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The Front Office Manager: Key to Hotel Communications is a written study by Denney G. Rutherford, Department of Hotel and Restaurant Administration, College of Business and Economics at Washington State University.

In it he initially observes, “Since the front office manager is usually viewed as the key to the efficient and orderly operation of a hotel, the author has researched the job and activities of this individual in an attempt to provide data about an area which he says was "intuitively known" but never "empirically explored."

“Current literature implies that the activities of the front office are so important to the daily operations of the hotel that it occupies a preeminent position among other departments,” Rutherford says. He also references, Gray and Liguori, who describe the front office as: “the nerve center of the hote1,” echoing an early work by Heldenbrand indicating that it “becomes a sort of listening post for management.” The quotes are cited.

The primary stage of the article relies on a seven-page, two-part questionnaire, which was used to collect data regarding the FOM – front office manager - position. Even though the position is considered a crucial one, it seems there is a significant lack of pragmatic data regarding it. Rutherford graphs the studies.

Good communication skills are imperative. “Other recent research has suggested that the skills of effective communication are among the most vital a manager at any level can bring to his/her endeavors in the service industries,” Rutherford notes. He provides a detailed – front office communications model – to illustrate the functions.

In, Table 4, for example - Office Manager as Facilitator – Rutherford provides Likert Rating Scale values for a comprehensive list of front office tasks.

Rutherford informs you that the communicative skills of a front office manager flow across the board, encompassing variables from guest relation exchanges to all the disparate components of employee relations.

Not withstanding and compared to technical knowledge, such as computer and fiscal skills, Rutherford suggests: “The most powerful message derived from analysis of the data on the FOM's job is that communication in its various forms is clearly central to the successful mission of the front office.”