Graduation Year

January 2013

Document Type

Thesis

Degree

M.S.

Degree Granting Department

Information Systems and Decision Sciences

Major Professor

Cihan Cobanoglu

Keywords

employee appraisals, hospitality managers, hospitality students, human resources, LDP, personality tests

Abstract

This is a descriptive study that poses the questions and discussion regarding use of personality tests in prediction of future job performance of the current undergraduate hospitality students. A gap exists between the perception of the skills and competencies of high performers and the perception of hospitality students (Berezina et al., 2011; Malan, Berezina & Cobanoglu, 2012). The purpose of this study is to investigate if personality tests will help in predicting the success of students in their preferred job setting as compared to current high performers (managers).

The use of personality tests increased substantially after 1988, when the government banned the use of polygraphs (Employee Polygraph Protection Act, 1988 as cited in Stabile, 2002). Although there is no right or wrong answer to personality test questions, the answers would allow employers to have a better idea if there is a sufficient fit between the applicant and the position sought. To compare the personality types of successful hotel managers and hospitality students to determine if there is a need to customize the hospitality curriculum in order to produce graduates who will fit to the correct type of positions, a convenient sample was drawn from a hotel management company's managers and hospitality students of a university in the Southeast USA. The sample for this study was 175 Managers and 150 Students.

With the 144/175 (82% response rate) manager and 76/150 (51% response rate) students the main findings show there is a significantly difference between managers and students. This indicates that current hospitality students and current managers have different perceptions about hospitality industry. Since current students will work on the industry in the future, the difference needs to be eliminated by both curricular and extra-curricular activities. There are also significant differences among managerial positions' (general manager, assistant general manager, and director of sales) LDP scores. This could indicate that it might not be a good fit to promote these individuals from one position to other within the company since each position differs from each other.