An organizational analysis of management roles in the hotel industry.

  • John Burgess

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD


The study's purpose was to gain new and more relevant knowledge relating to the present day work of United Kingdom hotel general managers. Principally, this was secured through collaborative investigations with managers and their senior staff in four main major field studies. In the thesis, the evolution of the fieldwork provides the framework on which central theoretical themes are described and constructed. Reflection, further analysis and additional comment on the original Working Papers facilitates fieldwork connections and demonstrates conceptual development. The study's dominant perspective is phenomenological and draws inspiration from the traditions of symbolic interactionism and social anthropology. The recurring themes are organizational power and micropolitical behaviour; the phenomenon of living history embodied in organization heritage which shapes the distinctive culture of commerical hospitality; the interaction and dramatic aspects of the hotel general managers' role. Additionally, the study investigates the nature of service and the manner of its organization; the role of women in hospitality management; the operation of conference and banqueting facilities; the distinctive characteristics of a resort hotel which collectively provide context and depth to the analysis. The synthesis of the study concludes with a re-definition of the role of the hotel general manager with a specification of the primary task; guidance on the necessary managerial behaviour to support the task; and the implications involved to those individuals and institutions engaged in developing aspiring hospitality managers. Throughout the document the realities of contemporary hotel management are fully described, in conjunction with specific reference to the practical experiences of conducting action research in such organizations.
Date of Award1984
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Bath

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