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Managing Hospitality Organizations

Managing Hospitality Organizations
Achieving Excellence in the Guest Experience

Second Edition
Experience with SAGE edge

January 2019 | 504 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
“A perfect book for any Hospitality program, excellent instructor support, and a good resource for students.” 
–Denise A. Braley, Mitchell College

Today’s economy is dominated by the rapidly growing service sector. Even businesses primarily selling goods are reinventing their image and positioning themselves as service providers. Managing Hospitality Organizations: Achieving Excellence in the Guest Experience takes students on a journey through the evolving service industry. Each chapter focuses on a core principle of hospitality management and is packed with practical advice, examples, and cases from some of the best companies in the service sector. Authors Robert C. Ford and Michael Sturman emphasize the critical importance of focusing on the guest and creating that unforgettable customer experience. Whether your students will be managing a neighborhood café, a convention center, or a high-end resort hotel, they will learn invaluable skills for managing the guest experience in today’s ultracompetitive environment.  

The new Second Edition includes updated information on the applications of technology to managing hospitality organizations, and increased coverage of entrepreneurship and innovative leadership. 

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1. The Basics of Wow! The Guest Knows Best
Guestology: What is it?  
The Guest Experience  
Guest Expectations  
Quality, Value, and Cost Defined  
The Importance of Guestology  
Lessons Learned  
2. Meeting Guest Expectations through Planning
Three Generic Strategies  
The Hospitality Planning Cycle  
Assessing the Environment  
Assessing the Organization Itself: The Internal Assessment  
Vision and Mission Statements  
Developing the Service Strategy  
Action Plans  
Involving Employees in Planning  
The Uncertain Future  
Lessons Learned  
3. Setting the Scene for the Guest Experience
Creating the “Show”  
Why is the Environment Important?  
A Model: How the Service Environment Affects the Guest  
Lessons Learned  
4. Developing the Hospitality Culture—Everyone Serves!
The Importance of Leaders  
The Importance of Culture  
Beliefs, Values, and Norms  
Culture and the Environment  
Communicating the Culture  
Changing the Culture  
Lessons Learned  
5. Staffing for Service
The Many Employees of the Hospitality Industry  
The First Step: Study the Job  
The Second Step: Recruit a Pool of Qualified Candidates  
The Third Step: Select the Best Candidate  
The Fourth Step: Hire the Best Applicant  
The Fifth Step: Make the Best New Hire Feel Welcome  
The Sixth Step: Turnover—Retaining the Best, and Selecting People out of an Organization  
Lessons Learned  
6. Training and Developing Employees to Serve
Employee Training  
Developing a Training Program  
Types of Training  
Training Methods  
Challenges and Pitfalls of Training  
Employee Development  
Lessons Learned  
7. Serving with a Smile – Motivating Exceptional Service
Motivating Employees  
The Needs People Have  
The Rewards Managers can Provide  
Ways Rewards Can Motivate  
How Managers and Leaders Provide the Right Direction  
Lessons Learned  
8. Involving the Guest: The Co-Creation of Value
The Guest Can Help!  
Strategies for Involving the Guest  
Determining Where Co-Production Makes Sense  
One Last Point: Firing the Guest  
Lessons Learned  
Key Terms and Concepts  
Section III. The Hospitality Service Delivery System
9. Communicating for Service
The Challenge of Managing Information  
Information and the Service Product  
Information and the Service Setting  
Information and the Delivery System  
Decision Support Systems  
The Hospitality Organization as an Information System  
Lessons Learned  
10. Planning the Service Delivery Stems
Planning and Designing the Service Delivery System  
Developing the Service Delivery System  
Planning Techniques  
Targeting Specific Problem Areas in Service Delivery Systems  
11. Waiting for Service
Capacity and Psychology: Keys to Managing Lines  
Queuing Theory: Managing the Reality of the Wait  
Managing the Perception of the Wait  
Service Value and the Wait  
Lessons Learned  
12. Measuring and Managing Service Delivery
Techniques and Methods for Assessing Service Quality  
Measuring Service Quality After the Experience  
Finding and Using the Technique that Fits  
Lessons Learned  
13. Fixing Service Failures
Service Failures: Types, Where, and Why  
The Importance of Fixing Service Failures  
Dealing with Services Failures  
Recovering form Service Failure  
Lessons Learned  
14. Service Excellence: Leading the Way to Wow!
The Three S’s: Strategy, Staffing, and Systems  
Hospitality and the Future  
Leading the Way Into the Future  
Leading and Managing  
It all Begins—and Ends—with the Guest  
Key features


  • New coverage of innovations in technology and sustainability, including expanded coverage on mobile apps, big data, data analytics, virtual reality, social media, and eco-innovation which are important topics in our modern hospitality world
  • Updated coverage on generational differences, including millennials and generation Z 
  • Current  cases and examples from well-known companies like Lyft, Whole Foods, Amazon, Disney, and Southwest Airlines that are leading the service industry today
  • New and expanded coverage on important topics like emotional labor, sexual harassment, cultural differences, and equity that hospitality managers have to address in their organizations
  • Learning objectives help students fully understand what they should get out of each chapter
  • Updated readings, references, and photos throughout giving students additional coverage and application of the content


  • Structured around three core hospitality management functions: strategy, staffing, and systems 
  • Case Studies spotlight a wide variety of real-world organizations of all sizes getting it right 
  • Ethics in Business scenarios allow students to practice their ethical reasoning as they grapple with common ethical dilemmas

New to This Edition

  • All learning objectives have been revised and are stated using terminology that is measurable and actionable.
  • Key Terms can now be found at the end of each chapter.
  • A Running Glossary has been added. Key Terms with definitions will appear in the margin of the reading.
  • Learning Objectives have been correlated to each primary heading in the reading.
  • Updates focusing on technology and innovations in technology have been incorporated into the reading. An icon will appear to highlight and draw attention to this emerging trend in hospitality management.
  • Content on sustainability has also been addressed in the readings. An icon will appear to highlight and draw attention to this emerging trend in hospitality management.

Chapter 1

  • Content has been reorganized to improve flow and comprehension
  • Expanded discussion of the trending experience economy
  • Expanded focus on competitive advantage
  • Incorporate new examples from more businesses such as Carnival Cruises, Bahama Breeze, Melting Pot, and Country Walker
  • Incorporation of new studies and literature

Chapter 2

  • Chapter is significantly revised for flow and clarity
  • Expanded discussion on environmental assessment
  • Expanded discussion on generational groups/categories, particularly millennials and generation Z
  • Added discussion of changing social and political expectations
  • Expanded discussion of green movement and sustainability
  • Expanded discussion of operating environments
  • Expanded discussion of action plans including management performance plans, employee hiring, training, and retention plans, financial plans, marketing plans 
  • Expanded discussion of competitive environments
  • Incorporate new examples from more businesses such as Ruth Chris’s Steak House, Alaska Airlines, Mind’s Eye Travel, Panera, Applebee’s, Aloft
  • Updated review questions
  • Incorporation of new studies and literature

Chapter 3

  • Incorporation of international examples such as Kavevala and Shanghai Disney
  • Incorporate new examples from more businesses such as Fred Harvey Company, Amplatz Children’s Hospital, Medieval Times, Kavevala, Seasons 52
  • Incorporation of new studies and literature

Chapter 4

  • Expanded discussion of corporate culture, defining, creating, and communicating to support and enhance the service experience
  • Examples from the Gaylord Hotel STARS program
  • Incorporate new examples from more businesses such as Hyatt Hotels and Google
  • Incorporation of new studies and literature

Chapter 5

  • Added discussion of human resource management, including planning, online recruitment, professional networks, career fairs
  • Added discussion of emotional labor
  • Added discussion of new technologies in recruitment and screening
  • Incorporate new examples from more businesses such as Southwest Airlines, Eleven Madison Park, Hilton Hotels, Kimpton Hotels
  • Revised review questions
  • Incorporation of new studies and literature

Chapter 6

  • Significantly revised and revamped chapter providing new examples and expanded discussions. Revised and reorganized for better flow and clarity.
  • Fully revamped and revised discussion on training, types of training and training methods, including simulations and e-learning
  • New introductory example from The Inn from Pittsburgh
  • Added discussion on use of Big Data
  • Added discussion of costs of training and return on investment
  • Incorporate new examples from more businesses such as Cheesecake Factory, Four Seasons, JetBlue, LaQuinta, Scandinavian Airline Service
  • Incorporation of new studies and literature

Chapter 7

  • Very heavily revised chapter adding discussions on many emerging topical areas such as sexual harassment, ethical leadership, equity, and teamwork, generational and cultural differences.
  • Added discussion of the Service-Profit Chain
  • Expanded discussion of motivation
  • Introduces concept of hedonic treadmill
  • Added discussion of growth needs
  • Removed content on roles and satisfaction
  • Incorporation of new studies and literature

Chapter 8

  • Places increased emphasis on assisting the guest with participation in the experience and co-creation
  • Incorporate new examples from more businesses such as Uber, Lyft, Living Social, Marriott
  • Incorporation of new studies and literature

Chapter 9

  • Added discussion of new and emerging technologies such as virtual reality, data analytics, self-service kiosks, artificial intelligence, web mapping and geocoding, and social media
  • Added example of overbooking of flights
  • Incorporate new examples from more businesses such as Amazon, Whole Foods, Ocean House, Harrah’s
  • Incorporation of new studies and literature

Chapter 10

  • Expanded discussion of service standards using Gaylord Hotels STARS program as an example
  • Added example of Wendy’s ambassador programs in training

Chapter 11

  • Use of technology to allow guests to plan according to statistics made available and through use of mobile apps
  • Incorporate new examples from more businesses such as Pandora – World of Avatar
  • Incorporation of new studies and literature

Chapter 12

  • Added discussion of Leading Hotels or the World Standards
  • Added discussion of use of new technologies such as apps, tablets, and the web, as well as social media
  • Incorporate new examples from more businesses such as Carraba’s, Hampton Inn, Maxie’s Super Club, Planet Hollywood Orlando, Continental Airlines
  • Incorporation of new studies and literature

Chapter 13

  • New examples of handling service failures throughout such as Ocean House, Caesar’s Entertainment
  • Incorporation of new studies and literature

Chapter 14

  • Chapters has been reorganized for improvement of flow and clarity
  • Added discussion of training
  • Added discussion on innovation, including example of William Cameron Coup, restaurant incubators, and eco-innovations
  • Added a section on Leading and Managing
  • Incorporate new examples from more businesses such as Emirates Air, WestJet
  • Incorporation of new studies and literature

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ISBN: 9781544321509