Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. O'Connor

Peter O'Connor

Academic Director, Institute de Management Hotelier Int.

Peter O'Connor is Chaired Professor of Digital Disruption at ESSEC Business School, France, where he also serves as Director of the MBA in Hospitality Management (IMHI), Europe’s leading MBA program specializing in international hospitality management. Dr. O’Connor’s primary research, teaching and consulting interests focus on the use of technology in the hospitality and tourism sectors. In addition to his textbooks on hospitality technology, Dr. O’Connor has published articles in leading academic journals including the Journal of Marketing, Harvard Business Review, Tourism Management, the Cornell Quarterly and the International Journal of Hospitality Management. Dr. O’Connor also works with PhoCusWright Inc. as a senior analyst specializing in the hotel technology space, as well as serving as Editor-at-large of Hotel Analyst Distribution & Technology, a leading industry publication focused on the sector. In 2015, he launched the first MOOC (Massive Online Open Course) on Hotel Distribution (coursera.org/learn/hotel-distribution) which currently has over has over 9.500 active learners. In addition to his academic duties, Dr. O’Connor also works with managers from a large variety of travel industry clients to help shape their electronic distribution and electronic marketing strategies. He is regularly quoted by the international press and consulted by investment companies and private equity firms on developments in the hotel technology arena. Prior to joining Essec Business School, Dr. O’Connor was a lecturer at the Dublin Institute of Technology in Ireland. He has been a visiting researcher at the University of South Australia and held a visiting position at the Cornell School of Hotel Administration as well as worked in a variety of positions in the international hospitality industry in sectors ranging from luxury hotels to contract food services.

Mr. O'Connor can be contacted at +33 1 3443 3177 or oconnor@essec.fr

Coming up in March 2019...

Human Resources: An Era of Transition

Traditionally, the human resource department administers five key areas within a hotel operation - compliance, compensation and benefits, organizational dynamics, selection and retention, and training and development. However, HR professionals are also presently involved in culture-building activities, as well as implementing new employee on-boarding practices and engagement initiatives. As a result, HR professionals have been elevated to senior leadership status, creating value and profit within their organization. Still, they continue to face some intractable issues, including a shrinking talent pool and the need to recruit top-notch employees who are empowered to provide outstanding customer service. In order to attract top-tier talent, one option is to take advantage of recruitment opportunities offered through colleges and universities, especially if they have a hospitality major. This pool of prospective employees is likely to be better educated and more enthusiastic than walk-in hires. Also, once hired, there could be additional training and development opportunities that stem from an association with a college or university. Continuing education courses, business conferences, seminars and online instruction - all can be a valuable source of employee development opportunities. In addition to meeting recruitment demands in the present, HR professionals must also be forward-thinking, anticipating the skills that will be needed in the future to meet guest expectations. One such skill that is becoming increasingly valued is “resilience”, the ability to “go with the flow” and not become overwhelmed by the disruptive influences  of change and reinvention. In an era of transition—new technologies, expanding markets, consolidation of brands and businesses, and modifications in people's values and lifestyles - the capacity to remain flexible, nimble and resilient is a valuable skill to possess. The March Hotel Business Review will examine some of the strategies that HR professionals are employing to ensure that their hotel operations continue to thrive.