The Relationship Among Corporate Culture, Strategic Orientation, and Financial Performance Named Study of the Year By CQ

A study that identifies certain corporate cultures that are connected to favorable hotel operating results has been named the article of the year for Volume 53 of Cornell Hospitality Quarterly (CQ), based on a vote of the CQ’s editorial board.

Cornell Conducted by HyunJeong (Spring) Han, the study, “The Relationship among Corporate Culture, Strategic Orientation, and Financial Performance,” was published in the August 2012 issue of CQ. In addition to determining the match between culture and favorable financial results, the study also notes that other cultures seem to hold down revenues. Han was a visiting scholar at the Cornell School of Hotel Administration, and is now a professor at the Higher School of Economics at the National Research University, Moscow, Russia. The Cornell Center for Hospitality Research produces the CQ in conjunction with Sage Publications (

Based on an analysis of hotels in Korea, Han’s study identified combinations of corporate culture and strategic orientation that contributed to enhanced financial performance for these hotels. Certain cultures were associated with better financial results than others. The innovation-oriented “Adhocracy” culture, for instance helped hotels do better than the tradition-bound “Hierarchal” culture. The family-oriented “Clan” culture was also successful for these Korean hotels, while the transaction-oriented “Market” culture did not do as well. 

Well chosen strategic orientations moderated and improved financial results for some of the cultures, but again not all strategies or cultures improved the hotels’ revenue performance. The opportunity-seeking approach of a “leading” strategic orientation drove favorable financial results for the Clan and Adhocracy cultures, for example, but did not help the Market or Hierarchy cultures. Other strategic orientations also supported positive financial results, including “future-analytic” and “defensive” strategies. On the other hand, the discounting-oriented “aggressive” strategic orientation returned negative financial results to all hotels in this sample.

In addition to the article in the Cornell Hospitality Quarterly, Han presented her findings at QUIS 12, the International Research Symposium on Service Excellence Management, which was hosted at Cornell University. 

The CQ's editorial board also selected "Exploring Resource Efficiency Benchmarks for Environmental Sustainability in Hotels," by Jie Zhang, Nitin Joglekar, and Rohit Verma as the runner-up for the volume's best article. This article took the novel approach of using readily available financial data to allow hotel managers to determine the progress of their sustainability efforts. Based on an analysis of nearly 1,000 hotels, the authors constructed a cost-based resource efficiency measure for environmental sustainability from the hotel's reported financial data and thereby linked the hotel's environmental and economic performance outcomes. This paper was also presented at QUIS 12.

About the Cornell Hospitality Quarterly 

The primary objective of the Cornell Hospitality Quarterly is to publish articles that provide timely and actionable prescriptions for hospitality management practice. The articles we publish are based on important industry challenges that are examined using rigorous methods of inquiry. The content addresses a broad range of topics that are relevant to hospitality, travel, and tourism contexts.

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