As the hotel industry continues to grapple with the interpretation of reviews published on social media, a case study published in the February 2013 issue of Cornell Hospitality Quarterly (CQ) highlights the many complications created by guest reviews posted on the web.
The article, “Responding to Online Reviews: Problem-Solving and Engagement in Hotels,” by Sun-Young Park and Jonathan P. Allen, of the University of San Francisco, examined two diametrically opposed views of the value of social media guest reviews. In one view the hotel regularly responds to posted reviews, while other hotels tend to ignore posted comments. In addition to this article, the February CQ includes a focus on other IT topics, assembled by guest editors Robert Kauffman and Peter O’Connor.
Park and Allen’s case study highlighted four hotels in Seattle, Washington. Two of the hotels regularly respond publicly to guest comments, while the other two almost never post responses to guest complaints—even though they monitor those complaints. Interviews with managers found that a key difference in the hotels’ attitudes toward social media. The hotels that responded frequently considered posted reviews to be an honest gauge of consumer sentiment, while non-responders believed that reviews represented only extremely positive or negative views. All the hotels viewed posted comments as one mechanism to identify and solve customer problems, but only one hotel went beyond that to make customer reviews a part of a communications strategy. TheCQ is produced by the Cornell Center for Hospitality Research at the School of Hotel Administration and published by Sage Publishers. By special arrangement with Sage, this featured article is available for a limited time at no charge, at cqx.sagepub.com.
Job Hopping: A Novel Rhythm for Top Executives
The February 2013 CQ also features an analysis of the unusual career paths followed by many of today’s corporate leaders. The article, “Fascinating Rhythms in the Career Paths of Hospitality Executives,” by James Houran, Rense Lange, and Keith Kefgen, document two separate approaches in corporate leaders’ job advancement. Houran and Kefgen are with HVS Executive Search and Lange is with Integrated Knowledge Systems, Inc. Based on their observations of executives’ careers, Houran, Lange, and Kefgen, see two equally valid but divergent paths to the C-suite. One approach is a methodical ascent of the corporate hierarchy, while the other path, which is increasingly common, is a more rapid rise in which the person moves opportunistically from company to company.
“This opportunistic approach is often perceived negatively as job hopping,” said Houran, “but our evidence contradicts this negative perception. Instead, what we’ve seen is that frequent movement from job to job could actually be a positive sign and reflect an entrepreneurial spirit.”
About The Center for Hospitality Research
A unit of the Cornell School of Hotel Administration, The Center for Hospitality Research (CHR) sponsors research designed to improve practices in the hospitality industry. Under the lead of the center's 78 corporate affiliates, experienced scholars work closely with business executives to discover new insights into strategic, managerial and operating practices. The center also publishes the award-winning hospitality journal, the Cornell Hospitality Quarterly. To learn more about the center and its projects, visit www.chr.cornell.edu.
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