"Fun" Article Named Best of 2013 for Cornell Hospitality Quarterly

Jan 23, 2014

Contact: Ashlee McGandy, 607.254.1368, am754@cornell.edu

An article that shows the value of fun in the restaurant workplace has been named the article of the year for the Cornell Hospitality Quarterly (CQ), as just announced in the February 2014 issue of CQ. Chosen by a vote of members of the CQ's editorial board, the article, "Does Fun Pay? The Impact of Workplace Fun on Employee Turnover and Performance," by Michael J. Tews, John W. Michel, and Kathryn Stafford, highlights the benefits when managers encourage employee fun in the workplace—but also warns against too much fun. The winning article appeared in the November 2013 issue of CQ, which is published by Sage Publishing in association with the Cornell School of Hotel Administration. Tews is on the faculty at Pennsylvania State University, Michel at Loyola University of Maryland, and Stafford at Ohio State University.

Workplace fun is often suggested as a way to improve employees' performance and attitudes, including such activities as productivity contests, social events, teambuilding activities, and public celebrations of work achievements and personal milestones. Indeed, the authors' survey of 195 servers in a U.S. restaurant chain found that fun activities were positively related to employees' performance, measured in terms of better sales and lower turnover. However, when managers pushed too hard for fun—and perhaps allowed employees to slack off from sales efforts—performance diminished.

February '14 CQ Focuses on Sustainability

The newly published February 2014 issue of CQ is entirely devoted to sustainability and innovation in the hospitality and tourism industry. Articles in the February CQ cover the connection of social responsibility to employees' positive work outcomes, the financial outcomes of sustainability programs, and the value of sustainability to guests' hotel selection and ratings. Developed by guest editor H.G. Parsa, of the University of Denver, the issue highlights the importance of sustainability to guests in all areas of the hospitality industry and also examines the importance of achieving sustainability certification.

The featured article in the February 2014 CQ demonstrates that customer satisfaction is higher at hotels carrying a sustainability certification, in this case ISO 14001. The article, "The Impact of Environmental Certification on Hotel Guest Ratings," was written by Angel Peiró-Signes and María-del-Val Segarra-Oña, of Universitat Politècnica de València; Rohit Verma, of Cornell University; and José Mondéjar-Jiménez and Manuel Vargas-Vargas, of Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha.

Based on the ratings of 6,850 hotels in Spain, the researchers compared customer ratings for hotels that held ISO 14001 certification and those that did not. Hotels with ISO 14001 certification gained overall higher ratings than those without the certification, particularly for hotel comfort and hotel services. The authors found that the most significant rating differences occurred for upscale 4-star hotels with and without the certification. The implication is that the highest-end 5-star luxury hotels do not gain distinctive differentiation by having the ISO 14001 certification, while for 3-star hotels, guests' price sensitivity overrides environmental concerns. At the 4-star level, however, hotels seem to be able to gain a distinct market advantage from environmental certification.

About the Cornell Hospitality Quarterly
The Cornell Hospitality Quarterly (CQ) editorial content is broad, and the CQ 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 Cornell School of Hotel Administration
The Cornell University School of Hotel Administration is shaping the global knowledge base for hospitality management through leadership in education, research and industry advancement. The school provides management instruction in the full range of hospitality disciplines, educating the next generation of leaders in the world's largest industry. Founded in 1922 as the nation's first collegiate course of study in hospitality management, the Cornell School of Hotel Administration is recognized as the world leader in its field. For more information, visit www.hotelschool.cornell.edu.