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Flight Catering Chefs in the UK, USA and Japan: production workers, process managers, or development gurus?

By Mika Hayama, Rebecca Simms and Peter Jones


<p>This report investigates the job roles and competencies of inflight catering chefs. Research has shown that the collective job competencies of individuals within an organisation are substantial resources generating competitive advantage for the organisation. The purpose of this project is to investigate how job competency models, which enable the establishment of business strategy, can be used to enhance human performance and to unify individual competencies with organisational core competencies. In addition, job roles and competencies of inflight catering chefs are compared with other groups of chefs (i.e. production chefs and research chefs). </p> <p>Research methods used included semi-structured interviews and a mail questionnaire survey. Data were collected cross-culturally from participants in the United Kingdom, United States and Japan. </p> <p>A total of 29 job competencies were validated in the United States, with 20 and 13 competencies identified in Japan and the United Kingdom respectively. The results of the survey show that the participants in the three countries under investigation shared the following 11 competencies: </p> <p>1. Skilled at time management; </p> <p>2. Knowledge of culinary fundamentals and production systems, particularly for producing in large volumes, including their limitations; </p> <p>3. Skilled at food presentation; </p> <p>4. Knowledge of culinary uses and applications of products / ingredients functionally; </p> <p>5. Knowledge of kitchen functions and pressures; </p> <p>6. Understanding of food testing; </p> <p>7. Knowledge of quality assurance and food safety; </p> <p>8. Ability to work in multi-task environments; </p> <p>9. Ability to make decisions; </p> <p>10. General communication skills; and </p> <p>11. Ability to distinguish levels of quality in food products </p> <p>The competencies validated by the United States and Japan tended to stress personal attribute competencies as well as technical proficiency competencies, emphasising that successful inflight catering chefs need to play a greater managerial role in addition to a culinary role. In contrast, technical proficiency competencies were the main focus in the United Kingdom. </p> <p>It can be concluded that being a successful inflight catering chef requires personal attribute competencies in addition to technical proficiency competencies.</p

Year: 2003
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