Relevance of Competences to Graduate-Education and Experience in Foodservice Management

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Nutrition and Food Systems


The objectives of this research were to identify professional and educational characteristics of graduates from master's degree programs in foodservice management; determine the relevance of specific concepts to present professional responsibilities; rate the quality of master's degree educational preparation; and determine whether competence was gained from sources other than the graduate program. Participants were 85 graduates of master's degree programs in foodservice management (1980 through 1988) from five universities. The research instrument contained three scales to assess 43 foodservice management concepts regarding relevance, educational preparation, and competence gained from other sources. Demographic information was also requested. The most commonly held present position was foodservice director. Graduates were most likely to be employed in health care facilities or colleges and universities. All concepts were rated as relevant to graduates' present professional responsibilities, and quality of educational preparation was rated satisfactory or better. Principal component analysis, using a varimax rotation, resulted in four factors, which were titled food production, management, organizational communication, and strategic thinking. Analysis of variance was conducted to determine whether differences existed in the factor scores on the basis of position title or graduate program attended. Foodservice directors rated the food production and management of organization factors more relevant to their present position than did clinical dietitians. Scores for quality of educational preparation for the four factors did not differ on the basis of graduate program attended.

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Journal of the American Dietetic Association





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