Back to basics: Academic research in tourism and hospitality management – The case of Hong Kong

David C.W. Chin, Rob Law

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


As universities compete for resources, research output has become more important and the key determinant in academic success. While much work has been done, it is limited to studying specific dimensions of research performance, with inherent methodological limitations such as the choice of journals to be included for examination, methods of counting, and research performance measures. This study takes a different route. Based on a constructivist grounded theory methodology, it explores the question of how to conduct good research across the entire spectrum of tenure positions, by interviewing 36 academics from six academic institutions in Hong Kong. This yielded a theory-based emerging framework, which suggests good habits and routine behaviors are essential in conducting good research. Consistent with the “grit” concept in positive psychology, in addition to “consistency of interest”, “perseverance of efforts” is important. Five habits of good research are identified, namely being curious, observant, tenacious, mindful, and practical. Using Hong Kong as the context, this study confirms the importance of conducting good academic research and making a contribution to education, industry, and society. Although the results break no new ground, the findings would be beneficial to academics, particularly young and aspiring academics as well as doctoral students. This is also reinforced by the importance of hard work and perseverance in order to achieve success.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)379 - 383
JournalTourism and Hospitality Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2020


  • academic performance
  • constructivist grounded theory
  • Research performance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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