|Abstract: ||This study aims to identify hotel executive operating committee (EOC) members profiles that include both demographic characteristics and career paths in international brand hotels in Mainland China; and identify the relationship between profiles of hotel EOC members and their aspirations for hotel general manager (GM) position. After dealing with the missing data and outliers, 165 valid questionnaires are retained.
This study adopts career analysis technique to analyze hotel EOC members profiles. The results identify that the hotel EOC members in international brand hotels in Mainland China are middle-aged men with bachelor's degrees and an annual income lower than RMB 250,000. They have worked in the hotel industry for 14.5 years, and they took 11.5 years to become hotel EOC members. They have worked for 4.3 hotels on average; and most of them have never worked outside the hotel industry over the course of their careers.
The self-organizing-map (SOM) was adopted to cluster hotel EOC members based on their profiles. Three segments of hotel EOC members were produced via SOM: Rookie, Supportive Veteran and Generative Veteran. Rookie is younger female hotel EOC members with less hotel experience, higher level of education, and lower personal annual income. Supportive Veteran is older male hotel EOC members in supportive departments in hotels, such as Human Resources and Finance & Accounting, with more hotel experience, with a higher level of education, and higher personal annual income. Generative Veteran is older male hotel EOC members in the revenue-generating departments, such as F&B, Rooms, and Sales & Marketing, with more hotel experience with a lower level of education, and higher personal annual income.
An aspiration model was developed from the aspiration theory and was tested in each hotel EOC member segments. For Rookie and Supportive Veteran, their enacted aspiration depends on their desire aspiration; and their desire aspiration depends on their perceived self-GM congruence. For Generative Veteran, their enacted aspiration depends on their perceived advancement prospect.
Generative Veteran has the highest perceived self-GM congruence, perceived advancement prospect, desired aspiration, and enacted aspiration among hotel EOC members. Supportive Veteran has the lowest perceived advancement prospect among hotel EOC members. Rookie has the lowest perceived self-GM congruence, desired aspiration, and enacted aspiration among hotel EOC members. Statistically, Generative Veteran has a significantly higher perceived advancement prospect, perceived self-GM congruence, and enacted aspiration than the Rookie group; Generative Veteran has a significantly higher perceived advancement prospect and enacted aspiration than Supportive Veteran.
The practical contributions of this study benefit both hotel employees and hotel companies in Mainland China. For hotel employees, the findings in the career paths of hotel EOC members may benefit their individual career management. The hotel EOC members have the top positions of each functional department in the hotel so their career paths can serve as a map and timeline of career progression in each department. Based on this map and timeline, junior hotel employees may have a better idea on how to plan and manage their careers to reach the top. For hotel companies, the findings of this could enable hotel companies to better design organizational career management strategies for different hotel EOC members.
For theoretical contribution, the findings of this study indicate that although individuals have similar desires, it does not necessarily mean that they can transform their desire into action. This result indicates the importance and necessity of the dual-faced construct of aspiration, which should contain both desire and action. This research also proves the general applicability of the SOM, which can be valuable in the worldwide hospitality industry.
This study is unique in that it provides a comprehensive view of the profiles and aspirations of hotel EOC members in international brand hotels in Mainland China.