Competencies For Graduate Culinary Management Degree Programs: Stakeholders' Perspectives

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Doctor of Philosophy

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Available literature on graduate hospitality education was highly focused on required competencies for hospitality management degree programs but not on culinary management. One possible explanation is that the culinary sector still lags behind in the formation of graduate culinary management programs in the United States. This causal comparative research design study examined the competencies (Human Resources, Marketing, Financial/Accounting, Information Technology, and Leadership skills) required for graduate culinary management degree programs, as perceived by culinary representatives and educators involved in the delivery and development of undergraduate education in culinary management. The participants were identified through three major industry organizations: the National Restaurant Association (NRA), the International Council on Hotel, Restaurant, and Institutional Education (I-CHRIE), and the American Culinary Federation Foundation (ACFF). Of the 500 individuals targeted to participate in the study, 75 or 15% responded. This number is consistent with some previous studies (Cargill, 1995; Johanson, 2006; Van Hoof, 1991). Of the total participants 68% were males and 32% were female, with an average age of 36 years. Also, 35% reported attainment of at least one of the professional degrees (PhD, EdD, DBA, JD, etc.). Research question one sought to examine the extent to which there were differences in the views of industry representatives and educators regarding the competencies perceived crucial for graduate culinary management degree programs. Multivariate Analysis of Variance (MANOVA) was utilized and yielded a non-significant (p < .05) Wilks' Lambda of .957. No statistically significant differences were identified and therefore, the five null hypotheses associated with this research question were not rejected. As a result, it was concluded that both groups were in agreement as to the importance of each of the five competency areas. Research question two sought respondents' opinions on which competencies should be emphasized more in the graduate degree curriculum as opposed to the undergraduate curriculum. Results indicate that 52% of the respondents strongly agreed that management skills and human resources management should be emphasized more in the graduate curriculum. The third research question sought the opinions of the respondents to identify any additional competencies they perceived to be important to be included in the curriculum but were not included in the original categories provided. This resulted in three additional broad competency categories food, culture, and management with specific knowledge and skills for each, and additional specific knowledge and skills for the broad category of leadership skills.