Managerial Accounting Integration through Collaborative Teaching: The Case of an International Hotel Strategic Plan

Article excerpt

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

This paper describes the challenges involved in teaching hospitality management students to develop an international strategic plan for establishing a hotel in a foreign country. The uniqueness of this pedagogical study is that it shows the importance of integrating managerial accounting concepts in developing a strategic plan. A practice-oriented simulation was utilized in an MBA global strategy course at an international hospitality institute located in Switzerland. Students from various cultures gained experience from working in functional teams such as general management, marketing, accounting and finance, operations, human resources, and legal and public relations while focusing on a common goal. Another aspect of this study is that it documents the exploration of co-teaching a course by faculty with different areas of expertise.

Keywords: Managerial accounting, Hospitality industry, International strategic plan, Co-teaching, Power Distance

OVERVIEW

This article discusses the trial and subsequent assessment of co-teaching global strategic planning; namely developing a plan for establishing a hotel in a foreign country in the MBA capstone global strategy course offered to a multinational student body at a hospitality institute in Switzerland. One of the purposes of this exercise was to help students realize the importance of managerial accounting concepts in strategic decision making and the integration of these concepts into other functional areas such as marketing, human resources, operations, and general management, specifically for the hospitality industry. Current literature regarding management education and training emphasizes flexibility, critical thinking, analytical interpretations of volumes of data, and adaptability to complex and challenging environments. Sharpening these skills while working in diverse teams toward a common goal is critical for successful strategy. In the study, four student teams were formed from a pool of forty-six MBA students; each group was divided into sub-groups by functional departments. Two faculty members, one with expertise in the hospitality industry and one with an international management and accounting background, shared the teaching over a nine-week period. The facilitation of the development of a strategic plan was the focus of the final week of the course, in an intensive format. Results and feedback from students regarding the experience is presented later. Opportunities for further improvements in the pedagogical method and future research are identified.

The paper is divided into eight sections: 1) learning objectives, 2) literature review, 3) history and evolution of the hotel strategic plan, 4) implementation of the plan in the classroom, 5) results and feedback from students, 6) discussion, 7) lessons learned, and 8) conclusion and implications for future improvements and research. The paper is not written to provide a detailed lesson plan on the integration of accounting concepts into a strategic plan, but it illustrates one attempt to integrate managerial accounting into other areas of a plan. The references section lists textbooks that may help in the discourse of these concepts.

LEARNING OBJECTIVES

The learning objectives of were for students to experience the importance of:

1. collaboration and synergy between various areas of expertise in developing a global strategic plan for a hotel;

2. integration of managerial accounting and finance concepts to other functional areas of a strategic plan;

3. practical choices made in international business because of cultural, socio-political and economic differences; and

4. challenges of globalization for the hospitality industry, specifically for entering foreign markets.

LITERATURE REVIEW

The design of this pedagogical study was based on two main themes. The first theme is the retooling of the much criticized traditional business pedagogy, i. …