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Problem-solving abilities of managers: inflated self-efficacy beliefs

Erdogan Koc (Department of Business Administration, Bahcesehir University, Istanbul, Turkey)
Senay Yurur (Yalova University, Yalova, Turkey)
Mehtap Ozsahin (Gebze Technical University, Gebze, Turkey)

Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Insights

ISSN: 2514-9792

Article publication date: 28 November 2022

85

Abstract

Purpose

This study compared the results of self-report and ability-based tests of problem-solving abilities of 144 hospitality managers working at hotels and restaurants through an online survey. In the first stage of the study, the managers were asked to fill in the self-report problem-solving ability scale by Tesone et al. (2010). In the second stage of the study, the managers were asked to respond to questions in a case-study-based problem-solving test.

Design/methodology/approach

Problem-solving is a key aspect of business process management. This study aims to investigate and compare hospitality managers' actual and claimed (self-report) problem-solving abilities. A lack of unawareness of the actual level of skills may be an important problem as managers who tend to have inflated self-efficacy beliefs are less likely to allocate resources, e.g. time, money and effort, to develop a particular skill or ability they lack. They are also more likely to take risks regarding that skill or ability.

Findings

The results of the study showed that there was a major difference between the results of the self-report test and the actual test. This meant that the managers who participated in the study had inflated self-efficacy beliefs regarding their problem-solving abilities, i.e. they operated under the influence of the Dunning–Kruger effect. The study showed that self-report tests that are commonly used in businesses in recruitment and promotion may not provide a correct level of people's abilities. In general, managers who have inflated self-efficacy beliefs are less likely to be interested in developing a particular skill due to the overconfidence arising from their inflated self-efficacy beliefs. The study showed that managers were less likely to allocate resources, e.g. time, money and effort, to develop a particular skill they lack and are more likely to take risks regarding that particular skill.

Practical implications

Managers in the hospitality industry appear to lack problem solving-abilities. While the hospitality managers assigned high marks for their problem-solving abilities in a self-report problem-solving scale and appeared to be performing significantly good overall in problem-solving, they performed poorly in an actual problem solving exercise. It is recommended that businesses rather than depending on self-report problem-solving scales, they should resort to ability-based scales or exercises that actually measure managers' problem-solving abilities. Also, as managers who had formal tourism and hospitality education performed poorly, tourism and hospitality programme managers at universities are recommend to review their syllabi and curriculum so as to help support their graduates' problem-solving abilities.

Originality/value

The study is original as no previous study compared managers' problem-solving abilities by using self-report and ability-based tests. The study has implications for researchers in terms of developing knowledge, ability and skill-based scales in the future. The study has also significant practical implications for the practitioners.

Keywords

Citation

Koc, E., Yurur, S. and Ozsahin, M. (2022), "Problem-solving abilities of managers: inflated self-efficacy beliefs", Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Insights, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/JHTI-07-2022-0294

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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