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Title: Soft-skill assessment tool development to identify potential candidates for career advancement in ground passenger service.
Authors: Supanat Wattanakamolchai
Keywords: Management ang Strategy
Soft skills
Issue Date: 28-May-2019
Publisher: มหาวิทยาลัยมหิดล
Citation: 2018
Abstract: This study aimed to investigate 1) the perceptions of airliners and educators towards the importance of soft skills for career advancement in ground passenger service; 2) which soft skills were necessary to prepare students for successful career advancement in ground passenger service in the perceptions of airliners and educators and 3) the discrepancies between the perceptions of the two main stakeholders. In addition, this study further investigate 4) the ranking of each essential soft skills of each airline group; 5) which also shows the discrepancies between the perceptions of each airline group based on their needs. This study eventually aimed to develop and 6) an assessment tool in form of the Personality Test to assess the possessed skills of the candidates for career advancement. Both qualitative and quantitative were used in this study. In-depth interviews and self-administered questionnaires were employed to collect data. Informants and respondents were 61 airliners and 56 university instructors respectively. Data were analysed using means, percentages and chi-square test for the first stage of the study, while Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP) was used to determine the ranking of essential soft skills. Most airliners and instructors agreed that soft skills were essential for career advancement for ground passenger service jobs. Results also showed that there were discrepancies between the perceptions of top ten essential skills identified by airliners and educators. Specifically, chi-square results showed that there were significantly difference in perceptions of airliners and education in seven soft skills. They were 1) ability and willingness to learn, 2) adaptability, 3) assertiveness, 4) communication, 5) conflict/dispute resolution skills, 6) planning and organizing and 7) work under pressure and stress. In addition, both parties agreed that four soft skills were not necessary for advancement in ground passenger service career; namely, 1) adaptability, 2) assertiveness, 3) conflict/dispute resolution skills, and 4) planning and organizing. On the other hand, there was a statistically significant discrepancy in viewing three soft skills. Unlike educators, airliners viewed that ability and willingness to learn and communication were not required traits to be successful while work under pressure and stress was viewed as important. Based on the consolidated data being derived from AHP model, it was shown that popularity ranking method yielded quite similar results the ranking results by AHP model. There were only 4 soft skills, which were perceived differently 1) working under pressure and stress, 2) teamwork, 3) decision making skills and 4) emotionally stable. Based on the results of the assessment, it was clearly shown that there was a mismatch between the possessed skills of the current entry-level airline managers and the required needs of the high-level airline managers. The entry-level airline managers still did not have the right skills and still needed to be trained in particular soft-skills, which would be needed for career advancement in Ground Passenger Service. Academic institutions could revise their curriculum according to this study’s results to better equip their students with what was required by airliners and to enable their graduates to move up the career ladder faster. Human Resource Personnel of airline companies should formulate their human resource strategies by including soft-skills topics into each of their work processes e.g. employee selection process, employee development process and employee promotion process etc. Apart from hard and technical skills new applicants seeking jobs in Ground Passenger Service should be assessed against the required soft skills. Airline companies should take part in outlining curriculum with the educators. In addition, future training initiatives should include the development of soft skills as identified in this research.
Other Identifiers: TP MM.034 2018
Appears in Collections:Thematic Paper

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