Hospitality Experiences as
Competitive Advantage
Professor Conrad Lashley
Academy of International Hospitality Research
Stenden University of Applied Sciences
Netherlands
Hospitality Management and all that
• Program origins – applied management – hotel, restaurant, bar
services – commercial/non-commercial settings
• Hotel and catering management – original title
• Program content – operations and management
• How to do agenda?
• Content/context hotel dominant – research
• Hospitality emerges as a term – USA later UK and internationally
• Hospitality and hospitableness – opens avenues of study
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Figure 1: The domains of hospitality
Host
Physiological needs
Psychological needs
Extraction of surplus
Services for pro it
Producer limitations
Market limitations
PRIVATE
SOCIAL
Dealing with strangers
Mutuality
Status and prestige
COMMERCIAL
HOSPITALITY EXPERIENCES
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The social/cultural domain
• Forgotten truths?
Early Middle Ages in the UK – (Heal, 1990)
Reports strong cultural obligations to offer hospitality to
strangers, travellers and the homeless. In particular, the
host was required as a moral and sacred obligation to
offer protection and safety to the guest as well as shelter
and nourishment.
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Anthropologists
Common truths
Converting strangers into friends – many societies (Selwyn,
2000)
Hospitality is offered and the extent or limitation of it is
based on the needs and the purpose of the
guests/strangers. (O’Gorman, 2007)
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Historical Evidence
Shakespeare’s plays – 16/40 hospitality features
Macbeth - Duncan, is killed whilst he is a guest in the Macbeths’ house (Coursen, 1997) Lady
Macbeth says,
‘Woe, alas! What, in our house?’
(Shakespeare, 1607, Act 2, Scene 3, page 5)
King Lear
- host Gloucester, who is about to have his eyes plucked out says to his guests,
‘What mean your graces?-- Good my friends, consider
You are my guests: do me no foul play, friends’
(Shakespeare, 1601, Act 3, Scene 7, page 31)
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Philosophers
Telfer (2000) genuine hospitality/hospitableness
•The desire to please others, or concern or compassion for others.
•The desire to meet another's need.
•A desire to entertain one's friends or to help those in trouble.
•A desire to have company or to make friends.
•The desire for the pleasures of entertaining--what we may call the
wish to entertain as a pastime.
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Philosophers
• Derrida
Cultural and historical norms make it possible for most ‘hosts’ to be
hospitable to invited guests, it is only those that are also
hospitable to the unexpected and unknown guest who
are genuinely hospitable in what he terms ‘radical
hospitality’ (2002: 360).
He claims that where the host expects the coming of the guest as
invited, there is no hospitality (2002)
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Religious texts
• Christian insights
• ‘For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty
and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you
invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and
you looked after me’ (Matthew 25:34-36)
• ‘When you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame,
the blind, and you will be blessed’ (Luke 14:13)
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Religious texts
Old Testament/Judaic insights
•‘Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and he
who has no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine
and milk without money and without price’ (Isaiah. 55:1)
•Lot was spared the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah
because he had offered hospitality and protection to two
visitors who were later identified as angels (Genesis: 1)
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Religious texts
Muslim insights
The true believer offers hospitality to strangers to honor God (Jafar,
2014).
‘Let the believer in Allah and the day of judgment honor his guest’
(Meehan, 2013).
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Religious texts
Hindu insights
‘The uninvited guest should be treated as good as a god’ (Melwani,
2009)
‘Even an enemy must be offered appropriate hospitality if he comes to
your home. A tree does not deny its shade even to the one has come to
cut it down’ (Mahabharata, 12.372).
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Quotations
• ‘When hospitality becomes an art, it losses its soul’, Max
Beerbohlm
• ‘In hospitality the chief thing is good will’, Greek
proverb
• ‘Hospitality is making your guest feel at home, even
though you wish they were’, anon
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Figure 2: A continuum of hospitality
Ulterior
Motives Containing Commercial Reciprocal Redistributive Altruistic
Hospitality Hospitality Hospitality Hospitality Hospitality
Hospitality
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Describing special meal
occasions
Hospitableness the source of
‘special’
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Special meals
• Rarely mention the food
• None described eating alone
• Most involved ‘large’ groups
• Core company – family, close and longstanding friends, ages that
crossed generations
• Periphery – turning strangers into friends
• Emotions relating to feeling secure, bonding as part of a group,
belonging, and trust
• “Let me be myself” and “didn’t put me under pressure”
• Not just in private/domestic settings
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Developing an instrument
• Matthew Blain – DBA
Developing a research instrument to
measure hospitableness for selection and
recruitment
3 themes 13 questions in a questionnaire using Likert scale
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Desire to put guests before yourself
• I put guests’ enjoyment before my own
• I do whatever is necessary to ensure that guests have a
great time
• I always try to live up to my idea of what makes a good
host
• The comfort of guests is most important to me
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Desire to make guests happy
• I get a natural high when I make my guests feel special
• I enjoy taking responsibility for the wellbeing of guests
• It means the world to me when guests show their
approval of my hospitality
• It’s important to do the things that people expect of a
good host
• I seek out opportunities to help others
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Desire to make guests feel special
• When hosting I try to feel at one with the guests
• I try to get on the same wavelength as my guests
• Guests should feel that the evening revolves around
them
• I find it motivating to take accountability for other
people’s welfare
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The source of competitive advantage
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