The value of academic research

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  • In Brief-Focus on Research Executive summaries of this months feature articles.

    Building a Bridge from the Other Bank: This Issues Focus pp. 9-13 on Research Methods and Tools for Hospitality Management by Michael C. Sturman

    Many efforts have been made to bridge the divide between researchers and practitioners. Notably miss- ing, however, is work aimed at building the bridge from the user side of this chasm. The purpose of this special-focus issue on research methods and tools is to begin building that bridge-to help make practitioners better consumers of research and more interested in becoming involved in applied and theoretical research to help address the practical problems that they face. This issue is divided into three sections. The first part describes the importance and implications of research-it provides various per- spectives as to what research is, why it is valuable, and the process by which it adds value. The second section offers information on various approaches to research-offering three different philosophies for investigating research questions. The third part details a number of specific research tools, including methods for collecting, analyzing, and interpreting data. While this is certainly not an exhaustive review, it does illustrate a number of tools that are or can be valuable to hospitality-and which for the most part are accessible to practitioners.

    The Value of Theoretical Research and Applied Research pp. 1427 for the Hospitality Industry by James R. Van Scatter and Patrick E. Culligan

    Both theoretical and applied research have their place in explaining hospitality-related phenomena and addressing the industrys problems. While the two types of research complement each other, as a general rule applied research is more likely to address an individual issue, seek and find a solution, and apply that solution. In contrast, theoretical research attempts to develop theories regarding the principles un- derlying a problem or set of problems, usually on a broad scale. Rather than seek to confirm a theory, theoretical research attempts to test a theory with the idea of disconfirming it and then developing a stronger one. One particular advantage of theoretical research over applied research is that theoretical research operates at the highest possible levels of rigor and seeks to eliminate as many spurious explana- tions as possible for any given phenomenon. While its true that applied research also can be rigorous, the fact that it usually focuses on specific issues rather than overall concepts limits ones ability to gener- alize from applied-research studies.

    The Value of Academic Research pp. 29-38 by Gabriele Piccoli and Erica L. Wagner

    Cursory inspection might lead a practitioner to worry about academics in ivy-covered towers, but re- search that examines hospitality-information systems has covered such issues as business-process reengineering, decision-support systems, entity-relationship modeling, group support systems, recogni- tion of IS and IT as a strategic resource, and telecommuting, among others. As an example, research in decision-support systems has supported such activities as risk assessment, marketing management, and cash-flow management for numerous corporations. Research also covers the interconnection between technology and users, by examining the socio-technical perspective to ensure that information systems not only function technically but also support the business purpose for which they were designed. Current information-system challenges for the hospitality industry include data management (in particular, who owns customer-based data) and how to realize the full return on a technology in- vestment. Moreover, the role of the information-technology professional is gradually morphing into a central management function.


    Theoretical and Applied

    Importance and Performance

    APRIL 2003 Cornell Hotel and Restaurant Administration Quarterlv 5


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