Jewoo Kim, a new assistant professor in hospitality management, researches financial and strategic issues in the hotel, restaurant, and tourism industry. Photo by Ryan Riley.
Jewoo Kim, a new assistant professor in hospitality management, researches financial and strategic issues in the hotel, restaurant, and tourism industry. Photo by Ryan Riley.

Kim applies numbers to the hospitality industry

Jewoo Kim worked for five years at an investment bank in South Korea — establishing investment strategies, analyzing businesses of publicly traded firms, and managing customized derivative funds for government agencies.

Today, he applies that knowledge to the hotel, restaurant, and tourism industry.

“I’m a very number-oriented person,” he said. “But I also think consumer behavior is very important in analyzing and understanding a firm’s performance. It’s not easy to measure that kind of behavior. I want to measure those behaviors in more objective terms.”

Data-driven business analysis

Kim, a new assistant professor in hospitality management at Iowa State University, researches financial and strategic issues in the hospitality industry. He researches how advertising, mergers and acquisitions, and government policies influence a company’s performance.

“I found that advertising is very useful in increasing customers’ purchase behavior in the short term,” he said. “But in the long term, it is not that successful in changing customer behavior. That means, it did not increase the brand perception that influences customers’ long-term decisions.”

Kim analyzes customer behavior in response to marketing and promotion in the hotel, restaurant, and tourism industry. His research found that frequent promotion-based marketing campaigns can devalue a company’s brand or product, by making the customer feel that the product is cheap.

Customer behaviors, such as those reflected in reviews on websites such as TripAdvisor.com and Yelp, aren’t easy to quantify. But an objective analysis of how customers feel about a restaurant’s service, food, environment, and atmosphere; and whether they’d return and recommend the place to others — can have huge implications on a business’ financial performance.

“The current business world needs data-driven business analysis,” Kim said. “They want to make a decision based on concrete evidence, so they need to get evidence from their data.”

As a new faculty member, Kim hopes to help businesses with data mining — taking raw data and converting it into structured data that can be analyzed and measured.

New faculty member is also an alum

Kim joins a hospitality management program at Iowa State that’s consistently identified as one of the top programs in the world. Faculty and graduate students are well-represented at major international conferences.

He is teaching classes this semester on hospitality financial management, strategic management, and hospitality financial decision-making.

Bob Bosselman, professor and chair of apparel, events, and hospitality management said positions in accounting and finance in the hospitality field are very difficult to fill due to lack of available and qualified candidates.

“We had the benefit of knowing Jewoo as a graduate student, so we have observed his classroom skills, and know he will be a strong addition to our team,” Bosselman said. “His research interests in big data application to the hospitality and tourism industry should yield impactful publications.”

Kim received his doctorate in hospitality management at Iowa State last December, with a minor in statistics. His dissertation focused on what drives mergers and acquisitions in the restaurant industry. His research found that interest rates and the stock market are key to restaurants’ financial success.

He previously attended Brandeis University in Waltham, Mass. for his master’s degree in business administration, and Yonsei University in Seoul, South Korea for his bachelor’s degree in psychology.

KEY CONTACTS:

Jewoo Kim, assistant professor; Department of Apparel, Events, and Hospitality Management; Iowa State University, 515-294-7474, jjawoo@iastate.edu

Bob Bosselman, professor and chair; Department of Apparel, Events, and Hospitality Management; Iowa State University; 515-294-8550, drbob@iastate.edu

Lynn Campbell, communications specialist, College of Human Sciences, Iowa State University, 515-294-3689, lynnc@iastate.edu

 

  • Quick Look

    Jewoo Kim, a new assistant professor in hospitality management, researches financial and strategic issues in the hotel, restaurant, and tourism industry.


  • “The current business world needs data-driven business analysis. They want to make a decision based on concrete evidence, so they need to get evidence from their data.”

    Jewoo Kim