How will an interdisciplinary approach in Hospitality Management education benefit students?

The more exposed students are to different business verticals and management styles in the world of hospitality, the better it is for them.   | Photo Credit: Freepik

Hospitality education introduces students to different subjects and aspects of the industry, which is centred around human interaction. The focus is on creating a fine experience for customers and being warm, welcoming, hospitable, cooperative and collaborative. To keep with current times, hospitality management education is increasingly integrating an interdisciplinary approach in the course structure and programme design to help students develop an open attitude and wider perspective, increasing their access to more work opportunities and profiles. Given the broad spectrum of the industry, the more exposed students are to different business verticals and management styles, the better it is for them as it helps them gauge their strengths and weaknesses, and prepare them for broader roles in varied industries.

Modules such as human resource management and operational behaviour help students understand the art of managing different kinds of people and how organisations operate. Financial management enhances their understanding of how organisations operate financially. F&B and event management helps them gain knowledge of business side of food and of project management. Similarly, getting an overall understanding of marketing strategies helps students in enabling organisations to strengthen their brand awareness and positioning. Studying all these areas of study also equips them with the right set of skills and knowledge in case they have entrepreneurial aspirations.


The benefits of interdisciplinary learning are even more prominent in the post-pandemic world, where most industries have undergone significant transitions. Organisations are on the lookout for people who can manage multiple different aspects of operations, such as staff, revenue, cost structure and service operations. Institutions now focus on curating immersive internships where students can apply in real life the different theories and concepts they learn in the classroom. Institutes also offer a diversified learning experience, through hybrid learning pedagogy, activity-based and interactive learning, project work, personal development, guest lectures by industry veterans, case studies, and work experience.

In addition to being tech savvy, hospitality organisations are looking for those who display a higher proportion of hospitality intelligence and human skills. Evolving customer requirements demand that aspirants have an in-depth understanding of human behaviour, emotions and how to manage them. This has resulted in an increase in demand for interpersonal skills, including communication skills, emotional, social and cultural intelligence, and personal behavioural traits. Similarly, intrapersonal skills, which include analytical thinking, delegation, self-management, productivity, resilience, and commitment to providing superior service have become crucial in differentiating between a good candidate, and a really good one.

The hospitality ecosystem is built upon collaborative learning, which helps students gain confidence within their chosen career field, while giving them exposure to other disciplines. In this rapidly evolving world, it is important for students to reflect their prowess and readiness in areas of relationship and people management, handling crisis communication, information delivery and quick decision-making. That’s where multidisciplinary learning helps students get the upper hand as exposure to different facets help them develop the business ethos and human skills, both necessary to excel in the industry.

The writer is the Founder and CEO, Indian School of Hospitality

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Printable version | Jan 29, 2022 9:35:30 AM |

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