How COVID-19 influences the future of service management professions

Kiwon Lee, Ning Kuang Chuang, Seonjeong Ally Lee, Aviad A. Israeli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Purpose: Crises influence individuals’ career development. The COVID-19 crisis has global impacts in financial, health and social aspects and service industries are at the forefront of the pervasive impacts. This study investigated how college students’ perceptions of COVID-19 interplayed with self-efficacy on their academic plans and further identified major differences between students in service-oriented and nonservice-oriented majors. Design/methodology/approach: A self-administered online survey was conducted with 299 undergraduates at a large Midwestern university during COVID-19. Regression analyses, including conditional analyses, examined the study hypotheses using SPSS. Findings: The results showed that, in general, students’ self-efficacy reduced their intentions to change their academic majors. The joint effects of self-efficacy and perception of COVID-19 diverged among students in nonservice-oriented majors but converged among students in service-oriented majors (e.g. hospitality and tourism). These students in the service fields showed more commitment to their current majors even as their concerns about the social implications of COVID-19 increased. Practical implications: This study suggests that academic institutions should try to improve students’ self-efficacy to maintain their career commitments during crisis times. Furthermore, service organizations should highlight the importance of social aspects as recovery from COVID-19 begins as a tool to recruit college graduates. Originality/value: The literature on career decisions of students in service industries is quite limited. This study enriches the body of career decisions research in the context of service management by highlighting how service sectors are influenced by COVID-19.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)629-646
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Hospitality and Tourism Insights
Issue number3
StatePublished - 28 Jun 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Academic major
  • COVID-19
  • College students
  • Crisis
  • Self-efficacy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


Dive into the research topics of 'How COVID-19 influences the future of service management professions'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this