Service Sector


by Peter Williams

I have learned much about living within the rules of academia, while feeding my passions associated with tourism education and research. Essentially, all of my academic activities are framed by explicit policies and procedures concerning teaching (e.g., courses and hours taught), research (e.g., ethics and transparency in data collection and interpretation), and service (e.g., responsiveness to departmental and community needs). For the most part these are mechanical, somewhat stifling, and uncreative realities that are necessary for the efficient operation of the university. My ability to operate effectively and passionately within these rules is built on the implicit and more entrepreneurial relationships that I have nurtured with key colleagues within the university. By nurturing a positive internal network with academic colleagues built on trust, mutual respect, and credibility demonstrated through past performance, I have been given an implicit “social license to operate” in a more entrepreneurial fashion than would otherwise be the case. This cultivated freedom has provided me with the leeway needed to pursue my personal academic passions. More specifically, these include: implementing novel and more meaningful approaches to education delivery; developing alliances with leading tourism industry professionals that foster unique learning and career opportunities for students; and conducting research that produces outcomes relevant to policymakers and industry organizations influencing the development of more sustainable forms of tourism. Interestingly, my approach to “navigating with the rules” has had a reinforcing “rebound effect” on some university administrators. For those encouraging creative responses to emerging education challenges, it has provided them with additional best practice evidence demonstrating how entrepreneurial approaches to academic practice can lead to significant benefit for the institution and its students.



by Haemoon Oh

We are in hospitality education. The hospitality industry is at the center of the service sector as its largest employer. While there are many fundamental rules specific to companies, one broadly shared norm in the hospitality industry is to take good care of your customers—treat others as you would want to be treated. In my academic discipline, there are no clear rules everyone must follow. But there are some basic notions shared across the board.

  1. We are teachers committed to the learning and success of the next generation.
  2. We are scholars continually engaged in research that will bring innovation and advance the quality of human life.
  3. We are scholars reaching out to and helping the community, industry, and society in general to acquire best practices.

The biggest source of my passion is the future of our students. If I can contribute to their success, however that is defined, I’m excited and stimulated. Passion is contagious. I become more passionate when our team of faculty and students responds to my passion. Everyone has passion. You have to bring it out as a leader. In my job, when you are passionate about what you do and express your passion in actual deeds and results, you do not need to worry about rules and expectations. For passionate people, rules are not goals to be met and satisfied; rather, they are basic directions and guidelines. Passion builds much more meaningful results on top of rules.


Published in the hard-copy of Work Style Magazine, Fall 2013