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Chinese Graduates’ Employment in the Hospitality Industry Essay


Executive Summary

Introduction

Understanding an employee’s job status and satisfaction level is an important area of study for academicians and managers alike. For managers, doing so helps them to identify areas where they could improve organizational processes and employee productivity. Comparatively, academicians investigate job statuses and satisfaction levels because it allows them to comprehend existing employment patterns and factors influencing employee satisfaction. This way, they contribute to policy development processes. Nonetheless, the debate on how to improve the workplace environment for the benefit of workers and managers has been characterized by broad observations, which do not specifically focus on issues that relate to workers directly or they’re unique social and cultural characteristics.

Literature Review

Past studies that have investigated employee welfare in the hospitality industry have failed to investigate context-specific factors affecting job satisfaction. However, the sector is broad and of a global nature. More importantly, it is increasingly being defined by regional and cultural-specific factors, such as the growing importance of China in the global hospitality industry as both a source and destination for foreign tourists. At the same time, varying education qualifications among employees who work in this sector have complicated people’s understanding of what makes workers and clients satisfied with their work. Consequently, current studies fail to explore existing differences in job satisfaction among graduates in the hospitality industry based on social, educational, and cultural differences.

Methodology

This study sought to fill the above research gap by investigating an employment status and job satisfaction levels among Chinese graduates in the hospitality industry. Four research questions guided the review. They sought to find out the attitudes of Chinese graduates in the hospitality industry regarding their work, how satisfied they were with their pay, whether they felt adequately recognized for their work and if they believed they had adequate opportunities for career growth. Using a mixed-methods approach, evidence was collected from 75 respondents using a structured questionnaire, which was administered, as an online survey. The respondents were recruited using the snowball sampling technique from various Chinese-based hotels. They held different positions in these organizations, including restaurant, accommodation, catering, event, fast food, hotel, and public house managers. Chefs also formed a significant percentage of the sample. Data was collected and analyzed using the SPSS (version 23) and Microsoft Excel (2010) software.

Findings

An investigation of the respondents’ employment status pointed out that most of them (33%) were chefs. Restaurant managers formed the smallest sample of respondents (3%). This study also shows that the informants generally held positive views regarding their organization’s pay structure, career development opportunities, and employee recognition programs. These sentiments also prompted them to have a generally positive attitude towards their work.

The above findings significantly differ from those of previous studies, which suggest that graduate employees in the hospitality sector are generally dissatisfied with their work. The difference in findings could be broadly attributed to cultural differences between Chinese and western graduates. At the same time, the same difference could be attributed to the fact that past research studies have mostly relied on western-based population samples of graduates to come up with their findings.

Underpinning this study is Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, which is the main conceptual framework. It contains five levels of needs that define job satisfaction levels. They include physiological, safety, love, self-esteem, and self-actualization needs. Four dimensions that influenced job satisfaction were explored in this study. They included attitudes towards work, view on pay, employee recognition programs, and opportunities for career growth. It was established that graduate employees generally had favorable views for all these variables.

All five levels of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs influenced employees’ attitudes towards work. In other words, their employers’ ability to meet the five levels of needs affected their attitudes towards work. Their positive perception of pay was also attributed to their physiological needs being met by the remuneration received for their work. The same explanation was linked with safety needs because it was conceived that the respondents’ jobs gave them health insurance and such like privileges.

Opportunities for career growth was deemed to represent esteem needs within Maslow’s hierarchy structure because the respondents perceived their work favorably by knowing that there were opportunities to further scale up the career ladder. The alternative scenario would be defined by the absence of such opportunities in the first place. Therefore, opportunities for career growth and development could be responsible for making the employees feel better appreciated for their work. Consequently, the input they made in their work processes meant something to their employers. This explanation shows why opportunities for career advancement had a positive effect on the respondents’ self-esteem. Stated differently, the informants had a positive view of their internal growth based on the recognition their employers gave them for their work. Relative to this observation, the favorable view regarding opportunities for career growth and development contributed to the high levels of job satisfaction among the employees sampled.

The positive view of the informants regarding opportunities for career growth was also linked with favorable views regarding employee recognition programs because the respondents said their managers generally appreciated their work in the hotels. Since employee recognition is not necessarily a financial issue, it fits within Maslow’s third tier of need – love, and belonging. Therefore, it was deduced that employee recognition programs made the informants feel loved and appreciated for their work.

Conclusion

Broadly, the findings of this report show that the positive views held by the respondents regarding the four variables investigated in the study could largely be attributed to the fact that they met the threshold of four levels of needs as defined by Maslow – physiological needs, safety needs, the need to be loved, and self-esteem needs. The findings of this paper add to a growing need to understand the intricacies of the Chinese tourism industry, which is growing significantly and buoyed by a bulging middle class. This way, it is easy to understand the main factors influencing job satisfaction among Chinese graduates in this industry.

Declaration of Originality

I hereby declare that this thesis has been composed by myself and has not been presented or accepted in any previous application for a degree. The work, of which this is a record, has been carried out by myself and where the work is mine, it reflects personal views and values. All sources of information have been acknowledged using references including those of the Internet. I agree that the University has the right to submit my work to the plagiarism detection sources for originality checks.

Study on Employment Status and Satisfaction of Hospitality Management Graduates in China

Introduction

Employee satisfaction levels among hospitality management graduates’ have attracted the attention of numerous researchers because they influence the career paths of those in the industry (Andorka 1996; Bonn & Forbringer 1992; Breiter 1991). Understanding employee perceptions about their work is also a process that has several implications for the current education system and the working conditions of graduates who have studied hospitality management because stakeholders may want to improve these sectors based on such information. This document presents research on the current employment status of hospitality management graduates in China. Specifically, it seeks to find out the current jobs held by hospitality graduates and the level of satisfaction they have with them. The first part of this chapter explains the background and importance of the topic. Afterward, the study objectives and hypotheses are highlighted to understand the direction of the study.

Background

From the year 2000, the hospitality industry has grown in terms of profitability and the expansion of new markets (Richardson 2008). This growth and development can be seen from an increase in the room rental rate and the prices of goods and services in the sector. According to Aggett and Busby (2011), a majority of employees in the industry work in commercial restaurants or as contract operators. A smaller number of them are employed in other organizations, such as educational institutions and hospitals. The hospitality industry contributes $577 billion in annual sales and employs more than 13.3 million workers globally (Aggett & Busby 2011). The growth and development witnessed in the sector have expanded the employment opportunities available for people. Typically, management positions are designated for employees who have graduated from universities that teach hospitality programs (Schmeizer, Costello & Blalock 1987). Based on this recruitment criterion, the industry has been plagued by a skills gap problem because most countries are unable to attract and retain skilled employees (Emenheiser, Clay & Palakurthi 1998; Ferris, Berkson & Harris 2002; Hinkin & Tracey 2000).

In Australia, Beggs, Ross, and Goodwin (2008) posit that the skills shortage in the industry accounts for the availability of about 7,000 positions. Current projections show that this number may rise to about 15,000 in the next decade (Beggs, Ross & Goodwin 2008). Relative to these numbers, it is estimated that only 45,000 join the industry (Richardson 2008). These statistics concern hoteliers who expect to tap into new and skillful talents to run their businesses (Richardson 2008). This problem has contributed to a lack of professional workers in many establishments in the industry (Andorka 1996; Bonn & Forbringer 1992; Breiter 1991; Deery & Shaw 1999; Dermady & Holloway 1998). Adding to the lack of skilled employees, Kang (2013), says that more than half of workers in the hospitality industry is looking for new jobs. Additionally, 43% of those who have gained work experience claim that they will not continue to work within the industry when they finish their studies (Richardson 2008). Here, 96% of them believe their work experience is the main reason for preferring to work elsewhere (Richardson 2008).

The above statistics show that the lack of skilled employees is a challenge to stakeholders in the hospitality sector because it negatively affects different aspects of the industry’s operations. For instance, it is associated with low wages and a young transient workforce, which has little tolerance for some of the problems affecting their work (Deery & Shaw 1999; Zahra et al. 2015). Therefore, the shortage of skilled personnel can lead to negative outcomes in the industry because their demand extensively exceeds their supply.

Based on the above views, the importance of understanding the job status and satisfaction level of hospitality management graduates cannot be understated because it is the key to addressing staffing problems in the sector. This study follows the same trail of thought by finding out an employment status and job satisfaction levels among graduate students in the hospitality sector. The findings of this paper will be useful to stakeholders in the hospitality industry because it will help them to better understand the needs and requirements of graduate management students who wish to work in it. The purpose of this study is explained below.

Purpose of the Study

The rapid development of the global economy has seen many people choose to travel as a pass-time activity or hobby. This trend has supported the growth of the hospitality industry (Zahra et al. 2015). However, hoteliers are having a difficult time retaining their skilled employees. At the same time, they are having trouble gaining access to workers who have a hospitality background (Bonn & Forbringer 1992). Consequently, a skill gap exists in the industry because the number of people working in it is significantly lower than the ideal quantity. Many graduates who have secured jobs in the hospitality sector are also leaving the profession, thereby worsening the trend (Bonn & Forbringer 1992).

This study is contextualized among Chinese graduates because estimates show that China is one of the world’s most formidable inbound and outbound tourism subsectors (Travel China Guide 2016). Particularly, the growth of the country’s middle class is regarded as one of the main driving forces of the Asian economy because people within this demographic are traveling around the world and creating a significant surge in tourism numbers, both locally and globally (Wong & Liu 2010). As of 2015, reports showed that China was among the top four most visited countries on the globe (Travel China Guide 2016). In this regard, the impact of the Chinese market in the global tourism industry cannot be ignored, both from supply and demand-side perspectives (Travel China Guide 2015). Borrowing from this background, this paper explores an employment status and job satisfaction levels among graduate Chinese students working in the hospitality industry. Based on this finding, this study investigates the satisfaction levels of graduate employees in the Chinese hospitality industry to look for solutions to bridge the skills gap that exists in the sector.

This analysis will also provide insights regarding which aspects of job satisfaction do not resonate with the graduates so that learning institutions could adapt accordingly and develop curriculums that improve job satisfaction levels. In line with this view, this paper contains a review of past literature to understand what other researchers have said about the topic. The researcher relied on the same information to develop a questionnaire that sought the views of graduate employees regarding four key research issues that are captured by the research aim below.

Research Aim

To find out an employment status and job satisfaction levels among Chinese graduate students in the hospitality industry

Research Objectives

  1. To explore the attitudes of Chinese graduates in the hospitality industry regarding their work
  2. To investigate how satisfied Chinese graduates in the hospitality industry are towards their pay
  3. To investigate whether Chinese graduates in the hospitality industry feel adequately recognized for their work
  4. To establish whether Chinese graduates in the hospitality industry feel they have adequate opportunities for career growth

Research Questions

  1. What are the attitudes of Chinese graduates in the hospitality industry regarding their work?
  2. How satisfied are Chinese graduates in the hospitality industry towards their pay?
  3. Do Chinese graduates in the hospitality industry feel adequately recognized for their work?
  4. Do Chinese graduates in the hospitality industry feel they have adequate opportunities for career growth?

Hypotheses

Research Question 1

  • Hypothesis 1. Chinese graduates in the hospitality industry have a positive attitude towards their work
  • Hypothesis 2: Chinese graduates in the hospitality industry have a negative attitude towards their work
  • Null Hypothesis: Chinese graduates in the hospitality industry neither have a negative or positive attitude towards their work

Research Question 2

  • Hypothesis 1: Chinese graduates in the hospitality industry are satisfied their pay
  • Hypothesis 2: Chinese graduates in the hospitality industry are dissatisfied their pay
  • Null Hypothesis: Chinese graduates in the hospitality industry neither have high or low satisfaction levels regarding their pay

Research Question 3

  • Hypothesis 1: Chinese graduates in the hospitality industry feel adequately recognized for their work
  • Hypothesis 2. Chinese graduates in the hospitality industry do not feel adequately recognized for their work
  • Null Hypothesis: Chinese graduates in the hospitality industry have neutral feelings regarding how their employers recognize their work

Research Question 4

  • Hypothesis 1: Chinese graduates in the hospitality industry have adequate opportunities for career growth
  • Hypothesis 2: Chinese graduates in the hospitality industry have inadequate opportunities for career growth
  • Null Hypothesis: Chinese graduates in the hospitality industry neither have adequate or inadequate opportunities for career growth

Literature Review

Introduction

This chapter explores what other researchers have written about the topic of study. Key issues that will be explored here include (but are not limited to) job satisfaction levels, theoretical foundation underpinning employee motivation, and the role of professional educational qualifications on the job satisfaction levels of hospitality management graduates. The first section of this chapter highlights the theoretical background of this topic.

Theoretical Background

Focus on job satisfaction and employment statuses of employees is a relatively “old” human resource topic. Consequently, many researchers have developed different theories to explain this phenomenon. A popular theory is Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, which emerges as the main conceptual framework of this study.

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is regarded as a pivotal model that helps employers understand the main factors that lead to job satisfaction (Burton 2012). The theory postulates that human needs can be categorized into five distinct segments, which are often presented as components of a larger pyramid structure. At the bottom of the structure is physiological needs, which include basic human requirements, such as food, shelter, and clothing (McClelland 1988). Within this segment of the pyramid, employees are not often satisfied with their jobs unless management provides them with resources to meet their physiological needs.

Issues of safety define the second level of need in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Within this segment of analysis, issues concerning security, stability, freedom, and fear often manifest as the most important considerations for an employee to achieve a high level of job satisfaction (Alalade & Oguntodu 2015). Those who have attained this level of need can move to a higher level of satisfaction, which is realized, from the attainment of a strong sense of belonging. At this level of employee satisfaction, issues of acceptance, affection, and affiliation are sought. When achieved, employees transition to a higher level of need – esteem. In this prism, issues relating to approval, recognition, and respect are sought (Saeed et al. 2013). The highest level of satisfaction is realized when employees self-actualize. As seen in figure 1 below, this is the highest level of need employees can achieve.

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs
Figure 2.1. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs (Source: Burton 2012).

Motivator-Hygiene Theory

The motivator-hygiene model is the second theory in this chapter explaining factors that influence employee satisfaction. It postulates that although job satisfaction and dissatisfaction may seem related, they represent different and disconnected emotions (Awan & Tahir 2015). Notably, it dictates that employees can only be satisfied with their work if they receive proper pay, benefits, achievement, and recognition in the workplace (Halim & Safer 2013). At the same time, issues that could create discomfort among employees in the workplace environment are likely to create dissatisfaction (Awan & Tahir 2015). The general understanding among proponents of the theory is that when hygiene factors are low, employees are likely to express some degree of dissatisfaction, but when they are high, it is deduced that they are “not dissatisfied” (Awan & Tahir 2015).

Job Characteristics Theory

Developed by Hackman and Oldham, the job characteristics theory argues that employee satisfaction can be only achieved when an organization promotes the growth and development of intrinsically motivating characteristics among employees (Mukul et al. 2013). Five key job characteristics are explored. They include job feedback, task autonomy, task significance, task identity, and skill variety (Mukul et al. 2013). The process of job satisfaction is generally defined by three main stages that include the transition from core job dimensions, to critical psychological states and lastly to personal and work outcomes (Mukul et al. 2013).

At the core of the job dimensions stage, issues relating to skills variety, task identity, feedback from supervisors, and job autonomy are explored (Muda, Rafiki & Harahap 2014). Collectively, they affect critical psychological states among employees, which focus on the meaningfulness of their work, the responsibility of outcomes, and knowledge of results (Bakotic & Babic 2013). The last stage of the job characteristics model discusses issues of personal and work outcomes, which typically revolve around employee understanding of internal work motivation, quality of work performance, high satisfaction with work, and low worker absenteeism (Mukul et al. 2013).

Dispositional Approach

The dispositional approach evaluates people’s individual preferences in the analysis of job satisfaction levels (Aslan et al. 2014). It suggests that employees have varying meanings of job satisfaction. Consequently, its proponents argue that job satisfaction is more of an individual problem than a group one (Aslan et al. 2014). This theory has been largely used to explain employee behavior in light of the evidence, which has shown that job satisfaction levels stabilize across certain industries and over a specific period (Tavousi 2015; Aslan et al. 2014). This view is premised on the fact that workers change and accept the circumstances that underpin their jobs as opposed to managers redesigning the workplace environment to accommodate their preferences.

Explanations rooted in psychology have also affirmed the same outcome by using an example about identical twins, which states that when siblings are raised in different parts of the world, they are likely to have the same level of job satisfaction (Tavousi 2015; Aslan et al. 2014). Further research into the effects of the disposition approach on job satisfaction points out that self-esteem, personal control (the belief that one has control over his/her destiny), neuroticism, and self-efficacy standards (the belief that one can do something) have a significant role to play in determining job satisfaction levels (Tavousi 2015; Aslan et al. 2014). For example, high levels of self-efficacy and self-esteem have been associated with high levels of job satisfaction (Tavousi 2015; Aslan et al. 2014). The same is true for high levels of employee control because people who believe that their success is predetermined by their actions (as opposed to those of other people) often report high levels of satisfaction with their work (Tavousi 2015; Aslan et al. 2014).

Herzberg’s Two-Factor Theory

Herzberg’s two-factor theory postulates that the fulfillment of basic needs should not be the primary focus for organizations or managers; instead, it suggests that they need to enhance the intrinsic factors that drive an employee towards fulfilling his/her purpose in the organization (Matei & Abrudan 2016; Gul et al. 2018). Based on this ideology, the theory suggests the existence of two factors affecting job satisfaction levels: satisfiers and “dissatisfiers” (Matei & Abrudan 2016; Gul et al. 2018). As its name suggests, satisfiers refer to work-related factors that lead to employee satisfaction. Opportunities for career growth, supportive employee recognition programs, and adequate pay or compensation are some positive catalysts for the improvement of job satisfaction in the workplace (Matei & Abrudan 2016; Gul et al. 2018).

Comparatively, “dissatisfiers” refer to elements in the workplace that lead to employee dissatisfaction (Gul et al. 2018). The lack of proper pay, excessive supervision, lack of job autonomy, and few or no opportunities for career growth are some elements in the workplace that could lead to job dissatisfaction (Matei & Abrudan 2016; Gul et al. 2018). The elements are associated with high levels of employee turnover (Matei & Abrudan 2016; Gul et al. 2018). Most of these “dissatisfiers” are often associated with the context in which employees undertake their tasks. Although both job satisfiers and “dissatisfiers” affect employee attitudes towards work, job satisfaction has commonly been associated with the presence of satisfiers or motivating elements of the workplace (Matei & Abrudan 2016; Gul et al. 2018).

Employee Attrition Rate among Graduate Employees

In the context of this study, the attrition rate refers to the percentage of employee turnover in the hospitality sector. Relative to this definition, several researchers have shown that the proportion of highly educated people in the hotel and tourism industry is lower than in other sectors (Beggs, Ross & Goodwin 2008). This finding could mean that conditions relating to underemployment, low wages, low job satisfaction, heavy workload, and the lack of incentives prevent many hotel management graduates from entering the industry after graduation. This can lead to brain drain, a waste of highly specialized background personnel, and a high employee turnover rate (Beggs, Ross & Goodwin 2008).

In line with this discussion, several studies have explored the status of hospitality graduates, including their jobs and satisfaction levels. For example, according to Aggett and Busby (2011), more than 35% of middle managers intent to leave their current jobs in the hospitality industry. Relative to this discussion, graduates with a hospitality degree often show interest in alternative careers (Bonn & Forbringer 1992). In line with this finding, Aggett and Busby (2011) say that 19% of hospitality graduates are not working in the hospitality field. At the same time, many employees leave this field after graduation.

Based on the problem of high employee turnover numbers for graduate employees, researchers, such as Aggett and Busby (2011), recommend that institutions, which train hospitality courses, should review the time in which they train their students and reorganize their courses to address the lack of interest among the graduates in staying within the industry. In line with this proposal, Barron (2008) indicated that a third of hospitality graduates left the industry within five years after graduation. Comparatively, Lewis (1974) said that, in New York, over half of hospitality graduates left the hospitality field within ten years. Stakeholders should consider this limited period graduates spend in the hospitality field a concern when planning management programs (Bonn & Forbringer 1992).

Most of the opinions gathered above have been collected using the Minnesota Satisfaction Questionnaire (MSQ) (Bonn & Forbringer 1992). The survey also demonstrates a significant difference between those who want to leave the industry and those who do not. Also, these studies show that highly educated employees are twice as likely to leave their organizations compared to those who do not have high education qualifications (Bonn & Forbringer 1992).

Several studies have also demonstrated that there are different reasons why hospitality graduates have a high employee turnover rate in the industry (Beggs, Ross & Goodwin 2008). However, studies that have focused on the high attrition rate among graduates argue that the problem could be explained in two ways. One of them is that there are plenty of good jobs in other industries, such as being a bank clerk or an information technology expert. The alternative careers earn a higher salary and have a better bonus than those in the hospitality industry (Bonn & Forbringer 1992). Secondly, researchers say that most hospitality graduates are not prepared to manage the job demands of their respective positions (Boswell et al. 2003). Regardless of the reasons highlighted above, there is an urgent need for a deeper investigation about the attitudes of graduate employees regarding their job to understand the real factors leading to the high employee turnover in the industry.

Students Who Have Not Entered the Industry

The purpose of understanding the views of students who have not entered the industry is to compare the expectations of graduate management students before and after entering the job market. Relative to this goal, students in the hotel industry who have not yet entered the job market show different motivations regarding whether or not they should work in the sector (Chuang & Dellmann-Jenkins 2010). According to a survey by Chuang and Dellmann-Jenkins (2010), it was established that female students are more willing to working in a hotel, as opposed to male or inexperienced colleagues.

They account for approximately 73% and 70% of respondents, respectively (Chuang & Dellmann-Jenkins 2010; Cable & Judge 1996). At the same time, studies show that more than half of the graduates did not choose to study hotel management as their first choice. This result is in line with the findings of Cable and Judge (1996), which show that many students who work in the hotel industry had goals of working in other sectors. However, many of them show moderate or extremely high levels of satisfaction with the content they are learning. At the same time, they are capable of recommending hotel management to friends and family (Bonn & Forbringer 1992).

A different group of researchers argues that it is not all gloom for the industry because about 78% of graduate management students have long-term plans to stay in the industry (Bloisi, Cook & Hunsaker 2003). Women constitute a large population of the graduate management students who have such plans (Bloisi, Cook & Hunsaker 2003). Nonetheless, these studies seem to contradict those of Richardson (2008), which argue that about one-half of graduate hotel students are looking to work in alternative careers.

The same researcher says that 50% of graduates who have gained work experience in the sector have declared their intention not to work in it after graduation (Richardson 2008). Richardson (2008) also says that half of the employees who are working for their graduate certificates and have had experience in the hotel industry are dissatisfied with their work. The proportion of employees who feel this way say that their main source of dissatisfaction is poor pay, ineffective management systems, stressful working hours, and low quality of life (Richardson 2008; Chapman & Webster 2006). The percentage of employees who are dissatisfied with low pay was the highest because they reached 17% (Richardson 2008). From such statistics, it can be seen that there is a lower satisfaction rate for graduate employees in the hotel industry. According to Armstrong (2006), Chuang and Dellmann-Jenkins (2010), this means that salary issues, working hours, and management modes need to be improved.

The Role of Higher Education Institutions

O’Mahony, McWilliams, and Whitelaw (2001) investigated how students choose a hospitality major at their colleges and universities. Their findings show that students have little knowledge of the hospitality industry when they enter universities. Consequently, they recommended that faculty members should help students to form realistic expectations of their work and their choice of study (O’Mahony, McWilliams & Whitelaw 2001). This principle reflects the mentality of hospitality graduates whose plans for the future are normally vague. This issue has also been cited as one of the main reasons why many hospitality graduates choose to leave their current careers after graduation (O’Mahony, McWilliams & Whitelaw 2001).

According to Kang (2013), the most influential criteria, which affect the hospitality industry’s hiring practices is work experience. For this reason, work-based learning, whether structured or unstructured, greatly affects students’ attitudes towards graduation careers (Wong 2007). Depending on job requirements, schools will often arrange for students to work in the industry for a certain period. However, if students are given a low and boring task, there are no translatable real benefits to them. Consequently, the students find it difficult to acquire any new skills that will improve their future. At the same time, the lack of translatable and real benefits of education has been associated with the inability of students to find meaningful careers in the industry (Kang 2013). Based on this finding, stakeholders are advised to ensure that students receive meaningful tasks and have the opportunity to train in different departments (Richardson 2008).

According to Mobley et al. (1979), job satisfaction is one of the most frequently mentioned factors that have a strong empirical correlation with turnover (Mobley et al. 1979). Job satisfaction has many tenets, such as the job itself, supervisor relationships, and growth opportunities. Job satisfaction is also considered an important factor in designing effective and satisfying jobs. The development of these kinds of jobs can effectively reduce the rate of turnover (Richardson 2008). Its relationship with employee turnover is explored below.

Relationship between Job Satisfaction and Employee Turnover

According to Zahra et al. (2015), the concept of job satisfaction includes the work itself, future opportunities for development, management beliefs, relationship with leadership, relationships among colleagues, work environments, and employee compensation or benefits. Generally, many researchers have outlined the status of hospitality graduates, relative to their prospects of growth in the industry. This was not always the case because, in the past, the focus was always on employees in general and not graduate employees as a subgroup of workers. Similarly, past researchers failed to include the views of graduates who have worked in other fields after graduation. Current and emerging concerns about the future of graduate students in the hospitality industry have been viewed from a human resource perspective. In line with this view, studies that have demonstrated the importance of formulating sound employee management strategies in the hotel sector have focused on the development of effective recruitment strategies, the improvement of job satisfaction levels, and the formulation of new management strategies to prevent employee issues from arising after hiring.

Zahra et al. (2015) conducted a survey, which was based in North America and Europe, to find out the main issues they experienced at work. Their findings revealed that the most important issues affecting managers were the difficulty of attracting and retaining skilled employees (Zahra et al. 2015). At the same time, it was established that training and retraining employees were another human resource concern (Zahra et al. 2015). Compared to their European counterparts, American-based research studies revealed that labor shortage, salary issues, and employee morale are at the top of the list of human resource issues to consider in the workplace (Zahra et al. 2015).

Relative to these findings, Kang (2013) studied the culture of turnover in Australian hotels. He said the “turnover culture” is defined as the acceptance of high employee turnover as an organizational norm (Kang 2013). Causal turnover models were tested with industry-specific categories, based on the economic, psychological, and sociological theories. Some of the categories studied were structural variables, which included co-worker and supervisory support, conventionalization and distributive justice, salary and internal market elements of job security, promotional opportunity, and career development (Kang 2013).

The researchers found that structural variables were related to work settings in both organizational and job-related contexts. They also established that job satisfaction affected the same issue indirectly, but it could (at the same time) be influenced by other elements of organizational operations. For instance, it could be affected by role conflict and the availability of promotional opportunities. Additionally, Kang (2013) concluded that people who enter the hospitality industry generally have the belief that they will encounter limited career development and promotional opportunities. This belief has been created and added to the “turnover culture” in the sector. Broadly, there is a strong correlation between job satisfaction and turnover, and they are some of the most commonly studied issues in human resource management (Kang 2013).

Understanding satisfaction levels can help managers to formulate management measures to improve and enhance employee-related performance and satisfaction, thereby reducing turnover (Zahra et al. 2015). In line with this view, Kang (2013) understands the work motivation of hotel staff by investigating the importance of work factors among employees. In his research survey, respondents expressed great concern about salary, job security, future promotion opportunities, and the nature of the work environment (Kang 2013). Regardless of the age of the respondents, a majority of them reported that these issues were the most contentious work factors (Kang 2013). However, if the same findings were analyzed according to age distribution, respondents who are over the age of 30 believed that working conditions and job security were secondarily important, while younger employees indicated that future promotion and development opportunities were at the top of the list (Kang 2013). Collectively, these findings show that employees have varying influences affecting their perceptions of work (Kang 2013).

Summary

The findings depicted in this chapter show that many researchers have explored the reasons for varying levels of employee satisfaction among hotel workers. Overall, this chapter shows that there is a link between job satisfaction levels and employee turnover rates because of the higher the level of job satisfaction, the lower the employee attrition rates, and the lower the level of job satisfaction, the higher the attrition rate. It is also established that institutions of higher education have a significant role to play in defining the expectations of graduate management students in the hospitality sector because before they enter the industry, they have little or no expectations of what to expect in the profession.

However, after getting an education, they form new expectations of their pay, career growth limits/opportunities, and even the type of recognition they should get. Based on this analysis, employee satisfaction emerges as the dependent variable that will be explored in the proposed study. Employee pay, attitudes towards work, opportunities for career growth, and employee recognition levels will be the independent variables because they also emerged as key issues affecting employee satisfaction. Based on these insights, the gap in the literature that comes from this review is the lack of a contextualized understanding of the job status and work satisfaction levels among Chinese graduate employees.

Methodology

This chapter outlines the methods that were adopted by the researcher in answering the research questions. The main aspects of the methodology that will be explained in this chapter include the research method, research design, data collection techniques, description of the target population, sampling methods, and data analysis techniques. The validity and reliability of research instruments are also explored in this chapter.

Research Methods

According to Tourangeau and Plewes (2013), there are three main research methods used in academic research. They include the mono-method, mixed-method, and multi-method techniques (Tourangeau & Plewes 2013). As insinuated by its name, the mono-method involves the use of only one research technique – either quantitative or qualitative. Comparatively, the mixed method involves the use of both qualitative and quantitative techniques, while the multi-method technique employs two qualitative research styles (Research Rundown 2018; Tourangeau & Plewes 2013).

The mixed approach was the selected framework for this review because the researcher used both qualitative and quantitative research approaches. According to Research Rundown (2018), the use of the technique of the mixed method is a relatively new area of methodological integration, which has only been widely accepted in the past decade. Relative to this development, Simonovich (2017) says the mixed methods approach allows researchers to use two approaches (qualitative and quantitative), to transform research problems into research questions or hypotheses, and to vary sample sizes based on the methods used. Other key inherent characteristics of the mixed methods approach include the ability to use any type of data collection method available to the researcher, and the continual interpretation of findings, which can influence different interpretations of the research process (Research Rundown 2018).

As highlighted in the introduction section of this document, the proposed study aims to find out the employment status and job satisfaction levels among Chinese graduate students in the hospitality industry. This topic contains both qualitative and qualitative aspects of the investigation, as alluded to in the works of Lin, Wong, and Ho (2013). For example, it involves the evaluation of quantitative aspects of employee performance, such as unemployment levels, employee pay, employment status, and qualitative measures of worker fulfillment, such as job satisfaction, attitude towards work, and employee recognition standards (Lin, Wong & Ho 2013). The mixed-method framework emerges as a practical model of merging both qualitative and quantitative dimensions of analysis into one study. It is also appropriate for this study because it allows the researcher to gain insights into the research problem, which could have otherwise been missed if only one technique was used (Simonovich 2017). Another justification for using this technique is its comprehensive nature, which allows the researcher to use advanced statistical analysis techniques, including bars, graphs, and even pictures to analyze data (Simonovich 2017).

According to Doyle, Brady, and Byrne (2016), one of the main advantages of using the mixed methods research approach is its easiness in describing and reporting findings. At the same time, researchers who want to explain unexpected results arising from a prior study have commonly employed it in their studies (Research Rundown 2018). Excerpts from the works of Dillman, Smyth, and Christian (2014) also show its proficiency in helping researchers to generalize qualitative data (to a measured degree) and in designing and validating instruments. Some of the drawbacks of this method include the use of a lot of time for compiling and analyzing data, the possible development of unequal evidence based on the use of multiple designs, and the little guidance available to researchers who intend to use transformative methods integrated with the mixed methods approach (Research Rundown 2018).

Based on the potential pitfalls associated with this type of method, Creswell (2014) and Beardsmore (2013) propose the use of a systematic framework for undertaking mixed methods reviews to overcome their weaknesses. These suggestions will be embraced in the proposed study to improve the quality of its findings and to overcome some of the weaknesses of the mixed methods approach. Four guidelines will be followed by the researcher in achieving this objective: understanding the implementation sequence of data collection, understanding which method takes priority during data collection, knowing how the findings will be integrated, and establishing whether a theoretical perspective will be used, or not (Research Rundown 2018; Creswell 2014; Beardsmore 2013). Some of these questions will be answered by understanding which research design was selected for use in the study. The relevant designs are outlined below.

Research Design

According to the Centre for Innovation in Research and Teaching (2018), there are six main research designs associated with the mixed methods approach. They include sequential explanatory, sequential exploratory, sequential transformative, concurrent nested, concurrent transformative, and concurrent triangulation methods. A summary of each research design is provided below.

Sequential Explanatory: The sequential explanatory design mainly focuses on the collection of quantitative data. In this regard, qualitative information is often collected to explain or interpret the quantitative data collected. Stated differently, qualitative findings are used to supplement the quantitative data (Centre for Innovation in Research and Teaching 2018; Research Rundown 2018).

Sequential Exploratory: Unlike the sequential explanatory research design, the sequential exploratory method is mainly focused on the collection of qualitative information (as opposed to quantitative data). Here, quantitative data is used to interpret or explain qualitative research findings. Based on its nature, the sequential exploratory method is often used when researchers want to explore a specific phenomenon or when developing or testing a new research instrument (McKim 2017; Centre for Innovation in Research and Teaching 2018; Research Rundown 2018).

Sequential Transformative: The sequential transformative method does not stipulate which type of data should be collected first (either qualitative or quantitative data could be collected in the first phase of research). Instead, it postulates that the results of both methods of data collection should be integrated into the data analysis phase. Based on its non-confined nature, researchers mainly use this design when they want the freedom to choose data that fit a specific theoretical perspective (Centre for Innovation in Research and Teaching 2018; Research Rundown 2018).

Concurrent Nested: The concurrent nested technique often emphasizes the collection of one type of data (either qualitative or quantitative) and uses the other in an embedded manner. Researchers who use this technique often apply it in situations where they seek to gain information at different levels of analysis or when they want to address a different question apart from the dominant one (Centre for Innovation in Research and Teaching 2018; Research Rundown 2018).

Concurrent Transformative: The concurrent transformative method involves the use of a selected theoretical perspective in explaining a research phenomenon. The theoretical framework is often embedded in the purpose of the research through associated questions that should guide the methodological approaches to be used. The concurrent transformative method is often used in situations where a researcher seeks to evaluate a theoretical perspective at different levels of analysis (Centre for Innovation in Research and Teaching 2018; Research Rundown 2018).

Concurrent Triangulation: The concurrent triangulation technique uses two or more methods of data collection to cross-validate information. In other words, the data collection process occurs concurrently. Typically, researchers who adopt this technique use the strengths of one method of data collection to overcome the weaknesses of another (Centre for Innovation in Research and Teaching 2018; Research Rundown 2018). This research design is selected for use in this study because there is a need to cross-validate information obtained from the different levels of analysis (employment status and job satisfaction levels) as well as the multiple sources of research information. In other words, the concurrent triangulation method will be instrumental in understanding how the two aspects of investigation (employment status and job satisfaction) will compare with each other to provide a straightforward and coherent understanding of job satisfaction among Chinese graduate students. Therefore, the ability of this research design to provide a framework for cross-validating an employment status and job satisfaction levels provides the overriding motivation for its adoption.

Data Collection

There will be two main sources of data in the study: questionnaires and secondary research materials. They are explained below.

Questionnaires

As highlighted in this chapter, the mixed methods research approach provided the overriding framework for this study. It also affected the data collection process because both qualitative and quantitative information was be obtained. Data was collected from the respondents using structured questionnaires, which were administered as a survey. Since it will be geographically impossible to meet all the research respondents physically, the questionnaires will be administered virtually. The research informants had an opportunity to input their data in the questionnaires and the completed surveys were stored electronically.

The web-based survey was employed in the study because of its relative ease of data gathering. In other words, it was simpler for the researcher to issue the data collection instruments virtually than to meet the informants face-to-face and provide them with the physical copies of the questionnaires. According to studies developed by Thissen, Park, and Nguyen (2013), collecting data through online questionnaires is not only cost-effective but also fast. However, the greatest motivator for using this type of data collection method is the opportunity it provides researchers in terms of data automation because (as will be seen in subsequent sections of this chapter) the data analysis methods used in this study were also automated. Therefore, through the collection of digitized data, it was possible for the researcher to input and handle information much more effectively than an alternative situation where data has to be inputted manually.

Another motivator for using the virtual data collection method is its low likelihood of errors that could affect information processing and handling (Thissen, Park & Nguyen 2013; Dodou & De Winter 2014). This advantage stems from the automation process, which is free from human errors that are commonly associated with data analysis processes. Relative to this discussion, studies show that this type of data collection process is associated with a high response rate because many informants find it convenient to answer research questions at the comfort of their homes and at a time that is convenient to them through online questionnaires (Thissen, Park & Nguyen 2013; Dodou & De Winter 2014).

Some of the drawbacks associated with web-based surveys and that could affect the quality of information obtained in the research is the absence of the interviewer in the data collection process. Therefore, it may be difficult for the respondents to get clarification about specific areas of the questionnaire that may be unclear. At the same time, studies show that online questionnaires are prone to “survey fraud” because some research informants simply answer questions to get an incentive and not necessarily to give their authentic views about a research issue (Thissen, Park & Nguyen 2013; Dodou & De Winter 2014). The research informants in the proposed study were not paid to participate in it. Therefore, it is assumed that they provided genuine views about the research statements. Although further details about the research participants will be highlighted in subsequent sections of this chapter, it is expected that the views provided by the participants will contribute to the advancement of the study area.

The online questionnaire was divided into two parts. The first one was used to collect demographic data from the respondents. Here, information relating to the respondents’ gender, age, and work experience were gathered. The purpose of doing so was to understand their characteristics and evaluate whether they affected their opinions about the research questions. The second part of the questionnaire gathered the respondents’ views regarding 24 research statements that related to four dimensions of analysis (see appendix).

The first dimension of analysis was used to evaluate the respondents’’ attitudes towards work. They were required to answer eight questions relating to this dimension of the study. The second issue investigated in the questionnaire related to employee pay. Six statements were attributed to this aspect of analysis. “Recognition” was the third dimension explored in the study and it investigated the respondents’ views regarding performance measures and the methods adopted by managers in recognizing employee contributions in the workplace. The fourth dimension of analysis explored the informants’ views regarding opportunities for growth in the industry. Here, the emphasis was made to understand their views regarding opportunities for career development and their effects on job satisfaction. Four statements were asked to gather this information. In sum, the four dimensions analyzed in the second part of the questionnaire amounted to 24 statements. The table below summaries these dimensions and the number of statements attached to them.

Table 3.1. Dimensions Analysed and Number of Statements (Source: Developed by the Author).

Dimensions No. of statements
Dimension 1 Attitudes towards work 8
Dimension 2 Pay 6
Dimension 3 Recognition 6
Dimension 4 Opportunities for growth 4
Total 24

The respondents expressed their views regarding the aforementioned dimensions using a 5-point Likert scale, which required them to “strongly agree,” “agree,” be “neutral,” “disagree,” or “strongly disagree” with the 24 statements highlighted above. The formula used to calculate the score intervals for their responses (based on the 5-point Likert scale) was deduced by subtracting the minimum from the maximum score and dividing the outcome by the number of levels of responses. The process is defined by the formula outlined below.

Score interval = (Maximum score – Minimum score) / Number of levels = 5 – 1 / 5 = 0.8

The “degree of agreement” was also defined by a rating scale, which appears below.

Table 3.2. The Degree of Agreement and Rating Scale (Source: Developed by the Author).

1 – 1.8 1.81 – 2.6 2.6 – 3.4 3.41 – 4.2 4.21 – 5
Strongly Disagree (SD) Disagree (D) Neutral (N) Agree
(A)
Strongly Agree (SA)

Target Population: According to Singer and Ye (2013), it is pointless for researchers to undertake surveys if they cannot account for their research subjects. Boulianne (2013) adds that the characteristics of the target population should be at the core of the research questions and should guide the general design of the questionnaire. As highlighted in the first chapter of this report, this study aims to understand the employment status and job satisfaction levels of hospitality management graduates in China. The characteristics of the sample population were defined by this research question because the researcher recruited 75 Chinese graduate students who worked in the hospitality sector. The respondents were recruited from three international hotels operating in Beijing, China.

Sampling Technique: The snowball sampling method was used to recruit the informants. This type of technique is based on probability sampling and relies on initial contacts to get in touch with other respondents (Thissen 2014; Schonlau & Couper 2016). Therefore, ideally, the number of respondents is expected to increase as more employees complete the survey (Behr et al. 2014; Fang, Wen & Prybutok 2014). The snowball sampling method was adopted because the researcher had developed a good rapport with some employees of the three hotels where the respondents worked. Permission was sought from the hotel managers to undertake the study. The snowball sampling method was also employed because the researcher intended the overall sample to be representative of the target population (graduate management students). In other words, it was appropriate to use the snowball sampling method to identify respondents who had a graduate degree from the larger sample of workers in the three hotels mentioned. Relative to the above-mentioned benefits of the snowball sampling technique, West and Kreuter (2015) say that this method is ideal for researchers who want to minimize the cost of investigation and possibly save time in the process. The same benefits were witnessed in the present study.

One of the challenges associated with the use of the snowball sampling technique is its limited sample size, which was confined to only a small and largely homogenous target population – 75 Chinese graduate employees (Tourangeau et al. 2014). However, this limitation was not to be a problem in this study because the researcher intended to sample a homogenous population of graduate management students. Therefore, the homogeneity of the sample is a strength and not a weakness.

Published Sources

Secondary research materials were also used as the second method of data collection. The inclusion criterion was defined by the use of materials that were published in the last five years (2013-2018). Books and journals were also selected as the preferred sources of secondary data because they have a high credibility rating compared to other sources of information (McKim 2014). At the same time, industry reports, and government data were sourced from credible websites. However, such information complemented the main sources of secondary research data, which were books and journals. Published materials were also sourced from credible databases, including Jstor, Emerald Insight, and Google Scholar.

The purpose of including secondary research information in the study was to compare the empirical findings with pre-existing information about job satisfaction levels and employment status among graduate students. Therefore, it was possible to understand the points of convergence or divergence when both sets of information were compared with one another.

Validity and Reliability of Instruments

The validity and reliability of dimensions analyzed in the questionnaire were assessed using the Cronbach Alpha method. Table 3.3 below highlights the findings.

Table 3.3. Cronbach Alpha Findings for the Study Dimensions (Source: Developed by the Author).

Dimensions Statements Cronbach’s Alpha Reliability
Attitudes towards work S1 – S8 0.883** 0.937
Pay S9 – S14 0.646**
Recognition S15 – S20 0.765**
Opportunities for growth S21 – S24 0.903**

According to the table above, the values of the alpha coefficient are reported for all the four dimensions that were explored in the study (attitudes towards work, pay, recognition, and growth opportunities). According to Behr et al. (2013), Engellant, Holland, and Piper (2016), Cronbach alpha values that are higher than 0.5 are reliable. Such was the case for the findings highlighted above because the Cronbach alpha value for the four dimensions was 0.937. This means that the data collection instrument was reliable.

According to Birt et al. (2016), the trustworthiness of a research process largely depends on the quality of information conveyed in it. In line with this statement, the validity of the findings was safeguarded by the member-check technique. It refers to a process where a researcher shares their findings with the respondents to establish whether the views presented in the final report convey what the informants meant to say (Newby 2013; West & Kreuter 2013). Therefore, its purpose was to make sure that the information presented in the final report measured up to the views and sentiments of the research respondents. This means that the findings of the research were shared with the participants before publishing. Any variations between the final report findings and the respondent’s views were reported and possibly explained.

Limitations of Study

According to Bowling (2014), study limitations refer to aspects of research that are beyond the researcher’s control. One limitation of the study is its indicative nature because a targeted sample size of 75 respondents is not enough to deduce strong inferences about employment status or job satisfaction levels of Chinese graduates in the hospitality industry. Therefore, the findings of this study are only indicative of employment status and job satisfaction levels for the target population.

Ethical Considerations

The ethical considerations described in this paper largely refer to the conduct of the researcher. Israel (2015) says it is important to evaluate this issue in research studies that use human subjects. Relative to this view, the ethical issues relevant to this study are described below.

Informed Consent: According to USC (2018) and Alderson (2017), informed consent refers to the voluntary acceptance of research participants to take part in a study. At the same time, McGonagle, Brown, and Schoeni (2015) posit that informed consent is a process that strives to ensure the protection and respect for research subjects. All the informants who took part in the study gave their consent to do so. In other words, they were not coerced or paid to participate in the study.

Privacy and Confidentiality: Researchers, such as Couper and Singer (2013) and Israel (2013), have broadly explored issues of privacy in research by contending that the sensitivity of information presented in an investigation needs to be the guiding principle for ascertaining the correct level of confidentiality that should be accorded to the research participants. The identities of the hotels that the research participants will be recruited from will remain confidential to safeguard their reputation. To do so, information was collected from the respondents anonymously and all possible identifiers were excluded from the final research report. The suggestions of Szolnoki and Hoffmann (2013) to safeguard the privacy of research informants were also adopted by sharing information on a “need-to-know” basis. Therefore, all the views expressed in the research were presented anonymously. In other words, the identity of the research participants was not revealed.

Data Management: As highlighted in earlier sections of this paper, some of the information collected for purposes of the review were obtained from online questionnaires. This data was stored in the researcher’s computer and protected with a password. Therefore, only the researcher gained access to this information. After completing the research process, the information collected was destroyed.

Data Analysis Tools

The data collected in the study were analyzed using the Statistical Package for the Social Science (SPSS) software (version 23) and Microsoft Excel (2010). The two methods (SPSS and Excel) are software-based tools that are often used in the analysis of quantitative data. These packages were selected for use in the proposed study because of their high accuracy and capability to deploy multiple data analysis techniques, such as descriptive and inferential analytical tools, in the data processing. At the same time, there was a lot of information obtained in the research, such that it was difficult to analyze the same data manually.

The SPSS method was specifically selected for use in the proposed study because of its advanced data analysis and management techniques, such as descriptive methods, which were instrumental in developing graphs, bars, and charts that represented the respondents’ views. At the same time, the same descriptive analysis techniques were instrumental in providing different measures of data, such as standard deviation, frequencies, the degree of agreement, and percentages.

Correlations within dimensions were measured using Pearson’s Correlation technique. Particularly, this technique was integral in understanding the correlations between different dimensions of analysis. The T-test and one-way ANOVA techniques were also used in understanding the effects of demographic variables on the dimensions analyzed. The correlation between variables was also studied by measuring the direction and degree of relations within an interval of +1 and -1. All positive values implied a positive relationship, while all negative values implied the existence of a negative relationship. The researcher used a scale proposed by West (2013) to assess the strength of the correlation. It appears in table 4.4 below.

Table 3.4. Measurement Scale (Source: Developed by the Author).

0 to ±0.3 ±0.31 to ±0.7 ±0.71 to ±1
Weak Moderate Strong

Summary

This chapter has highlighted research processes that were adopted in the study. The mixed-methods approach was selected as the overriding research framework for this study because it contains aspects of qualitative and quantitative research. Its multi-layered nature justifies its use in the research. The concurrent triangulation research design was also selected for use because it provided a framework for corroborating qualitative and quantitative findings. The use of this research design also means that the collection of both qualitative and quantitative findings occurred concurrently. The researcher undertook 75 surveys virtually among a group of respondents who were selected from three international hotels operating in Beijing, China. Stemming from resource and geographical constraints, the surveys were administered virtually and the findings analyzed using the SPSS (version 23) and Microsoft Excel methods. As mentioned in this chapter, the views of the respondents were measured using a 5-point Likert scale and the Cronbach alpha findings were integrated to measure the four dimensions explored.

Findings and Analysis

This chapter contains information relating to the findings gathered in this study. As highlighted in the third chapter of this report, information was gathered using questionnaires, which were administered, as virtual surveys. The instruments of data collection were divided into two main sections. The first one sought to find out demographic information about the respondents, while the second part was designed to find out the respondents’ views regarding the four dimensions of analysis – attitudes towards work, pay, employee recognition programs, and career development opportunities. Respondents working in different Chinese-based hotels completed these questionnaires and sent them to the researcher virtually. Findings relating to the first part of the data collection instruments appear below.

Demographic Findings

Gender was the first demographic item explored in the questionnaire. In summary, 75 participants sent back complete questionnaires. About 79.5% of them were male, while 20.5% of them were female. A summary of the findings appears in table 4.1 below.

Table 4.1 Gender Distribution (Source: Developed by the Author).

Gender
Frequency Percent Valid Percent Cumulative Percent
Valid 1.0 60 20.5 20.5 20.5
2.0 15 79.5 79.5 100.0
Total 75 100.0 100.0
Age

Age was the second demographic item explored in the study. According to table 4.2 below, this variable was categorized into four key segments. The first one included employees who were below the age of 30. The second segment was comprised of employees who were between the ages of 30 and 40 years, while the third group of respondents was comprised of respondents who were between the ages of 40 and 50 years. The fourth group was comprised of employees who were between the ages of 50 and 60 years.

A majority of the respondents were within the first group of employees (below the age of 30 years). In sum, this employee segment comprised 42.2% of the total sample of respondents who took part in the study. The second group of employees was comprised of those between the ages of 30 and 40 years. They were 37.6% of the total sample. Comparatively, employees who were between the age of 40 and 50 years comprised 13.8% of the total number of respondents who took part in the study. Lastly, the smallest group of employees who participated in the study were between 50 and 60 years. They made up 6.5% of the total sample. The table below summarises these findings.

Table 4.2 Age Distribution (Source: Developed by the Author).

Age
Frequency Percent Valid Percent Cumulative Percent
Valid 1.0 32 42.2 42.2 42.2
2.0 28 37.6 37.6 79.7
3.0 10 13.8 13.8 93.5
4.0 5 6.5 6.5 100.0
Total 370 100.0 100.0
Job Title

The job title was the third demographic variable explored in the study. This attribute of the analysis is related to the determination of the informants’ employment statuses. In other words, this question was asked to determine the kind of positions that the target sample held in their workplaces. The respondents held eight types of positions: accommodation, catering, chef, event, fast-food restaurant, hotel, public house, and restaurant managers. The largest group of respondents said they were chefs. They comprised 33% of the total sample. The second-largest group of respondents comprised of event managers who were 17% of the total sample. The third-largest group was made up of catering managers who were 14% of the total sample, while the fourth largest sample comprised of fast-food restaurant managers who were 12% of the total sample. This finding could stem from the fact that many hotels have multiple positions for chefs, while the vacancies available for restaurants are typically fewer because a hotel may only have one or two restaurants. Even if multiple restaurants are located in the same hotel, there may only be one manager. Therefore, the findings depicted in this report are consistent with the work layout and distribution of jobs in hotels.

The number of the public house and restaurant managers was the same (eight respondents). They both accounted for 16% of the total sample. Three respondents said they worked as hotel managers and they accounted for 5% of the respondents sampled. Restaurant managers formed the smallest percentage of respondents. Only two respondents said they held this position and they accounted for 3% of the total sample. Table 4.3 below summarises these findings.

Table 4.3. Job Title Findings (Source: Developed by the Author).

Group Job Title Percentage (%) No. of Respondents
1 Restaurant Manager 3% 2
2 Accommodation manager 8% 6
3 Catering Manager 14% 10
4 Chef 33% 25
5 Event Manager 17% 13
6 Fast-food restaurant manager 12% 9
7 Hotel manager 5% 3
8 Public house manager 8% 6
Total 100% 75
Work Experience

The last demographic variable investigated in this study was the work experience. The research informants had five options to respond to this variable. They included “less than one year,” “1-5 years,” “5-10 years,” “10 -15 years,” and more than 15 years. Most of the employees sampled had a work experience of between five and ten years. They comprised 27.8% of the total population. The second biggest sample of respondents comprised of those who had accumulated work experience of more than 15 years. They comprised 25.9% of the total sample. The third-largest group of respondents had a work experience of 5-10 years and comprised 22.4% of the total population. The smallest group of research participants comprised of those who had a work experience of 10-15 years and they made up 4.3% of the total sample. Table 4.4 below summarises these findings.

Table 4.4 Work Experience Findings (Source: Developed by the Author).

Work Experience
Frequency Percent Valid Percent Cumulative Percent
Valid 1.0 3 4.3 4.3 4.3
2.0 17 22.4 22.4 26.8
3.0 21 27.8 27.8 54.6
4.0 15 19.5 19.5 74.1
5.0 19 25.9 25.9 100.0
Total 75 100.0 100.0

Findings of the Relationship between the Independent and Dependent Variables

In the first third chapter of this paper, it was reported that the second part of the questionnaire sought to find out the views of the respondents regarding four main variables, which included attitudes of employees towards work, opportunities for career growth, employee recognition, and satisfaction towards pay. These variables were highlighted as the four main dimensions of job satisfaction that investigated in the study. The results for the first dimension of analysis are highlighted below.

First Dimension – Attitudes towards Work

An exploration of the respondents’ attitudes towards work was the first item investigated in the second part of the questionnaire. Here, the informants responded to eight statements. Their views are captured in table 4.5 below.

Table 4.5. Attitudes towards Work (1st Dimension) Findings (Developed by the Author).

No Statements Degree of agreement Mean STD Rate Rank
SD D N A SA
5
S1 The hospitality industry offers many interesting careers F 35 41 139 92 55 3.251 1.1412 N 5
% 9.5 11.1 37.6 24.9 14.9
S2 Most of the jobs in the hospitality industry are low-skilled F 25 45 159 89 43 3.222 1.0385 N 8
% 1.5 3.8 16.5 40.1 38.1
S3 The working hours allocated to workers in the industry are too long F 21 41 158 91 45 3.275 1.0196 N 6
% 5.7 11.1 42.7 24.6 12.2
S4 It is difficult to strike a good work/life balance F 25 48 137 97 51 3.282 1.0853 N 7
% 6.8 13.0 37.0 26.2 13.8
S5 I get to learn new things from my work every day F 36 52 131 87 53 3.192 1.1600 N 4
% 9.7 14.1 35.4 23.5 14.3
S6 I take pride in my job F 25 45 159 89 43 3.222 1.1630 N 3
% 1.5 3.8 16.5 40.2 38.1
S7 Management is paying attention to employee needs F 25 48 137 97 51 3.282 1.1650 N 2
% 6.8 13.0 37.0 26.2 13.8
S8 I got a career in the hospitality industry accidentally F 36 53 131 87 53 3.192 1.1798 N 1
% 9.7 14.1 35.4 23.5 14.3
1stDimension (Attitudes towards work) average 3.24 1.088 N

According to the table above, the statement with the highest response was S8, which stated, “I got a career in the hospitality industry accidentally.” It had a mean of 3.192 and a standard deviation of 1.1798. The second highest response rate was statement S7, which stated, “Management is paying attention to employee needs.” It had a mean of 3.282 and a standard deviation of 1.1650. The statement with the third highest response rate was S6 and it stated, “I take pride in my job.” It’s mean and standard of deviation were 3.222 and 1.1630 respectively. The fourth highest response rate was attributed to statement S5, which stated, “I get to learn new things from my work every day.” It had a mean of 3.192 and a standard deviation of 1.1600.

The statement with the fifth-highest response was S1. It stated, “The hospitality industry offers many interesting careers.” It’s mean and standard deviation were 3.251 and 1.1412, respectively. Comparatively, the sixth-highest response rate was attributed to statement S3, which read, “The working hours allocated to workers in the industry are too long.” It had a mean of 3.275 and a standard deviation of 1.0196. The statement with the seventh-highest response was S4. It stated, “It is difficult to strike a good work/life balance.” It’s mean and standard deviation were 3.282 and 1.1650, respectively. Finally, the statement with the least response was S2 and it stated, “Most of the jobs in the hospitality industry are low-skilled.” It’s mean and standard deviation were 3.222 and 1.0385, respectively.

Result Analysis: In sum, the results depicted above show that the mean of the first dimension of analysis was 3.24 with a standard deviation of 1.088, respectively. This result shows that the respondents generally had a positive attitude towards their work. The second dimension analyzed in the study related to employee pay and its results is highlighted below.

Second Dimension – Pay

The second dimension investigated in the questionnaire related to the respondents’ views regarding their pay. In this analysis, the informants responded to six statements. The findings are depicted in table 4.6 below.

Table 4.6. Pay (2nd Dimension) Findings (Developed by the Author).

No Statements Degree of agreement Mean STD Rate Rank
SD D N A SA
S9 Workers in the hospitality industry get proper remuneration for their work F 9 20 66 207 92 3.90 0.895 A 1
% 2.3 5.1 16.8 52.5 23.4
S10 The salary paid to workers in the hospitality sector aligns with industry standards F 6 22 94 197 75 3.79 0.865 A 2
% 1.5 5.6 23.9 50.0 19.0
S11 I would consider working for a different industry if my pay is inadequate F 20 64 132 123 55 3.33 1.064 N 6
% 5.1 16.2 33.5 31.2 14.0
S12 Employees in the hospitality industry are generally underpaid relative to graduates in other professions F 13 72 122 124 63 3.39 1.060 N 5
% 3.3 18.3 31.0 31.5 16.0
S13 Poor pay would affect my motivation to work in the hospitality industry F 14 77 109 109 85 3.44 1.134 A 4
% 3.6 19.5 27.7 27.7 21.6
S14 Higher wages automatically lead to employee satisfaction and low employee turnover rates F 8 64 103 162 57 3.50 0.994 A 3
% 2.0 16.2 26.1 41.1 14.5
2ndDimension (Pay) average 3.55 1.002 A

According to the table above, the statement with the highest response was S9, which stated that “Workers in the hospitality industry get proper remuneration for their work.” It had a mean of 3.90 and a standard deviation of 0.895. The second highest response rate was statement S10, which stated, “The salary paid to workers in the hospitality sector aligns with industry standards.” It had a mean of 3.79 and a standard deviation of 0.865. The statement with the third highest response rate was S14 and it stated that “Higher wages automatically lead to employee satisfaction and low employee turnover rates.”

It’s mean and standard deviation were 3.50 and 0.994, respectively. The fourth highest response rate was attributed to statement S13, which stated that, “Poor pay would affect my motivation to work in the hospitality industry.” It had a mean of 3.44 and a standard deviation of 1.134. The statement with the fifth-highest response was S12. It stated, “Employees in the hospitality industry are generally underpaid relative to graduates in other professions.” It’s mean and standard deviation were 3.251 and 1.1412, respectively. The statement with the least response rate was attributed to S11, which stated that “I would consider working in a different industry if my pay is inadequate.” It had a mean of 3.33 and a standard deviation of 1.064.

Result Analysis: In sum, the results depicted above show that the mean of the second dimension of analysis was 3.55 with a standard deviation of 1.0002. This finding shows that the respondents generally had a positive view of their pay.

Third Dimension – Findings

The third dimension investigated in the questionnaire related to the respondents’ views regarding recognition at work. In this analysis, the informants responded to six statements. The findings are depicted in table 4.7 below.

Table 4.7. Recognition (3rd Dimension) Findings (Developed by the Author).

No Statements Degree of agreement Mean STD Rate Rank
SD D N A SA
S15 Employees in the hospitality industry get proper recognition for their work F 1 1 12 15 14 3.93 0.961 A 4
% 2.3 2.3 27.9 34.9 32.6
S16 Most organizations in the hospitality industry provide adequate details about performance measures F 0 3 3 18 19 4.23 0.868 N 2
% 0 7.0 7.0 41.9 44.2
S17 All types of skills and competencies are recognized in the hospitality industry F 2 3 10 17 11 3.74 1.071 A 6
% 4.7 7.0 23.3 39.5 25.6
S18 The organization’s recognition program keeps me motivated to stay in the workplace F 1 3 6 23 10 3.88 0.931 A 5
% 2.3 7.0 14.0 53.5 23.3
S19 I often surpass what is expected of me because of the recognition my organization gives me F 3 2 3 17 18 4.05 1.154 A 3
% 7.0 4.7 7.0 39.5 41.9
S20 I am more productive and motivated to do my work because of my organization’s recognition program F 2 3 15 17 11 3.74 1.081 A 1
% 4.7 7.0 23.3 39.5 25.6
3rdDimension (Recognition) average 3.96 0.997 A

According to the table above, the statement with the highest response was S20, which stated that “I am more productive and motivated to do my work because of my organization’s recognition program.” It had a mean of 3.74 and a standard deviation of 1.1081. The second highest response rate was linked to statement S16, which stated, “Most organizations in the hospitality industry provide adequate details about performance measures.” It had a mean of 4.23 and a standard deviation of 0.868. The statement with the third highest response rate was S19 and it stated that “I often surpass what is expected of me because of the recognition my organization gives me.”

It’s mean and standard deviation were 4.05 and 1.154, respectively. The fourth highest response rate was attributed to S15, which stated that “Employees in the hospitality industry get proper recognition for their work.” It had a mean of 3.93 and a standard deviation of 0.961. The statement with the fifth-highest response was S18. It stated, “The organization’s recognition program keeps me motivated to stay in the workplace.” It’s mean and standard deviation were 3.88 and 0.931, respectively. Finally, the statement with the least response rate was S17, which stated that “All types of skills and competencies are recognized in the hospitality industry.” It had a mean of 3.74 and a standard deviation of 1.071.

Result Analysis: In sum, the results depicted above show that the mean of the third dimension of analysis was 3.96 with a standard deviation of 0.997. This finding shows that the respondents generally had a positive review of their organizations’ employee recognition programs.

Fourth Dimension Findings

The last dimension investigated in the questionnaire related to the respondents’ views regarding opportunities for career growth. In this assessment, they responded to four statements. The findings are depicted in table 4.8 below.

Table 4.8. Opportunities for Growth (4th Dimension) Findings (Developed by the Author).

No Statements Degree of agreement Mean STD Rate Rank
SD D N A SA
S21 I believe the policy and structure of most organizations in the hospitality industry support employee growth F 20 64 132 123 55 3.33 1.064 N 4
% 5.1 16.2 33.5 31.2 14.0
S22 The value created by existing employee training programs in the hospitality industry is good F 13 72 122 124 63 3.39 1.060 N 3
% 3.3 18.3 31.0 31.5 16.0
S23 It is easy to justify the resources spent on employee training in the hospitality industry F 14 77 109 109 85 3.44 1.134 A 2
% 3.6 19.5 27.7 27.7 21.6
S24 I have adequate opportunities for growth in the hospitality industry F 8 64 103 162 57 3.50 0.994 A 1
% 2.0 16.2 26.1 41.1 14.5
4thDimension (Culture) average 3.55 1.002 A

According to the table above, the statement with the highest response was S24, which stated that “I have adequate opportunities for growth in the hospitality industry.” It had a mean of 3.50 and a standard deviation of 0.994. The second highest response rate was attributed to statement S23, which stated, “It is easy to justify the resources spent on employee training in the hospitality industry.” It had a mean of 3.44 and a standard deviation of 1.1134. The statement with the third highest response rate was S22 and it stated that “The value created by existing employee training programs in the hospitality industry is good.” It’s mean and standard deviation were 3.39 and 1.1060, respectively. The statement with the least response rate was S21, which stated that “I believe the policy and structure of most organizations in the hospitality industry support employee growth.” It had a mean of 3.33 and a standard deviation of 1.064.

Result Analysis: In sum, the results depicted above show that the mean of the fourth dimension of analysis was 3.55 with a standard deviation of 1.002. This result shows that the respondents generally had a positive view regarding the opportunities for work in their organizations. The other aspect analyzed in this study related to group variables and the findings is highlighted below.

Group Statistics and Variances

Table 4.9 below explains the results of the group statistics.

Table 4.9. Group Statistics (Source: Developed by the Author).

Group Statistics
KT Gender Number Mean STD T value Df Sig
Female 15 3.5452 .71977 .627 340 .531
Male 60 3.4800 .80401 .668

An analysis of the effect of attitudes towards work and job satisfaction was done using the ANOVA method and the results appear in Table 4.10 below.

Table 4.10. ANOVA Findings – Attitudes towards Work and Effects on Job Satisfaction (Source: Developed by the Author).

Dimension Sources of Variances Sum of squares Df. Means Squares F Sig
Attitudes towards work Between Groups 5.600 3 1.867 3.075 .028
Within Groups 205.190 338 .607
Total 210.790 341

According to the statistics shown above, the significance value of the relationship between the employees’ attitudes towards their work and job satisfaction is indicated as 0.028. This means that the two factors are significantly related. An analysis of the sum of least squares also highlights the same point because the findings between groups emerged as 5.600. Comparatively, the value within groups was 205.190. Broadly, this finding means that the positive attitude that the employees had regarding their work affected their job satisfaction levels. This fact is supported by the value of 0.028, which affirms a relationship between the two variables (employee attitude and job satisfaction). Table 4.14 below also alludes to the same view.

Table 4.11. Attitude towards Job and Job Satisfaction Findings (ANOVA) (Source: Developed by the Author).

ANOVA
Attitudes
Sum of Squares df Mean Square F Sig.
Between Groups 5.600 3 1.867 3.075 .028
Within Groups 205.190 338 .607
Total 210.790 341

An analysis of the correlation between the four dimensions highlighted in this paper revealed the following outcomes in table 4.15 below.

Table 4.12 Correlation among Dimensions (Source: Developed by the Author).

D1 D2 D3 D4
D1 Pearson Correlation 1 .410** .569** .749**
Sig. (2-tailed) .000 .000 .000
N 364 358 356 351
D2 Pearson Correlation .410** 1 .587** .451**
Sig. (2-tailed) .000 .000 .000
N 358 359 357 351
D3 Pearson Correlation .569** .587** 1 .660**
Sig. (2-tailed) .000 .000 .000
N 356 357 357 351
D4 Pearson Correlation .749** .451** .660** 1
Sig. (2-tailed) .000 .000 .000
N 351 351 351 351

According to table 4.11 highlighted above, all the four dimensions (attitudes towards work, pay view, perceptions regarding employee recognition programs, and career development opportunities) investigated in the paper were correlated. The 0.000 significance level highlighted in the table above supports this view. Correlation is affirmed because such significance is often affirmed at 0.01 for a 2-tailed analysis. This fact is based on the 0.000 significance value attributed to them. It represents correlation because such an outcome is significant at level 0.01 for a 2-tailed analysis.

Despite the existence of correlation among all the four dimensions investigated in the study, the strongest correlations were observed between dimensions four and one (career development and attitudes towards work). The second highest correlation was observed between dimensions three and four (recognition at work and employee pay/remuneration). Dimensions three and two had the third-highest correlations, while dimensions one and three had the fourth-highest correlation. Lastly, dimensions two and one had the weakest correlation (employee pay/remuneration and attitudes towards work). Broadly, because the findings highlighted in this section of the report affirm correlation between all the four dimensions, job satisfaction also emerged as having a strong relationship with the variables highlighted.

Hypotheses Testing

The process of hypothesis testing involved the use of the simple linear regression technique. Table 4.16 below highlights the outcomes of the hypothesis test

Table 4.13 Hypotheses Test Findings (Source: Developed by the Author).

Hypothesis Sum of Square Mean Square R R square F Sig
H1 100.282 100.282 .690 .476 308.539 .000
110.508 .325
H2 45.672 45.672 .465 .217 94.044 .000
165.118 .486
H3 93.165 93.165 .665 .442 269.296 .000
117.625 .346
H4 144.300 144.300 .827 .685 737.885 .000
66.490 .196

According to the table above, it was established that Chinese graduates in the hospitality industry have a positive attitude towards their work. This view stems from the fact that the significance is 0.000 and the r-square value is 0.476. Based on these findings, the first hypothesis for the first research question (H1) “Chinese graduates in the hospitality industry have a positive attitude towards their work” is affirmed. It was also established that Chinese graduates in the hospitality industry were satisfied with their pay. This view was affirmed by the significance value of H2, which was 0.000, and the r-square value of 0.217, which affirms significance as well. Based on these findings, hypothesis 1 for the second research question “Chinese graduates in the hospitality industry are satisfied their pay” is affirmed.

The above table also shows that Chinese graduates in the hospitality industry feel adequately recognized for their work. This view is established because the significance value of H3 is 0.000, while its r-square value is 0.442, which signifies correlation. Based on these findings, hypothesis 1 for the third research question “Chinese graduates in the hospitality industry feel adequately recognized for their work is affirmed. Lastly, the same outcome is true for hypothesis 1 in the fourth research question because the hypothesis “Chinese graduates in the hospitality industry have adequate opportunities for career growth“ is affirmed by the significance value of 0.00 and the r square of 0.685, which support a similar narrative.

Conclusion

As highlighted in the first chapter of this dissertation, in this study, the researcher sought to investigate the employment status and job satisfaction levels of Chinese graduate students in the hospitality industry. Four research questions guided the review. They sought to find out the attitudes of Chinese graduates in the hospitality industry regarding their work, how satisfied they were with their pay, whether they felt adequately recognized for their work and if they believed they had adequate opportunities for career growth.

Regarding the employment status of the respondents, it was established that most of them were chiefs. In fact, according to the findings depicted in chapter 4, this group of employees accounted for 33% of the total sample. The least profession pursued by the respondents was restaurant managers. The same respondents also expressed positive views regarding the four dimensions explored in the study (attitudes towards work, pay, employee recognition programs, and career development opportunities).

As highlighted in the second chapter of this report, Maslow’s hierarchy of needs was the main conceptual framework for this study. To recap, it contains five levels of needs that define job satisfaction levels. They include physiological needs, safety needs, the need to be loved and belong, self-esteem needs, and self-actualization needs. Since the researchers held favorable views regarding the four dimensions that were explored in this study (attitudes towards work, view on pay, employee recognition levels, and opportunities for career growth), it is established that the graduate employees generally had high levels of job satisfaction.

This first dimension of job satisfaction, which was explored in this study (employees’ attitudes towards work), could be affected by all the five levels of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. In other words, the ability of the employers to meet any of the five levels of needs could affect the respondents’ attitudes towards their work. Their positive perception of pay means that their physiological needs could also be met by the remuneration they receive for their work. The same could be said for safety needs if they are perceived within the prism of “social safety” because their jobs often give them health insurance and such like privileges.

Opportunities for career growth could be perceived as a representative of esteem needs within Maslow’s hierarchy structure because the employees would feel better about their work if they knew that there were opportunities to further scale up the career ladder compared to a situation where such opportunities did not exist in the first place. In other words, opportunities for career growth and development could be responsible for making the employees feel better appreciated for their work. Here, the assumption is that their employers appreciate the input they make in their work. Therefore, the available opportunities for career advancement are bound to have a positive effect on their esteem because they hold favorable views regarding the internal growth prospects of their organizations. Relative to this assertion, opportunities for career growth and development emerge as important predictors of employee engagement and job satisfaction among the graduate employees.

The positive view of the informants regarding opportunities for career growth is also linked to their favorable perceptions of employee recognition programs because the respondents said they were generally appreciated for their work in the hotels. Since employee recognition is not necessarily a financial measure of job satisfaction, it generally fits within Maslow’s third tier of need – love, and belonging. In other words, in most cases, employee recognition programs make workers feel loved and appreciated for the work that they do.

Broadly, the findings of this report show that the positive views that the respondents held regarding the four variables investigated could largely be attributed to the fact that they met the threshold of four levels of needs as defined by Maslow – physiological needs, safety needs, the need to be loved, and self-esteem needs. The only measure of employee satisfaction that did not resonate with the responses gathered in this study was self-actualization needs. This outcome is common because few employees often have this need met.

The findings highlighted in this paper seem to differ significantly from previous research studies (highlighted in the literature review segment), which have shown that graduate employees tend to be more dissatisfied with their work compared to those who have lower educational qualifications. Reasons for the difference could be varied, but cultural differences could provide a reasonable explanation for the disparity because Chinese cultural influences may have a significant impact on the respondents’ work ethics and expectations. At the same time, social and economic factors could be largely responsible for these differences because disparities in pay and work expectations could be affected by the same factors. For example, China generally has cheaper labor compared to most western countries. This difference in average wages between the communist nation and western countries could account for the disparity in findings between the current and past studies.

The generally favorable views that the respondents held regarding employee pay could be subject to the above-mentioned factors because a Chinese graduate may be more satisfied with a lower pay compared to a European graduate. Therefore, economic differences between china and western countries could largely explain the disparities in findings highlighted in this report and those presented by others. Social and cultural differences between the Chinese and western graduates could also explain why most of the sampled respondents were generally satisfied with their employer’s recognition programs and career development opportunities. In other words, western nations tend to have higher expectations regarding their work and employment opportunities compared to Asian graduates. Therefore, they may be more dissatisfied with their work compared to Chinese graduates.

This difference is largely explained by possible variations in work expectations between the two sets of graduates. Social and cultural differences between the Chinese and western countries could also explain why the Chinese graduates generally had positive attitudes regarding their work, while other studies have shown that similar graduates tend to have negative views regarding their jobs. Indeed, social and cultural factors affecting employees could affect their job satisfaction levels because issues relating to communication in the workplace, relationships among employees, job responsibilities, and work/life balance are affected by culture. In turn, they influence employee attitudes toward work. Therefore, cultural differences between western and Chinese graduates could be responsible for these differences.

Recommendations

As highlighted in chapter three of this paper, the findings depicted in this review are mostly indicative. Future research should strive to provide empirical evidence explaining the differences between the findings of this paper and those of other studies. This view is made about the fact that past studies have generally pointed out a general level of dissatisfaction among graduate employees regarding their work. Although this paper contains possible reasons for this disparity, future research should investigate this issue, preferably using a qualitative research approach to comprehend cultural and social issues that may be influencing the respondents’ views regarding their work.

Since this paper has focused on Chinese graduate students in the hospitality industry as the main research sample, it is imperative for future researchers to also investigate the job status and satisfaction levels among workers in the hospitality sector who are not of Chinese descent. The same analysis could extend to include employees who are not graduates or who have a master’s degree or higher. Such an analysis would further increase the richness and quality of information regarding job satisfaction in the hospitality industry. Broadly, doing so would be beneficial to the industry because it is commonly associated with high levels of employee turnover.

The findings of this paper are useful in understanding the employment status and job satisfaction levels among Chinese graduates in the hospitality industry. They fill a key gap in the literature, which stems from the fact that past research studies have failed to explore the job satisfaction status of Chinese graduates in the hospitality industry. Concisely, the findings of this paper feed into a growing need to understand the intricacies of the Chinese tourism industry, which is growing significantly and is buoyed by a growing middle class. Therefore, the findings of this paper help to understand the main factors influencing job satisfaction among Chinese graduates in this industry. Consequently, it is easy for managers to understand which aspects of organizational performance need to be adjusted or complemented for improved service delivery. Doing so could significantly reduce the rate of employee turnover in hotels that have Chinese graduates.

The findings of this paper also underscore the role of institutions of higher education in defining the expectations of graduate management students in the hospitality sector because before they enter the industry, they have little or no expectations of what to expect in the profession. However, after getting an education, they form new expectations of their pay, career growth limits/opportunities, and even the type of recognition they should get. This area of study also emphasizes the need to further understand the varying social and cultural factors that affect job satisfaction among employees.

The importance of doing so emerges against a backdrop of findings, which have only strived to investigate the employment status of graduate employees based on employee samples from (largely) western countries. Therefore, the findings developed in this study are context-specific. The same characteristic influences the generalizability of these findings because it is difficult to apply them to graduate employees who are not of Chinese descent. As highlighted in the third chapter of this paper, this is a significant limitation of this study. Nonetheless, understanding employee perceptions about their work is a process that has several implications for the current education system and the working conditions of graduates who have studied hospitality management because stakeholders may want to improve these sectors based on such information.

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Appendix

Questionnaire

Please put (√) at the appropriate answer:
First: Demographic information
Gender
  • Male
  • Female
Age
  • Less than 30 years
  • 30 to less than 40 years
  • 40 to less than 50 years
  • 50 to less than 60 years
Job Title
What is your job Title?
Work Experience
  • Less than 1 years
  • 1 to Less than 5 years
  • 5 to less than 10 years
  • 10 to less than 15 years
  • 15 years and above

Please answer the following statements by selecting your degree of agreement or disagreement by ticking (√) the appropriate box based on the merits or demerits of the questions outlined in the matrix below.

Key

1
Strongly Disagree
2
Disagree
3
Neutral
4
Agree
5
Strongly Agree
Degree of agreement
1 2 3 4 5 Statements
Dimension 1: Attitudes towards Work
S1 O O O O O The hospitality industry offers many interesting careers
S2 O O O O O Most of the jobs in the hospitality industry are low-skilled
S3 O O O O O The working hours allocated to workers in the industry are too long
S4 O O O O O It is difficult to strike a good work/life balance
S5 O O O O O I get to learn new things from my work everyday
S6 O O O O O I take pride in my job
S7 O O O O O Management is paying attention to employee needs
S8 O O O O O I got a career in the hospitality industry accidentally
ل Dimension 2: Pay
S9 O O O O O Workers in the hospitality industry get proper remuneration for their work
S10 O O O O O The salary paid to workers in the hospitality sector aligns with industry standards
S11 O O O O O I would consider working for a different industry if my pay is inadequate
S12 O O O O O Employees in the hospitality industry are generally underpaid relative to graduates in other professions
S13 O O O O O Poor pay would affect my motivation to work in the hospitality industry
S14 O O O O O Higher wages automatically lead to employee satisfaction and low employee turnover rates
Dimension3: Recognition
S15 O O O O O Employees in the hospitality industry get proper recognition for their work
S16 O O O O O Most organisations in the hospitality industry provide adequate details about performance measures
S17 O O O O O All types of skills and competencies are recognised in the hospitality industry
S18 O O O O O The organisation’s recognition program keeps me motivated to stay in the workplace
S19 O O O O O I often surpass what is expected of me because of the recognition my organisation gives me
S20 O O O O O I am more productive and motivated to do my work because of my organisation’s recognition program
Dimension 4: Opportunities for Growth
S21 O O O O O I believe the policy and structure of most organisations in the hospitality industry support employee growth
S22 O O O O O The value created by existing employee training programs in the hospitality industry is good
S23 O O O O O It is easy to justify the resources spent on employee training in the hospitality industry
S24 O O O O O I have adequate opportunities for growth in the hospitality industry
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IvyPanda. (2021, January 13). Chinese Graduates' Employment in the Hospitality Industry. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/chinese-graduates-employment-in-the-hospitality-industry/

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"Chinese Graduates' Employment in the Hospitality Industry." IvyPanda, 13 Jan. 2021, ivypanda.com/essays/chinese-graduates-employment-in-the-hospitality-industry/.

1. IvyPanda. "Chinese Graduates' Employment in the Hospitality Industry." January 13, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/chinese-graduates-employment-in-the-hospitality-industry/.


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IvyPanda. "Chinese Graduates' Employment in the Hospitality Industry." January 13, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/chinese-graduates-employment-in-the-hospitality-industry/.

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IvyPanda. 2021. "Chinese Graduates' Employment in the Hospitality Industry." January 13, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/chinese-graduates-employment-in-the-hospitality-industry/.

References

IvyPanda. (2021) 'Chinese Graduates' Employment in the Hospitality Industry'. 13 January.

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