Faculty in the hospitality and tourism management department of the Pamplin College of Business are among the world’s top scholars in the discipline, according to a study in the August 2011 issue of the Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Research.

The study identified the 50 most prolific authors and institutions worldwide in hospitality and tourism as two separate fields as well as the top 100 authors and universities in the combined field.

The rankings are based on the number of article contributions in the discipline’s six most influential research journals in the 2000-2009 period: Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Research, International Journal of Hospitality Management, Cornell Hospitality Quarterly, Tourism Management, Annals of Tourism Research, and Journal of Travel Research.

“The number of research articles published in quality journals is one way to rate productivity and determine which institutions and countries should be recognized as leaders in the field,” notes the study, which classified and analyzed more than 2,800 articles.

Pamplin faculty Vince Magnini and Ken McCleary, and emeritus professor Michael Olsen are listed (specific rankings below), as is Zvi Schwartz, who joins the department this fall from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The study ranked Virginia Tech No. 8 among the top 100 universities for hospitality and tourism research.

Magnini, ranked 19th in the hospitality field and 55th in the combined ranking, focuses on research in services marketing — communications between managers and potential customers, connections between managerial behaviors and frontline employee performance, and interactions between frontline employees’ actions and customer responses.

He received a $75,000 award last year from the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation to analyze visitor satisfaction in each of the 35 state parks. His new book, Tourist Customer Service Satisfaction: An Encounter Approach (co-authored with Pamplin hospitality and tourism management professor Muzzo Uysal and Francis Noe, a retired research director at the National Park Service), examines the customer-provider relationship and identifies successful strategies and tactics.

McCleary, ranked 100th in the combined field, studies marketing strategy and consumer behavior in tourism, restaurants, and hotels. His other interests include wine and winery management, international hospitality marketing, and cultural tourism.

An award-winning teacher, McCleary has more than 30 years of experience in hospitality education and the hospitality industry, including ownership of a bed and breakfast and part ownership of a restaurant/night club.

Olsen, 21st in hospitality and 55th (tie) in the combined field, focused on strategic management and financial management in the global hospitality industry. The founding head of Virginia Tech’s hospitality and tourism department, Olsen helped guide it to its current status as one of the premier programs in the world.

Schwartz, also 21st in hospitality and 47th in the combined field, does research on tourism and hospitality demand forecasting and optimal allocation of units and prices. His work is aimed at developing a better understanding of issues related to revenue management, including the decisions and behavior of tourists and firms in the industry.

In the institutional rankings, Virginia Tech is ranked 7th in hospitality research, 11th in tourism, and 8th in the combined field.

Hospitality and tourism research has seen “tremendous expansion and diversification,” the study says. The rankings “provide valuable and detailed information” for current and prospective graduate students, faculty members, and academic administrators.

The study notes that marketing, strategic management, and human resources are the most popular areas of study among hospitality researchers, while environmental issues, food service, and legal issues are less tackled. Likewise, tourism researchers have focused on special interests (heritage, farm, cultural, and food tourism) and economic impact and econometrics. Relatively unexplored topics are attractions management, geographical issues, and supply chain management.

The study, “Hospitality And Tourism Research Rankings By Author, University, And Country Using Six Major Journals: The First Decade Of The New Millennium,” used a fractional scoring method that accounts for the number of co-authors on an article and, at the university level of analysis, was also weighted by the number of faculty members in each hospitality and tourism program.



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