Constructing and performing hotel hospitality culture

Kirsti Laerdal, Catherine Palmer, Jo-Anne Lester

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article discusses the social processes underpinning the co-construction and performance of hotel hospitality culture. The influence of culture within the hospitality sector has inspired conceptual and empirical research resulting in a significant literature base. However, gaps remain in understanding how culture manifests itself through behaviour in the publicly accessible areas of a hotel. This gap was addressed by research designed to uncover the social processes and behavioural dynamics underpinning the construction of hotel culture/s. Informed by social constructionism, a purposeful sampling strategy and a range of qualitative methods were employed: participant observation, a fieldwork diary recording observations of behavioural encounters, conversational and semi-structured interviews. The findings demonstrate that hotel hospitality culture is co-constructed and performed through interactions between people. Two distinct hotel cultures emerged, Second home/extended family and Corporate leisure The findings provide a deeper, more holistic understanding of how hospitality culture is brought to life in hotels through the taken-for-granted social encounters between people, encounters wherein hospitality is given, received and experienced.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-26
Number of pages23
JournalHospitality and Society
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2022


  • hotel culture
  • performance
  • behaviour
  • hospitality culture
  • qualitative research
  • co-construction


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