Cornell Hospitality Quarterly Article States "Do as I Do" Is the Best Prescription for Quality

May 05, 2009

Contact:  Glenn Withiam, 607.255.3025,

Cornell Hospitality Quarterly Article States "Do as I Do" Is the Best Prescription for Quality

New Hotel Industry Research Finds Hotel Managers' Commitment to Quality Improves Employees' Performance

Ithaca, NY, May 5, 2009 - When managers demonstrate their personal commitment to service quality, front-line hotel employees follow their lead, states new hotel industry research published in the May 2009 edition of the Cornell Hospitality Quarterly (CQ). Researchers Ronald A. Clark, Michael D. Hartline, and Keith C. Jones surveyed 743 employees in 199 hotels and concluded that when managers demonstrate an empowering leadership style, they create an environment that leads employees to share the organization's values-thereby improving service.

The hospitality industry research study, "The Effects of Leadership Style on Hotel Employees' Commitment to Service Quality", is the featured article in the May CQ and is available at no charge from Cornell's Center for Hospitality Research, which publishes the Cornell Hospitality Quarterly (

The study matched up managers' and employees' views about their hotel's commitment to quality. In addition, the researchers asked employees about their shared values, role clarity, and job satisfaction. They found that a directive leadership approach fails to drive service quality. On the other hand, an empowering leadership style promotes the shared values that are critical for service excellence. The researchers were surprised to find that a participative management style did not promote shared values, and they suggest that managers evaluate the extent to which they are actually involving employees in decision making.

The researchers conclude: "This study confirms the hotel industry's need to start with management for improving service quality." However, they point out that guests will see this commitment only as it is reflected in the service given by front-line employees.

Clark is an assistant professor at East Carolina University, Hartline is an associate professor at Florida State University, and Jones is an associate professor at North Carolina A&T State University.

Published by Cornell's Center for Hospitality Research, the award-winning Cornell Hospitality Quarterly is available by subscription from Sage Publishing at

About the Cornell Hospitality Quarterly
The Cornell Hospitality Quarterly (CQ) editorial content is broad and publishes research in all business disciplines that contribute to management practice in the hospitality and tourism industries.  The objective of the CQ is to help all those involved or interested in the hospitality industry to keep up-to-date on the latest research findings and theory development in order to improve business practices and stay informed of successful strategies.

About The Center for Hospitality Research
A unit of the Cornell School of Hotel Administration, The Center for Hospitality Research (CHR) sponsors research designed to improve practices in the hospitality industry. Under the lead of the center's 77 corporate affiliates, experienced scholars work closely with business executives to discover new insights into strategic, managerial and operating practices. The center also publishes the award-winning hospitality journal, the Cornell Hospitality Quarterly. To learn more about the center and its projects, visit

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