Research Article

Exploring the concept of hostmanship through “50 cups of coffee”


Abstract

This article explores how hospitality academics and students understand, interpret and experience hostmanship. Building on a literature review which outlines and discusses the development and definition of hospitality, this exploratory study is framed by an interpretivist approach. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 46 hospitality academics, staff and students (50 were initially invited). Each individual interview focused on uncovering the individual’s understanding of and attitude towards hostmanship, and was transcribed before being analysed by both researchers in order to identify themes that could be used to investigate the concept of hostmanship. Findings show that a genuine connection, the pro-active behaviour of the host, and surprises led to a welcoming feeling for the guest. An unwelcome feeling was mostly created when protocols and systems were prioritised above the human being and, on occasion, specific, unpleasant behaviour of the host. When people were asked to define hostmanship, the following aspects were mentioned most: being and acting sincerely from the heart, and creating a true connection between people.

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