Doctor of Philosophy candidate
Her PhD research is about employee empowerment, says Pattamol Kanjanakan who came to AUT as an international student from Thailand to study a Doctor of Philosophy in hospitality management.
“For my doctoral research, I’m focusing on how and why employee empowerment influences customers’ perception of service quality during their dining experience. I chose this research area as I’m a strong believer that employees are of paramount importance in the hospitality industry, and yet they are sadly undervalued.
“I hope that my research will uncover data that supports my beliefs and can improve the industry, starting with the employees and eventually also improving customers’ overall experience.”
Pattamol’s research is supervised by Associate Professor Peter Kim and Dr Pola Wang from AUT’s School of Hospitality and Tourism.
She has long had a passion for hospitality, says Pattamol who plans to return to her role as a lecturer at Khon Kaen University – International College in Thailand once she completed her PhD.
“I’ve been fascinated by hospitality and the service industry ever since I can remember.”
Deciding to come to AUT for her PhD wasn’t a difficult decision for her.
“When I was searching for a suitable degree that matched my interest and future career path, this degree ticked all the boxes. AUT matched all my requirements, has an excellent international reputation and is located in an amazing part of the world.”
Supported to thrive
It’s been an amazing journey so far, Pattamol says.
“AUT is very supportive at all times, has a vast array of resources available, and is a truly multicultural environment. I love mixing with students from other parts of the world, and AUT provides many opportunities for us to meet and support each other.”
Adjusting to doctoral study in a new country had some challenges, she admits.
“Adapting to PhD life was difficult at first, especially living in a foreign country a long way from my friends and family. However, AUT has supervisors who understand and support you above and beyond your expectations. Not only are there one-on-one support sessions, they also organise meet and greet sessions where you can support each other in a less formal manner.”