Identifying management competencies of hotel owner-managers & general managers in the Republic of Ireland

O’Reilly, C., 2015. Identifying management competencies of hotel owner-managers & general managers in the Republic of Ireland. DBA, Nottingham Trent University.

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Abstract

The objective of this research was to investigate the concept of competencies, explore and identify the management competencies of hotel owner-managers and general managers in the hospitality industry in the Republic of Ireland. In other words, this research explored how hotel owner-managers and general managers identified, interpreted and made sense of their notion of managerial competencies in a complex work environment. The research was set within the context of the Irish hospitality and tourism industry, specifically within the hotel sector which has experienced a socio-economic crisis and periods of significant change. Hotels in the Republic of Ireland play a key role in its economic and cultural life, as Ireland has earned an international reputation for welcoming visitors from across the globe.
This study drew on a social constructionism ontology: an interpretative epistemology with a theoretical perspective that framed the methodology using qualitative data analysis and interpretation. Qualitative data, with its emphasis on ‘people’s lived experience are well suited for locating the meanings they place on events, processes and structures of their lives, and for connecting these meanings to the social world around the’ (Miles & Huberman, 1994:10). The data was collected from interviews with twelve hotel owners and general managers in the Republic of Ireland. Three interdependent themes including managing hospitality services in hotels, staff, and language of emotion emerged. The thematic analysis was analysed using Weick’s sensemaking framework to garner meanings that are socially constructed through their lived experience of work. These three themes were woven together across two broad lines of enquiry:
1. How hotel owner-managers and general managers identified and used their qualities and the language of emotion together with skills and knowledge to manage employees to deliver hospitality services internally in hotels punctuated by a complex external business environment.
2. How hoteliers made sense of self-identity and occupational identities in their efforts to become competent hotel owner-managers and general managers in the hospitality industry in Ireland.
The findings reveal evidence pointing towards a social constructionist process (Berger & Luckmann 1966) through which these hoteliers constructed their realities of clusters of management competencies using a combination of learned skills and knowledge underpinned by qualities and emotions. It examined these competency clusters of qualities such as honesty, integrity, respect, a positive attitude, intrinsic care, and intuition whilst the role of emotions such as care, empathy and support were used to build relationships as key skills in managing employees and customers alike. Alongside these, clusters of skills included communication, financial and cost management and technology and managing people as well as facilities management. Finally, it was argued that taken together in what constitutes competence these clusters of qualities, emotions, skills and knowledge were conceptualised that these are the building blocks for assembling a competent identity of self-fused into the occupational identity of an hotelier, be they an owner-manager or general manager.

Item Type: Thesis
Creators: O’Reilly, C.
Date: June 2015
Divisions: Schools > Nottingham Business School
Depositing User: Jill Tomkinson
Date Added: 03 May 2016 14:19
Last Modified: 19 Jul 2016 14:57
URI: http://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/27725

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