF FIGURES ii vii xii CHAPTER 1. INTRODUCTION TO THE STUDY 1 Problem Statemet 3 Research Questios 8 Coceptual Framework... 9 Chapter 1 Summary LITERATURE REVIEW 14 Itroductio 14 Foudatios of Experietial Learig 14 Experietial Learig i Higher Educatio 17 Experietial Learig as a Compoet of Hospitality Programs 21 Perceptios of Hospitality Idustry Leaders 24 Hospitality Studet's Perceptios of Experietial Learig 28 Iterships ad Maagemet Competecies 32 A Call for Program Structure ad Quality Assessmet 39 Chapter 2 Summary 40 iii

10 Table of Cotets-Cotiued CHAPTER 3. RESEARCH METHODOLOGY 44 Itroductio 44 Research Desig 45 Populatio ad Sample 45 Istrumetatio 47 Data Aalysis 49 Research questio 1 49 Research questio 2 50 Research questio 3 51 Limitatios of the Study 53 Chapter 3 Coclusio DATA ANALYSIS Itroductio 55 Descriptio of the Populatio 56 Research Questio 1 60 Research Questio 2 73 Research Questio 3 99 Chapter 4 Summary 108 iv

11 Table of Cotets-Cotiued CHAPTER 5. SUMMARY, DISCUSSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS 110 Itroductio 110 Summary ad Discussio of the Fidigs Research Questio 1 Ill Ill Research Questio Coceptual creative competecy Leadership competecy Iterpersoal competecy 119 Admiistrative competecy 120 Techical competecy 121 Research Questio Coceptual creative competecy 127 Leadership competecy 128 Iterpersoal competecy 128 Admiistrative competecy Techical competecy 128 Overall Coclusios 130 Leadership Recommedatios 133 Program Structure 133 v

12 Table of Cotets-Cotiued CHAPTER Faculty Roles ad Resposibilities 135 Idustry Roles ad Resposibilities 136 Studet Roles ad Resposibilities 137 Suggestios for Future Research 137 Closig REFERENCES 139 APPENDICES A. Faculty Survey Istrumet 148 B. Idustry Survey Istrumet C. Studet Survey Istrumet 167 D. Faculty Ivitatio to Participate 178 E. Idustry Ivitatio to Participate 180 F. Studet Ivitatio to Participate 182 G. Opeig Survey Webpage 184 H. Istitutioal Review Board Approval 186 vi

13 LIST OF TABLES 1. Studet Respodet Demographics: Geder, Class Stadig, Highest Level of Itership Completed, Sectors Worked Idustry Professioal Respodets Demographics: Geder, Idustry Sector Faculty Respodet Demographics: Geder, Istitutio Type, Oversight of Iters Faculty ad Idustry: Essetial Itership Compoets Idepedet Samples t-test: Faculty ad Idustry Ideal Total Hours for Iterships Faculty Rak Orderig of Essetial Skills Attaied Prior to Graduatio: Coceptual Creative Competecy Idustry Rak Orderig of Essetial Skills Attaied Prior to Graduatio: Coceptual Creative Competecy Faculty Rak Orderig of Essetial Skills Attaied Prior to Graduatio: Leadership Competecy Idustry Rak Orderig of Essetial Skills Attaied Prior to Graduatio: Leadership Competecy Faculty Rak Orderig of Essetial Skills Attaied Prior to Graduatio: Iterpersoal Competecy Idustry Rak Orderig of Essetial Skills Attaied Prior to Graduatio: Iterpersoal Competecy Faculty Rak Orderig of Essetial Skills Attaied Prior to Graduatio: Admiistrative Competecy Idustry Rak Orderig of Essetial Skills Attaied Prior to Graduatio: Admiistrative Competecy 68 v

14 List of Tables-Cotiued 14. Faculty Rak Orderig of Essetial Skills Attaied Prior to Graduatio: Techical Competecy Idustry Rak Orderig of Essetial Skills Attaied Prior to Graduatio: Tecliical Competecy Summary Rak Orders of Essetial Skills Needed Prior to Graduatio Overall Summary Rakigs for Skills Needed Prior to Graduatio Faculty Respose to Extet to which they have see Iterships Nurture this Skill: Coceptual Creative Competecy Idustry Respose to Extet to which they have see Iterships Nurture this Skill: Coceptual Creative Competecy Faculty Respose to Extet to which they have see Iterships Nurture this Skill: Leadership Competecy Idustry Respose to Extet to which they have see Iterships Nurture this Skill: Leadership Competecy Faculty Respose to Extet to which they have see Iterships Nurture this Skill: Iterpersoal Competecy Idustry Respose to Extet to which they have see Iterships Nurture this Skill: Iterpersoal Competecy Faculty Respose to Extet to which they have see Iterships Nurture this Skill: Admiistrative Competecy Idustry Respose to Extet to which they have see Iterships Nurture this Skill: Admiistrative Competecy Faculty Respose to Extet to which they have see Iterships Nurture this Skill: Techical Competecy Idustry Respose to Extet to which they have see Iterships Nurture this Skill: Tecliical Competecy 82 viii

15 List of Tables-Cotiued 28. Studet Resposes Competecy Statemets Summary Rak Orders of Skill Attaimet durig Iterships Overall Summary Rakigs for Skill Attaimet through Iterships Crobach's Alpha: Reliability Results for Faculty, Idustry ad Studets Test of Homogeeity of Variaces ANOVA Results by Maagemet Competecy: Perceptios of Attaimet Pairwise Comparisos by Maagemet Competecy: Perceptios of Attaimet Free Respose Commets Regardig Extet to which Studets are beig Prepared for Maagemet Positios Studet Free Respose Commets Regardig Studets Comfort i Applyig for Maagemet Positios Test of Homogeeity of Variaces ANOVA Results for Ideal Itership Hours Pairwise Comparisos: Recommedatios of Itership Hours ad which Studets are Actually Workig Idustry Segmet(s) Studets Worked while o Iterships Highest Level of Itership(s) Completed Studet Resposes to Geeral Compoets of Itership Experiece(s) Regressio Aalysis: Coceptual Creative Competecy Regressio Aalysis: Leadership Competecy Regressio Aalysis: Iterpersoal Competecy Regressio Aalysis: Admiistrative Competecy 105 ix

16 List of Tables-Cotiued 47. Regressio Aalysis: Techical Competecy Studet Free Respose Commets Regardig Most Rewardig Aspects of Itership Experiece Studet Free Respose Commets Regardig Most Frustratig Aspects of Itership Experiece Competecy Raked Meas as Related to: Essetial Skills Needed Prior to Graduatio Competecy Raked Meas as Relatated to: Extet to which Iterships Nurture Competecy Attaimet Faculty ad Idustry Sample Resposes: To what Extet do you Believe Studets are Curretly beig Prepared for Maagemet Positios via their Udergraduate Itership Requiremets? Compariso of Essetial Skills to Attaimet of Skills: Overall Meas by Occupatio Compariso of Hours: What Faculty ad Idustry Recommed Studets Work versus what they Actually Work Sample Studet Resposes: What was the Most Rewardig Part of your Itership Experiece(s)? Sample Studet Resposes: What was the Most Frustratig Part of your Itership Experiece(s)? Sample Studet Resposes: At this Poit i Time...Are you Comfortable with the Idea of Applyig for a Maagemet Positio withi the Hospitality Idustry, or do you Feel you Still have a Great Deal to Lear? Compariso Summary of Jack Study ad Prior Research Fidigs 132 x

17 LIST OF FIGURES 1. Coceptual Frame for Jack (2011) Study 12 xi

18 1 CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION TO THE STUDY The hospitality idustry is arguably oe of the fastest growig segmets withi our ecoomy (Gailliard, 2010). This multi-billio dollar idustry employs over 220 millio people globally ad geerates 9.4 percet of world GDP (World Travel ad Tourism Coucil, 2010). As this idustry cotiues to grow at a pheomeal rate, so does the demad for highly traied ad qualified people to fill ew positios cotiually becomig available (Gailliard). While the outlook for the idustry is oe of positivity ad growth, recruiters today are lookig for skills beyod a college diploma. While most graduates are adequately prepared i regards to job kowledge, may are lackig ecessary job skills (Irwi, 2005). To appropriately meet the demads of this idustry, educators must work with idustry i supplyig qualified graduates to lead the hospitality idustry ito the future (World Travel ad Tourism Coucil). Traditioally, the hospitality idustry has few maagers who have attaied their maagemet skills through a formal educatio track (Barro & Maxwell, 1993: Vujic, Becic, & Crjar, 2008). As the hospitality idustry is steadily seeig a icrease i positios that demad a miimum of a bachelor's degree, this leads to a short supply of qualified employees for upper-level positios withi all segmets of the idustry. I additio to the shortfall of qualified employees, the hospitality field i geeral does a poor job of traiig employees that do come to work i the idustry (Irwi, 2005). This lack of traiig ofte leads to frustratio o the part of employees, ad as a result, high tur-over rates are the orm.

19 Higher educatio has the opportuity to play a sigificat role i the reversal of these idustry treds. Istitutios that offer Hospitality ad Tourism Maagemet (HTM) programs are o the frot-lies of esurig graduates are well-traied for top level positios to lead this dyamic idustry. The Accreditatio Commissio for Programs i Hospitality Admiistratio (ACPHA) (2010) strogly recommeds that certai guidelies are used whe preparig studets for future employmet icludig: sequetial developmet of coursework, flexibility i elective offerigs, opportuity for advaced work i some areas, clear ad specific goals ad learig outcomes, ad most importatly, demadig experiece withi the workig eviromet. Ideed, for may years whe professioals from every segmet of the hospitality idustry were questioed o the ways hospitality educators ca best prepare graduates, the umber oe respose was to offer iterships ad hads-o experiece (Lefever & Withiam, 1998). The curriculum withi HTM programs geerally icludes iformatio o lodgig, food ad beverage, tourism, sales ad marketig, huma resources, ad hospitality law. Direct courses of emphasis may vary, but the geeral backgroud studets receive remais the same. Studets also have a strog core of busiess courses to accompay the specialized hospitality courses. Accordig to the ACPHA (2010), such busiess courses give studets a commo kowledge of maagemet theory, ad a awareess of the values, skills, ad attitudes eeded to prepare them for roles i busiess. Upo completio of such coursework, studets should be able to adequately describe the ature of the HTM idustry ad the basic job descriptios ad duties

20 3 performed withi most positios. Although these textbook cocepts are a excellet source of iformatio ad aalysis, they do ot give the studet the chace to put these ideas ito practice. Readig about differet scearios i a textbook is very differet tha dealig with actual people. This is where the hads-o idustry experiece becomes a importat compoet of the hospitality program. Geerally withi these HTM programs some form of experietial learig is required i the form of a itership or co-op program, but the level ad ature of the requiremets varies. Problem Statemet Foucar-Szocki ad Bolsig (1999) defie experietial learig as "a educatioal pla that itegrates classroom study with practical work experiece. It is iteded to cotribute meaigfully to the overall preparatio of the studet by providig a opportuity for the practical applicatio of skills ad cocepts leared i the classroom" (p. 30). As such, experietial educatio via iterships has become a importat compoet i a udergraduate HTM program (ACPHA, 2010). Studets acquire the skills ecessary to be successful i the HTM field ot oly i the classroom, but also by firsthad experiece. Experietial learig is a importat step i takig book kowledge ad uderstadig its applicatio to actual situatios (Carey, 1993). I additio, studets lear ivaluable strategies ever foud i a book. Research has demostrated that studets i HTM programs beefit from such experietial learig i multiple ways, icludig higher startig salaries, graduatig with higher GPAs ad takig less time to graduate (Blair & Millea, 2004); however there is a discrepacy betwee uiversity requiremets ad recommedatios of

21 4 idustry professioals. Accordig to Dowey ad DeVeau (1988), most hospitality educators believe that hours of itership are adequate for graduates. However the corporate recruiters clearly preferred studets who are graduatig with hours of itership experiece (Dowey & DeVeau). Additioally, educators ad idustry professioals disagree o the skills that should be attaied durig experietial placemets (Mayo & Thomas-Haybert, 2001). Lee (2007) suggests that experietial learig beefits studets whereby they leave the experiece with a much "deeper uderstadig of the soft skills employers i today's market so desperately seek" (p. 39). Studets are ot oly able to apply theory leared i the classroom, but lear to work with multitudes of people, persoality types, ad deal with issues o the "huma" side of the busiess. Iterships also allow studets the opportuity to assess their ow abilities as they relate to the desired career (Joes, 2003). Clito (2005) fids iterships give participats a competitive edge i securig post-graduatio employmet, allows them to gai practical skills ad core competecies eeded i their field, ad ideally allows them to directly impact a orgaizatio through their cotributios. Employers repeatedly poit to practical experiece as the most beeficial way for studets to fully uderstad the issues ad challeges of the hospitality idustry (Beggs, Ross, & Goodwi, 2008; Lee, Lu, Jiao, & Yeh, 2006; Strauss, 1999). Employers withi the hospitality idustry are lookig for studets with strog operatioal ad huma relatios skills (Ladki, 2000). Lee's (2007) research foud that studets' perceived learig icreased to some degree based o itership experieces, with the highest chage beig foud i

22 5 the practical kowledge related to their major. Although studets are self-reportig a icrease i learig due to itership experieces, it is importat to ote that may studets are reportig that they are eterig these itership positios with high expectatios, oly to be met with less tha rewardig results (Gulu & Usta, 2009, Walmsley et al., 2006). Such research has foud that studets seek to attai certai skills ad outcomes from experietial placemets icludig: applyig kowledge they have attaied i the classroom, beig recogized as part of the orgaizatio, beig treated like other o-iter employees, beig valued as a idividual with the opportuity to share their kowledge ad educatioal teachigs, ad fially securig future employmet. If studets are fidig a lack of challege ad supervisor participatio whe eterig the itership work eviromet, the experiece with the orgaizatio will be problematic (Waryszak, 2000). Accordig to Clio (2006) studets are lookig to the academic istitutio to provide eough guidace to the employer to esure proper oversight of the studet, ad relevace ad coectio betwee the job ad the courses studied withi the istitutio. As studets progress through experietial itership placemets, it is importat they move from etry-level learig to developig competecies that will make them successful maagers upo graduatio. Nath ad Raheja (2001) defie such maagemet competecies as "a combiatio of observable ad applied kowledge, skills ad behaviors that create a competitive advatage for a orgaizatio. It focuses o how a employee creates value ad what is actually accomplished" (p. 26). Although there is little empirical evidece supportig a agreed upo list of these competecies, curret studies do agree that idustry

23 6 professioals, hospitality educators ad studets must all be key stakeholders i the progress to establish such a list (Clio, 2006; Lee, 2007; Mayo & Thomas-Haybert, 2001; Walo, 2000). Ideed, Tsai, Goh, Huffma ad Wu (2006) examied variatios i perceptios betwee hospitality educators ad idustry professioals regardig maagemet competecies. Their fidigs idicated that idustry expectatios have chaged, but uiversity programs have ot ecessarily adapted curriculum to meet these chagig expectatios. Accordig to Tsai et. al, the clear focus of educators was admiistrative ad techical skills, while the idustry focus was o iterpersoal skills. As hospitality educators cotiue to focus o the past, they are potetially ot adequately preparig studets for the chagig eeds of the hospitality idustry. Work by Tas (1988), Tas, LaBrecque, ad Clayto (1996), ad Ricci ad Kaufma (2007) further idicated that professioals were focusig o iterpersoal skills as the strogest competecy idicators, yet these topics are cosistetly lackig i hospitality curriculum. I additio to educators ot adaptig curriculum to meet the chagig eeds of idustry, there is a wide variatio of curriculum styles ad graduatio requiremets betwee uiversity programs (Tesoe & Ricci, 2005). Because of such cocers, recruiters are ofte frustrated with the variatio i kowledge ad skills of studets comig out of these HTM uiversity programs. The work of Raybould ad Wilkis (2005) brought the studet voice ito the discussio of maagemet competecies. By examiig the perceptios of studets ad idustry regardig which skills were most importat to attai prior to graduatio, they were able to determie that although the two agreed i may areas, the studets

24 7 thought the coceptual ad aalytical skills would be much more importat upo graduatio tha the idustry respodets did. Studets believed they should be able to show data maagemet skills, strategic aalysis, hadle employee grievaces, ad be able to use tables, graphs ad charts to commuicate iformatio, whereby idustry believed strogly that they should be able to apply kowledge to differet cotexts, adapt creatively to chage, develop a career pla, ad idetify facts relative to particular issues or problems. These areas of discoect betwee the studet ad idustry perceptios clearly show the studets beliefs i lie with what they are beig taught i school. Although uiversity educators ad idustry leaders agree that iterships are a importat aspect of udergraduate hospitality educatio, they have differet opiios ad expectatios regardig the ideal criteria for experietial programs (Dowey & Deveau, 1988). Geerally the oly thig curretly agreed upo is that good itership programs ecourage studets to evolve ad improve as they progress through the process (Foucar-Szocki & Bolsig, 1999). Academic programs i hospitality ad tourism maagemet must therefore heed the advice of idustry professioals i helpig to determie the course of actio regardig experietial educatio. Despite o uiformity i aspects of HTM educatio programs, it appears educators ad idustry professioals agree that certai maagemet competecies attaied as a result of experietial iterships iclude: a icrease i coceptual kowledge, icludig the operatio ad orgaizatio of the establishmet; stroger maagemet skills i dealig with resposibility ad employees; commuicatio

25 8 skills whether appropriate writig skills or speakig with the skill of a perso i maagemet; ad fially, career developmet skills to prepare for their future career ad dealig with recruiters (Foucar-Szocki & Bolsig, 1999). My study sought to discover the role experietial itership learig plays i the developmet of such maagemet competecies, so educators ca better uderstad studet ad employer eeds, ad be able to respod accordigly. I additio, this study sought to discover what curret studets ad idustry professioals cosider to be characteristics of successful experietial learig. For my study, I surveyed three groups: (1) HTM studets at oe Midwest Uiversity who have completed itership requiremets, (2) faculty from Midwest istitutios who oversee such programs, ad (3) idustry professioals who hire these studets, regardig idividual experieces of each with experietial learig ad the subsequet developmet of maagemet competecies. Studet participats were asked to reflect o past itership experieces ad what maagemet skills they acquired, while faculty ad idustry professioals were asked to share their viewpoits o the most ideal itership requiremets ad how well such experieces prepare HTM studets for maagemet withi the hospitality idustry. Research Questios The followig research questios are addressed i this study: 1. What are the perceptios of HTM educators ad idustry professioals i referece to:

26 9 a. Essetial compoets of iterships (i.e., umber of hours, types of experieces) icludig the overall importace of such itership experieces; ad b. The key maagemet competecies HTM studets should attai as a result of their itership placemet? 2. What are the perceptios of HTM educators, idustry professioals, ad udergraduate studets regardig the extet to which such HTM studets are actually attaiig maagemet competecies through these itership placemets? Additioally, what are the similarities ad differeces amogst the three groups regardig competecy attaimet? Ad fially, how do the actual hours studets have completed o iterships compare with the recommedatios by faculty ad idustry? 3. Is there a relatioship betwee udergraduate HTM studets' perceptios of the actual itership compoets they participated i, ad the maagemet competecies they perceived to have obtaied? Coceptual Framework Studets i HTM programs are usually seekig maagemet level positios upo graduatio. Yet the ature of the hospitality idustry is such that a uiversity diploma aloe will ot esure future success. Accordig to corporate recruiters, "the classroom is ot reflective of real life i a hospitality establishmet" (Dowey & DeVeau, 1988, p. 20). Recruiters fid that those who have sigificat work experiece as part of their cuiculum are typically much better prepared for positios upo graduatio. These experieces ideally trasform a studet ito a reflective

27 10 practitioer who is able to tur theory ito soud decisio makig skills (Ford & LeBruto, 1995). Therefore, recruiters are lookig equally at coursework ad experiece i the iterviewig process, cofirmig that this experiece i the idustry ot oly gives studets valuable experiece, but also a realistic view of the idustry (Lefever & Withiam, 1998). This is vital i a idustry that operates 24 hours per day, 365 days per year. Studets must uderstad that they will typically ot work a ie to five day. A study by LeBruto ad Murray (1994), focusig o 12 istitutios offerig baccalaureate degrees i hospitality maagemet with madatory experietial learig requiremets, idetified te maagemet skills recruiters were lookig for i hirig graduates for etry-level maagemet positios. These skills ad competecies icluded: (1) Solvig customer problems, (2) Huma resource maagemet skills, (3) Oral commuicatio skills, (4) Writte commuicatio skills, (5) Uderstadig of maagemet priciples, (6) Positive peer relatioships, (7) Cost cotrol, (8) Ethics, (9) Professioal appearace, ad (10) Poise. Withi this study, practitioers, educators ad studets agreed that the way to esure studets could meet such objectives upo graduatio was with the expasio of experietial work requiremets. I additio to these skills, Sadwith's (1993) Competecy Domai Model allows for placig such skills ito overarchig categories. Accordig to the model, there are five domais, which ca the have actual skills or competecies placed withi them. The domais are (1) Coceptual/Creative, (2) Leadership, (3)

28 11 Iterpersoal, (4) Admiistrative ad (5) Techical. See figure 1 for a diagram outliig these skills ad domais. At a glace, combiig coursework ad experiece seems relatively easy. But, i order to provide studets with the most beeficial experiece careful cosideratio must be give to the course parameters. Accordig to O'Hallora ad Deale (2003), the cooperatio of the studet, compay ad academic istitutio are vital. The beefits to each should be clearly outlied ad desired outcomes plaed i advace. Curretly there is o agreed upo foula outliig the best practices i itership desig. Each istitutio has its ow requiremets ad parters i idustry. It is imperative for program admiistrators to determie how may hours of experietial learig are adequate as well as what types of experieces recruiters fid most beeficial. If educators build a curriculum without adequate iput from idustry leaders, there is the potetial for deficiecies i studets' skill ad marketability upo graduatio. By kowig potetial employers expectatios, ad the perceived preparedess of the studets themselves, educators will have the ability to adjust academic programs accordigly. This will allow for the most effective program for studets, as well as, ehace the labor pool upo graduatio. See figure 1 for a diagram showig the areas of discomiect betwee hospitality educators ad idustry professioals, ad the process my study sought to ecourage these stakeholders to work i tadem whe developig curriculum ad program requiremets.

29 12 What Should Iterships Etail? *Number of Hours *Types of Experieces *Role withi Degree What Maagemet Competecies are Essetial? *Adriistrative (e.g., fiacial maagemet, persoel, laws) ^Techical (e.g., actual work with product or service) ^Coceptual/Creative (e.g., cogitive skills eeded for importat elemets of the job) ^Leadership (e.g., strategically choosig opportuities to act) ^Iterpersoal (e.g., effective iteractio with others) Educators ad Idustry Professioals Differig Opiios Based o Actual Experieces, What is Curretly Happeig? Do Iterships Develop Maagemet Competecies i Udergraduate Studets? Figure 1. Coceptual Frame for Jack (2011) Study. Chapter 1 Summary Accordig to Irwi (2005), employers are fidig studets who are ofte kowledgeable i their fields, but lack the qualities desired o the job. Combiig itership experiece with classroom theory gives studets the ability to iteract with people ad begi to take iitiative i the work place. Additioally, experietial placemets allow studets to move from a passive or etry-level midset to a more active role withi a orgaizatio (Walker, 2005). While the studet is ivolved i

30 13 experietial learig, the developmet of maagemet competecies should begi to take shape ad properly prepare the studet for job placemet upo graduatio. I summary, the literature clearly supports the eed for experietial learig withi udergraduate programs. Ogoig research ad evaluatio of hospitality programs ad their requiremets are vital i esurig that cuiticulums are relevat ad up to date. Let us ow tur to chapter two where the literature review for my study focuses o experietial learig as a whole, ad moves ito focusig heavily o the role these experietial placemets have o the developmet of maagemet competecies.

31 14 CHAPTER 2: LITERATURE REVIEW Itroductio To better uderstad experietial learig, literature from multiple disciplies must be reviewed. Lookig at how experietial learig came to be a part of udergraduate coursework ad the basis behid this pheomeo is vital. This chapter begis with a brief history of experietial learig. Next, curret research regardig experietial learig ad participat perceptios are reviewed. Such research icludes geeralizatios about experietial learig for studets withi ay major at a higher learig istitutio, to the specifics of its beefits to a hospitality ad tourism maagemet major. Fially, the review addresses experietial learig as it relates specifically to hospitality educatio payig special attetio to perceptios of idustry professioals, faculty ad studets regardig the beefits of experietial learig ad the developmet of maagemet competecies through these experieces. The chapter cocludes with a summary of the literature ad coclusios draw. Foudatios of Experietial Learig For ceturies joureyme have used appreticeships to lear ad teach their trade. These professioals pass dow from geeratio to geeratio the skills required to perform their daily tasks. The youg accompay the experieced to the job site every day, ad lear by followig the lead of experts i the field (Steffes, 2004). Employed by master craftsme, the joureyma would be boud to his master for a umber of years, ofte travelig to ecourage the expasio of such traiig ad skills (Wieser, 1991). This method is very differet tha the typical college or

32 15 uiversity program, although may learig eviromets today have progressed far beyod the reach of the classroom walls. Experieces such as lab work, service learig, ad iterships or cooperative educatio are desiged to ehace the learig takig place i the classroom (Steffes). Kolb (1976) established a model that explais how people lear. He labeled it the Experietial Learig Model i order to emphasize the fact that people lear through experiece. This process, accordig to Kolb, icludes four steps: cocrete experiece, reflective observatio, abstract coceptualizatio, ad active experimetatio. The first step icludes participatig fully i a ew experiece; the secod, reflectig o ad lookig at these experieces from multiple viewpoits; the third takig these reflectios ad establishig theories; ad fially sythesizig the iformatio ad usig it i makig decisios (Kolb). I order to determie where idividual learig styles exist, Kolb developed the Learig Style Ivetory (LSI). This istalmet is used i determiig how a idividual lears best. This is ot to say that multiple methods of learig should ot be used, but poits to the strogest aspect for a idividual. Durig Kolb's research i the 1970's, the LSI was admiistered to 800 maagers ad graduate studets i maagemet. Each was give four words to describe differet abilities, ad asked to rak the order i which they thought these words described them. Examples of the choices icluded "thikig" ad "doig." Overwhelmigly, maagers ad studets emphasized active experimetatio for their domiat learig styles (Kolb, 1976). The majority of busiess studets i the experimet fell ito the "accommodator" category accordig to Kolb. This idicates

33 16 that idividuals will fid their greatest stregth i actually doig thigs. I order to receive the most beeficial uiversity experiece, the accommodator must uderstad the learig style ad ehace it with practice o reflective observatio ad abstract coceptualizatio. The perceptive educator will be aware of these differeces i learig behaviors ad brig the "real-world" ito the classroom. Accordig to Rogers (1969), the beefit of experietial learig versus cogitive learig is that experietial learig takes ito accout the wats ad eeds of the learer. Rather tha a passive approach to cotet, Rogers states that the very ature of experietial learig facilitates outcomes for the learer because "(1) the studet participates completely i the learig process ad has cotrol over its ature ad directio, (2) it is primarily based upo direct cofrotatio with practical, social, persoal or research problems, ad (3) self-evaluatio is the pricipal method of assessig progress or success" (p. 1). Mumford (1995) describes yet aother model for how studets lear through experietial learig. His four approach model suggests that a variety of sequeces come ito effect durig the learig process. The first is what Mumford refers to as the ituitive approach. This ivolves learig through experiece, yet ot beig cogitive of the learig at that time. The icidetal approach happes whe somethig does ot go as plaed for the learer ad they become more kowledgeable due to mishaps. The retrospective approach develops the first two approaches further as they ecourage the participat to look back ad reflect o what experieces they have had to process ad ideally cofirm what they have leared. The fial approach accordig to Mumford is the prospective approach. This ot oly

34 17 combies all of the above metioed approaches, but icludes the idea of plaig to lear before the experiece takes place. Accordig to Masfield (2004) ad his competece model, the approaches of Mumford could aid the studet i developig skills ad qualities eeded to ehace performace ad outcomes. His competece model outlies four compoets, each equally importat for effective performace. These iclude; kowledge/cogitive competece, fuctioal competece, persoal/behavioral competece ad values/ethics competece. Accordig to Kovac (2008), these competecies are especially importat i experietial educatio compoets as the desired outcomes of such programs iclude the idea of competece withi the workplace. Lee (2007) carefully asserts that experietial learig is ot meat to put a vocatioal slat o higher educatio. Though some with little uderstadig will argue to the cotrary, the idea of experietial educatio has ever bee to move the studet away from curricular learig. Most experietial requiremets withi a udergraduate program are strogly grouded i a academic focus ad cetral to studet learig. Experietial Learig i Higher Educatio Too ofte the learig eviromet fails to progress beyod attaimet of kowledge (Steffes, 2004). The role of educatio is to fid ways to fill the gap betwee kowledge ad practical applicatio. Lee (2007) suggests that experietial learig may be able to do just this. He fids that experietial learig beefits studets i such a way that the studet leaves the experiece with a much "deeper uderstadig of the soft skills employers i today's market so desperately seek" (p.

35 18 39). Studets are ot oly able to apply theory leared i the classroom ad ehace techical skills, but lear to work with multitudes of people, persoality types, ad deal with issues o the "huma" side of the busiess. D'Abate, Youdt ad Wezel (2009) ote that maagemet programs i higher educatio have used simulatios ad case studies as learig tools for years. They foud faculty feels these exercises allow studets to apply classroom kowledge ad see real-world coectios. Although this is true to some extet, the authors believe such activities fail to replicate the actual complexities of the busiess world. Therefore, D'Abate et al., call for "maagemet educatio to be more grouded i maagemet practice" (p. 527). Navarro (2008) coducted a web survey i 2008 of the top 50 busiess programs i the coutry. He determied that few icluded a experietial learig program i their curriculum. While urgig programs to reverse this tred, Navarro wet o to stress that eve those icludig iterships were ot adequately itegratig these experieces ito the more formal learig experiece of the classroom. To defed these claims, Navarro otes employers are lookig for real-world skills i studets as they graduate, ad stregthes his case by otig 58% of studets withi his study who completed iterships were hired as full-time employees at the orgaizatio withi which they itered. As a example, the Uiversity of Marylad has developed a program called Beyod the Classroom Livig ad Learig Program to do just this (Steffes, 2004). Studets are able to egage i work, service learig or research projects to egage them i practical applicatio of classroom materials.

36 19 While udergraduate research ad service learig are ot yet the orm, itership experiece cotiues to grow. A 2001 survey by the Natioal Associatio of Colleges ad Employers foud more tha 93% of colleges surveyed had itership programs at their istitutios (Steffes, 2004). May employers idicated that they hire studets who completed successful iterships. Steffes poits to a 1986 study by Jagaciski that discovered that studets who completed a itership related to their field of study were employed earlier, paid more, ad give greater resposibility tha those who did ot. Additioally, these studets were more satisfied with their curret positios compared to those who had o itership experiece. Accordig to Blair ad Millea (2004), the potetial beefits to studets who participate i experietial learig activities outside of the classroom are eormous. Usig a dataset of 5,506 studets who graduated from Mississippi State Uiversity betwee 2000 ad 2002, of which 780 had some form of itership experiece, they foud that applyig the perspectives gaied through employmet ehaced the studet's academic ivolvemet, resulted i icreased maturity ad improved job ad salary circumstaces after graduatio. Iterships also allow studets the opportuity to assess their ow abilities as they relate to the desired career (Joes, 2003). For example, the Shell Techology Eterprise Program (STEP) is a leader i project based work opportuities for udergraduates i the UK. Studets are typically placed withi a orgaizatio for weeks durig the summer, ad work o a clearly defied project withi a orgaizatio. Clito (2005) foud through the completio of four case studies o the STEP program, that such ivolvemet give participats a competitive edge i

37 20 securig post-graduatio employmet, allows them to gai practical skills ad core competecies eeded i their field, ad ideally allows them to directly impact a orgaizatio through their cotributios. Although it is importat for studets to build a resume ad show potetial employers that they have the ability to succeed, a study by Lee (2007) ivolvig 1700 hospitality studets i Florida claims it is equally vital to determie if they are o the correct job path for themselves. He states "most practitioers ca tell story after story of studets who come to their program as hesitat ad cofused freshma ad sophomores ad leave as seiors with grace, cofidece, ad a bright future ahead of them" (p. 39). People ca certaily lear, ad may will claim to lear, effectively through hads-o experiece. While this may be a solid approach, it is importat to poit out that for the purposes of experietial learig i the higher educatio settig, it is vital that these experieces are well thought out, oversee, ad facilitated properly (Neil, 2004). "I such situatios, it seems to work better if the raw experiece is packaged together with facilitated exercises which ivolve thikig, discussig, or creatively processig cogitios ad emotios related to the raw experiece" (p. 2). Itership experieces are ot oly helpig with resume developmet ad determiig if a plaed major is right for the studet, but beeficial to the employer as well. Accordig to Castillo (2004), compaies ofte get iters brigig i fresh ideas ad creativity at a fractio of the cost of hirig full-time employees. Joes (2003) states I.B.M. attracts 40% of their ew college hires from such iteral sources.

38 21 Recruiters today are lookig for skills beyod a college diploma. While most graduates are adequately prepared i regards to job kowledge, may are lackig ecessary job skills (Irwi, 2005). The ability to iteract with people, the desire to take iitiative, ad eve puctuality represet job skills that studets lack. By combiig the itership work experiece ad routie coursework, studets gai the ability to fully grasp job expectatios, gai self-cofidece ad improve social skills (Lee, 2007; Walmsley, Thomas, & Jameso, 2006) whe pursuig post graduatio employmet. Employers are hopig to fid studets who ca put classroom theory ito practice, commuicate effectively with cliets ad co-workers, complete tasks with little supervisio ad have the ambitio to go beyod what is asked (Daugheriy, 2002). Experietial Learig as a Compoet of Hospitality Programs The hospitality idustry is oe with a primary goal of servicig customers. The idustry ivolves a wide rage of busiesses dedicated to the service of people away from home. Examples iclude hotels, restaurats ad cruise ships. Ofte the hospitality "product" is a experiece, ad the customer walks away with othig more tha a memory. Due to the itagibility of the hospitality product, employees withi the realm of this idustry must be able to put a value o that product. Excellet commuicatio, problem solvig skills, maagig diversity as well as the tecliical skills ecessary to properly ru a successful busiess are key. Oftetimes these skills are difficult to lear i a classroom. Therefore, experts recommed studets have hads-o experiece withi the idustry i combiatio with the coursework at a uiversity (Keedy, 1994).

39 22 A lecture o a topic or participatio i a fictitious case study have bee show beeficial to studets, but fail to capture the essece of a true busiess situatio (Dev, 1990). A professor of hospitality ad tourism at Corell Uiversity used a experimet i his marketig class to test the theory that studets would lear more from the course by workig with actual marketig firms for a course project (Dev). After revisig his course to iclude a experietial compoet, he was able to make comparisos betwee those who had the experietial project ad those who did ot. Dev put studets ito pairs ad required them to choose a local busiess to use as their cliet. The assessmet cosisted of questioaires give to the studets ad the cliets to determie the perceived learig experiece. The outcome showed that studets had a sigificatly icreased cofidece level i marketig abilities, ad the firms attested to advatages such as ew ideas ad icreased awareess of the importace of marketig plas after the completio of the project. Typical classroom learig comes about by educators trasferrig iformatio to studets (Lambert, 1980). The role of the studet is to process the iformatio give ad at a later poit i time, accurately apply the iformatio. This applicatio may be i the form of a exam or other actio that shows competece. The learer first attais kowledge ad the acts i some fo (Lambert). Experietial learig is essetially the opposite. The iter first acts ad the results of this actio come to light. Secodly, the studets mull the results of the actio ad reapply it to a ew situatio (Lambert). The differece is that most people remember actio ad cocrete evets more so tha geeral iformatio. Accordig to Wolff (1997), studets must develop coceptual skills ad relate these skills to theory. However, if this is ot

40 23 combied with adequate hads-o experiece, studets will ot have the professioal skills the idustry is lookig for. May uiversities have reduced the amout of practical experiece studets are required to participate i (Rimmigto, 1999). This has become a source of debate betwee idustry ad higher educatio. Idustry professioals claim that decisio makers i higher educatio must uderstad this type of traiig will give studets greater opportuity for higher-level positios upo graduatio (Rimmigto). I additio to the possibility of promotio, experietial positios give studets the opportuity to fully uderstad the dyamics of the hospitality idustry. Accordig to Lefever (1989), iterships give studets the kowledge to make proper job choices as they leave school. The realistic view established durig the itership allows studets a iside peek of what to expect with a career i hospitality. Ofte there is a disparity betwee studet expectatios ad the actuality of employmet situatios. A study by Orr, Murray, ad McKea (1992), ivolvig graduates of the Uiversity of Ulster at Jordatow i Norther Irelad, foud factual pre-graduatio expectatios that coicide with post-graduatio experieces lead to greater satisfactio o the job ad cotiued egagemet withi the hospitality idustry throughout their career. A study i the 1990's foud graduates of hospitality educatio expectig a short iitiatio period coupled with further traiig ad ispiratio from coworkers. Studets believed the degree aloe would guaratee them a place amog idustry executives ad a quick progressio to promotio (Orr et al., 1992). O the idustry side of the study, it was revealed that curret maagers felt studets were leavig the

41 24 uiversity with iadequate practical experiece. Idustrialists poited to extesive relevat experiece as the way to gai better placemet upo graduatio (Orr et al.). As educators lea toward the reductio of practical experiece hours i favor of greater emphasis o maagemet techiques, the tred i the idustry is a reductio i these middle maagemet positios (Nebel, Braulich, & Zhag, 1994). This disparity of perceived qualificatios betwee educators ad idustry poits to the eed for greater collaboratio betwee the two (Orr et al., 1992). The idustry view of higher educatio beig the foudatio for additioal traiig ad the educator's view of coursework beig the basis for high level placemets skews the perceptios of the studets. The itership beig the basis for later employmet ad leadig to the acceptace of the studet as hospitality professioal caot be overstated (Lambert, 1980). Perceptios of Hospitality Idustry Leaders A 2003 survey by the Natioal Associatio of Colleges ad Employers (NACE) revealed that studet participatio i iterships or cooperative educatio programs is the uequaled way to icrease employability upo graduatio (NACE, 2003). Accordig to Strauss (1999), leadership ad maagemet skills, diversity coachig ad the importace of iterships were most ofte metioed whe employers were asked what they wish educators would teach. A coferece for the Iteratioal Coucil of Hotel, Restaurat ad Istitutioal Educatio (ICHRIE) foud employers ad educators discussig the foudatios importat to studets' future success. The employers poited to the eed for practical experiece as the most beeficial way for studets to fully uderstad the issues ad challeges of the

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