Leadership in the hospitality industry: Boadecia vs. Attila - bring it on!

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Whitelaw, Paul A and Morda, Romana (2004) Leadership in the hospitality industry: Boadecia vs. Attila - bring it on! Journal of hospitality and tourism management, 11 (2). pp. 139-148. ISSN 1447-6770


The need for high-quality leaders in the hospitality industry has been readily recognised and is seen as critical to the long-term well-being of the industry. In recent years, the industry has undergone something of a sea change in its gender composition, with increasing numbers of females graduating from hospitality and tourism management courses. This suggests that the gender composition of managerial ranks is likely to change in the medium term, with concurrent changes in the typical leadership style valued in the industry. This article seeks to explore and quantify the differences in gender-based perceptions of leadership styles and outcomes in the hospitality industry. Using the Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ; Bass & Avelio, 1995), a well-established self-administered instrument, the researchers used a "snowballing" technique to recruit a self-selected sample of 264 hospitality employees. These employees work in a variety of sectors in the hospitality industry, including large international-style hotels, small franchised motels, food and beverage operations and contract catering, and at levels ranging from junior staff to senior property and site managers. The data indicated that despite their similarities, there were a number of subtle but significant differences between males and females in terms of the behaviours used and the extent to which various behaviours contributed to successful leadership outcomes, One potentially confounding result was the high emphasis placed upon the "contingent reward leadership style" by females and may be explained by the female's desire for clear, open and transparent communication. More generally, the differences between males and females were manifested in the form of the males placing greater emphasis on "confronting" and "sporting" leadership styles while the females placed greater emphasis on leadership styles which are built upon clear and concise communication and a greater focus on personal consideration for the team members. However, these subtle differences warrant further investigation--possibly using a more holistic approach-such as a 360 degree assessment or semi-structured interviews.

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Item type Article
URI https://vuir.vu.edu.au/id/eprint/1319
DOI A123163823
Subjects Historical > RFCD Classification > 350000 Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services
Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > School of Hospitality Tourism and Marketing
Keywords ResPubID7629, hospitality industry, leadership, hospitality and tourism management, transformational leadership
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