The role of research in the hospitality industry: A content analysis of the IJHM between 2000 and 2005

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Overtime, research in hospitality and tourism has shed new light into various fields such as management, human behavior, finance, planning, marketing and many more. Some have termed it as a field of multidisciplinary study which drives the perspectives of various disciplines, indicating that the research community should seize the opportunity to reevaluate the fundamental role of research by critically evaluating itself as a significant area of scientific inquiry. Further experimentation and interchange is required to create methodologies through which research may become more accessible and credible for the world. At present, the purpose of research in this field has also been a concern for hospitality journal editors and academics. Therefore, academics should carry out more causal research by leveraging on correlational or experimental designs that study the hospitality industry, as opposed to topics that are of little help in resolving the present challenges in reality.

Over the years, tourism education has developed speedily, making tourism and hospitality education a key field of study in most countries. The increase in numbers can be attributed to research being not only the core source of knowledge in tourism and hospitality, but also the personal development and career paths of those undertaking research. Besides the increase in hospitality programmes, there is a constant focus on educating undergraduates on the mechanics of operating hospitality organisations as well as placing emphasis on graduate degrees that focuses on research. This applied focus of research acts as a foundation to explore hospitality research within a balanced setting serves as means for practitioners and academics to analyse information. For many academic institutions, research is deemed as a fundamental assessment tool to assess their faculty members.

Other than the hospitality programmes, there has been a continued emphasis on educating undergraduates on the mechanics of operating hospitality organisations, as well as, emphasising on graduate degrees that focuses on research. This applied focus of research is essential to the explore hospitality research within a balanced framework that provides practitioners and academics as means to analyse information. For many academic institutions, research is deemed an important assessment tool to appraise faculty members. In academic institutions, research is leveraged to bring about funding, which resulted in some confusion or misunderstanding in relation to the purpose of research. However, these practices are not criticised in this study. Instead, they will be used to underline the idea that research also provides valuable information.

The results of the study demonstrated an innovative approach to the analysis of hospitality research. Since the new millennium, tourism has been recognised as the leading industry in most countries and as the flourishing economic sector in terms of foreign exchange earnings and job creation. Tourism is deemed as the world’s largest export earner and key in the balance of payments of most countries. Therefore, in an era of globalisation, it is demonstrated that most of the published research in the IJHM in the past five years has been predominantly of the strategic dimension. Hence, hospitality businesses will not only contribute to the economic development, but also to enhanced practices and services.

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