Contextual understandings of hospitality management development - a realist approach
The aim of my thesis is to demonstrate how my research aids the academic understanding of the sub-disciplinary field of hospitality management development. I evaluate the extent to which the unique features of the UK hospitality industry and the characteristics of hospitality management influence the training and development regime of managers. I also explore the relationship of hospitality management development processes with organisational systems and how the nature of hospitality managerial roles and skills influence the development of managers in the UK hospitality industry. I view management development from a contingent perspective, asserting that this evolves in response to both internal operating requirements and influences external to the organisation. I provide a critical analysis of key literatures in management development, culminating with the development of my own conceptual framework. I then review the nature of the hospitality industry, and hospitality management development as practised in the UK. This enables me to develop a theoretical framework for understanding management development practices in the British hospitality industry. My commentary presents a critical reflection on nine of my academic writings in the sub-discipline of hospitality management development. From a realist research approach, I assess my contribution to this field, through reviewing my research journey as evidenced by the articles chosen for this submission. I seek to demonstrate progression in my understanding of hospitality management development, and the factors influencing its scope and character, through the development of the conceptual framework. I summarise my contribution to academic understanding within this area using three themes, namely macro-environmental and industry structural influences, organisation environment dimensions and identifying development needs through exploring hospitality managerial roles and skills. Assessing the opportunities to develop this area of research further, I suggest a need for further study of management development processes at both macro-and micro levels of the industry; for investigation of the relational and subjective human aspects of hospitality management development; greater focus on individual management learning; and for more critical research studies which explore the operation of power and politics within hospitality management development.