Lockwood AJ, Zainol NA (2014) Understanding Service Experience: A Critical Incident Technique Approach, Academic Research International 5 (4) 1
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.
Rousaki B, Lockwood A, Hwang J (2005) Introducing change through best practice adoption in hospitality SMEs,
Davis B, Yasoshima J, Lockwood AJ, Alcott PA, Pantelidis I (2012) GESTAO DE ALIMENTOS E BEBIDAS - Edicao Compacta,
Ottenbacher M, Shaw V, Lockwood A (2012) An investigation of the factors affecting innovation performance in chain and independent hotels, pp. 113-128
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. © 2005 by The Haworth Press, Inc. All rights reserved.
Lockwood AJ, Al-Sabbahy H, Thozhur S (2008) An exploratory study: the relationships between individual and organisational service orientation in the hotel industry,
Lockwood AJ, Al-Sabbahy H, Al-Sabi S, Odeh K (2012) PSYCHOLOGICAL EMPOWERMENT IN THE JORDANIAN HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY: DOES THE CONTEXT MATTER?,
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
Lockwood A, Alcott P, Pantelidis I, Davis B (2008) Food and Beverage Management 4th Edition, Elsevier
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.
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.
Lockwood AJ, Jones P, Mogendorff D (2006) Hospitality Operations Management ? a customised text, Thomson Publishing
Lockwood AJ, Zainol N (2008) Relating the Zone of Tolerance to Service Failure in the Hospitality Industry,
Lockwood AJ, Fawcett L (2007) Why can?t accounts be fun?,
Lockwood AJ, Davis B, Alcott PA, Pantelidis I (2012) Food and Beverage Management Fifth Edition,
Lockwood AJ, Zainol N (2009) Identifying quality improvement points: A critical incident study of failures in resort hotels,
Lockwood AJ, Alotaibi E, Al-Sabbahy H (2010) Passion For Hospitality Or Passion In Hospitality?! Customer-Employee Congruence In Hospitality Service Encounters,
Rousaki B, Lockwood A, Hwang J (2006) The social construction of best practice adoption: preliminary data from the hospitality industry,
Jones P, Ball S, Lockwood A, Kirk D (2003) Hospitality operations: a systems approach, Thomson Learning Emea
Adopting an innovative systems-based approach, the authors provide the reader
with both an understanding of particular services and functions within the ...
Lockwood A, Zainol N (2008) Relating the zone of tolerance to service failure in the hospitality industry, Hospitality Review 10 (4) pp. 57-62
Lockwood AJ, Jones P (2007) Variety and contingency in the hospitality industry,
Lockwood A (2008) Operational Performance, In: Jones P (eds.), Handbook of Hospitality Operations and IT Butterworth Heinemann
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).
Lockwood AJ, Nolan E, Rashid Radha J (2014) Using Critical Incident Technique (CIT) to Explore How Hostel Design Influences Guest Interactions and Service Experience,
Rousaki B, Lockwood A (2006) Leading and managing best practices: a challenge for hospitality managers, Hospitality Review 8 (4) pp. 43-49
Bowen A, Jones P, Lockwood A (2003) Best Practice in Tourism, Hospitality and Leisure, Threshold Press
Lockwood A, Zeglat D, Ekinci Y (2008) Service quality and business performance, In: Handbook of Hospitality Marketing Management Butterworth Heinemann
Jones PLM, Lockwood A, Bowen A (2004) Tourism and Hospitality SMEs: Disseminating Best Practice in the Knowledge Based Economy,
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.
Lockwood AJ, Ottenbacher M (2005) The Development Process For Hospitality Innovations, Hospitality Review
Lockwood AJ, Alsini I, Al-Sabbahy H (2010) The antecedents of employee service in the hotel industry: a service orientation perspective,
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
Sigala M, Airey D, Jones PLM, Lockwood A (2001) Multimedia Use in the UK Tourism and Hospitality Sector: Training on Skills and Competencies, Information Technology and Tourism 4 (1) pp. 31-39 Cognizant Communication Corporation
Lockwood A, Alsini I, Al-Sabbahy H, Thozhur H (2008) Expatriate hospitality workers in the Arab Gulf countries, Hospitality Review 10 (1) pp. 27-34
Jones PLM, Lockwood A, Bowen A (2004) The UK's Industry Forum Adaptation Programme in Tourism and Hospitality: a collaboration between government, industry and academia,
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.
Lockwood AJ, Jones P, Airey D, Sigala M (2004) ICT paradox lost? A stepwise DEA methodology, Journal of Travel Research 43 pp. 180-192
Hwang LJJ, Lockwood A (2006) Understanding the challenges of implementing best practices in hospitality and tourism SMEs, Benchmarking 13 (3) pp. 337-354
Purpose - To provide insight into the barriers to the application of best practices in hospitality and tourism small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the UK. Design/methodology/approach - In-depth interviews were conducted with owners, managers and staff in 89 award-winning business in the hospitality and tourism industry. Eight areas of best practice that arose from an initial pilot study were investigated in the sample population of SME's. With a holistic and multiple-cases analysis approach, the case studies are assembled to form a portrait of hospitality and tourism in the UK. Findings - Results suggest a model identifying seven key capabilities that underlie the adoption of best practices and six barriers to their implementation. The seven key capabilities for hospitality and tourism SMEs are customer focused goals, planning and control, partnering and networking, internal and external communication, achieving consistent standards, strategic workforce management, cash flow and performance management. The six barriers to implementing best practices were identified as changing demand, limited resources, lack of skilled labour, lifestyle, lack of competitive benchmarking and location, all of which could create turbulence in the operational environment. Research limitations/implications - As hospitality and tourism SMEs appear to inherit characteristics derived both from the small and medium size of the operation and the nature of the industry sector, the implications of the model and the associated barriers may create obstacles to the benefits of competitive benchmarking and lead to a loss of the pride and passion and impede the growth of their business. Originality/value - Considerable diversity is demonstrated amongst SMEs in relation to their use of strategies while confirming some of the difficulties and challenges inherent to the industry and endemic to smaller organisations. © Emerald Group Publishing Limited.
Lockwood AJ, Al-Sabi S, Al-Sabbahy H (2010) The effect of empowerment on the service recovery performance of customer contact employees,
Lockwood AJ, Zainol N (2014) Critical Failure Factors: Perspectives from Resort Hotel Customers, Tourism Development Journal 11-12 (1) pp. 28-39
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.
Lockwood AJ, Amenumey E, Thozhur S (2007) Exploring Psychological Empowerment Among Staff in a Small Luxury Hotel Group in The UK,
Jones PLM, Sigala M, Lockwood A (2001) Stratetic Implementation and IT: Gaining Competitive Advantage from the Hotel Reservations Process, International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management 13 (7) pp. 364-371 MCB University Press
Al-Sabbahy H, Alsini I, Lockwood A (2011) The Antecedents of Employee Service Quality in the Hospitality Industry: A Conceptual Study,
Al-Sabbahy H, Alotaibi E, Lockwood A (2009) Beyond service quality: getting closer to the customer, The Hospitality Review 11 (1) pp. 49-54
Lockwood AJ, Alsini IM, Al-Sabbahy H, Thozhur S (2007) Saudi-isation in the hotel industry: opportunity or challenge,
Lockwood AJ, Deng N (2004) Can service recovery help when service failures occur?, Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Management 11 (2)
Lockwood AJ, Thozhur S (2006) Hospitality Operating Systems ? a customised text, Thomson Publishing
Rousaki B, Lockwood A, Roper A (2007) Exploring the implementation of best practice: a processual perspective,
Lockwood AJ, Pyun KH, Willis A (2007) Exploring the servicescape and its dimensions in the hotel industry context,
Lockwood AJ (2007) Invited Presentation: Higher Education and Further Education Working Together,
Jones PLM, Lockwood A, Bowen A (2004) Best practice in UK hospitality and tourism SMEs: the implications of size, location and ownership style, Proceedings of the International Council of Small Business 49th World Conference
Lockwood AJ, Jones P, Bowen A (2004) UK Hospitality and Tourism SMEs: Differentiation by Size, Location, and Owner Style, Tourism Hospitality Planning & Development 1 (1) pp. 7-11
Li L, Gray DE, John Lockwood A, Buhalis D (2013) Learning About Managing the Business in the Hospitality Industry, Human Resource Development Quarterly 24 (4) pp. 525-559
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 7 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. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
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 the past few years, Thailand has faced many negative situations such as natural disasters and political disturbances, which have had serious impacts on all parts of the nation including its economic progress. In Northern Thailand, the role of the hospitality and tourism sector is claimed to be particularly significant as an industry which has protected the Northern region from severe economic disaster. Recently, however, the number of boutique hotels in Northern Thailand has shown very rapid growth but the motivations behind creating and operating these businesses has never been fully investigated. Understanding the entrepreneurial motivation behind these businesses can be of benefit not only to the region, but also to the nation and to the study of entrepreneurship as a whole.
Previous research has contributed to our knowledge of entrepreneurial motivation but it has shown many differences and identified many varied types of entrepreneurial motivation and there has been no clear agreement on which entrepreneurial motivation applies in any specific context. The majority of the research has been quantitative, which has provided only a partial explanation of the issue. Entrepreneurs in different contexts and different industrial settings would appear to be motivated by different things e.g. entrepreneurs in the hospitality and tourism industry have been seen to be motivated by lifestyle concerns. Importantly in previous research these lifestyle entrepreneurs have been believed to reject business growth. Research in the hospitality and tourism field has also been dominated by a Western context and the majority of the research has employed surveys of various types.
Therefore, the research reported in this thesis has been established with three clear objectives. The first is to identify and gain an insight into the motivation of entrepreneurs operating boutique hotels in Northern Thailand. Although entrepreneurs in the hospitality and tourism field have previously been seen to reject business growth, this research has moved away from this presumption. Hence, the second objective is to investigate how entrepreneurs in this specific context view business growth and to identify and gain an insight into the nature of business growth in boutique hotels in Northern Thailand. While the majority of the previous research has generated explanations based only on the views of customers and managers, the third objective is to compile and synthesise detailed information about boutique hotel from the views of the entrepreneurs themselves.
To provide a detailed insight into entrepreneurial motivation, business growth and boutique hotels, this research was conducted using a qualitative method. The researcher carried out in-depth interviews in a total of thirty two hotels, talking to twenty-nine owners/entrepreneurs and five managers. The interviews were transcribed in full by the researcher and thematic analysis was employed for the data analysis.
The findings can be separated into three parts. First, the research on entrepreneurial motivations revealed four significant themes. These were the influence of the family, the encouragement of friends, the attractiveness of the destination and the type of business. Importantly, the findings indicated that the entrepreneurs were driven largely by non-profit motivations. Second, the research on business growth revealed that, rather than avoiding business growth, the majority of these entrepreneurs had already grown their businesses or had plans to grow their business in the near future. The entrepreneurs focused on growth strategies which were concerned with increasing the number of rooms, establishing new hotels or other new businesses, adding facilities and activities to their existing operations, changing the style of the hotel and more generally improving the service they provided. The reasons behind the growth can be divided into five areas of which four were non-profit based. Business growth was
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.
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.
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?.
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.
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.
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.
Despite considerable research interest, the existence of a positive relationship between the measurement of performance and the achievement of performance outcomes has yet to be definitively proven in the literature. This thesis contributes to existing knowledge in the performance measurement (PM) field by providing three theories which explain the link between measurement and the achievement of outcomes in the hospitality sector. These theories derived from a mixed quantitative-qualitative sequential methodology, and embedded in a Critical Realist (CR) perspective, develop and improve upon existing theory by providing additional understanding and new research directions for practitioners.
Beginning with a reconceptualisation of performance as an emergent property rather than a contingent property, the research then applies the Critical Realist logic of inference, known as retroduction, which explains events through the identification of mechanisms which are capable of producing them. The emergence of performance in hospitality organisations is thus investigated through the exposure of the underlying factors, the structures and generative mechanisms which influence both measurement and performance outcomes. The research results in a new understanding of the role of leadership in stewarding performance by the selective deployment of the organisational measurement apparatus. It also re-evaluates the role of dissonant performance to promote innovative problem-solving to improve performance, and uncovers the delicate balancing act between the needs of principals and agents in the property owner / management company relationship. Most notably this work presents an augmented control theory of the measurement-performance link, which is a complex, multi-faceted and adaptive model with elements of the traditional control theory paradigm, as well as pre-emptive and pre-operational control elements.
The findings of this work challenge the prevailing paradigm of the subject area and update, refine and expand on the existing body of theory by offering a deeper, more comprehensive explanation of the measurement-performance link than previous works.
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.
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.
With the internet now the primary channel of hotel bookings for many consumers, this study sets out to analyse if a consumer forms a relationship with their online booking channel, as much of extant hospitality literature analyses post-purchase or post-stay relationship satisfaction. This is a breakthrough study for two reasons: measuring the multiple Organisation-Public Relationship (OPR) dimensions simultaneously, in the new contexts of one-off, online, discretionary hotel bookings, has determined that a relationship does exist. Secondly, it provides a relationship definition specific to this study: in the context of a reintermediated hotel industry, where the consumer is the dominant party, a relationship in a technology enabled booking process exists where both the requisite levels of attachment and benefits are provided to establish satisfaction with the process, as predicted by the three key indicators of trust, reliability and commitment, thereby prompting long term usage.
To analyse this relationship, a mixed-methods approach was taken. The exploratory qualitative study determined that a relationship does exist between the customer and the booking channel. Taking the Hon and Grunig (1999) OPR model as the basis for investigation, the results revealed that the dimensions of trust, commitment, control mutuality and exchange relationship are present.
To measure the strength of each dimension, an online quantitative study was distributed to over 500 respondents in the UK, inclusive of both hotel website and Online Travel Agent (OTA) website users. Partial Least Squares Structural Equation Modelling (PLS-SEM) was used to measure and validate the relationship dimensions present in the model. The findings were illuminating; firstly, the OPR dimensions were highly correlated in this context, prompting a redistribution of the measurement items. The resultant Hotel Booking channel Relationship model (HBR) was validated, providing the new insight that the dimensions of reliability, commitment and trust are the strongest predictors of a consumer?s satisfaction with their booking channel, which remained true for all of the moderators.
This study has made the following original contributions. Methodologically it tested the OPR model in new contexts of marketing led, online hotel bookings that are a one-off discretionary spend and secondly, implemented the rigour and flexibility of the PLS-SEM analysis to generate the HBR model and moderator analysis. Theoretically the qualitative research identified the impact of the functional and emotional benefits, the quantitative developed and confirmed the new HBR and the analysis confirmed the emergence of reliability, trust, and commitment as the significant dimensions within this context. Managerially the HBR can be used by both hotels or OTAs to develop valued consumer relationships and for other tourism sectors such as destination marketing or cruise products.