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Are hotel managers becoming more professional: the case of hotel financial controllers?

Cathy Burgess (Department of Hospitality, Leisure and Tourism Management, Oxford Brookes University, Oxford, UK)

International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management

ISSN: 0959-6119

Article publication date: 12 July 2011




This paper aims to explore the following question: does the industry context influence management attitudes towards being a professional?


Previous research has identified traits that define a professional. Using this framework, the features of a profession are explored from the perspective of hotel financial controllers. Primary research is used to further explore attitudes towards the achievement of these traits.


The characteristics of this particular industry do appear to impact on attitudes towards professionalism, from the perspective of organizations and the professional association, in comparison to more traditional professions. Although the industry desires to become more professional, there is unwillingness to promote career development and other approaches for hotel controllers. Individuals, however, wish to meet the desired traits and hence improve their personal status and careers.

Research limitations/implications

This research has examined only one type of manager in hotels, and various contradictions have emerged. Other managers in hotels may also demonstrate certain characteristics influenced by the industry context that could be further explored, and further attitudes towards professionalism in the industry investigated.

Practical implications

Hotel companies must demonstrate commitment to their managers by investing in their development to improve levels of professionalism and hence profits. Professional associations can assist by providing appropriate courses at various levels, with a consequent increase in their own status as well as that of the industry.


Most previous research has focused on the profession rather than the industry context. This research raises questions as to the dominance of a particular industry on attitudes and hence on standards.



Burgess, C. (2011), "Are hotel managers becoming more professional: the case of hotel financial controllers?", International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, Vol. 23 No. 5, pp. 681-695.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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