Reflections on the nature of skills in the experience economy: Challenging traditional skills models in hospitality

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Abstract

This article addresses the nature of skills in international hospitality. Frequently characterised as 'low skills', it is increasingly recognised that skills bundling in services such as hospitality cannot be solely seen in terms of the technical attributes of work. Emotional and aesthetic dimensions have been added to the services skills bundle. The added dimension of Pine and Gilmore's 'experience economy' suggest a further component within this bundle, namely that of experience skills. This article explores the role of experiential factors in helping to equip those entering work in the international hospitality industry. The learning demands of the sector for those brought up in a western, developed world environment are relatively small, primarily reflecting the strongly Americanised operating culture of hospitality. In addition, those working in hospitality in most developed countries have experience of the sector as both consumers and employees. By contrast, employees in international hospitality in less developed countries do not have similar benefits of experience, either though general acculturation or as consumers of hospitality services. This divergent experience profile has significant implications for the skills demands of hospitality work and leads to the proposition that experience is an important factor in determining the skills demands of hospitality work. This, in turn, leads to this article's proposal that Experiential Intelligence (ExQ) is an indicator of this difference in terms of workplace skills.
LanguageEnglish
Pages124-135
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Hospitality and Tourism Management
Volume13
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2006

Fingerprint

acculturation
workplace
esthetics
learning
demand
services
economy
Hospitality
Experience economy
developed country
indicator
attribute
hospitality industry
less developed country
Factors
Employees

Keywords

  • hospitality industry
  • tourism management
  • training
  • job skills

Cite this

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abstract = "This article addresses the nature of skills in international hospitality. Frequently characterised as 'low skills', it is increasingly recognised that skills bundling in services such as hospitality cannot be solely seen in terms of the technical attributes of work. Emotional and aesthetic dimensions have been added to the services skills bundle. The added dimension of Pine and Gilmore's 'experience economy' suggest a further component within this bundle, namely that of experience skills. This article explores the role of experiential factors in helping to equip those entering work in the international hospitality industry. The learning demands of the sector for those brought up in a western, developed world environment are relatively small, primarily reflecting the strongly Americanised operating culture of hospitality. In addition, those working in hospitality in most developed countries have experience of the sector as both consumers and employees. By contrast, employees in international hospitality in less developed countries do not have similar benefits of experience, either though general acculturation or as consumers of hospitality services. This divergent experience profile has significant implications for the skills demands of hospitality work and leads to the proposition that experience is an important factor in determining the skills demands of hospitality work. This, in turn, leads to this article's proposal that Experiential Intelligence (ExQ) is an indicator of this difference in terms of workplace skills.",
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