Dr Simon Pawson Reveals: 3 Surprising Innovations in the New MBA in International Hotel Leadership

The hotel industry is booming, and it needs leaders.

Globally, new hotels are being built, and established brands are expanding their operations. Within the next decade More than 270 new hotels are in the pipeline for completion in Australia alone.

Each one of these new ventures is going to need outstanding leadership to be competitive in a dynamic ever changing marketplace. If you’re already working in this vibrant field, now is the perfect time to consider a move up the management ladder. This is where an MBA can come in handy.

In response to this growing demand, the Blue Mountains School of International Hotel Management has just launched an exciting new MBA of International Hotel Leadership.

What’s so exciting about this particular course? The best person to answer that question is Dr Simon Pawson.

Dr Pawson is the Associate Dean and a Research Fellow at the Blue Mountains International Hotel Management School (BMIHMS). Simon’s involvement with tourism and hospitality began with his childhood, when his parents founded Kingfisher Wildlife Park at Port Macquarie, NSW, Australia.

With a long and varied career in the industry behind him (as well as a PhD and a Masters of Tourism and Hotel Management) he has a wealth of knowledge to offer students. Simon has been a central part of our MBA-IHL project development team since day one, and he’s now leading the program rollout.

“The growth of the hotel sector, particularly in the Asia Pacific region has been phenomenal. The growth has also resulted in a demand for more senior executive hotel leaders, and created outstanding opportunities for those at middle management level ready to make the next step into a senior leadership or executive position.

Our MBA-IHL was created to equip those who are ready to make the next step with the specific theoretical knowledge and professional development to do so. Particularly, the program in its unique design and delivery options means that hoteliers can keep working in a full-time capacity while gaining this qualification at the same time.” – Dr. Pawson

Those ‘unique design and delivery options’ that Dr. Pawson refers to are exactly what makes this particular MBA of International Hotel Leadership so innovative.

So, what exactly are these special innovations, and why is Dr. Pawson so excited about them?

1. The course was designed entirely by those currently in a hotel leadership role.

Not just with some input, or a little contribution, the course content has been completely developed by your potential employers. So, you get to graduate into the workforce with a skill set that you know is exactly matched to employer demand.

“There are plenty of hotel management programs in the market, but very few if any hotel leadership programs that have been tailored address the knowledge and skills gap between middle management and senior hotel leadership.

This program was designed by industry. Senior hotel leaders came together and identified the specific knowledge and skills they believed were required by those who were seeking to move into a senior leadership position.”

2. The course has been developed using a new project-based approach to learning.

Instead of studying subjects, your MBA is made up of ‘project’ units, in other words project based learning. With each project, you are asked to solve a complex, ‘real-world’ problems and justify your solutions. Through this process, you develop essential leadership skills such as critical thinking, communication and creative problem solving.

“Graduates will be able to apply an advanced body of specialised knowledge to the changing environments in which they will work, as hotel leaders. They will develop the cognitive, technical and creative skills required to make effective business decisions in a global context.

Through project learning, they will develop the leadership and team-building skills necessary to lead in the dynamic 21st century hotel sector. Graduates will also acquire research skills that will equip them to interpret theoretical propositions and business-related data.

We want to go further than teaching. We want our students to learn how to teach them-selves, so that their lifelong learning and leadership skills become their currency.”

3. The course is 100% online, and can be taken in a range of flexible options.

If you’re enrolling in this MBA, chances are you’re already working in management. You just need an extra little push to reach a higher management position. With that in mind, the course was designed to be flexible, and can be completed from anywhere in the world, even if you move around. That’s essential if you’re employed in an international industry!

You also get to choose how many projects you’re doing at a time and pick out a balance to suit your working life.

“Each project (yes, we call them projects and not subjects or units) has been built around the concept of project learning. The micro modules offer a ‘one hour’ specialist topic, so that you can get a ‘taste’ of the MBA-IHL, or you can enrol into a single project, a graduate certificate (4 projects), a post graduate diploma (6 projects) or the full MBA-IHL (12 projects).”

Why study an MBA in International Hotel Leadership when you can work your way up in the business?

If you’re already in a hotel management role, you may be hoping to simply work your way up into a senior position one day. If that’s what you’re thinking, Dr Pawson has some advice to offer.

“I had already been in the industry for 14 years before I undertook my masters. It was like the ‘icing on the cake’. The program helped me to make far more sense of what was happening in the workplace, why it was happening, and what role a leader should play.

The MBA of International Hotel Management will do likewise. However this program, given its very tailored approach, it will prepare you for the specific challenges of executive leadership in today’s hotel sector. It will certainly give you ‘the edge’ when it comes to promotion.”

See here for more information about the Blue Mountains International Hotel Management School MBA of International Hotel Leadership.

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