Hospitality management graduates' perceptions of career factor importance and career factor experience and the relation with turnover intentions

Brown, Eric
Brown, Eric
Major Professor
Robert H. Bosselman
Committee Member
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Brown, Eric
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Apparel, Events and Hospitality Management

Previous researchers have shown hospitality management students have different expectations than experiences in a career in the hospitality industry. The purpose of this research was to determine the importance and experiences of career factors of hospitality management graduates and how they relate to turnover intentions. In particular, differences between those that stayed in the hospitality and those that left the hospitality industry were examined.

Web-based questionnaires were distributed to hospitality management graduates from different four-year institutions. These questionnaires were designed to measure the perception of experience and perceptions of importance of 20 factors that could influence a hospitality management graduate's career decisions. In addition, turnover intentions were measures for hospitality graduates still in the hospitality industry.

Differences in perceptions of importance of career factors included a career with good promotion prospects, that contributes to society, and where the graduate could use their degree. Differences in perceptions of experience of career factors included a career with a pleasant working environment, that is secure, and that is enjoyable. The largest differences in gaps between importance and experience were in relation to a career with a pleasant working environment, a good starting salary, and that provides an intellectual challenge. The differences between importance and experience was found to be a significant predictor of turnover intentions.

Qualitative data showed both sets of respondents would leave or have left the hospitality industry due to the long hours and compensation. However, respondents who stayed in the hospitality industry did so because they enjoyed the hospitality industry and liked the excitement and new challenges each day.