Researcher biography

David Solnet is a Professor of Service Management and Service Employment in the UQ Business School. He is recognized internationally for his research, teaching and consulting, all focused on managing and leading service organizations, with particular emphasis on managing the employee-customer interface. His research focuses on service climate, service culture, employee engagement, Generation Y as service workers, and the relationships between management practices, employee attitudes and firm performance. He is currently leading a new strategic initiative for UQ, developing its first fully online Master's degree through a UQ partnership with edX, Master of Leadership in Service Innovation.

David is a sought after advisor to industry and government, specializing on business improvement, financial analysis, service quality and management development programs. He comes from a restaurant background, with over 18 years of experience including senior management roles in the USA (Brinker International, El Chico Group, Bennigan's Restaurants and Olive Garden) and Australia (including six years as general manager of Bretts Wharf in Brisbane). He has consulted to many organizations, including Merlo Coffee, Cactus Jacks Restaurant Group, Aromas Noosa, Ricky's River Bar, Locale Ristaurante, Pier Nine Restaurant and Oyster Bar, Mitchell Ogilvie Menswear and Baguette Restaurant.

David coleads the workforce research team in the tourism group at the UQ Business School and has been a principal investigator on a number of state and national projects including two 'tourism employment plans' as part of the Australian Commonwealth Government initiative to address employment challenges in regional areas in Australia; and has worked with Service Skills Australia on a number of projects centred around workforce development.

Professor Solnet has published over 50 academic journal articles, and his work consistently appears in the top journals in his field, such as the Journal of Service Management, Managing Service Quality (Journal of Service Theory and Practice), Annals of Tourism Research, International Journal of Hospitality Management, Journal of Travel Research and the Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Research.

Professor Solnet is currently an academic partner seconded to the Division of Student Affairs, developing initiatives centered around improving student experience.