Cornell Roundtable Examines Positive Relationships at Work

Jun 16, 2016

Contact: Carol Zhe, 607.254.4504,


Cornell Roundtable Examines Positive Relationships at Work

Ithaca, NY, June 16, 2016 - Positive relationships at work are important to success in the hospitality and service industries, according to participants at the Positive Relationships at Work Roundtable held in June at the Cornell School of Hotel Administration (SHA).

Sponsored by the Cornell Center for Hospitality Research (CHR) and the Cornell Institute for Hospitality Labor and Employment Relations (CIHLER), the roundtable highlighted the value of positive relationships, which can be a source of individual and collective growth and learning.

With more than 30 academic representatives in attendance—including business school professors and doctoral students from around the U.S.—the roundtable had the following goals: provide and receive developmental feedback on research in progress related to positive relationships at work; build connections with others who share interests in positive relationships at work; and foster a sustainable community of scholars interested in positive relationships at work.

Connections, belonging, and shared beliefs were key discussion points. Participants identified the conditions, contexts, and behaviors that enable the creation and maintenance of human connections in the workplace, including organizational identity, justice, mentoring, and compassion.

Participants pointed out that positive relationships engender feelings of inclusion, mutual obligation, and reciprocity. These relationships foster actions that are important to the hospitality industry, such as interpersonal helping and innovative behaviors that encourage customer satisfaction. Workers who feel that their relationships with colleagues and customers are meaningful and supportive are more likely to be satisfied with their work organizations, exhibit extra discretionary effort towards their work, and be less likely to exit.

Furthermore, participants focused on organizational culture in the creation and maintenance of positive relationships at work. They suggested that affection, caring, and compassion are possible—even in highly competitive organizations and industries— particularly when top management teams are committed to fostering a culture that values and rewards positive interpersonal connection.

The roundtable was chaired by SHA Professors Stephanie J. Creary, Jamie Perry, and Kristina Workman. Professor Creary is an assistant professor of strategy and co-founder of the Positive Relationships at Work (PRW) Microcommunity, an international community of scholars dedicated to the research, practice, and teaching of positive relationships at work. Professor Creary co-led PRW from 2011 through 2016.

The majority of roundtable attendees were also PRW members, including Professor Workman, who is an assistant professor of management and organizational behavior. Professor Perry is an assistant professor of human resources management.

"SHA was the ideal host for this event, given our emphasis and expertise in hospitality, service, and community-building all of which require positive relationships," Professor Creary said. "Aside from many rigorous discussions and engaging debates that resulted in new ideas on how to create and sustain positive relationships at work, we received positive feedback from our colleagues and guests on SHA's generosity and hospitality throughout the event, including that of the impeccable service staff at the Statler Hotel."

Suggested citation:
Creary, S.J. & Perry, J.L. (2016, June 16). Cornell Roundtable Examines Positive Relationships at Work [Press Release]. Retrieved from

About the Center for Hospitality Research
The purpose of the Center for Hospitality Research is to enable and conduct research of significance to the global hospitality and related service industries. CHR also works to improve the connections between academe and industry, continuing the School of Hotel Administration's long-standing tradition of service to the hospitality industry. Founded in 1992, CHR remains the industry's foremost creator and distributor of timely research, all of which is posted at no charge for all to use. In addition to its industry advisory board, CHR convenes several industry roundtables each year for the purpose of identifying new issues affecting the hospitality industry.

Center Members: Accenture, Access Point Financial, Inc., Barclaycard US, Cvent, Davis & Gilbert LLP, Deloitte & Touche USA LLP, DerbySoft, Duetto, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, Fox Rothschild LLP, Hilton Worldwide, Host Hotels & Resorts, Hyatt Hotels Corporation, IDeaS Revenue Solutions, InterContinental Hotels Group, Jumeirah Group, Marriott International, NTT DATA, Preferred Hotels & Resorts,, PwC, The Rainmaker Group, RateGain, ReviewPro, Sabre Hospitality Solutions, STR, Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces, Tata Consultancy Services, Wipro EcoEnergy, and Wyndham Hotel Group

About The Cornell Institute for Hospitality Labor and Employment Relations
The Cornell Institute for Hospitality Labor and Employment Relations was established in 2013 as a platform for students, employers, employees, unions, and their advocates involved in the hospitality industry. The institute’s mission is to support educational programs, sponsor and disseminate research, and hold conferences and roundtables dedicated to modernizing labor and employment relations, analyzing labor and employment law, and improving human resource management and leadership in the hospitality industry. To achieve this goal, the institute supports classes focusing on labor and employment relations; disseminates empirical, theoretical, and doctrinal scholarship; and sponsors conferences and roundtables.

Center Members: Barnes & Thornburg LLP • The Beverly Hills Hotel and Bungalows • Buchalter Nemer PC • Caesars Entertainment Corporation • Commune Hotels • Conn Maciel Carey PLLC • The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas • Davis & Gilbert LLP • Deloitte LLP • Epstein Becker Green • Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts • Fox Rothschild LLP • Hilton Worldwide • Hyatt Hotels Corporation • InterContinental Hotels Group • Interstate Hotels & Resorts • Jones Day • Kane Kessler, P.C. • Littler Mendelson • Loews Corporation • LRP Publications • Marriott International • PwC • Proskauer • Regan Development Corporation • Seaview Investors LLC • Starwood Hotels and Resorts • Taylor English Duma LLP • White Lodging