Original Article

Addressing sustainability in hotel management education: designing a curriculum based on input from key stakeholders

Published in:
Volume 4, issue 1&2, 2014, pages: 71–76
DOI: 10.2989/RHM.2014.4.1&2.10.1256
Author(s): Frans MelissenAcademy of Hotel Management, NHTV Breda University of Applied Sciences, Breda, The Netherlands, Maartje DamenAcademy of Hotel Management, NHTV Breda University of Applied Sciences, Breda, The Netherlands,


This paper reports on combining generic reference points that can be distilled from literature with the analysis of 18 face-to-face
interviews with relevant stakeholders as input for designing a sustainability course within a (higher education) hotel management
curriculum. The train of thought presented here shows that by using this input as design parameters for a curriculum, education
could serve as a crucial catalyst and change agent for a societal transition towards sustainable development. It shows that this is
also true and relevant, maybe even especially, for the hospitality industry. Subsequently, it is explained that for the specific hotel
management education addressed in this paper to fulfil this role, the sustainability course incorporated in its curriculum needs to
combine various components and approaches. It needs to provide students with an ethical framework that helps them develop
a reflective attitude towards their own and others’ actions and decisions. This framework needs to focus on generic values
and norms, but also on envisioning practical social, ecological and economic consequences. Therefore, it also needs to help
students acquire the knowledge and develop the skills required to envision and discuss these consequences, also with involved
stakeholders, and (jointly) devise context-dependent solutions.

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