Competency requirements of managers in hotels in Jamaica: The Implications of soft skills

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Title: Competency requirements of managers in hotels in Jamaica: The Implications of soft skills
Author: Hinds-Smith, Sharmon
Abstract: Jamaica, being considerably dependent on tourism and its subsequent hotel industry, has consistently recruited technically competent managers. A manager in a hotel in Jamaica must meet certain requirements in terms of academic and technical competencies which include bodies of knowledge such as accounting, finance, marketing and operations (hard skills). Since globally, managers with competencies in both the hard and soft areas have had more of a competitive edge regarding the hotel business at large, it is clear that the "softer" skills are seen as significant in terms of competency and vital to a manager's performance within the hotel. This study seeks to investigate and examine the relevance of soft skills within competency requirements of managers in hotels in Jamaica. It is important that institutions responsible for the educating, training and development of Jamaica's hotel managers incorporate soft skills training into their curricula. This research will provide valuable information to Jamaica's educational institutions responsible for training future hospitality industry leaders. The population in this study was the Jamaican hospitality/hotel industry. A random sample of a hundred hotel departmental managers and assistant managers taken from small, medium and large properties were selected. Since the size of the property does not indicate managerial qualification requirements, there was no need to select specific sized properties from which to gather the information. The findings of the study revealed that soft skills are considered significantly more important than hard skills for managing hotel departments. It is therefore urgent that hospitality educational institutions aim to meet the needs of the industry in their demand for soft skills training.
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Date: 2009

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