Award Date

12-1-2013

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Environmental and Public Affairs

First Committee Member

Cecilia Maldonado

Second Committee Member

Patrick Carlton

Third Committee Member

Yeonsoo Kim

Fourth Committee Member

Carl Braunlich

Number of Pages

204

Abstract

The hospitality industry, encompassing both tourism and leisure segments, has become the world's largest employer. As such, there is a workforce need to develop leadership bench strength through degree programming at the university level. Preparing future leaders for careers in the hospitality industry as part of university curriculum is particularly challenging as operational practices, leadership competencies, and interpersonal skills are often not instructed in the classroom environment, yet are a critical element of supervisory performance. Workforce development perspectives suggest that mentoring is a development tool to narrow programming gaps in university curriculum.

The study explores past student-participants' relationship experiences in a formal hospitality college mentor program and their perceptions of how the mentoring relationship prepared them for hospitality employment at a supervisory level post- graduation. Under examination are the relationships formed through participation in a formal mentoring program within the College of Hotel Administration at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. The study's primary representation was drawn from past student- participants of the mentoring program who currently hold supervisory positions within the hospitality industry. The data collected through qualitative methodology including interviews, focus groups, and document review was analyzed using the content analysis method incorporating open, axial, and selective coding. In the analysis of the primary study representation, past student-participants, a domain analysis was also completed for each research question. The conceptual models of Kram's career-related and psychosocial mentoring functions and Bandura's self-efficacy construct assisted in understanding the complexities of college mentoring relationships and its contribution to developing students for supervisory employment within the hospitality industry post- graduation.

Findings illustrated the activity themes of a structured relationship, exposure to opportunities, completion of work assignments, participation in learning discussions, and school assistance intertwined with the mentor behaviors of time and accessibility, coaching, care for the student, serving as a role model, and employment sponsorship to form a meaningful experience for the past student-participant. The perceived development aspect of the relationship focused on gaining an insider's perspective and was characterized as a real-world experience, realistic job preview, and increased confidence through a broad based understanding of how work is accomplished in the hospitality environment and awareness of the expectations of managers in reaching organizational goals. The perceived long-term impact was described as personal and professional development through acquiring different management perspectives, influencing employment and career path, and a continuing relationship.

Keywords

Hospitality college; Hospitality industry – Study and teaching (Higher); Hospitality industry – Vocational guidance; Mentoring in education; Mentoring relationships

Disciplines

Education | Hospitality Administration and Management

Language

English


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