service excellence, hospitality, case study, healthcare, qualitative research


This study investigated service excellence and hospitality in a healthcare setting. It is unique from other hospitality research in that it considers hospitality and service excellence as separate concepts, applicable across industries. Part of the premise of this study explores how hospitality extends past service excellence to create a comfortable and welcoming environment to combat patient anxiety and stress. Furthermore, this is one of the first qualitative studies on the importance of service excellence and hospitality in the healthcare industry. This case study measured top management's perceptions of service excellence and hospitality within one community-based hospital located in Orlando, Florida. The researcher conducted one-hour interviews with twelve leading managers to gain their opinions of service excellence and hospitality within their organization. Consistent with a thorough review of literature, three conclusions were revealed: 1) there is a strong, but mixed, top management commitment to service excellence and hospitality throughout organization; 2) the terms "service excellence" and "hospitality", when used, were discussed interchangeably as if the two theories were equivalent; and 3) External barriers to the patient experience that were identified included improvement of technology, increased consumerism, quality regulations, and workforce deficits. Internal barriers to the patient experience include communication and inconsistency. The research provided implications to healthcare organizations that are looking to implement practices of hospitality and service management to improve service delivery. Additionally, the study of hospitality outside the industry offers ideas of improvement for hospitality management and organizational researchers. It can also be used as a foundation to formulate additional studies in the area of service excellence and hospitality within the healthcare field, as this research is limited to only top management's views.


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Graduation Date



Severt, Denver


Master of Science (M.S.)


Rosen College of Hospitality Management

Degree Program

Hospitality and Tourism Management








Release Date

December 2004

Length of Campus-only Access


Access Status

Masters Thesis (Open Access)


Rosen College of Hospitality Management