Career Paths of Hotel General Managers in Turkey

Fevzi Okumus, University of Central Florida
Kurtulus Karamustafa
Mehmet Sariisik
Sevki Ulema
Oguz Turkay


This article investigates the career paths of hotel general managers (HGMs) in a developing country, namely Turkey. Based on an in-depth literature review, a questionnaire was developed and data were collected from 168 HGMs in Turkey. Compared to previous studies, this study found a higher percentage of female HGMs working in hotels. According to the research findings, almost half of the respondents received formal education in hospitality and tourism. The participating respondents most frequently reached the HGM position through working in the front office department and the food and beverage department. Honesty, interpersonal skills, and loyalty were found to be the top three characteristics that helped the participants become HGMs. In terms of required skills, communication, human relations, taking initiatives, and the ability to formulate plans were the top four skills for the participants in their career development. Finally, learning a foreign language, having a college degree, and developing long-term career goals were the top three personal development strategies. This is one of the first studies investigating HGMs career paths in a developing country and it offers specific theoretical and practical implications on this important topic.