Professor Andrew Lockwood
Purpose: This paper describes the detailed process of development of a reliable scale to measure customer perceptions of the upscale hotel servicescape that could then be used as a basis for intra and inter-hotel comparisons and to examine relationships with other variables, such as emotions, satisfaction and loyalty. Design/methodology/approach: A review of the existing service and hospitality literature provided a range of dimensions and attributes of the hotel servicescape which were used as the basis for a Q sort technique to determine the content adequacy of newly-developed and existing items. Testing the emergent items was done through a questionnaire that was distributed at five luxury upscale hotels in London providing 612 fully valid responses, which, using a split sample, were subjected to both exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis to explore the dimensionality and reliability of the instrument. Findings: Although the Q-sort suggested four key dimensions, the outcome of the factor analyses revealed five dimensions with high reliability - aesthetic quality; functionality; atmosphere; spaciousness; and physiological conditions. ‘Aesthetic quality’ appeared to be the most important factor, followed by ‘functionality’, ‘atmosphere’, ‘spaciousness’ and ‘physiological conditions’. Research limitations/implications: As this study was conducted with customers of upscale luxury hotels in London, the resulting scales need to be further tested in other hotel segments and in other locations. Practical implications: This study provides upscale hotel managers with an effective measurement tool which will enable them to benchmark their operation and make improvements that could lead to a better impression and evaluation of their hotel. The scale has a variety of potential applications and can serve as a framework for further research in the hotel industry. Originality/value Despite the wide interest in and importance of the servicescape in hotels, there are only a few studies dealing with this subject in the hotel context. This study provides a new tool for measuring customers’ perceptions.
Social interaction among fellow travellers forms a significant component of the authentic backpacking experience. Hostel accommodation have been purposely designed to provide the kind of environment that fosters communication and interaction between backpackers. Hostel guests have typically been provided with dormitory-type rooms, shared washrooms, kitchen and living areas, thus offering less privacy but more opportunity for social interaction. Few studies to date have fully investigated how social interaction among customers actually enhance or damage the service experience. Therefore, building on previous studies on servicescapes, co-creation and backpacker tourism, a conceptual framework is developed to examine how the hostel environment could be manipulated to influence guests’ social interaction, and consequently their evaluation of the hostel service experience.
In establishing a sustainable competitive advantage, the creation and maintenance of a positive brand image is an important issue for marketing theory and practice. In the traditional market, companies enjoy a number of advantages from their brand image. It helps customers not only to retrieve and process information but it also provides a basis to position and differentiate a brand from its competitors (Aaker, 1991). Brand image plays an important role in product and service selection because customers attempt to reinforce their self-image by buying products that are congruent with that self-image. Shiffman and Kanuk (2008) propose that the customer might perceive one hotel to be more desirable than its competitors because of the difference in brand image. The continued growth of the Internet impacts on the role of brand and the way hotel companies manage their brand image. As customers cannot experience hotels before their actual purchase, the Internet has become another marketing tool that helps customers to form hotel brand image. Therefore, when customers navigate hotel websites and engage in the online community, they can reduce anxiety before they actually visit hotels. Hence, the role of online marketing tools in developing a brand image in the customer’s mind is essential. However, previous research has only addressed how online marketing tools such as websites help companies to convert a website visitor into a buyer, and identified how the online elements influenced purchase intention, customer satisfaction and customer loyalty, but has failed to identify how the customer perception of a website may affect their perception of the brand image overall. While some research has recently been conducted into the impact of online hotel reviews on consumer purchase decisions, there is a scarcity of more comprehensive studies on how the hotel customer’s perception of a brand is affected by online platforms and the implications this brings to how hotel operators manage their brand image online. In response to this gap, this empirical study was conducted to explore the factors which drive brand image from the hotel customer’s perspective in the online context. The two-step experiment, including semi-structured interviews, and a scenario-based study, was done with 19 hotel customers in the UK. The results highlighted a number of website related attributes that impact on customer perceptions of hotel brand. They are (1) ease of use (2) download time (3) site appearance (4) content (5) reliability and (6) price information. The findings further proposed that positive website performance, in terms of site appearance, content, and reliability, will positively influence brand image, and additionally that there is a direct relationship between price information on websites and perceived quality that consequently might lead to positive online brand image. Finally, and significantly, the results show that online reviews and rating sites play a major role in influencing hotel brand image in the online environment which managers need to address in order to maintain a positive brand image and contribute to long-term business success.
This paper sets out to explore the link between the style of leadership adopted by managers and the job satisfaction of their subordinates. Data were collected from 220 respondents (110 line employees and 110 managers). The findings indicated significant differences in job satisfaction based on the employees’ demographic characteristics. It was also found that the most prevalent style was democratic, but that once again style varied according to the managers’ demographic profile. While it is not possible from the data to claim a direct relationship between leadership style and job satisfaction, but neither is the data able to refute that assertion.
The failure rate of new service projects is high, because the knowledge about how innovations should be developed is limited. In the last decade, several studies have investigated the success factors associated with service innovations (e.g., Atuahene-Gima, 1996; de Brentani, 2001; Storey and Easingwood, 1998). However, no research in new service development (NSD) has addressed the question of whether chain affiliated and independently operated service firms have different approaches for developing successful innovations. The majority of past new service development (NSD) success studies have concentrated on the financial service sector, which is generally represented by large corporate organizations. The findings of this study indicate that the factors which impact on the performance of NSD depend on the organizational relationship of hotels-chain affiliation or independent operation. The study's results suggest that market attractiveness, process management, market responsiveness and empowerment predict NSD success within chain affiliated hotels. While empowerment and market attractiveness are also related to NSD success in independent hotels, this is also linked to effective marketing communication, employee commitment, behaviour based evaluation, training of employees and marketing synergy. Copyright © 2005 by The Haworth Press, Inc. All rights reserved.
Due to increased competition in the hospitality industry, the importance of managing and maintaining service quality has never been greater. There is a dearth of research in the identification of failure factors in the hospitality industry despite its significance in influencing service quality. Thus, the aim of this study is to identify critical failures from the customers' perspective in the context of resort hotels in Langkawi. Critical Incident Technique (CIT) was employed and only critical failure incidents were collected in this study. Purposive sampling was applied to get the sample of respondents who were resort customers visiting Langkawi Island. Content analysis was performed on the data collected which has resulted in a classificatory schema of four categories and twelve sub-categories of failure incidents reported. The attribution of these critical failure factors was also acknowledged. The results revealed that the two largest categories of service failures that resort customers normally encounter were related to service delivery system failure and natural environment while the most reported problematic incidents were regarding product problems and animal issues. Most of the reported incidents were attributed to the resort while problems related to animals were generally externally attributed. This study has surfaced the need to identify common failure factors in the resort hotel context thus corrective efforts can be forwarded to prevent failure re-occurrences in the future.
This introductory textbook provides a thorough guide to the management of food and beverage outlets, from their day-to-day running through to the wider concerns of the hospitality industry. It explores the broad range of subject areas that encompass the food and beverage market and its main sectors – fast food and casual dining, hotels and quality restaurants and event, industrial and welfare catering. It also looks at some of the important trends affecting the food and beverage industry, covering consumers, the environment and ethical concerns as well as developments in technology.
This research examines the learning experiences of General Managers (GMs) in the hospitality industry, a sector much neglected in terms of research into management learning and human resource development. Our research focused on four large hospitality organizations (two hotels and two contract catering companies) and adopted an approach that integrates multiple data collection strategies in supporting our qualitative case studies. Data were collected by using document analysis plus detailed, qualitative interviews with 21 general managers, of whom seven were subsequently observed at work and observation notes generated. Data analysis revealed that the participants learned to manage the business primarily through experience, a process consisting of four key stages: Being Challenged, Information Searching, Information Transformation, and Testing. Reflective thinking plays a central role in their learning, taking the form of “actions” involving association, integration and validation, and of “products” involving content, process and context reflections. We argue that the way hospitality managers learn, while sharing the learning approaches taken by other professionals, differs in that these managers’ learning is more highly contextualized.
The paper examines two propositions in the context of the UK public house (pub) industry. It uses an established empirical model to explain the relationship between job satisfaction, organisational commitment and the intention to stay. The findings are in line with previous research, but display an unusual characteristic in that pay satisfaction is isolated from job satisfaction and commitment. The second proposition concerns the foci of commitment. The study tests the notion that commitment to the industry is an alternative to organisational commitment. The findings are extremely supportive of this notion and are interpreted as evidence of occupational community. © 1998 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
© 2015. This paper analyses flexible working, and the employment of migrants, as determinants of performance in hotels, utilising a highly disaggregated data set of actual hours worked and outputs, on a monthly basis, over an 8 year period for 25 establishments within a single firm. It examines not only inter-establishment, but also intra-establishment (departmental) variations in performance. The analysis also systematically compares the findings based on financial versus physical measures, against a background where existing research has utilised diverse and, sometimes, hybrid measures of performance and productivity. While generally confirming significant relationships between performance and flexible working and migrant employment, the findings also emphasise that the types of flexible working practices are important. It also identifies complex variations at the departmental level: substantially different relationships between flexibility and migrant employment, and performance are identified for rooms versus food and beverage departments, reflecting different operating conditions.
The Measurement-Performance Link As international economies continue their recovery after the 2008 global economic crisis, growth rates are regarded as being ‘weak and uneven and reflective of different evolutions across different countries and regions’ (IMF 2014). In such challenging competitive environments organisations tend to focus very strongly on the management and measurement of performance in order to meet the task of staying in business. Harris & Mongiello (2001) see a company’s emphasis on performance measurement (PM) as a route to competitive advantage, and turbulent business environments, such as those currently being experienced worldwide, can be seen as a key driver of both organisational and research interest in performance measurement. However despite almost 30 years of research into performance measurement the discipline still has, what could be referred to as significant, foundational problems. There has been a lack of development of key concepts or a unified terminology in the subject area, this is mostly due to the multidisciplinary nature of the PM field which has “vast richness, but unmanageable diversity” (Neely 2007, p.2) . One of the most significant issues in the PM field is that there have been contradictory findings as to whether or not the measurement of performance actually has an impact on the achievement of performance outcomes (Franco & Bourne 2004). In fact it is suggested that measurement has become such an accepted approach that few organisations genuinely challenge why they should measure in the first place, concentrating instead on what can be measured and how to measure it (Robson 2004). In many cases the relationship between the measurement of performance and the achievement of performance outcomes is often described simplistically with catchall phrases like “you can’t manage what you can’t measure”. These phrases imply a simple association between measurement and action in order to achieve performance. The reality of the relationship is however far more complex and the existence of a positive relationship between measurement and performance outcomes have yet to be definitively proven in the literature. Difficulties lie in the ability of researchers to capture the underlying factors that may mediate the relationship between measurement and performance and the considerable influence of organisational structures, culture or operating environments on the achievement of performance. The complex social structures at play in organisations can also have a significant impact on both measurement and performance and these are not sufficiently dealt with by many of the theories applied to contemporary performance measurement research. The Performance Management literature is replete with investigations into the determinants of performance but the role of measurement in organisational outcome is rarely addressed. The following document will explore whether this fundamental gap in the research may be bridged by the adoption of a meta-theoretical perspective, in this case an emergent critical realist perspective, in the conduct of performance measurement investigations. A brief review and critique of the theoretical evolution of research into the measurement-performance link will now follow and the case for the adoption of a critical realist perspective will subsequently be advanced.
In situations where a volatile product market meets an unstable labour market, as is often found in customer contact service operations such as the hospitality industry, there is a need for the constant manipulation of labour supply to match labour demand. Functional workforce flexibility, where multiskilled staff are able to move from jobs in one department to jobs in another, presents an opportunity for solving part of the problem. Presents an approach to calculating the need for functional flexibility dependent on the identified discrepancies in labour demand and supply. Having identified the size of the need, a strategy needs to be developed for fulfilling that need. In implementing this strategy, two approaches are identified: planned whole job substitution and boundary loosening. While the planned approach offers the rational course for maintaining quality and productivity levels, there is evidence that an evolving approach may help to stabilize a highly volatile situation by breaking down barriers from within.
In recent years there has emerged an alternative view of hospitality education and research, which has been termed ‘hospitality studies’. This article explores this issue and identifies the ongoing rationale for, and the importance of, hospitality management education and research.
Adopting an innovative systems-based approach, the authors provide the reader with both an understanding of particular services and functions within the ...
Previous research shows some links between customers’ perceptions of their service experience in hotels, overall satisfaction and enhanced sales revenue. However, the ways in which the servicescape influences the customer and their perceptions of the hotel experience remains relatively unexplored. This study explores the links between customers’ perceptions of the hotel servicescape and their emotional and behavioural responses. Previous research has used scales developed for other industrial contexts and this study aims to develop an instrument directly relevant to the hotel context. To achieve this goal, a recently developed hotel specific servicescape scale was used but both the emotional and behavioural response scales were developed based on existing research but expanded to include items specifically for hotel customers. Using a large-scale survey of hotel customers in London, analysis showed two dimensions of emotional responses and two dimensions of behavioural responses to be both valid and reliable for the hotel context. The study then successfully determined the relationship between five hotel servicescape dimensions and customers’ emotional states and their behavioural responses. The findings showed the ways in which the hotel servicescape significantly affects both emotional and behavioural responses, having clear implications for both hotel design and management. The results also raised a number of interesting and potentially rewarding areas for further research.
There is a dearth of studies analysing the relationship between demand variations, productivity and flexible working in the face of variable demand challenges confronting the tourism industry. This investigation is needed to inform important firm and industry specific labour management strategies for improving productivity. Using data for 43 medium sized hotels owned by two chains in the UK, this paper analyses productivity in relation to external (demand variations) and internal (labour management) conditions over an 8 year period from 2005-2013. The paper’s findings show that demand variation is the principal determinant of productivity. Numerical, functional and zero-contract hour flexible labour management also contributes to labour productivity. Significant differences in findings between establishment and departments indicate the importance of disaggregated analyses.
This paper reports on the findings of a study conducted by the University of Surrey for DIME, a project funded by the European Social fund (ESF). The purpose of the study was to investigate the owners' or managers' perceptions of Small and Medium Tourism and Hospitality Enterprises (SMTHEs) in UK regarding the impact of multimedia in the following aspects of employment: employment levels; nature and content of work as well as amount of workload; work satisfaction; skill requirements; and work status and remuneration. Overall 233 responses were received, broken down as follows: tourist information centres (n=151), 3* hotels (n=40), and B&B's (n=42). Research findings revealed that multimedia technologies are increasingly being adopted and used by tourism and hospitality businesses. The adoption is "system-wide" affecting the operations and competitiveness of all players. However, it appears that multimedia use has caused limited changes in the structure of organizations as well as in the employment levels and activities
This article employs a novel approach by investigating Chinese students from a transnational tourism management programme in Hong Kong and Chinese students studying on a similar programme at the degree-awarding UK university. This quantitative study investigates whether there are any differences between two groups of students in terms of their approaches to learning, preferred learning and teaching methods and their satisfaction with the programme. The findings demonstrate significant differences between the two cohorts, indicating that a programme cannot be easily exported. The implications of the findings for the transnational curriculum, learning and teaching practice and theories of student approaches to learning are discussed.
To explore the dimensions of online brand image from a holistic view To investigate the online brand attributes that determine online brand image. To explore online brand attributes in relation to Herzberg’s Two-Factor Theory (1959).
Low productivity within service industries has been a major concerti, but this situation is unlikely to improve without a general change in the way productivity is measured and managed. This paper aims to illustrate the value of stepwise data envelopment analysis (DEA) for measuring and benchmarking productivity. The issues and problems regarding productivity measurement as well as the advantages of using DEA in productivity measurement are analysed. The article extends current DEA applications by developing a stepwise approach to DEA. The latter technique combines correlation and DEA analysis for developing robust models and sound productivity measurement. The advantages of the proposed methodology are illustrated by applying it to a dataset of three-star hotels in the UK. Six inputs and three outputs are identified as the factors affecting rooms division efficiency in three star hotels.
This research focuses on how the design of backpacker hostels influences social interaction among guests and how this could enhance or spoil their service experience. There are opposing views on how different aspects of hostel design and services contribute towards guests’ evaluation of their hostel stay. On one hand, it is suggested that a hostel environment which encourages social interaction adds value to the service experience while on the other hand, an environment that offers extra privacy, such as en-suite bedrooms, is more valued. The present research therefore argues that some aspects of the hostel’s current design and core services may now be redundant for certain market segments of the hostel guest. Empirical evidence is needed to illustrate the extent to which hostels are providing the right design and services to meet the current requirements of their target market. At this stage of the research, a pilot study has been carried out using semi-structured interviews with individuals who have stayed in backpacker hostels. Using the Critical Incident Technique (CIT), respondents were asked to recall a specific incident where they had interacted with other hostel guests. Details about the environment in which the interaction took place, as well as how the respondents felt about the interaction, were asked during the interview. It is expected that the findings of this research will shed light on which aspects of a hostel’s design and guests’ interaction would contribute towards enhancing the service experience.
Despite the continuous increase of investment in information and communication technologies (ICT) in the tourism industry, empirical studies have not persuasively established corresponding increases in productivity. Indeed several shortcomings have been identified in past studies. This study proposes a new way of assessing ICT productivity. The methodology is tested in a data set from the three-star hotel sector in the United Kingdom using a nonparametric technique called data envelopment analysis (DEA). Empirical findings reveal that productivity gains accrue not from investments per se, but from the full exploitation of the ICT networking and informationalization capabilities. A model for managing ICT applications and benefits is proposed. © 2004 Sage Publications.
Based on career construction theory, the current research examined the relationship between career adaptability and perceived overqualification among a sample of Chinese human resource management professionals (N = 220). The results of a survey study showed that career adaptability predicted perceived overqualification through a dual-path model: On the one hand, career adaptability positively predicted employees' perceived delegation, which had a subsequent negative effect on perceived overqualification. At the same time, career adaptability also positively predicted career anchor in challenge, which in turn positively predicted overqualification. This dual-path mediation model provides a novel perspective to understand the mechanisms through which career adaptability affects perceived overqualification, and demonstrates the coexistence of opposite effects in this process. In addition, the results also showed that the effects of perceived delegation and career anchor in challenge on perceived overqualification were stronger among employees with a higher (vs. lower) level of organizational tenure. These findings carry implications for both career development theories and organizational management practices.
The aim of this study is to examine the psychological empowerment construct within the Jordanian hospitality industry. The multi-dimensional scale developed by Spreitzer 1995 was used. A total of 800 questionnaires were distributed to a sample of frontline employees, and out of these a total of 682 usable questionnaires were used in the analysis. The results of the Exploratory Factor Analysis (EFA) introduced a two dimensional structure. The results of t-tests and one-way ANOVA revealed that only employees’ nationality and educational level could be used to segment employees based on their perception of the psychological empowerment overall and on the extracted dimensions. Implications and recommendations for future research are presented