Exploring hospitality competencies in a hospital meal context and introducing hospitality competencies in Bachelor's Degree program in Nutrition and Health

Lise Justesen, Anna-Lise Strøjer, Christine Bille Nielsen

Research output: Contribution to conference without a publisher/journalAbstractResearchpeer-review


To explore hospitality competencies among healthcare professionals in a hospital meal context and to consider how hospitality competencies
can be strengthened in Bachelor's Degree programs in Nutrition and Health.
The conceptual framework is based upon Philosopher Derrida’s hospitality approach in combination with an ontological position which
acknowledges public meals to be socio-materially constructed. The empirical data is based upon a six months ethnographic study of hospital
meals served in the departments of gynaecology and cardiology at a Danish hospital in 2012. The empirical data is based on observations,
visual methods and 22 semi-structured interviews with healthcare professionals and patients. The learning strategy is based upon Dewey’s
concept of learning by doing.
Hospitality practices were based upon non-articulated culturally learned practices and revealed a need for strengthened hospitality
competencies among professionals. Hospitality competencies include ability to co-create meal experiences in shifting atmospheres and
evocative events. This includes ability to create opportunities for shifting host-guest roles and to perform culturally learned aesthetic form
symbols in embodied practices. It also comprises a focus on open-ended planning processes that allow hospitality to be unpredictable.
Based upon findings from a hospital context, hospitality competencies are sought strengthened in the educational context of Bachelor's Degree
program in Nutrition and Health. In the teaching module of food-culture 17 students were asked to create self-selected hospitality meal events
which had to be held outside the university setting. Students were asked to reflect on their own hospitality performances as hosts and guests.
This provided a platform for discussions on hospitality competencies as culturally learned and unpredictable.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2015
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2015
EventXXIII IFHE World Congress - Daejeon, Korea, Republic of
Duration: 31 Jul 20166 Aug 2016
Conference number: XXIII


ConferenceXXIII IFHE World Congress
Country/TerritoryKorea, Republic of


  • professional bachelor programmes

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