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2.1 Methodology

In setting out the methodology relating to this dissertation it is important to focus on the associated aims & objectives:

2.2 General aim of Dissertation:

  1. Assess the current status of Education & Training opportunities that exist within the Hospitality industry.
  2. Suggest recommendations for developing the Education & Training process to meet present day requirements for the Hospitality Industry.

2.2.1 Specific Objectives:

  1. To provide up-to-date assessment of the current Education & Training provision for the Hospitality Industry.
  2. To make it possible for the Hospitality Industry to see how current weaknesses and deficiencies in staff skills could be rectified through appropriate education and training programmes
  3. To demonstrate to the industry how suggested improvements & developments could be implemented to improve staff competencies within the Hospitality industry.
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2.3 Overview of Various Methods

After a comprehensive review of literature covering training in general and Hospitality Management training in particular the next step is to investigate the Hospitality education and training available at HND and Degree level and to review training programmes currently in use in UK Hotels.

The research for this will be carried out on a Case Study basis. According to Yin (1984), up to 6 sources of evidence can be used in a Case Study. These 6 sources are set out in the following paragraphs were table 1 shows their relevant strengths and weaknesses.

  1. Documentation can include letters, memoranda and administrative documents such as proposals etc. The most important use of documents within a case study is to corroborate evidence from other sources. There has been some confusion of over reliance on documents in case study research as suggested by Yin 1984.
  2. This has been due to casual investigators who may mistake certain kinds of documents (E.g. proposals for projects or programs as if they contained the unmitigated truth)

  3. Archival records can include service records such as the number of clients served over a given period or organisational records such as budgets etc. Yin 1984 therefore believes that it is important that the investigator is careful in determining the accuracy of records and the conditions under which they were produced.
  4. Interviews are the most important sources for a case study, and can take several forms from an open-ended interview to a structured interview. Interviews can therefore be used to corroborate interview data with information from other sources as suggested by Yin 1984. Interviews must be considered as verbal evidence and for this reason they could be subject to problems of bias, poor recall and poor or inaccurate articulation.
  5. Direct Observation occurs when the investigator makes a site visit e.g. to a new hotel. In relation to direct observations can be either formal or casual, the main concern is the reliability of the observation. One way to overcome the problem as suggested by Yin (1984) is to use multiple observers.
  6. Participant Observation is unique in that the researcher may actually participate through a variety of roles; this can however be a problem as their maybe a potential for bias.
  7. Physical Artefacts can include any physical evidence that maybe gathered during a field visit as suggested by Yin 1984 (E.G. Rocks collected by a Geologist).

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Table 1

Sources of Evidence




Stable — repeated review.

Unobtrusive — exist prior to case study, exact — names etc.

Broad coverage — extended time span.

Retrievability — difficult biased selectivity.

Reporting bias — reflects author bias.

Access — may be blocked.


Same as above precise and quantitative.

Same as above privacy might inhibit access.


Targeted — focuses on case study topic.

Insightful — provides perceived casual inferences.

Bias due to poor question bias.

Incomplete recollection

Reflexibility — interviewee expresses what interviewer wants to hear.

Direct Observation

Reality — covers events in real time

Contextual — covers event context

Time — consuming

Selectivity — misses facts

Reflexibility — observer’s presence might cause change.

Cost — observers need time

Participant Observation

Same as above

Insightful into interpersonal behaviour.

Same as above

Bias due to investigator’s actions

Physical Artifacts

Insightful into cultural features

Insightful into technical operations



(Yin, 1994, p.80)

Documentation will be used as the main source of evidence for the case study as it is the most relevant and most practical of the six options listed.

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2.4 How to collect the data

The main route for accessing data will be Online University prospectuses containing detailed information on undergraduate programs for Hospitality management courses. The prospectuses will also outline course content and structure for the number of years of study. For the second part of the research covering In House hotel training the data will be collected from each hotel’s literature on staff training, out lining various training initiatives etc.

2.5 How to Analyse the Data

Once all the data has been collected the next step is to decide how the data will be analysed. For the case study the data collected will be analysed through compare & contrast. This may be done by,

"Looking for patterns immediately while we are reviewing documents, observing or interviewing, or we can code the records, aggregate the frequencies and find patterns that way or both. Sometimes we will find significant meaning in a single instance, but usually the important meanings will come from reappearance over and over"

(Stake, 1995, p28)

Compare & Contrast is the most appropriate method for analysis as it relates to comparing what the different colleges throughout the UK/ Ireland/ Europe and the USA have to offer and how they differ. The research also involves comparing what two hotels have to offer in — house in regard to training and how their programmes differ.

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2.6 Presentation of Findings

The presentation of the findings is very important to enable the researcher to analyse the data and enable the reader to understand their findings quickly in their simplest form. To achieve this tables were selected as being the best possible way to set out and access the basic information.


2.7 Limitations of Chosen Method

If the research process is carefully planned researchers will find that there will be less problems. However three major problems were identified.

Firstly the terminology used by each of the colleges differed in explaining the Hospitality courses they offer to perspective students. To overcome this, similarities were grouped together broadly.

Secondly the amount of information given by colleges varied considerably. (E.g. Some colleges, instead of giving the duration of the courses, gave the number of semesters.). That problem could have been overcome if there had been more time to verify the details from the colleges in question.

Finally in relation to In House hotel training courses it became difficult to find out the duration of courses especially within the Gleneagles Hotel. Again this could have been verified by contacting the hotel if there had been more time to do so.

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