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Managing Hospitality Organizations

Managing Hospitality Organizations
Achieving Excellence in the Guest Experience

Second Edition
Experience with SAGE edge

January 2019 | 592 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 C. 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 Second Edition includes new coverage of technology, sustainability, sexual harassment, diversity and inclusion, and ethical 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  


Instructor Resource Site

Instructor Teaching Site (Password Protected)

SAGE edge for Instructors, supports your teaching by making it easy to integrate quality content and create a rich learning environment for students. 

  • Test banks provide a diverse range of pre-written options as well as the opportunity to edit any question and/or insert your own personalized questions to effectively assess students’ progress and understanding
  • Sample course syllabi provide suggested models for structuring your courses
  • Editable, chapter-specific PowerPoint® slides offer complete flexibility for creating a multimedia presentation for your course 
  • The Instructor's Manual contains numerous resources for each chapter, including lecture outlines, answers to review questions, suggested activities, suggested discussion topics for Ethics in Business Feature, and case notes. These resources are collated in the Instructor's Manual files, and are also available separately on this website.
  • Multimedia content includes videos that appeal to students with different learning styles
  • Additional Readings provide a jumping-off point for course assignments, papers, research, group work, and class discussion.
Student Study Site

Student Study Site (Open Access)

SAGE edge for Students provides a personalized approach to help students accomplish their coursework goals in an easy-to-use learning environment.

  • Mobile-friendly eFlashcards strengthen understanding of key terms and concepts 
  • Mobile-friendly practice quizzes allow students to independently assess their mastery of course material
  • Learning objectives reinforce the most important material
  • Multimedia resources facilitate student use of Internet resources, further exploration of topics, and responses to critical thinking questions
  • Additional Readings for further study.

“A perfect book for any Hospitality program, excellent instructor support, and a good resource for students.” 

Denise A. Braley
Mitchell College

“The book is a great addition to both classroom instruction and scholarly literature of the hospitality and service field. It covers various management tactics on service responsibilities, problems, and approaches to solutions. It challenges readers to identify issues associated with the problem and think outside the box to solve problems in the workplace. This is one of the most needed and highest-quality books we have in the field.” 

Wei Wang
University of Southern Mississippi

“This detail oriented book not only covers key concepts but utilizes real-life examples to make the content more convincing and validated. It is also a good book for in-class discussions and application practices.”

Chih-Lun Yen
Ball State University

“A wide-ranging comprehensive text, looking at key contemporary issues in hospitality.”

Alistair Williams
Johnson & Wales University

“We all know how important it is to turn customers into "Raving Fans"—but getting everyone in an organization on board takes thoughtful action. Managing Hospitality Organizations offers fourteen principles of service that prove when you serve your people well, they will pass that service on to your customers. Whether you are a student or a manager on the front lines, if you want to create “Raving Fans”, this book is for you!”

Ken Blanchard
coauthor of The New One Minute Manager®, Raving Fans®, and Servant Leadership in Action

“Although Bob credits me as the ‘Father of Guestology’, he and Mike have developed the concept of Guestology into an entire book that perfectly captures what it means to manage an organization from the guest's point of view. This is an excellent text to learn how to use the management philosophy I and my team pioneered to ensure that in every phase of the business, from the planning and design of new parks and attractions to their everyday operations, all Disney cast members are focused on satisfying and exceeding the Guest's wants, needs, and expectations."

Bruce Laval

"The second edition of Robert Ford and Michael C. Sturman's excellent text, Managing Hospitality Organizations, is a must read for students pursuing careers in the business of hospitality and the faculty who facilitate their learning. This new edition retains the right mix of theory and practice that students need, call it the art and science of hospitality, while incorporating key changes to how hospitality businesses interact with and satisfy their customers today, including the evolving role of technology in service strategies, systems and staffing and the changing nature of customers themselves. I congratulate the authors on a job well done!"  

Michael D. Johnson, Ph.D., President
John Carroll University, Dean and E.M. Statler Professor Emeritus, Cornell School of Hotel Administration
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, Wendy’s, 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 that 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


  • A structure based on three core hospitality management functions: strategy, staffing, and systems, allows students to see how these functions relate to each other and to the guest 
  • Each chapter focuses on one proven principle of hospitality management such as sustaining a total service culture or hiring people who love to serve   
  • Examples, Case Studies, Activities, and Ethical Scenarios provide students with ample opportunities to see core principles in action 
  • Woven throughout the book is a strong emphasis on how creating an excellent guest experience can translate into a sustainable competitive advantage 

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