January 02, 2007
In following paper two issues are going to be evaluated and discussed. At first the relationship between hospitality and hospitality management will be assessed and some different notions will be presented. The next part of the article is about the historical hospitality backgrounds regarding Iran. In this part, the author focuses on the history of caravanserais in Iran, their record and structure with the modest focus on Isfahan province and Shah Abaas contribution to caravanserais making.
This part of the paper investigates the relationship between hospitality and hospitality management. During the last two decades a lot of different definitions were presented and various approaches taken by practitioners and commentators, yet not a single definite consensus has been reached, even though so many interesting ideas and concepts have been offered during these debates. Lashley and Morrison (2002) described it the best: "As more attention is being challenged towards the seeking of greater understanding of hospitality, the hope has already been expressed that it is the beginning from which the subject will grow and develop." The most practical way of understanding the true meaning of hospitality is to investigate the history and origins of hospitality, only once the origins and the place of hospitality in human nature is achieved, can one expect to discover what hospitality really means (O'Connor, 2005). Regarding this matter, O'Gorman (2005) has presented a summary of findings from investigating into historical origins of hospitality in the ancient and classical worlds leading to five dimensions of hospitality: honorable tradition, fundamental to human existence, stratified, diversified and central to human endeavors. He concluded that these dimensions have been evolving from the beginning of human history. Hospitality is an integral part of human nature and was always an evident virtue throughout history; O'Conner (2005) assessed this theory and discussed that genuine hospitality is printed in our personality at birth and cannot be built or grow over time. There have been different definitions for hospitality, but as Brotherton (1999) proclaims, the only things which they have in common is their failure to adequately define hospitality per se and confusion of hospitality with hospitable behavior.
Hospitality management cannot be examined and researched if the true meaning of hospitality is still blur and vague. "Effective management of hospitality in any type of organization must begin with a clearly understood definition of what hospitality is" (King, 1995). To identify the true meaning of hospitality and differentiate with other unsatisfactory concepts we must take the product basis of hospitality combined with process and motives elements into consideration (Brotherton, 1999). He concludes: "Hospitality is a contemporaneous human exchange, which is voluntarily entered into and designed to enhance the mutual wellbeing of parties and concerned through the provision of accommodation and food or drink (Brotherton, 1999)."
Management is concerned with coordinating, communicating, controlling, planning and commanding (Fayol, 1949). All these elements of management can be found in hospitality management. The key issue here is not the context or motive for the hospitality exchange but the nature of management (Brotherton, 1999). So hospitality management can not be examined and defined if the real definitions of hospitality and management are indistinct themselves. Brotherton (2002) argues that, people who have some experiences working within the hospitality can do manage the hospitality but they cannot be thought as hospitality managers because hospitality managers have...