The Critical Success Factor (CSF) approach has been in existence for some considerable time, mainly in the information systems field, and in later years, its application was extended to the generic management field. Critical Success Factors can be defined as the limited number of areas in which ‘things must go right’ in order to ensure predetermined ‘goals’ are achieved. Furthermore, it is important to determine suit able ‘measures’ to monitor and control the results of CSFs. Thus, CSFs represent priority areas for on going information provision and form the basis for a company’s management decision making. The approach is based on a framework of ‘Goals CSFs Measures’ called ‘CSF Analysis’. For example, in a hotel business, if the goal is to improve room revenue, then the key (Critical Success Factors) elements to be managed are essentially the number of rooms sold and the room rate charged, thus involving the measurement of room occupancy, average room rate, and RevPAR to monitor the results.
The CSFs will normally vary from company to company within an industry and among the individual managers within companies, thus, they are related to the specifics of a particular manager’s situation. Geller (1985) is accepted as the principle study in determining hospitality industry CSFs.
Geller, A. N. (1985). Tracking the critical success factors for hotel companies. The Cornell Hotel and Restaurant Administration Quarterly, February, 76 81.