June 20, 2024

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Hospitality and Restaurant Students to Their Field of Study and Career

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Restaurant Students

1By 2035, the growth of the Canadian tourism industry is likely to be seriously compromised by an announced shortage of 235,000 workers (Conference Board Canada, 2016), which brings educational institutions in tourism, hospitality and catering (THR) to question the means of recruitment and training to be implemented to attract candidates with a strong potential for commitment to their future career.

2Indeed, if it is often the passion for a job that leads an individual to choose a career, the reality of the professional environment can sometimes appear to be out of step with the deep aspirations of these same individuals. In order to answer this problem, the present research identifies factors having an influence on the degree of commitment of a student to persevere in the chosen field. These factors can be numerous, from the socio-economic conditions of a territory, through the culture of an industry, the type of job to the profile of the individual. However, this research will rule out the analysis of workplaces to better understand the feelings of the individual in relation to this environment, in connection with the professional experiences lived before and during their academic career.

I. Literature review

3While many management studies have identified the factors favoring the loyalty of individuals to an organization, few have linked the intrinsic traits of a student, in the process of learning, to his willingness to persevere in the chosen field (Costen and Salazar , 2011). In order to address this problem, the concepts surrounding an individual’s career, the appreciation of his work environment and the intentions related to the chosen field of study were first extracted from the existing literature on the topic. Secondly, the concept of emotional experience in the workplace, which describes the individual’s feelings when he is in the workplace, is defined based on existing literature. Finally, based on research carried out on THR service employees,

Commitment to his career

4First, at the heart of the problem of this research, is the propensity of an employee to engage in different organizational frameworks and certain industries. Beyond loyalty to one’s organization, the construct of commitment to one’s career is more relevant here (Darden et al., 1989).

5The work of London and Noe (1997) reports a set of factors endogenous and exogenous to the individual that can be linked to his motivation to continue or not in the same career path. The following literature review identifies a set of parameters mentioned in the scientific literature of human resources management and organizational behavior in order to build an analytical model that can explain the motivation underlying loyalty to one’s career.

6In order to better understand this individual’s propensity to commit, the work of Carson and Bedeian (1994) arrives at a construct made up of three dimensions. The first examines how individuals project themselves into the tasks to be performed and how they ultimately identify with their professional responsibilities. The second dimension of the concept, career planning, refers to the control exercised by individuals over the conscious steps they have taken to plan their careers, i.e. their ability to make choices that are part of an internal pattern and who are aligned with their personal or professional beliefs. The third and final dimension, job resilience, examines the ability of employees to work under some degree of pressure,

7In the same vein, research on school perseverance is prolific and has greatly contributed to a better understanding of the progression of students in their educational path. Having a paid job while studying is now recognized as having negative effects on the continuity of studies (Maurel et al., 2009). However, the literature has paid little attention to understanding the effects of pursuing a study program on the continuity of a student’s career choice. Thus, the intention to complete one’s study program, or even to change programs or to work in another field of activity is not documented. This study therefore focuses on career continuity from the perspective of school perseverance.

Appreciation of work experience

8In order to better understand the factors influencing the ability to plan for the future, the constructs resulting from work performance measures can be considered. Thus, the literature in human resources management continues to link the positive feeling felt by an individual in the workplace to his performance and his will to persevere. Based on this consensus, the dimension specific to job satisfaction remains to this day an essential construct in the study of the links that employees can have with their jobs (Brown and Lam, 2008).

9In order to deepen this appreciation of the work environment, new constructs emerge in order to capture other aspects of the employee’s work dynamics. Thus, the concept of work experience appeared at the turn of the 1970s and has since incorporated a number of perspectives related to the notions of quality, value and emotions. Indeed, in an effort to reduce employee turnover rates, organizations have begun to incorporate internal marketing approaches into their human resource management practices to address employee engagement issues (Jones, 2008). However, the concept of experience in a professional environment quickly took on a different perspective than that used to measure customer satisfaction. Concepts such as employee emotional labor (Lee and Ok, 2012; Seymour, 2000), individual well-being (Johnson and Spector, 2007), job enjoyment and satisfaction (Young Gin et al., 2013) have shed light on new aspects specific to the understanding of the emotional performance of service employees. While the latter concept,

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