Category Archives: Steve Farzam

Steve Farzam – The Act of Bravery and Other Contributions

Steve Farzam is a well-known personality in Santa Monica. He is the COO of arguably the most popular hotel in Santa Monica, Shore Hotel; but that isn’t the reason he enjoys all the fame that he does.

Steve is actually known for the things he has done for the community. He has a strong desire to give back to the community, and has apparently been doing that right from when he completed his education.

His education, too, was seemingly focused towards this desire, as he got a paramedic certification that allowed him to do some specific community service that otherwise may not have been possible for him.

And while he did give back to the community in many ways, one of the things he did just stands out and has received a lot of praise and appreciation from the community. Let us take a look at exactly what it was below.

Saving a Man by Risking His Own Life

Helping people is something many do, but probably only a few go as far as putting their own life on the line to save someone. And this is what makes Steve look like a true community man, who is willing to put his own life in danger if need be to help someone from the community.

Once Steve Farzam was driving on a freeway, and he suddenly found a vehicle that had met with an accident with the driver critically injured. There was no one around so Steve was left on his own for helping the man stuck inside the vehicle.

By the time Steve could do anything much, the vehicle caught fire already. Of course, not everyone would have had the courage to still continue their effort to save the driver stuck in the vehicle as apparently anyone inside the vehicle was at a great danger.

But Steve probably didn’t care much about that; he just wanted to somehow get the driver out of that situation at any cost, even if that meant ending up on the receiving side of another accident himself. However, luckily, he managed to get someone else to help him too, and they both together managed to get the driver out of the position he was stuck in.

Of course, the job was far from done at that point. The driver had encountered some extremely serious injuries and while help was on its way, it was important to get the man some immediate assistance. And that’s when Steve’s paramedic skills came in handy, as he was able to ensure that the injured driver survived till help arrived, after which they could look after him.

And he did manage to do that successfully. The help arrived soon and the driver was admitted to the hospital. He had a rough day or two when it wasn’t sure whether he would be able to survive the injuries he had encountered. However, he eventually got better and did survive everything he went through.

Needless to say, this was probably the bravest thing Steve has done, and maybe he won’t hesitate if he has to do something like that again in the future. His brave community service earned him a rather rare recognition – the Medal of Valor – which was awarded to him by the supervisors of the Burn Institute of San Diego County Board.

Other Community Service

While what we shared above was probably the most appreciation-worthy thing Steve did, there’s a lot more to his name than just that. When he was out of college, he didn’t bother joining his growing family business or even focusing on his professional career.

He instead joined the Disaster Animal Response Team, and provided his professional services as an EMT. The team’s members were trained professionals who would visit places struck by a disaster to save and evacuate animals.

Steve then decided that he would like to do something different, and joined a team that was helping the victims of the Hurricane Katrina recover from their losses. However, before joining the new community service, he made a generous donation to the Disaster Animal Response Team by donating a Ford Crown Victoria. We can only imagine how much of a help it would have been for the team to save more animals and people.

Steve then visited Louisiana to help people that had been affected by Hurricane Katrina. There have also been reports of Steve making a donation to the Westside Food Bank that feeds many hungry stomachs through the different agencies it has partnered with.


Conciseness is Critical

Authors of empirical CQ articles must explicitly and clearly identify: (1) what causal relationship they are focusing on, (2) who should care about that relationship and why, (3) what existing research in all academic journals, not just hospitality journals, says about that relationship, (4) why additional tests of the relationship are needed and how their study will improve our knowledge about that relationship, (5) their study methodology and findings, and (6) the theoretical and practical implications of their findings. Clarity on these points is paramount, and authors should take as many words and pages as necessary to achieve it. However, they should take no more words than is necessary to clarify these points. As editor of CQ, I see too many papers that are longer than they need to be, and I am determined to correct the problem. To that end, this editorial explains why conciseness is important and identifies ways to achieve it.

I define conciseness in writing as shortness of word count holding clarity and critical-content constant. Concise articles deliver greater value to readers by allowing them to acquire critical-content with less work. For this reason, more concise articles are likely to attract greater …

The Impact of Publicly Owned Hotels on Competing Properties


Substantial public subsidies, and even outright public ownership, of hotels have become common in the United States as communities target tourism as an integral economic development tool. A critical question that is increasingly being raised about the public sector entering the hotel business is, are these government-funded facilities unfair competition to properties developed by the private sector? The common reply to these concerns is that the publicly owned hotel is critical to growing demand for lodging accommodation and that once it opens, the new hotel will attract enough new business that all hotels will benefit. We use an event study to test this hypothesis across all of the 100% publicly developed hotels for which there are sufficient data to conduct the analysis. In looking at these 21 hotels, we found strong evidence that the performance of neighboring hotels worsens after the introduction of a publicly owned hotel.

Toward Organizational Ambidexterity in the Hotel Industry: The Role of Human Resources


A few years ago and coinciding with the dilemma posed by March about the contradictions involved in exploration and exploitation learning, we saw the emergence of the “Organizational Ambidexterity” (OA) concept as a metaphor to define organizations that are able to develop exploitation and exploration learning at the same time. Despite the efforts made to discern the OA antecedents and moderating factors, a number of aspects still remain to be studied on the map of research into this topic. One of them is the role that human resources can play in ambidextrous learning. Special attention has also been paid in the field of human resource management to the link between high performance work systems (HPWS) and performance. Recent studies highlight the need to make further progress in this direction but using some organizational capacity as a mediating variable between HPWSs and performance. This article uses OA as the mediator variable in this relationship. The main objectives of this research are (a) to determine whether the utilization of an HPWS exerts a positive influence on OA, (b) to know the extent to which HPWSs and OA contribute to organizational performance, and (c) to verify the potential mediating role played by OA on the HPWS performance relationship. The theoretical model and the hypotheses proposed were tested using a sample of 100 Spanish hotels.

Should Organizations Be Forgiving or Unforgiving? A Two-Study Replication of How Forgiveness Climate in Hospitality Organizations Drives Employee Attitudes and Behaviors


An organization’s forgiveness climate is pivotal in reducing negative and promoting positive consequences of errors, mistakes, or offenses in the workplace. This study examines the influence of a perceived forgiveness climate on learning behavior, job satisfaction, organizational commitment, and intention to leave. Using quantitative cross-sectional data collected from 128 hotel and lodging managers, Study 1 revealed that a perceived forgiveness climate was significantly positively related to learning behavior and job satisfaction. Furthermore, the results demonstrated the mediating effect of learning behavior between a perceived forgiveness climate and job satisfaction and intention to leave. Study 2 confirmed this finding using 187 hospitality management students who work as frontline employees in various hospitality organizations. A perceived forgiveness climate was again found to significantly influence learning behavior and intention to leave, as well as organizational commitment. The results also confirmed the mediating effect of learning behavior. The findings suggest that organizations should promote a climate of forgiveness to influence employee attitudes and behaviors.

McHealthy: How Marketing Incentives Influence Healthy Food Choices


Food choices are often habitual, which can perpetuate unhealthy behaviors; that is, selection of foods high in sodium, saturated fat, and calories. This article extends previous research by examining how marketing incentives can encourage healthy food choices. Building on research examining marketing incentives, temporal goals, and habitual behavior, this research shows that certain incentives (behavioral rewards vs. financial discounts) affect individuals with healthy and less healthy eating habits differently. A field study conducted at a corporate cafeteria and three lab studies converge on a consistent finding: The effects of marketing incentives on healthy food choice are particularly prominent for people who have less healthy eating habits. Results showed that behavioral rewards generated a 28.5% (vs. 5.5%) increase in salad sales; behavioral rewards also led to 2 pounds more weight loss for individuals with less healthy eating habits. The research offers important implications for scholars, the food industry, consumers, governments, and policy makers.

Examining the Impact of Consumer Innovativeness and Innovative Restaurant Image in Upscale Restaurants


Long-term customer retention in the upscale restaurant industry requires successful management of postconsumption service evaluations. The purpose of this research is to identify drivers of price fairness and postconsumption behavioral intentions within the context of upscale/fine dining restaurant patronage. Specifically, this study identifies the dual roles of consumer innovation and restaurant image as drivers of price fairness and behavioral intentions. Based on a review of the literature, a construct nomology was proposed. The model was then tested using data collected from a sample of upscale restaurant patrons residing in the United States. Results of a structural equation analysis suggest, for innovative consumers, the perception that a restaurant is likewise innovative results in increased perceptions of price fairness and positive postconsumption behavioral intention. Innovative customers, grateful to the restaurant for having their needs for novelty satisfied, were more likely to perceive prices as fair and were more likely to report positive behavioral intentions. The academic and managerial implications of these findings are considered.

Understanding Perceptions of E-cigarette Use in Shared Consumption Spaces: A Schema Congruity Perspective


In the absence of state or federal laws governing the public use of electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes), hospitality organizations are often forced to decide, on an individual basis, whether or not to allow the use of these products in the consumption environment. Unfortunately, because the behavioral effects of e-cigarette use on nonusers are poorly understood, such decisions are often based on the personal views of management and/or anecdotal evidence from customers rather than on theoretically based empirical evidence. The purpose of this research is to explore the e-cigarette phenomenon from the perspective of schema congruity in an effort to better understand how consumers react to the use of e-cigarettes in shared consumption spaces. To these ends, data were collected from 228 consumers in the United States. Results of both qualitative and quantitative analyses suggest that evaluations of e-cigarettes vary significantly based on the social distance from the referent user as well as on salient contextual norms. In addition, schema congruity was found to affect both attitudinal perceptions of e-cigarette use and perceptions of restaurant policy concerning e-cigarettes. The results suggest that, when it comes to e-cigarette policy, consideration must be given to both property-level characteristics (i.e., norm salience) and product-level perceptions (i.e., schema congruity).

Weight and Gender in Service Jobs: The Importance of Warmth in Predicting Customer Satisfaction


The average weight of employees in the United States workforce is increasing. Importantly, relatively heavier employees are often subject to stereotypes, prejudice, and discrimination based solely on their weight. These biases may be further influenced by factors such as employee gender and the specific nature of the job. Thus, we employ the stereotype content model (SCM) to examine the multiplicative effects of weight and gender and argue that perceptions of employee warmth are more salient than perceptions of employee competence in customer service contexts. In support of our hypotheses, we found that weight and gender interacted to influence warmth, such that heavy women were perceived to be higher in warmth relative to less heavy women (with no effect for men). Furthermore, perceptions of warmth predicted service satisfaction, whereas perceptions of competence did not. Finally, perceptions of warmth (but not competence) explained the relations between weight and gender and service satisfaction for female (but not male) customer service agents. We end with a discussion of the theoretical implications related to the SCM along with practical implications for service industry organizations and employees.

My Attitudes and Beliefs About Different Types of Research

When my editorship of Cornell Hospitality Quarterly (CQ) was first announced at the 2015 ICHRIE Conference, one of the most common questions people asked me was what kinds of research I liked and disliked. I assume the questioners sought this information to guide decisions about which of their research projects to target at CQ and which to send elsewhere. The politically correct and fortunately truthful answer is that I am a catholic methodologist and like good research of all types. However, that answer is overly simplistic and glosses over attitudes and beliefs that undoubtedly color my perceptions of what types of research and papers provide the biggest opportunities to make a contribution. We all bring predispositions to the tasks we undertake, and I think CQ authors and readers have a right to know what research-related predispositions I bring to the editorship of this journal, so I will try to describe them in …