Over qualified and under experienced: Turning graduates into hospitality managers

Mike Raybould, Hugh Wilkins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

164 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose — This paper sets out to report on research that investigated hospitality managers' expectations of graduate skills and compared those expectations with student perceptions of what hospitality managers value. Design/methodology/approach — The research adopted a generic skills framework and data were collected through a sample survey of 850 Australian hospitality managers and 211 undergraduate hospitality management students. Findings — Managers rated skills associated with interpersonal, problem solving, and self-management skill domains as most important while students appeared to have realistic perceptions of the skills that managers value when recruiting hospitality graduates. The most substantial areas of disagreement came in those skills associated with the conceptual and analytical domain. Industry managers tended to discount the skills in this domain relative to students. Research limitations/implications — The sample of managers used in this study were predominantly of Australian nationality and, in an increasingly global hospitality labor market, there may be some benefit in repeating this study with managers from different cultural backgrounds. Practical implications — A number of strategies are proposed in the paper for bridging the expectation gaps and ensuring better learning outcomes for students and industry stakeholders. Originality/value — In adopting the generic skills framework this research presents an alternative to previous studies that have used a management competencies framework. As such, it is of more immediate value to those responsible for designing undergraduate hospitality management curriculum who need to ensure that programs meet academic standards as well as industry and student expectations regarding the skill sets needed in the workplace.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)203-216
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2005
Externally publishedYes


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