Maraouch Fadila

Department of Hospitality Management, American University of Science and Technology, Beirut-Lebanon

ABSTRACT

Facing the rising demand for improved quality, reduced costs, and constant innovation necessitates to continuously up-grade knowledge, skills, and abilities as essential for all leadership roles including those held by top management. With management scholars racing to meet the aforementioned demand, “Competency Modeling” has become one of the most frequently used techniques to help organizations profile jobs, select, as well as prepare the right person for the right leadership position. Moreover, scholars introduced the “Exemplary Leadership” model which aims at helping managers lead their organizations more effectively where there is a belief that the “great person” theory is not accurate since anyone can aspire to become an exemplary leader by following the five practices characterizing the former model.

In general, the lodging industry has plenty to benefit from adopting competency models in identifying competencies necessary for current and aspiring leaders of lodging establishments and to stay competitive it must identify the competencies required for leadership not only for the present but also for the future.

The aim of this explanatory research is to examine the relationship among Managerial Competencies, and Exemplary Leadership practices of managers in the Lebanese lodging industry. The design was a non-experimental, quantitative, explanatory, correlational design, and has been conducted through an onsite survey to collect data. The survey used a modified version adopted with permission from of Koenigsfeld’sManagerial Competency, and the Kouzes and Posner’s LPI surveys. The target population consisted of 254 conveniently selected general and department managers of hotels in Lebanon. The methods of data analysis included descriptive statistics, Pearson product moment correlation, factor analysis, and hierarchical (forward) regression analyses that tested the research questions. Also, scales were examined for reliability and validity.

Findings indicated that there exists a relationship among the Managerial Competencies (Conceptual/Creative, Leadership, and Interpersonal); and Exemplary Leadership practices of managers in the Lebanese lodging industry. Outcomes of the research help explore other industries in the country where different business environments exist as well as replication in other countries to further extend the body of knowledge of Leadership practices globally.

Key Words: Competencies, Exemplary, Leadership, Lebanon

1 INTRODUCTION

In facing the rising demand for improved quality, reduced costs, and constant innovation, the need to continuously upgrade knowledge, skills, and abilities is essential for all leadership roles including those held by executives, managers, and supervisors (Kay & Russette, 2000; Mirabile, 1997; Okeiyi, Finley, & Postel, 1994; Tas, LaBreque, & Clayton, 1996). With management scholars racing to meet this demand, competency modeling has become one of the most frequently used techniques to help organizations profile jobs, select, as well as prepare the right person for the right leadership position (Katz, 1955; Sandwith, 1993).

Under the auspices of transformational leadership, Kouzes and Posner (1995) introduced the Exemplary Leadership model which aims at helping managers lead their organizations more effectively. The authors believe that the “great person” theory is not accurate since anyone can aspire to become an exemplary leader by following the five practices in their model (Goldsmith, 2007).

The purpose of this explanatory (correlational) study was to examine the relationship among the Managerial Competencies and Exemplary Leadership practices of managers in the Lebanese lodging industry. The design was a quantitative, explanatory, correlational design, and has been conducted through an onsite survey to collect data. The target population consisted of 252 general managers and department managers of hotels in Lebanon with a sample design that was considered a convenience sampling plan. The methods of data analysis included descriptive statistics, Pearson product moment correlation, factor analysis, and hierarchical (forward) regression analyses that tested the research questions. Finally, all scales were examined for reliability and validity.

2 Literature Review

2.1 Leadership

The New York Times has rated Beirut as the number one destination to visit among forty-four most compelling destinations around the world (Sherwood & Williams, 2009). Lebanon has been in-and-out of the travel and tourism spotlight since its existence. Internal and external civil unrest and wars have affected the country on all frontiers: socially, financially, and politically. However, relative stability in the last two decades is finally starting to pay off especially in the travel and tourism sector which constitutes a major part of the country’s economy (Lebanon, 2010).

Leadership is defined as “the ability to inspire confidence and support among the people who are needed to achieve organizational goals” (Dubrin, 2007, p.2). It is understood by many to imply “collective action, orchestrated in such a way as to bring about significant change while raising the competencies and motivation of all those involved-that is, action where more than one individual influences the process” (Bornstein & Smith, 1996, p. 282). In this study, the focus was on one specific type of leadership, Exemplary Leadership as theorized by Kouzes and Posner (1995).

For the past three decades, the most dominant leadership theory is concerned with differentiating between two leadership styles: transactional and transformational (Tourangeau & McGilton, 2004). Simply stated, transactional leadership is based on the concept of an exchange between leaders and followers while transformational leadership goes beyond such an exchange to a level where the leader uses personal traits and relationships to influence followers (Nahavandi, 2009). Based on such interaction, a transformation of attitudes, values, and behaviors occurs which facilitates major organizational change as well as increases organizational performance (Burns, 1978). Consequently, organizations that are anticipating or embarking on major organizational changes would greatly benefit from implementing transformational leadership practices. To achieve this, organizations are realizing that leadership is needed at all levels of the organization and not necessarily exclusively found among people in high levels of the organization. Although such a statement can be promising for aspiring leaders, this is easier said than done since developing leadership skills is a much more complex process than developing a structured skill (Dubrin, 2007).

Furthermore, scholarly research asserts the need to constantly develop leadership theories in order to maintain not only competitiveness but also sustainability. Exemplary Leadership as a form of transformational leadership is among the latest leadership theories that is achieving promising results (Kouzes & Posner, 1995). Proclaiming that leadership is not a reserve for a few lucky men and women, Kouzes and Posner (1995) identified five Exemplary Leadership practices that enable leaders to get extraordinary things done. Consequently, studying the relationship between Managerial Competencies and Exemplary Leadership is a new area of study associated with leadership effectiveness.

2.2 Exemplary Leadership

Exemplary Leadership is a theoretical framework developed by Kouzes and Posner that has its roots in transformational leadership (1995). Based on their research, Kouzes and Posner (1995) identified human relations skills as the means through which leaders promote success within the organization. After studying thousands of best leadership experiences, where leaders performed at their best, the authors identified five Exemplary Leadership practices common to successful and effective leadership that can be adopted by anyone who accepts the leadership challenge. These are: “model the way, inspire a shared vision, challenge the process, enable others to act, and encourage the heart” (Kouzes and Posner, 1995). Each practice includes two commitments that were identified as leading to exemplary practice.

Kouzes and Posner measured Exemplary Leadership using the Leadership Practice Inventory (LPI). The LPI is made up of thirty questions from which every six assess one practice. These questions describe various leadership actions and behaviors reflected in the five practices mentioned earlier. There are two versions of the LPI-self and observer. The self-assessment is completed by the individual leader while the observer assessment is completed by a peer, superior, or subordinate of the leader (Kouzes and Posner, 1995). In a meta-analysis of 18 different leadership competencies, the LPI received top scores both in psychometric soundness and in ease of use (Huber et al., 2000).

2.3 Managerial Competencies

Understanding and studying managerial skills or competencies is a relatively new area of study that has started with the research of scholars such as Katz (1955) and McClelland (1973). Over the past twenty years, the question of what competencies managers need to be effective in their jobs has changed considerably from an emphasis on technical abilities in the 1970s and early 1980s to a more personnel-management abilities focus in the late 1980s until the present time (Katz, 1955; Sandwith, 1993; Tas et al., 1996).

A competency model is defined as the “output from analyses that differentiates high performers from average and low performers” (Mirabile, 1997, p. 75). Leadership competency models based on performance rather than traits have been the focus of many researchers in the second part of the last century (Chung-Herrera, Enz & Lankau, 2003; Katz, 1955; McClelland, 1973; Sandwith, 1993). This focus was due to the fact that performance is easier to identify and measure and is less likely to be misinterpreted. The motive was to present a more useful approach that aims at understanding what good executives do (i.e., skills exhibited in carrying out jobs effectively) instead of what good executives are (i.e., innate traits and characteristics) (Katz, 1955, p.33).

Katz’s approach is based on firsthand observation of executives at work coupled with field research in administration and suggested that there are three basic developable skills which necessitate the need for identifying specific traits that can also provide a useful way evaluating the administrative process. These are: (1) Technical, (2) Human, and (3) Conceptual (Katz, 1955, p. 34). In comparing and contrasting the above skills, the relative importance of the Technical skill lies at the lower levels of the organization. As the administrator moves further from the actual physical operation, the need for Technical skill diminishes to the point it might become nonexistent due to the existence of the Technical skills of others who took the administrator’s position. At this level, the administrator might still be able to perform effectively if the other two skills, Human and Conceptual, are adequately developed. Katz did not provide measurements for his constructs; therefore, reliability and validity were not discussed

Since the publication of Katz’s (1955) study, many other researchers have used this typology of research. The most notable is the work of Sandwith (1993). Sandwith (1993) developed a model of competency Domains that guides large organizations in their management training and development programs. Sandwith’s (1993) model had its origin in the three skills approach that was initially addressed by Katz (1955) in his work Skills of an Effective Administrator. In the following years, other renowned researchers such as Mintzberg discussed this model and its application by a number of organizations (Sandwith, 1993). These researchers found that there exists a broader range of activities used by managers than was previously conceived. As a result, the Human skill factor of the original concept was becoming too general.

To solve this problem, Sandwith (1993) updated this category and divided it into three separate Domains which he labeled: Leadership, Interpersonal, and Administrative. Consequently, Katz’s (1955) original three category model was expanded to include five areas of Managerial Competencies or Domains (noting that a manager’s work is rarely confined to one Domain). These included (p.46):

Conceptual/Creative Domain: this refers to the cognitive skills associated with comprehending important elements of the job. It should be noted that the creative term was added to encompass recent understanding of functions related to brain and creative thought.

The Leadership Domain: this domain provides a strategic link between the Conceptual/Creative Domain and all other domains.

The Interpersonal Domain: this domain focuses on the skills for effective interaction with others.

The Administrative Domain: this domain addresses the activities that lie between the Interpersonal Domain and the Technical Domain. It refers to the personnel management and financial management aspects and does not mean paper work and processes that are found in most aspects of the organization.

The Technical Domain: this refers to the actual work the organization does such as production standards; work processes; monitoring, reporting and evaluating processes; and the knowledge and skills required to implement them.

Sandwith (1993) claimed that a competency model based on these five Domains can be very useful for organizations because: (1) the model can develop a competency profile for a particular job to identify the knowledge and skills requirements, (2) the competency requirements of an individual can be matched to that for a particular job, (3) appropriate learning tools can be identified to accommodate competency needs in one or more Domains, and (4) the model can provide a complete set of managerial competency profiles which can aid in creating a comprehensive framework for training and development efforts of organizations (p.45).

The Managerial Competencies Model is socially significant addressing essential issues about hiring, training, and promoting techniques in the discipline of management in general and sociology and psychology in particular; and is useful in describing and predicting managerial effectiveness among those aspiring leadership positions. Later, various researchers such as Kay and Russette (2000) and Tas et al. (1996) conducted studies that verified the propositions, or five areas of Managerial Competencies, providing empirical validity to this model. The major proposition with conflicting results is related to the ranking of Technical over Interpersonal competencies which necessitates the need for further empirical evaluation in this area (Kay & Russette, 2000) while the most useful proposition is the dominance of leadership competencies in those same studies. The model has been adapted to different situations and populations with over seventy studies referencing its use in recent management history.

The idea of testing for competence in the hospitality industry is credited to Richard Tas (1988) who conducted what is considered the pioneering study that aimed at identifying important competencies for hotel general manager trainees. Tas (1988) introduced a conceptual framework that identified three categories: Essential Competencies, Considerably Important Competencies, and Moderately Important Competencies. Tas suggested that the most important competencies were focused on human relations skills.

Tas’s (1988) conceptual framework has been used by many scholars in the field such as Baum (1990) and Okeiyi et al. (1994); and had been adapted by Tas et al. (1996) to include another competency model by Sandwith (1993). Several empirical studies such as that by Kay and Russette (2000) led to a special focus on Essential Competencies (EC) and their significance in selection and recruitment of managers as well as in the preparation of hospitality programs curricula.

Examples of major studies that followed Tas’s suit are those belonging to Okeiyi et al. (1994) that focused on competencies in F&B management; Tas et al. (1996) that focused on competencies related to property management; Kay and Russette (2000) that focused on competencies related to general hospitality management; and Chung-Herrera et al. (2003) that presented a model focused on leadership competencies needed for future hospitality managers.

Managerial Competencies in the lodging industry were measured using the club manager competency survey developed by Koenigsfeld (2007). The original survey consisted of three sections: club and manager demographics, Managerial Competencies, and ability and success measure with a total of 356 questions. Of those, the second section consisted of 151 Managerial Competencies that were placed into five Domains according to Sandwith’s (1993) Competency Domain Model.

For the purposes of this paper, the Managerial Competencies developed by Koenigsfeld (2007) were adapted to reflect those of the lodging industry instead of the club industry. The same five-point Likert scale was used to measure the Managerial Competencies of managers in the Lebanese lodging industry. Worth mentioning that the competency model developed by Koenigsfeld (2007) was used with permission for adaptation to fit the purpose of the study. Moreover, lodging managers, in this study, are defined as those who are 18 years of age or older, speak and write English fluently, are currently employed at a hotel in Lebanon, and who are holding the title of at least a department manager in the hotel.

2.4 Research Justification

Today, most large international companies including hospitality companies, are spread over the world with leadership teams managing the global operations; such teams and their leaders have a critical task ahead of them due to “highly diverse cultural bases, little face-to-face contact, and infrequent full-scale team meetings. Their leaders are projected to them electronically or via videoconference. They must constantly deal with the issue of weak commitment, divergent values and ambiguous power bases” (Miller, 2001, p. 26-27). Evidently, disasters happen and whether they are natural or manmade, successful organizations are realizing the importance of leadership and its valuable role in steering the operation to safe harbor with the least possible damage.

Effective leadership and Managerial Competencies is a topic of local and global interest (Chapman & Lovell, 2006; Chung-Herrera et al., 2003; Katz, 1955; Sandwith, 1993). Effective and competent leaders have been identified as crucial to organizations wanting to thrive locally, nationally, or globally. From there, competency models have started to emerge based on studies from various researchers who preached their usefulness on multi-levels such as increasing organizational performance, reducing executive turnover rates, improving training and development programs, and improving educational programs to offer more compatible curricula. As such, having and continuously updating competency modeling can influence the performance of hospitality industry leaders in general and the lodging industry leaders in particular to show better performance in competitive times (Dalton, 1997; Kay & Russette, 2000; Mirabile, 1997; Okeiyi et al., 1994; Perdue et al., 2002; Sandwith, 1993; Tas, 1988; Tas et al., 1996).

It is noteworthy to mention that the investigation of Managerial Competencies in the lodging industry (before investigating relationships with other variables such as Exemplary Leadership) is a new area of study that has only recently attracted the attention of researchers and practitioners in the field (Chung-Herrera et al., 2003; Kay & Russette, 2000; Okeiyi et al., 1994; Perdue et al., 2002; Tas, 1988; Tas et al., 1996). While recommendations of studies done so far suggest the need to pursue research in more hospitality-related industries and in various geographical locations; preliminary research using databases of scholarly, peer-reviewed articles yielded no results of Managerial Competencies and its relationship to Exemplary Leadership in the lodging industry. Moreover, no results were found of such relationship as pertaining to the country of Lebanon. This was a major gap in the literature that is hoped to be filled in by extending research in this field.

The topic of this study is researchable because all variables, research questions, and hypotheses could be measured by scientific questionnaires and statistical analysis. This study is also feasible, because it can be implemented under reasonable time and cost limits.

2.5 Research Question

The aim of this study was to determine if there is a relationship between Managerial Competencies and Exemplary Leadership practices. There is one major research question accompanied by one main hypothesis (H) and five (5) sub-hypotheses. The main research question of this study was to empirically investigate the relationship between Lebanese lodging industry managers’ perceived importance of Managerial Competencies and Exemplary Leadership practices.

2.6 Research Hypotheses

H1: There is a significant positive relationship between perceived importance of Managerial Competencies and Exemplary Leadership practices of managers in the Lebanese lodging industry.

H1a: There is a significant positive relationship between perceived importance of Managerial Competencies and the “model the way” practice of managers in the Lebanese lodging industry.

H1b: There is a significant positive relationship between perceived importance of Managerial Competencies and the “inspire a shared vision” practice of managers in the Lebanese lodging industry.

H1c: There is a significant positive relationship between perceived importance of Managerial Competencies and the “challenge the process” practice of managers in the Lebanese lodging industry.

H1d: There is a significant positive relationship between perceived importance of Managerial Competencies and the “enable others to act” practice of managers in the Lebanese lodging industry.

H1e: There is a significant positive relationship between perceived importance of Managerial Competencies and the “encourage the heart” practice of managers in the Lebanese lodging industry.

3 METHODOLOGY

3.1 Research Design

To examine the relationship among the Managerial Competencies and Exemplary Leadership practices of managers in the lodging industry, a study was conducted on managers of lodging properties in Lebanon. The design was a non-experimental, quantitative, explanatory, correlational design, and was conducted through an onsite survey to collect data. An explanatory research design is a “correlational design in which the researcher is interested in the extent to which two variables (or more) co-vary, that is, where the change in one variable is reflected in changes in the other” (Creswell, 2005, p. 327). Based on the literature review, there are no empirical studies that have examined the research question and hypotheses outlined in this study.

The purpose of this research design was to test one hypothesis with H1 having five sub-hypotheses. Multiple regression analysis was utilized with SPSS to test the aforementioned hypotheses. The independent variables are the Managerial Competencies of managers in the Lebanese lodging industry; the dependent variable is Exemplary Leadership practices.

In this study, lodging properties consisted of property characteristics that include sleeping accommodations among an array of services. Managerial Competencies referred to the Conceptual/Creative, Interpersonal, and Leadership skills of managers based on a model developed by Sandwith (1993); and tested by Koenigsfeld (2007) in the club management industry. Finally, Exemplary Leadership referred to five practices identified by Kouzes and Posner (1995) (model the way, inspire a shared vision, challenge the process, enable others to act, and encourage the heart) as essential for success as an effective manager.

The survey contained three parts where Part A covered the Demographic Profile of Lebanese managers participating in the survey, Part B covered the Managerial Competencies adapted from the instrument developed by Koenigsfeld (2007), with permission, and part C covered the five practices of Exemplary Leadership developed by Kouzes and Posner (1995) with permission.

3.2 Sampling Plan

The target population consisted of general managers and department managers of all hotels in Lebanon. Due to the relatively small size of the country and in an effect to maximize responses, the accessible population was the same as the target population. The main entity contacted is the Ministry of Tourism since all hotels are required to obtain permission to operate and comply with the Ministry’s rules and regulations. Also, to ensure anonymity, only hotels with a minimum of five managers will be contacted to participate in the survey. The selection of participants was based on certain criteria to enhance the internal validity of the study. For inclusion in this study, participants must be:

18 years or older

English speaking

Currently employed at a hotel in Lebanon

Holding the title of General manager or, at the minimum, a Department Manager of the hotel

The target and accessible population were the same for this study: the General Manager and Department Heads holding the title of at least a Manager in a hotel whose position is indicative of leadership to a group of hotel employees. Therefore, the final sample consisted of hotel managers and department managers who responded to the researcher’s request for administering the survey on them and who fit the eligibility criteria for this research.

Because this plan is categorized as a convenience sampling plan, the participation rate is not a key figure to mention since only willing and eligible employees participated in the survey. Nevertheless, not all returned surveys were usable surveys.

In this study, a total of thirty hotels were contacted to participate by sending an email to the general manager and/or human resource manager of each hotel. From these, and over a period of two months, a total of 284 surveys were picked up from the various participating hotels resulting in 254 usable surveys which constitutes a valid response rate of 89% (254/284).

3.3 Survey Instruments

For this research, the questionnaire to be used was made up of three survey instruments. Part A was developed by the researcher and measured the Demographic Profile of managers/leaders, Part B measured the Managerial Competencies of managers/leaders using an adapted version of the Club Manager Competency Survey developed by Koenigsfeld (2007). Part C measured the five practices of Exemplary Leadership using the LPI instrument developed by Kouzes and Posner (1995).

3.4 Data Collection and Analysis Methods

Hotels with a minimum of five managers were contacted. Permission was requested from General Managers of hotels prior to delivering and administering surveys. Completion of the survey by respondents was anonymous. A box with a slit on top was left at the Front Desk where respondents dropped off their finished surveys.

The data collected from the survey was analyzed using the Statistical Product and Service Solutions, (SPSS) version 19.0, an IBM product acquired by IBM in 2009 (Hejase and Hejase, 2013, p. 57). The methods of data analysis included descriptive statistics, Pearson product moment correlation, factor analysis and multiple regression. Validity of the instrument was enhanced by having Parts A, B, and C reviewed by a panel of experts. All hypotheses were tested using a 5 percent level of significance:

To test H1, if there is a significant positive relationship between Managerial Competencies and Exemplary Leadership practices, multiple regression was used.

4 Results and Findings

4.1 Demographics

The sample indicated that respondents were almost entirely Lebanese (94.1%) with North Americans (1.2%) and Western Europeans (2.8%) comprising less than five percent of the sample. The majority of respondents were between 18 and 34 years old (75.5%). Respondents over the age of 65 represented the smallest age group (1.2%). Almost two thirds of respondents were males (69.3%) and about one third was females (30.7%).

The majority of respondents had an undergraduate degree (44.1%) followed by those with a graduate degree (25.6%) while those with a doctoral degree represented the smallest percentage of respondents (2.4%). A little less than two third (60.6%) of respondents studied hospitality management during their education period.

The majority of respondents had an average of three years of professional experience in the lodging industry (40.9%) followed by those with an average of eight years of experience (29.9%) with few respondents having over twenty years of experience in the lodging industry (2.4%). Almost two thirds of respondents had an average of three years of management experience in the lodging industry (67.7%) followed by those who have an average of eight years of management experience in the lodging industry (19.7%). Most respondents had three years as an average for years employed in current position (83.9%).

The majority of respondents worked in hotel properties that had an average of 150 rooms (41.7%). Properties that had an average of 450 or more rooms represented the lowest category (1.6%). As far as number of employees per property, 54.3% worked in hotels that employed an average of 150 employees while only 3.6% worked in properties that employed an average of 450 or more employees.

Since only four and five star hotels were selected for the study, respondents who worked for five star hotels as rated by the Lebanese government were 57.1% compared to 42.9% working for four star hotels. As for property affiliation, the majority worked for chain hotels (61.8%) with the rest working for independents (38.2%). Finally, 78.7% of respondents classified hotels they work in as city hotels compared to 21.3 describing hotels they work in as resort hotels.

4.2 Frequency Distribution for LPI Survey

Worth mentioning that respondents in their assessment of all selected statements, allocated ten scales ranging from 1: Almost never; to 5: Occasionally; and then 10: Almost always. For each of the five practices, hotel managers responded to six items related to their perception of the frequency of use with which they used these items.

Model the way practice. Model the way encompasses two commitments that revolve around clarifying values by finding one’s own voice and affirming shared ideas, as well as setting an example by aligning actions with shared values. In this practice, the mean for each of the six behaviors ranged from 7.75 (sets a personal example of what is expected) to 8.44 (follows through on promises and commitments).

Inspire a shared vision practice. Inspire a shared vision practice encompasses two commitments that revolve around envisioning the future by imagining exciting and ennobling possibilities, as well as enlisting others in a common vision by appealing to shared aspirations. The mean for each of the six behaviors in this practice ranged from 7.48 (talks about future trends influencing our work) to 8.13 (speaks with conviction about meaning of work).

Challenge the process practice. Challenge the process practice encompasses two commitments that revolve around searching for opportunities by seizing the initiatives, as well as experimenting and taking risks by generating small wins and learning from experience. The mean for each of the six behaviors in this practice ranged from 7.41 (experiments and takes risks) to 8.10 (makes certain that goal plans and milestones are set.

Enable others to act practice. Enable others to act practice encompasses two commitments that revolve around fostering collaboration by building trust, as well as strengthening others by increasing self-determination and developing competence. In this practice, the mean for each of the six behaviors, ranged from 7.39 (supports decisions other people make) to 8.67 (treats people with dignity and respect).

Encourage the heart practice. Encourage the heart practice encompasses two commitments that revolve around recognizing contributions by showing appreciation to individual excellence, as well as celebrating the values and victories by creating a spirit of community. The mean for each of the six behaviors in this practice ranged from 7.66 (recognizes people for commitment to shared values) to 8.48 (give team members appreciation and support).

4.3 Frequency Distribution for Managerial Competency Survey

Part B of the survey was the Managerial Competency Survey and contained 60 Managerial Competencies for hotel managers or supervisors to rate regarding importance of use. Based on Sandwith’s (1993) Competency Domain Model, the competencies were placed in three Domains: Conceptual/Creative, Interpersonal, and Leadership. In this study an adaptation of Koenigsfeld (2007) resulted in three Domains remaining the same. Each competency was rated on importance using a five point Likert scale where five (5) was critically important and one (1) was not important.

Conceptual/Creative Domain. For the Conceptual/Creative Domain, hotel managers responded to twelve items (eleven items plus one overall item for the Domain) related to their perception of the importance of use with which they used these items. The Conceptual/Creative Domain encompasses items related to the organization’s mission, strategic environment, new idea development, and adaptation to changing circumstances (Koenigsfeld, 2007). The mean for this Domain ranged from 3.70 (Considers a broad range of factors “internal and/or external trends” when solving problems and making decisions) to 3.94 (Translates business strategies into clear objectives and tactics).

Interpersonal Domain. For the Interpersonal Domain, hotel managers responded to seventeen items (sixteen plus one overall item for the Domain) related to their perception of the importance of use with which they used these items. The Interpersonal Domain encompasses competencies related to communication functions such as writing, speaking, and listening as well as interactions with others including negotiations and providing feedback to employees (Koenigsfeld, 2007). The mean for this Domain ranged from 3.54 (Engages in social and causal-rapport communication with individuals outside the organization) to 4.05 (maintains working relationships and good communication with all departments).

Leadership Domain. For the Leadership Domain, hotel managers responded to 31 (30 plus one overall item for the Domain) related to their perception of the importance of use with which they used these items. In addition to providing a link between the Conceptual/Creative and other Domain, the Leadership Domain encompasses competencies that link thoughts and ideas into action (Sandwith, 1993). Leaders must be trustworthy role models that exhibit trust in followers and supporters as well as empower them to do their job effectively (Koenigsfeld, 2007). The mean for this Domain ranged from 3.69 (Employs a team approach to solve problems when appropriate) to 4.18 (treats people with respect).

4.4 Reliability and Validity of the Measurement Scales

The survey was composed of three parts which included two scales that were used in this study. Part A was developed by the researcher and contained questions related to the Demographic Profile of managers where managers worked. Part A had a total of thirteen dichotomous or multiple choice items. Part B was the Managerial Competency survey by Koenigsfeld (2007), and adapted for this study, measured hotel managers’ perceived importance of competencies. Part B had a total of 60 questions under three overall Domains or Clusters. Lastly, part C of the survey was the Leadership Practices Inventory (LPI), developed by Kouzes and Posner (2002), measured hotel managers’ perceived importance of the 30 statements that make up the LPI.

Prior to answering research questions and testing hypotheses, reliability and validity analyses were conducted on each of the two scales to ensure the adequacy of their psychometric qualities. Exploratory factor analysis and internal consistency reliability analysis using Cronbach’s alpha for both scales was used.

Cronbach’s alpha for the three Domains/Clusters of the managerial competency survey ranged from .878 (Conceptual Creative Cluster), followed by .894 (Interpersonal Domain) to .947 (Leadership Domain) which exceeded the minimum of .7 (Lee et al., 2005). For all three Domains/Clusters, there were no items which would significantly increase Cronbach’s alpha if deleted.

Cronbach’s alpha for the five practices of Exemplary Leadership ranged from .821 (Model the Way) to .868 (Encourage the Heart) which exceeded the minimum of .7 (Lee et al., 2005).

4.4.1 Exploratory factor analysis for the managerial competencies survey

Factor analysis is used to identify groups or Clusters of variables by reducing data from a group of interrelated variables to a smaller set of factors (Field, 2009, p. 628). By extracting interrelated variables, factor analysis ensures an instrument’s construct validity (Morgan, Leech, Gloeckner, & Barrett, 2011). The Managerial Competencies Survey is composed of 60 statements that are grouped under three main Domains (Sandwith, 1993): Conceptual/Creative, Interpersonal, and Leadership.

Kaiser-Meyer-Olkin (KMO) and Bartlett’s test of Sphericity were used to examine the sampling adequacy of items and the multivariate normality of items (Field, 2009). In general, KMO test values between 0.7 and 0.8 are considered “good”, values between 0.8 and 0.9 are considered “great”, and values above 0.9 are considered “superb” (Field, 2009, p. 659). As for Bartlett’s test, it should have a significance value less than .05 (p<.05) for factor analysis to be appropriate (Field, 2009, p. 660). In this study, KMO test result was .894 and Bartlett’s test had a significance value of .000. Both tests indicated that factor analysis on the scale was appropriate.

In the following step, Exploratory Factor Analysis (EFA) was conducted to examine the 60 variables that make up the Managerial Competencies Survey and determine which ones were associated with which Domain or Cluster. To further establish construct validity of the Managerial Competencies Survey, exploratory factor analysis (EFA) using Varimax rotation was conducted on the 60-item Managerial Competencies scale. Factor extraction was initially based on eigenvalues greater than 1.0. However, initial extraction resulted in 31 factors. Subsequent factor extraction was based on a fixed number of factors to extract, resulting in four factors that accounted for 52.30% of the total variance explained.

Generally, a loading of 0.4 is recommended for satisfactory EFA analysis (Field, 2009). This was the cutoff used when computing the factor totals for each of the Managerial Competency Domains/Clusters. The factor loadings were as follows:

Factor 1 (Leadership/Interpersonal) consisted of 23 items (19 Leadership and four Interpersonal) with factor loadings ranging from .406 to .639. Factor 2 (Conceptual/Creative) consisted of eleven items that all belonged to the same Domain with factor loadings ranging from .447 to .661. Factor 3 (Interpersonal) consisted of six factors (five Interpersonal and one Leadership) with factor loadings ranging from .422 to .583. Factor 4 (Leadership) consisted of four factors that all belonged to this Domain with factor loadings ranging from .414 to .589.

4.4.2 Exploratory factor analysis for the LPI

The LPI is composed of thirty statements where six statements measure each of the five key practices of exemplary leaders: model the way, inspire a shared vision, challenge the process, enable others to act and encourage the heart.

In this study, KMO test was .942 and Bartlett’s test had a significance value of .000. Both tests indicate that factor analysis on the scale is appropriate.

In the following step, EFA was conducted to examine the thirty variables that make up the LPI and determine which ones were associated with which practice.

To further establish construct validity of the LPI scale, exploratory factor analysis (EFA) using Varimax rotation was conducted on the 30-item LPI scale. Five factors: model the way, inspire a shared vision, challenge the process, enable others to act, and encourage the heart were expected to emerge from the analysis. Factor extraction was based on eigenvalues greater than 1.0 resulting in four factors that accounted for 65.30% of the total variance explained.

Generally, a loading of 0.4 is recommended for satisfactory EFA analysis; however, to ensure all items loaded on to a factor, a cutoff of 0.35 is used (Field, 2009, p. 645). The factor loadings were as follows: Factor 1 consisted of ten items (four encourage, three enable, two model, and one challenge) with factor loading ranging from .460 to .805. Factor 2 consisted of nine items (two inspire, two enable, two challenge, two encourage and one model) with factor loadings ranging from .470 to .749. Factor 3 consisted of five items (three inspire, one model and one challenge) with factor loadings ranging from .498 to .724. Factor 4 consisted of six items (two model, two challenge, one inspire and one enable) with factor loadings ranging from .449 to .760.

4.5 Results for Hypotheses Testing

Research Hypothesis 1

H1: There is a significant positive relationship between perceived importance of Managerial Competencies and Exemplary Leadership practices of managers in the Lebanese lodging industry.

To test Hypothesis 1, multiple regression analyses using the hierarchical (forward) method were performed to determine whether there was a significant explanatory (correlational) relationship between each of the Exemplary Leadership referred to five practices (model the way, inspire a shared vision, challenge the process, enable others to act, and encourage the heart) as essential for success as an effective manager as dependent variable and perceived importance of the three different Managerial Competencies (1-Conceptual/Creative Domain; 2-Interpersonal Domain; 3-Leadership Domain) as independent variables.

Before performing regression analysis, Pearson R was used to determine the statistical significance of the correlations between the pairs of variables. Then regression model analysis was fully performed. Worth mentioning that Collinearity statistics were examined to assure validity of the exercises performed. The Variance Inflation Factor (VIF) is a predictor of strong linear relationships with other predictors and may be a concern if over 10, while tolerance should be greater than .10 (Field, 2005, p. 224). For all the models produced in H1 regressions, the (VIF) ranged from 1.000 to 4.291, while the tolerance ranged from .240 to 1.000. These results were well within the recommended guidelines, suggesting multicollinearity was not a problem for H1 hypotheses. Finally, although t-tests are easiest to conceptualize as measures of whether the predictor is making a significant contribution to the model, the standardized beta values (β) provide a better insight into the importance of a predictor in the model. Therefore, the standardized beta values (β) will be used to indicate the degree of importance in the best model (Field, 2009, p. 239).

Pearson R was used to determine the correlations between perceived importance of Managerial Competencies (1-Conceptual/Creative Domain; 2-Interpersonal Domain; 3-Leadership Domain).and the 5 practices of exemplary leadership. Results showed significant correlations with all Managerial Competencies. Results are presented in Table 1.

Table 1: Pearson R Correlations between the Three Managerial Competencies and Exemplary Leadership Five Practices

Managerial Competencies and Model the Way Practice

Pearson R

p-value

Conceptual/Creative

Interpersonal

Leadership

.362

.444

.522

.000

.000

.000

Managerial Competencies and Inspire a Shared Vision Practice

Pearson R

p-value

Conceptual/Creative

Interpersonal

Leadership

.357

.424

.483

.000

.000

.000

Managerial Competencies and Challenge the Process Practice

Pearson R

p-value

Conceptual/Creative

Interpersonal

Leadership

.368

.455

.526

.000

.000

.000

Managerial Competencies and Enable Others to Act Practice

Pearson R

p-value

Conceptual/Creative

Interpersonal

Leadership

.374

.440

.528

.000

.000

.000

Managerial Competencies and Encourage the Heart Practice

Pearson R

p-value

Conceptual/Creative

Interpersonal

Leadership

.362

.461

.543

.000

.000

.000

Note. p < .05.

Results of the regression analysis are presented next for each hypothesis.

H1a: There is a significant positive relationship between perceived importance of Managerial Competencies and the model the way practice of managers in the Lebanese lodging industry.

Using hierarchical multiple regression testing for a relationship between perceived importance of the three Managerial Competencies and the model the way practice of managers in the Lebanese lodging industry. The model had significant F value (F = 12.345, p = .000) with Adjusted R2, explaining between 31% to 33.7% of the variance. As such, the model was selected as the explanatory model to predict managers’ perceived importance of Managerial Competencies and the model the way practice.

Analysis of the individual predictors in the explanatory model indicated significant explanatory relationships between one predictor and the model the way practice. The standardized beta coefficient (β) for the predictor indicated its relative importance in explaining the model the way practice results. Leadership was the most important predictor in the model (t = 5.339, p = .000, β = .578). Thus, H1a was partially supported.

H1b: There is a significant positive relationship between perceived importance of Managerial Competencies and the inspire a shared vision practice of managers in the Lebanese lodging industry.

A model was produced from the hierarchical multiple regression testing for a relationship between perceived importance of the Managerial Competencies and the inspire a shared vision practice of managers in the Lebanese lodging industry. The model had significant F value (F = 9.441, p = .000) with Adjusted R2, explaining between 25.0% and 28.0% of the variance. As such, the model was selected as the explanatory model to predict managers’ perceived importance of Managerial Competencies and the inspire a shared vision practice.

Analysis of the individual predictors in the explanatory model indicated significant explanatory relationships between one predictor and the inspire a shared vision practice. The standardized beta coefficient (β) for the predictor indicated its relative importance in explaining model the way practice results. Leadership was the most important predictor in the model (t = 3.683, p = .000, β = .415).

Leadership Managerial Competencies had a positive relationship with the inspire a shared vision practice indicating that managers with higher perceptions of the importance of those Managerial Competencies used the inspire a shared vision practice more frequently. Thus, H1b was partially supported.

H1c: There is a significant positive relationship between perceived importance of Managerial Competencies and the challenge the process practice of managers in the Lebanese lodging industry.

A model was produced from the hierarchical multiple regression testing for a relationship between perceived importance of the Managerial Competencies and the challenge the process practice of managers in the Lebanese lodging industry. The model had significant F value, (F = 11.035, p = .000) with Adjusted R2, explaining between 28.5% and 31.3% of the variance. The model was selected as the best explanatory model to predict managers’ perceived importance of Managerial Competencies and the challenge the process practice.

Analysis of the individual predictors in the best explanatory model indicated significant explanatory relationships between one predictor and the challenge the processpractice. There is no need to indicate the order of strength relationship since Leadership was the only significant predictor in the model (t = 4.817, p = .000, β = .535).

Leadership Managerial Competencies had a positive relationship with the challenge the process practice indicating that managers with higher perceptions of the importance of those Managerial Competencies used the challenge the process practice more frequently. Thus, H1c was partially supported.

H1d: There is a significant positive relationship between perceived importance of Managerial Competencies and the enable others to act practice of managers in the Lebanese lodging industry.

A model was produced from the hierarchical multiple regression testing for a relationship between perceived importance of the Managerial Competencies and the enable others to act practice of managers in the Lebanese lodging industry. The model had significant F value, (F = 11.264, p = .000) and had the Adjusted R2, explaining between 28.9% and 31.7% of the variance. As such, this model was the best explanatory model to predict managers’ perceived importance of Managerial Competencies and the enable others to act practice.

Analysis of the individual predictors in the explanatory model indicated significant explanatory relationships between two predictors and the enable others to act practice. The standardized beta coefficient (β) for each of the predictors indicated its relative importance in explaining the enable others to act practice results. Leadership was the most important predictor in the model (t = 5.143, p = .000, β = .565).

Leadership Managerial Competencies had a positive relationship with the enable others to act practice indicating that managers with higher perceptions of the importance of those Managerial Competencies used the enable others to act practice more frequently.

H1e There is a significant positive relationship between perceived importance of Managerial Competencies and the encourage the heart practice of managers in the Lebanese lodging industry.

A model was produced from the hierarchical multiple regression testing for a relationship between the ten Managerial Competencies and the encourage the heart practice of managers in the Lebanese lodging industry. The model had significant F value, (F = 12.599, p = .000) and had Adjusted R2, explaining between 31.4% and 34.1% of the variance. As such, this model was selected as the explanatory model to predict managers’ perceived importance of Managerial Competencies and the encourage the heart practice.

Analysis of the individual predictors in the explanatory model indicated significant explanatory relationships between one predictor and the encourage the heart practice. The standardized beta coefficient (β) for the predictor indicated its relative importance in explaining encourage the heart practice results. Leadership was the most important predictor in the model (t = 5.222, p = .000, β = .563).

Leadership Managerial Competencies had positive relationships with the encourage the heart practice indicating that managers with higher perceptions of the importance of those Managerial Competencies used the encourage the heart practice more frequently. Thus, H4e was partially supported.

5 DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION

The importance of competency models lies in their ability to accurately develop job profiles as well as in performance appraisals by rating an employee’s level of competency against a standard model or profile selected by the organization (Mirabile, 1997). Sandwith (1993) added that the value of a Competency Domain Model is particularly important for large organizations because it provides an excellent template that guides training programs in profiling job competencies and identifying needed competencies for each managerial level.

Large organizations with multiple managerial levels are great beneficiaries of Managerial Competencies (Katz, 1955); however, the hospitality industry in general and the lodging industry in particular have plenty to benefit from adopting competency models in identifying competencies necessary for current and aspiring leaders of lodging establishments. In today’s global business environment, lodging companies that want to stay competitive must identify the competencies required not only for today but also for tomorrow’s industry leadership. Existing research in competency modeling, while in its early stages, is already proving to be fruitful for many hospitality organizations. Prior studies in the hospitality industry, however, explored only competencies needed by lodging managers or leadership styles required for successful leadership in the lodging industry independently. This study was the first to combine theories of managerial competency modeling and a currently popular leadership style, namely, Exemplary Leadership. Furthermore, based on the researcher’s literature review, this study was the first in Lebanon to use the Leadership Practices Inventory (LPI) by Kouzes and Posner. Therefore, this study extended previous research to a new area of study as well as a new culture and thus contributed to the existing body of knowledge.

The purpose of this non-experimental and correlational (explanatory) study is to determine if there is a relationship between Lebanese lodging industry managers’ perceived importance of Managerial Competencies and Exemplary Leadership practices.

5.1 Research Hypothesis 1

H1: There is a significant positive relationship between perceived importance of Managerial Competencies and Exemplary Leadership practices of managers in the Lebanese lodging industry.

Hypothesis 1 tested for a relationship between the perceived importance of Managerial Competencies (1-Conceptual/Creative Domain; 2-Interpersonal Domain; 3-Leadership Domain) and the five practices of the dependent variable, Exemplary Leadership (1-model the way, 2-inspire a shared vision, 3-challenge the process, 4-enable others to act, and 5-encourage the heart). Therefore, Hypothesis 2 had five separate sub-hypotheses.

H1 was supported. All of the five sub-hypotheses (H1a, H1b, H1c, H1d, and H1e) were partially supported indicating that there is a relationship between perceived importance of Managerial Competencies and each of the five practices of Exemplary Leadership. Although this study’s literature review did not find previous research that studied the relationship between Managerial Competencies and Exemplary Leadership practices instruments, studies using similar constructs supported findings. Table 2 presents a summary of results for H1 and its sub-hypotheses. The analysis of results follows.

Table 2: H1 Summary Results

<td v

Hypotheses

Conceptual Creative

Interpersonal

Leadership

Results

H1

There is a significant relationship between the perceived importance of Managerial Competencies and Exemplary Leadership practices of managers in the Lebanese Lodging Industry.

Partially Supported

H1a

Managerial Competencies → Model the Way

Partially Supported

H1b

Managerial Competencies → Inspire a Shared Vision

Partially Supported

H1c

Managerial Competencies → Challenge the Process

Partially Supported

H1d

Managerial Competencies → Enable Others to act