Career Strategies for Success

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Hotel managers’ career strategies for success
Christos Akrivos
Department of Tourism Management, Greek Open University, and Department of Business Administration, Athens Technological Institution, Athens, Greece

Career strategies for success


Adele Ladkin
ICTHR, School of Services Management, Bournemouth University, Poole, UK, and

Panayiotis Reklitis
Department of Business Administration, Patras Technological Institution, Patras, Greece Abstract
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to explore career strategies used by Greek hotel managers in order to advance their careers successfully. Design/methodology/approach – Using a case study sample of 65 hotel general managers working in deluxe hotels in Greece, data on career strategies were collected using a postal questionnaire. Findings – It is revealed that the managers use a range of different strategies in order to advance their careers. The most commonly used are in relation to career opportunities, skills, mobility, interpersonal relations and handling diverse situations. The least commonly used ones relate to family contacts, job search techniques and pay. Practical implications – The strategies are discussed in terms of recruitment, training and retention of managers in the hotel industry. Originality/value – This paper builds on the knowledge of careers strategies used for career success. Keywords Careers, Career development, Hotels, Managers, Greeece Paper type Research paper

Introduction Career success can be viewed as a means to fulfill a person’s needs and desires through achievements, accomplishment and power acquisition (Lau and Shaffer, 1999). Career success and career strategies are elements within the broad tradition of career theory (Riley and Ladkin, 1994). An understanding of the strategies used in order to develop a successful career can help individuals choose the best way to achieve promotion to the top of a company’s hierarchy (Aryee et al., 1994). Within a specific professional environment, it is useful for career development to identify the specific individual or environmental characteristics and requirements that lead different people to career success in different industries or organizational structures (Reklitis and Trivelas, 2002). The practical meaning of this knowledge or information is important for both companies and individuals as it enables companies to have the ability to plan more

International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management Vol. 19 No. 2, 2007 pp. 107-119 q Emerald Group Publishing Limited 0959-6119 DOI 10.1108/09596110710729229

IJCHM 19,2


effectively the systems of staff training and development, and individuals can develop career strategies that will offer them greater career success in terms of job position, satisfaction and salary (Ellis and Heneman, 1990). This research aims to discover which career strategies have lead to career success for managers in the Greek hotel industry. The rationale for undertaking this research is to highlight elements of managerial career strategies both in general terms and in relation to careers of hotel managers. Despite the wealth of research into the careers of hotel managers, no research to date has been undertaken in the Greek context. The value of exploring the Greek situation is that as a developed international tourist destination, it has an established infrastructure (hotels, travel agencies etc.) and approximately 25 percent of its population is employed directly or indirectly in the tourism sector (Pavlopoulos, 1999). Moreover, the human resource asset employed in this industry is supported by a continuous increasing number of tourism schools which offer a variety of studies at all levels. Previous research has explored profiles and general characteristics of hotel managers, much including a discussion of career strategies. For...
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