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Sustainable international tourist hotels: the role of the executive chef

Tung-Hsuan Wan (Department of Business Administration, Ming Chuan University, Taipei, Taiwan)
Yun-Shu Hsu (Department of Food and Beverage Management, Shih-Chien University, Taipei, Taiwan and Department of Business Administration, Ming Chuan University, Taipei, Taiwan)
Jehn-Yih Wong (Department of Tourism, Ming Chuan University, Taipei, Taiwan)
Shin-Hao Liu (Department of Business Administration, Ming-Chuan University, Taipei, Taiwan)

International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management

ISSN: 0959-6119

Article publication date: 10 July 2017



Human capital is the most important determinant of the Hospitality industry’s success. Executive chefs should be skilled in both management and culinary arts, in addition to ensuring the success of the entire hospitality division. The study aims to understand the competencies of executive chefs in international tourist hotels in Taiwan.


Literature review and behavioral event interviews were conducted with ten executive chefs and executive sous chefs. The modified Delphi method verified the results using 15 experts.


A competency framework was created, with four quadrants – managerial, operational, behaviors and skills – to classify executive chefs’ competencies. Each competency was further divided into sub-competencies – culinary research, emotional control, negotiation skills, job guidance and proactive thinking ability – for 25 items. Quadrants I and II are hard competencies that can be improved through education and training, whereas the third and fourth are soft competencies that require more time for development in workers.

Practical implications

The two-step study developed a competency framework with a practical reference value. The study results could be utilized by human resources managers during their companies’ training, recruitment, selection and promotion.


Besides the Delphi method, a deep behavioral event interview that enabled determining critical competencies was also used to collect data. The results obtained could be used to structure schools’ curricula. Collaborations between the hospitality industry and schools could help develop better curricula and training plans to maximize the availability of educational resources.



Wan, T.-H., Hsu, Y.-S., Wong, J.-Y. and Liu, S.-H. (2017), "Sustainable international tourist hotels: the role of the executive chef", International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, Vol. 29 No. 7, pp. 1873-1891.



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