Over the course of nearly 15 years years teaching, I have been asked many times by students, “Why should we, as non-law students, study business law? After all, isn’t it the case that if a legal problem arises, the in-house or hired lawyers will take care of it?”
Why you need to know some law as a hotel management leader
If you understand certain legal requirements applicable to businesses that you may become involved in, you will recognise potential problems before they occur and take positive steps to prevent legally problematic situations from arising. This knowledge is invaluable for any type of business context; including hotels, restaurants and more.
A former student wrote an email to me that captures the practical benefits nicely:
“The tutorial activities and real-life examples helped me understand the content better and boosted my confidence in doing well. I am just two weeks into my placement, and I already can apply the knowledge learnt regarding the risk management frameworks and prevention strategies. Also, I can finally not only read but understand the terms, such as vicarious liability and duty of care, that constantly appear in documents and contracts...”
Build critical reflective skills
Two of the key subject learning outcomes in the business law subject that I teach involve critical reflection. The development of critical reflection is vitally important for every well-educated and thoughtful individual, citizen and business leader. Studying business law assists in the development of this vital practice of critical reflection. When you’re in my class, I’ll provide exercises and create space for critical reflection so you deeply understand the interrelation of law, risk and business strategy.
Put the law into business context
Let me share with you the ubiquitous nature of law – how it surrounds us at all times. This approach will provide you with a perspective about law that many may have never considered.
Let me familiarise you with the interplay between law, risk and business strategy. Consider how law responds to local, regional and global events in the real world. Climate change, geo-strategic trade tensions and Covid-19 are just a few current examples in which legal change, responding to events in the real world, can influence business decisions about risk and strategy.
Again, studying business law, not as an abstract set of principles but in real world scenarios – you’ll be able to understand and apply in a number of different ways a perspective about law, risk and strategy. By demonstrating that law, risk and business strategy are intimately connected, you’ll think in a way you never have before.
The hotel industry demands well-rounded, skilled talent
With some exposure to the law you will possess a valuable advantage over other job applicants and more quickly show your value in the workplace to reach the career heights you are striving for. Given increasing automation and digitalisation in the industry, hoteliers are actively seeking the human touch, that is, well-rounded citizens of the world with knowledge of, among other things, current events, history, culture, society, technology, economics and law; people who through their reflections on these things will be able to better engage with and delight their guests. This is exactly how I see business law – not in isolation but as part of the development in my students of the core of hospitality: the ability to engage and delight.
Business law in hotel management is never boring
Many students come to business law with fear and loathing. Fear because they think it will be difficult, and loathing because they suspect it will be boring. But business law is neither. Let me show you that it is challenging and interesting but not beyond your capacities. Business law situated in the real world means that it is never boring. It is always current and always applicable in a variety of ways. Studying business law in this way is important, because it provides practical and abstract benefits as individuals, citizens and future leaders.
A former student wrote to me reflecting on her time in business law:
“The classes and encouragement to be thinking this way has really pushed me out of my comfort zone and into really using a different part of my brain. It has challenged me and at times frustrated me but I have loved the process. It is fun to play with and think and see things from many perspectives not just law but in many areas of work and life.”
The hospitality industry now faces its next greatest challenge – a massive shortage of qualified, skilled talent. Business law is a subject that assists in the development of core skills. Join Blue Mountains International Hotel Management School, study business law and become the hotel leader you aspire to be.