Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to advance discussion of the efficacy of the current Australian competency training framework for credentialing and preparing front‐line employees for the hospitality and tourism industry. Design/methodology/approach – Discussion focuses on the hospitality service encounter and the skills and competencies needed by front‐line employees to satisfy customers. Attributes different meanings to the term “skill” and explains how skill is conceptualized within the Australian competency framework. Illustrates this with examples. Findings – Argues that the competency framework largely excludes key skills and attitudinal factors needed for competent performance, while emphasizing limited procedural skills at minimal levels of performance. Suggests that, due to its complexity and high staff turnover, the industry needs a more robust approach to credentialing and training its workforce. Research limitations/implications – Focus is on issues confronting the hospitality and tourism industry in Australia. May be useful for comparison purposes for those interested in training and service delivery systems. Implies that research is needed on the nexus between the service encounter and the competencies needed by employees. Practical implications – Suggests approaches to developing industry and organizational capacity in three areas: analysis and review of skills; professional approach to job selection and placement; strategic approach to developing employees and supervisors in front‐line positions. Originality/value – Clearly identifies shortcomings in the current framework. Links the service encounter with skills and competencies. Provides diagnostic questions for senior management to review their attitudes towards developing junior staff.
International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jan 1, 2006
Keywords: Skills; Competences; Hospitality services; Service delivery; Australia
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