What makes a successful hospitality graduate in New Zealand? Key stakeholder perspectives

Cox, Stephen
Milne, Simon
Poulston, Jill
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Doctor of Philosophy
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Auckland University of Technology

This thesis explores the range of skills, qualities, competencies and intelligences that establish predictors of success for the hospitality industry. The study adopts a constructivist-interpretivist approach to the investigation and evaluation of hospitality stakeholder perspectives on what makes a successful graduate, using the case of AUT staff and students, combined with industry representatives from the Auckland region. The study finds a clear link between the concepts of passion and success; participants considered that success in New Zealand hospitality is more likely to be achieved by those motivated by a deep passion for the industry. Findings highlight the importance of generic capabilities, personal attributes and multiple intelligence abilities for success in hospitality. Participants particularly noted characteristics such as, good interpersonal skills, good personality and a strong work ethic as predictors for success.

This study advances understanding on the purity of motive; that is, the purer the motive toward an activity the more success is likely to be achieved. In essence, people do the things they do because they have passion for them. To manage and work hospitably in a hospitable environment therefore requires students to have a passion for hospitality as a quintessential motive. Understanding passion as purity of motive advances understanding of human behaviour and how people are motivated to undertake specific jobs. This knowledge contributes to human behavioural studies and provides significant insights into how success is understood and achieved in the hospitality sector. Passion is a pure motive pivotal to success and is a critical focal point for organisational behaviour and motivational studies. The key practical contribution of this study is the new direction it presents for hospitality education – the development of a pedagogy of passion. The challenge for hospitality education and industry is to review the teaching and learning environment, and the focus is to seek ways to nurture passion for hospitality in students.

Hospitality , Higher education , Graduates , Succes , Passion
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