The hotel as a complementary educational resource : evidence from the lives and careers of hotel employees
Author(s)Lee, Olivia, M.C.P. Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Urban Studies and Planning.
John de Monchaux.
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The identification of alternative venues of learning that provide people with life and professional skills is valuable in societies where educational resources are constrained. To better understand paths of learning not found in the traditional educational system, and the incidental benefits that accrue from those types of learning, this thesis examines the lives and careers of five-star hotel employees. The high-class hotel industry was chosen as an appropriate place in which to locate personal and professional benefits due to the sophisticated training programs offered in the industry and the multi-faceted nature of hotel work, which could potentially provide employees opportunities to gain a diversity of skills. By presenting one case in the hotel industry of a learning process that may be taking place more widely in other industries, the thesis seeks to provide evidence that could help governments more effectively reallocate educational resources. Based on criteria that included hotel type, hotel location, existence of training programs, and cooperation level of hotel employees, two hotels in Seoul, South Korea were selected for the study. Interviews were conducted in both hotels with employees from various departments and levels.(cont.) Surveys were also distributed to a larger set of employees in both hotels. The findings from the interview responses were categorized into thirteen themes, each of which helped to uncover and pinpoint the life skills, professional skills, and benefits gained by employees as a result of the informal and formal education they received in the hotel. The themes are: 1) Educational background, 2) Hospitality industry entry motivations, 3) Job requirements, 4) Training programs, 5) Computer abilities, 6) Foreign language abilities, 7) Job function, 8) Cultural awareness, 9) Communities and networks, 10) Hotel environment and architecture, 11) Influences and impacts on: behavior, speaking manners, house design, image, and eating habits, 12) Future ambitions, and 13) Perceived benefits of training programs and hotel work. Survey responses were also categorized into corresponding themes, where appropriate. Both sets of responses were then analyzed. The analysis reveals that the benefits experienced by hotel employees include the acquisition of a number of life skills and professional skills applicable both within and outside the hotel.(cont.) This thesis provides evidence that both training programs and informal on-the-job experiences are worthy of attention from governments, especially those seeking a new yet effective way of distributing their resources, because of the latent contributions and effects of hotel employment on the lives and careers of hotel employees. This thesis advocates that governments factor in unconventional sources of learning when formulating educational policies, so that they may be able to receive more value out of the resources spent on education.
Thesis (M.C.P.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Urban Studies and Planning, 2007.Includes bibliographical references (p. 135-139).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Urban Studies and Planning.; Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Urban Studies and Planning
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Urban Studies and Planning.