The coronavirus pandemic has affected all walks of life across the globe. Higher education institutions confronted multiple challenges and disruptions in teaching and learning. However, the challenges hospitality education administrators need to resolve are distinct compared to other traditional higher education programs. This study aimed to understand the experiences and responses of hospitality educational administrators under crisis. The findings of the study are expected to assist hospitality education institutions to be prepared and respond better to any crisis in the future. To understand the challenges faced and strategies adopted by hospitality educational administrators, we interviewed 23 hospitality administrators across India. We have adopted a grounded theory approach to describe the challenges and strategies the hospitality educational administrators adopted. The analysis of data through the grounded theory approach yielded five main themes: antecedents that influenced the hospitality educational administrators’ response to the crisis, approaches toward strategies, strategies adopted to manage the crisis, perspectives of the consequences of strategies adopted, and intervening conditions that influenced the administrators’ choice of strategies. The result indicates that hospitality educational administrators need to be proactive. They have to create a crisis management system, adopt technology in teaching and learning, and engage with all stakeholders to manage the crisis. This study has multiple implications for hospitality educational administrators, policymakers, and researchers in educational administration.


COVID-19, education administration, grounded theory approach, hospitality, interview, India, qualitative

Author Bio(s)

Senthilkumaran Piramanaygam is a Professor of Hospitality and Tourism. He holds a PhD in services marketing and an MBA, with dual specialisation in services marketing and human resource management. He has diverse experience in teaching hospitality, business management, tourism, research methods in business, and statistics. He has published articles in reputable journals. Please direct correspondence to senthil.kumaranp@manipal.edu. https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6746-0421

Partho Pratim Seal is an Associate Professor of Food & Beverage management at Manipal Academy of Higher Education, Manipal. His research interests are in human resource management, information technology, people with disabilities, and entrepreneurship in hospitality. He has authored three textbooks, a set of book chapters, and published articles in reputable journals. Please direct correspondence to partho.seal@manipal.edu. https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6867-8713


We would like to thank all the Deans, Principals, Heads of department and Directors of Hospitality Higher Education Institutions who have actively participated in the study. We also thank an academic expert who helped as with the third party audit of coding in the study.

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