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Generational differences in work values: a study of hospitality management

Po‐Ju Chen (Rosen College of Hospitality Management, University of Central Florida, Orlando, Florida, USA)
Youngsoo Choi (Rosen College of Hospitality Management, University of Central Florida, Orlando, Florida, USA)

International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management

ISSN: 0959-6119

Article publication date: 22 September 2008

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Abstract

Purpose

While many studies focusing on work values have been conducted, few of them were specifically focused on generational differences within the hospitality context. This study aims to explore the structure of hospitality management work values and the perceived differences among three generations of managers and supervisors in the hospitality industry.

Design/methodology/approach

A survey of 398 managers and supervisors from hospitality organizations in the USA was conducted.

Findings

A total of 15 work values were identified along with their hierarchical order. A four‐dimensional (comfort and security, professional growth, personal growth, and work environment) work value structure shared by hospitality workforce and generational differences in work values of the hospitality industry were found.

Research limitations/implications

The findings of this study are limited to a managerial workforce of the hospitality industry in a US tourism destination.

Practical implications

Implications are drawn for industry to recruit and retain the managerial workforce using strategies designed to meet the preferences and needs perceived by three generations of managerial workforce.

Originality/value

There are three unique contributions: the uncovering of different priorities in work values across the three‐generation hospitality managers; the revelation of the four underlying dimensions of the structure of work values that represent the uniqueness of work values perceived by the hospitality managerial workforce; and the discovery of generational differences in work values in two of the four dimensions (i.e. personal growth and work environment) and the generational preference shift. These findings might contribute to the justification for different recruitment and retention strategies among various sectors of the hospitality industry according to generational value shifts.

Keywords

Citation

Chen, P. and Choi, Y. (2008), "Generational differences in work values: a study of hospitality management", International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, Vol. 20 No. 6, pp. 595-615. https://doi.org/10.1108/09596110810892182

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited