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Training soft skills via e‐learning: international chain hotels

Jungsun (Sunny) Kim (Department of Nutrition, Hospitality & Retailing, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas, USA)
Mehmet Erdem (William F. Harrah College of Hotel Administration, University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV), Las Vegas, Nevada, USA)
JeoungWoo Byun (College of Hotel and Tourism Management, Kyunghee University, Seoul, South Korea)
Hwayoung Jeong (School of General Education, Kyunghee University, Seoul, South Korea)

International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management

ISSN: 0959-6119

Article publication date: 23 August 2011

6331

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to investigate the perceived importance of soft skills for hotel employees, their willingness to use electronic learning (e‐learning) as a training tool to improve their soft skills, and the impact of hotel employees' individual characteristics (i.e. motivation, self‐efficacy, technology anxiety) on their intentions to use e‐learning across different age groups.

Design/methodology/approach

The sample was randomly selected from hotel employees working at various upscale international chain hotels in South Korea. The data were analyzed using structural equation modeling (SEM) to simultaneously measure the impact of four independent variables on the intention to use e‐learning for both younger and older learners.

Findings

The analysis revealed that responsibility, self‐esteem, sociability, and working with diverse groups were rated more important by younger hotel employees. The results suggest that learners who have higher extrinsic motivations in using e‐learning will be more likely to use e‐learning. However, the other variables (i.e. technology anxiety, self‐efficacy, and intrinsic motivation) did not significantly affect the intention to use e‐learning.

Research limitations/implications

The findings are practical for hotel managers/trainers, because they can focus on external rewards instead of internal rewards to motivate employees to use e‐learning. Age did not have a moderating effect between technology anxiety and the intention to use e‐learning. Since the respondents tend to be younger and have a higher standard of education compared with those of the general population, they may more accurately represent hotel employees at upscale or international chain hotels.

Originality/value

The study proposes a framework to examine the impact of hotel employees' individual characteristics on their intention to use e‐learning. The study also validates some relationships that have shown inconsistent results in previous studies. Future research could employ qualitative studies to investigate underlying dimensions of the variables tested in this study.

Keywords

Citation

Kim, J.(S)., Erdem, M., Byun, J. and Jeong, H. (2011), "Training soft skills via e‐learning: international chain hotels", International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, Vol. 23 No. 6, pp. 739-763. https://doi.org/10.1108/09596111111153457

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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