Center for Hospitality Research Reports

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The Center for Hospitality Research (CHR) is the leading source for quality research on and for the hospitality industry. It creates new knowledge—and shares that knowledge to power hospitality forward. The CHR works with business leaders to develop new ideas, theories, and models that improve strategic, managerial, and operating practices. These insights are captured in research reports and industry tools that are available online at no cost. Thousands of academic and business leaders worldwide tap into this research stream. An active knowledge-sharing program further distributes the center’s work around the globe.


Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 10 of 22
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    Successful Service Branding: Lessons for Hospitality Managers
    Dev, Chekitan; Huang, Ming-Hui (2024-04-12)
    Hospitality brands today face a brutally competitive environment characterized by a “sea of sameness” that threatens to drive all brands in a race to the bottom.1 However, little empirical information exists on how to best manage service brands in general and hospitality brands in particular. We have long understood successful goods branding, but we have not studied how successful services branding differs from that of goods branding. This article attempts to fill that void by analyzing 11 years of data in an empirical study of goods and service brands to determine how service brands succeed. Analyzing three factors—namely, service quality, service personalization, and service relationships—we found that service brand success can be achieved through relationship-based personalization accompanied by a level of quality that is consistent and meets customer expectations. Consistency in quality is a key to successful brand and firm outcomes. We conclude that either falling short of or exceeding customer quality expectations can have deleterious consequences for brands and firms. Moreover, we found that quality improvements should be achieved gradually.
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    Pre- and Post-COVID Travel Preferences
    Canina, Linda; McQuiddy-Davis, Nicole (2020-09-29)
    COVID-19 has disrupted travel and the hospitality industry like no other historical event. As travel slowly resumes in the US under strict government guidelines, our survey results suggest that travel-related businesses like hotels are now serving a more cautious guest who appreciates mask wearing, social distancing, and increased cleaning. Respondents’ preference for virtual business meetings and using their personal car for future leisure travel increased, while respondents’ preference for staying in urban properties for future leisure and business travel decreased. Beyond that, however, results show that travel preferences for price segments (e.g. luxury, midscale, upscale, etc.) and accommodation type (e.g. major brand hotels, alternative accommodations, independent hotels) remained relatively unchanged; that is, respondents who preferred staying in major brand hotels before COVID did not suddenly prefer alternative accommodations like Airbnb, and the reverse did not happen either. Somewhat unexpectedly, however, 95% of respondents indicated they were likely to travel in the next 3-12 months for leisure, business meetings, and professional conferences.
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    The Changing Relationship between Supervisors and Subordinates: How Managing This Relationship Evolves over Time
    Sturman, Michael C.; Park, Sanghee (2016-06-01)
    Understanding how the relationship between a subordinate and manager develops over time has been a critical matter both for academics and for business. In both academic journals and industry publications, some writers have argued that the relationship is driven by perceptions of fairness and treatment, and that developing the relationship can lead to better performance. Others have argued that higher performers get better treatment and resources, which results in superior relationships with their managers. There is really no clear answer of what comes first—perceptions of fairness, satisfaction with the supervisor, or job performance—and which leads to which.
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    Highlights from the 2016 Sustainable and Social Entrepreneurship Enterprises Roundtable
    Varney, Jeanne (2016-07-27)
    The April 2016 Sustainable and Social Entrepreneurship Enterprises roundtable brought together over 20 faculty, students, and leaders and entrepreneurs from a wide variety of mission-driven enterprises that focus on sustainability or social welfare. Jeanne Varney, lecturer at the School of Hotel Administration, opened the day by inviting attendees to speak to and even test some of their innovative ideas on fellow participants during the day. Varney noted: “One of our goals for the roundtable was to have a really diverse set of attendees and to hear a lot of different perspectives.”
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    Executive Insights on Leader Integrity: The Credibility Challenge
    Simons, Tony L.; Schnaubelt, Kurt; Longstreet, John; Sarkisian, Michele; Allen, Heather (2016-02-29)
    Both anecdotal and empirical evidence points to the clear connection between leaders’ integrity and organizational success. However, numerous studies that address integrity demonstrate the confusion surrounding the many facets of that concept. Palanski and Yammarino, for instance, surveyed considerable literature and concluded: “Everyone seems to want integrity from their leaders, but…there appears to be great confusion about what it is or how to foster it.”1 They point out that progress in understanding how to promote leader integrity has been hindered by “too many definitions, too little theory, and too few rigorous studies.”2 They illustrate no fewer than ten distinct meanings that have been ascribed to the word “integrity,” and then propose a solution to best advance our practical and theoretical understanding of this important leader characteristic. They suggest that we consider integrity as alignment between words and actions—that is, promise-keeping and enactment of espoused values. This notion of integrity is one of an “adjunctive virtue,” one that, like courage, is not inherently morally good or bad. To take a negative example, one can show integrity by promising great harm and then delivering on that promise. However, like courage, integrity is necessary for the achievement of “moral uprightness,” which is why we usually think of these two attributes in a positive way.
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    Dealing with Shifting Labor Employment Sands
    Sherwyn, David S. (2016-08-15)
    Changes in regulations and tighter interpretations of existing regulations engaged participants in 14th annual Labor and Employment Roundtable, hosted by the Cornell Institute for Hospitality Labor and Employment Relations. They also reviewed changes in union organizing rules. Two Supreme Court decisions dealt with the challenging application of accommodating workers’ health and religious needs, while a new ruling by the National Labor Relations Board calls into question the supposedly arm’s length relationship of employee leasing firms and their clients, as well as franchisors and franchisees. The NLRB also has shortened the campaign time for union elections. In one Supreme Court case, Young v. United Parcel Services, Inc., the Court pointed to a simple principle when employers implement policies for those with illness or medical conditions. Policies must be consistent with regard to how on-job and off-job health issues are treated, and the company’s policy must not be driven by economic considerations. That is, the Court stated that an employer’s denial of a light-duty assignment for an employee could not be based on cost or convenience. The case relating to religious accommodation also involved an economic hinge. In an earlier case, the Court had held that religious accommodations are limited to that which would have no more than a de minimus cost on the employer. In this case, EEOC v. Abercrombie & Fitch Stores Inc., Abercrombie had declined to hire a woman wearing a headscarf on the assumption that she would need a religious accommodation. The Court frowned on the idea that an employer would take religious accommodations into account when deciding whether to hire a person. The franchising industry is attempting to make sense of the NLRB ruling regarding joint employment, in which the board ruled that franchisors that maintain some kind of control over their franchisees’ employees should be considered joint employers of those employees. This is a complicated matter, and the situation is still in flux. Finally, with regard to the telescoped union campaign ruling, these are supposed to benefit the unions. So far, however, there’s no indication that the change has affected the overall outcome of union election campaigns.
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    The Role of Service Improvisation in Improving Hotel Customer Satisfaction
    Secchi, Enrico; Roth, Aleda; Verma, Rohit (2016-01-13)
    Although hotels generally try for consistency, efficiency, and economy in service, guests appreciate employees’ willingness to depart from scripted outlines and improvise service processes. This study of 320 hotel managers and 137 hotel employees highlights the nature and effects of organizational improvisation by examining three key elements of service improvisation—creativity, spontaneity, and bricolage, which is the ability to assemble new services from available resources. Employees at higher-end hotels reported being more likely to improvise, in part because they feel empowered to do so and have more resources at their disposal. Additionally, their guests expect a favorable response to unusual requests. Ironically, the opportunity to improve guest satisfaction through service improvisation is actually greater in lower-tier hotels where guests do not have such high expectations. Guests particularly appreciate it when employees at lower tier hotels are encouraged to improvise. One interesting finding is that the managers’ estimate of the extent to which their employees used improvisation was noticeably lower than the levels of improvisation reported by the employees themselves.
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    Hotel Sustainability Benchmarking Index 2016: Energy, Water, and Carbon
    Ricaurte, Eric (2016-07-08)
    Several studies have been undertaken or attempted by industry and academe to address the need for lodging industry carbon benchmarking. However, these studies have focused on normalizing resource use with the goal of rating or comparing all properties based on multivariate regression according to an industry-wide set of variables, with the result that data sets for analysis were limited. This approach is backward, because practical hotel industry benchmarking must first be undertaken within a specific location and segment.1 Therefore, the CHSB study’s goal is to build a representative database providing raw benchmarks as a base for industry comparisons.2 These results are presented in the CHSB2016 Index, through which a user can obtain the range of benchmarks for energy consumption, water consumption, and greenhouse gas emissions for hotels within specific segments and geographic locations.
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    Environmental Implications of Hotel Growth in China: Integrating Sustainability with Hotel Development
    Noordzy, Gert; Ricaurte, Eric; James, Georgette; Wu, Meng (2016-05-06)
    China has embarked on the largest program of new hotel construction the world has ever seen. Even though the nation’s growth rate has eased somewhat in the past year, China’s hotel development continues at a pace that would see at least three new 150+ room hotels open every day for the next 25 years.1 Even if the industry does not continue to expand at this rate, China’s hotel growth carries substantial consequences in terms of increases in energy and water consumption, and an expanding carbon footprint. In this paper, we outline the dimensions of this issue, and we urge hotel developers to heed the national government’s push for greater sustainability.
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    Communication Planning: A Template for Organizational Change
    Newman, Amy (2016-02-10)
    A communication plan is an important part of every company’s management toolkit. With a plan in place, a company’s management will be well positioned to announce changes or events relating to the business, including acquisitions and property closures, personnel changes and layoffs, and corporate reorganizations. In this report, I describe the major components of a typical communication plan: audience analysis, communication objectives, communication channels, responsibilities, and timing. I give examples of how Marriott and Starwood handled their recent merger, as well as communication strategies from other firms. I also provide a sample communication plan for announcing a hypothetical restaurant closure.