Designing Better Tomorrows Today
Management research and education have primarily resided within an established paradigm focused on the knowing akin to the stance in natural sciences. Although such approaches offer valuable insights into understanding and explaining "hospitality", they often struggle to impact management practice meaningfully. Furthermore, while such research designs afford richer insights into the status quo, societal, economic, and environmental challenges invite fresh, sustainable initiatives. This ambition is further complicated by the wicked challenges dominating the hospitality industry, such as enforcing fair working conditions for which holistic solutions are unrealistic. This issue presents the question of how can research, consequently education, design a future that can address such broader societal issues? Significantly how can students develop salient research skills designing solutions for navigating unknown futures less reliant on an established status quo?
Design-based research draws on a design-science perspective that centers on the would / could be as opposed to the knowing. In this regard, its scientific inquiry iteratively explores challenges throughout the design process to foster incremental improvements for academia and practice. It does not inherently assume a solution, which for wicked problems are improbable, but endeavors to progress from here to there. Sustainable solutions do not seek an allusive answer but continuously shift the present towards the desired scenario. For students, this frees them from the present by equipping them in designing sustainable tomorrow.