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World Hospitality and Tourism Trends
This special issue explores the views of practitioners and educators on current human resource issues. Six of the articles are based on WHATTroundtable discussions held during 2004 in five locations: the USA, Scotland, Portugal, Barbados and China. Here the authors (or their nominees) moderated discussions with invited representatives from industry and academia and at several of the events, presentations were made to stimulate debate. Several key themes emerged from these discussions:
. the generic and specific skills needed to manage effectively in the industry;
. the universal challenge of attracting, retaining and developing high potential and/or high calibre employees;
. the comparatively unattractive image of the industry as a career choice for new entrants;
. the “expectations gap” experienced by graduate entrants to the industry; and
. the perceived differences between current curricula and courses offered by hotel schools and universities and the operational realities of the industry itself.
Our aspirations for WHATTas a vehicle to promote dialogue between industry and education have certainly revealed issues that require collaborative effort. It is our belief that applied research conducted in partnership with industry, will help to address aspects of the current divide and yield practical solutions to on-going human resources problems. One of the re-occurring suggestions from the 2004 roundtable series relates to industry – education cross exposure and in their article “Industry internships: feedback from participating faculty and industry executives”, Kimberly Harris and Jinlin Zhao report on the experiences of both college faculty and hosting property executives with internship programmes designed for updating purposes.
We should like to thank all the authors and WHATT roundtable representatives from industry and education for their contribution to this collection of articles.We hope that the issues raised here and the linkages made at the various WHATT roundtable meetings around the globe will help to generate applied research that is aligned with the human resource challenges facing our industry.
Chandana Jayawardena and Richard Teare
Previously published in: International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, Volume 16, Number 7, 2004
53 pages; ISBN 9781845441869
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