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What Makes It So Great? An Analysis of Human Resources Practices among Fortune’s Best Companies to Work for
Articles and Chapters
  • Timothy R. Hinkin, Cornell University
  • J. Bruce Tracey, Cornell University
Publication Date
Although few hospitality organizations are listed in the annual survey of Fortune magazine’s one hundred best companies to work for, an analysis of companies with similar operating challenges provides clear direction for hospitality and service companies’ human resource practices. This study examined twenty-one companies, including one food-service firm (Starbucks) and three hotel chains (Four Seasons, Kimpton, and Marriott). The remainder of the companies analyzed were grocery and health care organizations, both of which share human resources issues with the hospitality industry, such as long operating hours, relatively high turnover, and relatively low pay. The innovative human resources practices isolated in this analysis were a culture that emphasizes the value of people, scheduling flexibility, creative staffing practices, people-oriented training programs, transparent and well-aligned performance management policies, and compensation policies that reflect the organization’s values and link pay to performance.

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© Cornell University. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.

Finalist for Best Paper Award.

Citation Information

Hinkin, T. R., & Tracey, J. B. (2010). What makes it so great? An analysis of human resources practices among Fortune’s best companies to work for [Electronic version]. Cornell Hospitality Quarterly, 51(2), 158-170. Retrieved [insert date], from Cornell University, School of Hospitality Administration site: