Food choices are often habitual, which can perpetuate unhealthy behaviors; that is, selection of foods high in sodium, saturated fat, and calories. This article extends previous research by examining how marketing incentives can encourage healthy food choices. Building on research examining marketing incentives, temporal goals, and habitual behavior, this research shows that certain incentives (behavioral rewards vs. financial discounts) affect individuals with healthy and less healthy eating habits differently. A field study conducted at a corporate cafeteria and three lab studies converge on a consistent finding: The effects of marketing incentives on healthy food choice are particularly prominent for people who have less healthy eating habits. Results showed that behavioral rewards generated a 28.5% (vs. 5.5%) increase in salad sales; behavioral rewards also led to 2 pounds more weight loss for individuals with less healthy eating habits. The research offers important implications for scholars, the food industry, consumers, governments, and policy makers.
Restaurant servers’ negative sentiments toward Black customers have been well documented. Further, existing research has shown that a large proportion of waiters/waitresses confess that they sometimes discriminate against Black Americans by giving them less than their optimal service effort. However, research assessing the generalized consequences of servers’ discriminatory practices on consumers’ experiences is lacking. In response, this study analyzes survey data from a demographically diverse sample of Black and White consumers (N = 415) to test for interracial differences in nine distinct self-reported outcomes assessing typical and recent dining experiences in full-service restaurants. Given widespread anti-Black sentiments and discriminatory actions among servers, we posit that Black Americans will on average report diminished dining experiences relative to their White counterparts. In contrast to our predictions, results indicate that Black and White respondents report similar dining experiences when visiting full-service restaurants and, where differences exist, Black respondents appear to report slightly more positive and less negative experiences compared with their White counterparts. We identify a number of interconnected factors that may account for this observed pattern and conclude by encouraging additional scholarship on the nature and downstream effects of race-based restaurant service.
This study examines the effect of cost of living (COL) on employee wages in the hotel industry. Although prior research clearly indicates that COL and wages are positively related, there is a lack of research explicitly considering the specific nature of the relationship between COL and wages, and potential moderators to the relationship. Using a dataset containing information on 97 jobs over 67 cities, our study shows that while there is a positive effect of COL on wages, the adjustment is not equal in magnitude to the difference that the COL levels would indicate. Furthermore, the effect of COL decreases as the average wage for the given job increases. We also show differences in COL’s effects for full-service versus limited-service hotels. We illustrate the implications of our findings by showing predicted wage rates for four jobs in five different cities, at both full-service and limit-service hotels. The study has implications for research, particularly for future work on COL and compensation. The findings also have important implications for practice, and may be particularly useful when managers need to set pay levels when local market data are unavailable.
To explore the organizational antecedents of proactive customer service performance (PCSP), we developed and tested a multi-level model of the impact of high-commitment human resource (HR) practices on PCSP in the hospitality industry. Drawing on the proactive motivation model, the mediating roles of work-related self-efficacy, perceived organizational support, and harmonious passion for work are examined simultaneously in the relationship between high-commitment HR practices and PCSP. Using time-lagged data from 94 hotels in China, we found that high-commitment HR practices positively influenced service employees’ PCSP via work-related self-efficacy, perceived organizational support, and harmonious passion for work. We discuss the theoretical and managerial implications of this research and also give some suggestions on how to effectively adopt and implement high-commitment HR practices.
Identification of the factors of hotel brand experience (HBE) and the interrelationships shared by them are of interest to both practitioners and academics, as such an understanding would enable hoteliers to deliver superior HBE. However, very few studies have concentrated on brand experience in hotels. This study identifies the factors of HBE and determines the interrelationships among them through the development of a reliable and robust hierarchy-based model using interpretive structural modeling (ISM) approach. Results show that particular factors (hotel location, attractive and informative hotel website, and active exposure on social media) have a high degree of influence on the development of HBE and exhibit low dependence. The present work has significant implications for hoteliers who could use the findings of the study to provide superior HBE.
This study examined whether corporate social responsibility (CSR) enhances firm value for shareholders, who ultimately fund a firm’s CSR initiatives. Specifically, we investigated the relationship between the CSR activities of a hospitality firm and the risks associated with equity holding of the firm. Using MSCI Environmental, Social, and Governance ratings from 1991 to 2008, we measured the extent of CSR efforts of firms and tested the effect of CSR on two different types of equity-holder risks (i.e., systematic and unsystematic risks) across four segments in the hospitality industry (airlines, hotels, casinos, and restaurants). CSR was found to reduce the systematic risk of restaurants and casinos firms significantly, whereas it had no significant influence on the unsystematic risk in any of the segments. The results of this study have important theoretical and practical implications to the academia and the hospitality industry.
This study examines the role of job insecurity as a moderator that may trigger destructive responses by employees to perceived outsourcing of labor services. Although some studies have suggested that outsourcing might not be viewed favorably by the hotel staff, the article first argues that because outsourcing of labor can be a useful strategy for the effective functioning of a hotel, mere perceptions of outsourcing by internal employees should lead them to react favorably to the hotel in the form of citizenship (organizational citizenship behavior–organization [OCB-O]) and decreased deviance (deviant workplace behavior–organization [DWB-O]). We invoke unitarism theory, which emphasizes the shared interests of all the members of an organization. The article then argues that these reactions to outsourcing may become negative when internal employees note the presence of job insecurity, triggering decreased OCB-O and DWB-O. Data were collected from 215 in-house employees working concurrently with outsourced employees at 14 hotels in Gran Canaria (Spain). Structural equation modeling (SEM) results suggest that, contrary to expectations, perceived outsourcing leads employees to significantly increase their DWB-O, but not vary their OCB-O. Unlike OCB-O, these DWB-O reactions to perceived outsourcing became stronger among employees who were high rather than low in job insecurity. The findings suggest that job insecurity plays an expendable, but relevant, role in reactions to outsourcing that harm their success.
This study investigates the effects of securitization, foreclosure, and hotel characteristics on the sale prices of distressed hotels as well as their influence on resolution time and recovery rate. Using a sample of 4,763 financially distressed hotels between 2010 and 2014, this study provides evidence that hotel size, securitization, foreclosure, and disposal methods are important predictors of distressed property prices, resolution time, and recovery rate.
Previous research in the area of how individuals respond to hard-copy versus electronic communications indicates inconsistent results. Although media richness theory suggests that there is no theoretical distinction between physical, hard-copy and electronic, text-based communications, other research has shown that an individual’s response varies depending on the type of communication. The present research explores the reaction to unexpected opportunities as a function of how the communications are received—either via email or as a hard-copy. Results indicate that participants were equally satisfied to receive either an electronic or a physical gift certificate; however, they redeemed them in unequal amounts. Participants who received a physical gift card were more likely to redeem their gifts and were more likely to spend a greater amount of the total gift card than those who received an electronic one.
This study compares the effectiveness of servant versus authentic leadership in hospitality firms by examining relationships with group-level trust and individual-level work outcomes (i.e., organizational commitment, work engagement, and work performance), and their influencing mechanisms through trust climate. Using two-wave data from 1,132 employee–supervisor pairs from 80 departments in 16 star-level hotels in China, we find that these two forms of leadership have positive effects on group trust climate and employee work outcomes; however, the magnitudes and paths of their effects are distinct. In comparison with authentic leadership, servant leadership has a more significant effect on creating a trust climate and a more direct effect regarding increasing employees’ positive work attitudes (i.e., organizational commitment and work engagement), ultimately influencing work performance. This study also demonstrates the importance of group trust climate in relationships between group-level leadership and individual-level employee work attitudes and performance. These findings extend the scope of servant and authentic leadership research, and advocate servant leadership in the hospitality industry.
A few years ago and coinciding with the dilemma posed by March about the contradictions involved in exploration and exploitation learning, we saw the emergence of the "Organizational Ambidexterity" (OA) concept as a metaphor to define organizations that are able to develop exploitation and exploration learning at the same time. Despite the efforts made to discern the OA antecedents and moderating factors, a number of aspects still remain to be studied on the map of research into this topic. One of them is the role that human resources can play in ambidextrous learning. Special attention has also been paid in the field of human resource management to the link between high performance work systems (HPWS) and performance. Recent studies highlight the need to make further progress in this direction but using some organizational capacity as a mediating variable between HPWSs and performance. This article uses OA as the mediator variable in this relationship. The main objectives of this research are (a) to determine whether the utilization of an HPWS exerts a positive influence on OA, (b) to know the extent to which HPWSs and OA contribute to organizational performance, and (c) to verify the potential mediating role played by OA on the HPWS performance relationship. The theoretical model and the hypotheses proposed were tested using a sample of 100 Spanish hotels.
On November 27, 2001, the Supreme Court ruled in Chickasaw v. United States that Native American gaming (NAG) firms are subject to federal excise and occupational taxes. Prior to the decision, these firms had been exempt from all federal taxation. We hypothesize that Chickasaw improves the competitive position of publicly traded gaming firms and their suppliers by leveling the playing field for publicly traded firms. Consistent with this argument, we find that the stock prices of publicly traded gaming firms and their suppliers reacted positively to the announcement of the Chickasaw Supreme Court and Tenth Circuit decisions. We also hypothesize that Nevada casinos are relatively insulated from competition because they offer a unique experience that is not easily replicated by NAG firms. Consistent with this argument, we find smaller stock price reactions for firms with Nevada operations.
This study examines whether knowledge exposure and supreme wine attributes such as appearance, aroma, taste, and hangover avoidance influence consumers’ quality evaluation and purchase intentions of genetically modified (GM) wines. We conducted two experimental studies in two different settings involving a total of 321 subjects. Results indicate that educating consumers with knowledge on GM wines efficiently reduces the fear caused by GM identity. Importantly, the desirable organoleptic and functional performances of GM wines not only reduce consumers’ concerns with GM products but also enable GM wines to surpass conventional options that are less salient in these performances. Specifically, consumers would choose a GM wine over traditional options if the GM wine has a superior appearance and the ability to eliminate a hangover. Furthermore, consumers express equal acceptance of GM wines and traditional counterparts when there are no differences in aroma and taste. This research delivers significant implications for wine marketing through examining a timely and controversial subject matter.
The purpose of this study was to determine whether it is beneficial for service providers, such as hotels and restaurants, to respond to online negative reviews, and (a) whether company reputation is moderated by the number of negative versus positive reviews and (b) whether the underlying issue is attributed to controllable versus uncontrollable factors. To test the hypotheses, a 2 x 2 x 2 quasi-experimental design was utilized. Respondents were asked to imagine that they were planning a trip to New York City, were searching online for a hotel near Times Square, and were provided with several reviews. The results indicate, in general, that company reputation is adversely affected as the number of negative to positive reviews becomes greater. When service failures pertain to controllable factors, management responses can mitigate the adverse effects of negative reviews. When service failures stem from uncontrollable factors, company reputation is not adversely affected, and thus a response from management might not be necessary. A follow-up study examined whether the type of response matters. Findings revealed that an apology with assurance versus an apology with correction action is equally effective.
An organization’s forgiveness climate is pivotal in reducing negative and promoting positive consequences of errors, mistakes, or offenses in the workplace. This study examines the influence of a perceived forgiveness climate on learning behavior, job satisfaction, organizational commitment, and intention to leave. Using quantitative cross-sectional data collected from 128 hotel and lodging managers, Study 1 revealed that a perceived forgiveness climate was significantly positively related to learning behavior and job satisfaction. Furthermore, the results demonstrated the mediating effect of learning behavior between a perceived forgiveness climate and job satisfaction and intention to leave. Study 2 confirmed this finding using 187 hospitality management students who work as frontline employees in various hospitality organizations. A perceived forgiveness climate was again found to significantly influence learning behavior and intention to leave, as well as organizational commitment. The results also confirmed the mediating effect of learning behavior. The findings suggest that organizations should promote a climate of forgiveness to influence employee attitudes and behaviors.
Hospitality operators spend millions of dollars on store remodeling; however, existing research offers little guidance on how to effectively communicate such investments to consumers. This study examines the joint effects of explanation type (customer-focused vs. brand-focused vs. control) and relationship type (communal vs. exchange) on consumers’ opinions of remodeling, feelings of trust, and brand attitudes. Overall, the results indicate that a customer-focused explanation is more effective in gaining customer support for store remodeling. The positive impact of a brand-focused explanation is limited to brand attitudes among exchange-type customers, while a customer-focused explanation is effective in both communal and exchange relationships. Furthermore, the results show that feelings of trust are the underlying mechanism explaining the relationship between explanation type and brand attitudes. Findings of this study suggest that hospitality managers should consider store remodeling as a great advertising opportunity to leverage consumers’ brand evaluations.
Identifying specific initiatives that can be undertaken by frontline employees to enhance customer delight is of great interest to service firms. In the hopes of contributing to this objective, the current research evaluates the impact of server recommendations on customer delight. Findings indicate that unsolicited server recommendations have a significant positive impact on customer delight. Moreover, the research provides no evidence to suggest that repercussions will result for the service provider even if the provision of an unsolicited recommendation leads to a negative outcome. The mediating role of expectations is examined to gain a better understanding of these recommendation effects. Consistent with self-fulfilling prophecy, the results reveal that customers are capable of experiencing delight even in heightened pre-experience expectation situations. These results provide evidence that the pursuance of customer delight as a strategic objective may warrant additional consideration.
The trickle-down model of abusive supervision points out that the negative effect of abusive supervisory behaviors will be imitated by the subordinates and transmits along the organizational hierarchy. An important question arises herein as when and how this negative effect will be stopped or alleviated. In this study, we examine the positive relationship between abusive supervisory behavior and abusive subordinate behavior and the negative relationship between subordinates’ abusive behavior and service performance in teams from hospitality industry. Moreover, we posit that two team-level cultural values (power distance and traditional values) moderate the trickle-down effect of abusive supervision. Data were obtained from 266 supervisor–subordinate dyads in the hotel industry in China. The hierarchical linear modeling (HLM) results revealed that (1) abusive supervision positively predicts abusive subordinate behavior, (2) abusive subordinate behavior negatively predicts service performance, and (3) both traditional and power distance values mitigate the negative effects of abusive supervision in the supervisor–subordinate relationship. Theoretical and practical implications of the findings are discussed.
In the absence of state or federal laws governing the public use of electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes), hospitality organizations are often forced to decide, on an individual basis, whether or not to allow the use of these products in the consumption environment. Unfortunately, because the behavioral effects of e-cigarette use on nonusers are poorly understood, such decisions are often based on the personal views of management and/or anecdotal evidence from customers rather than on theoretically based empirical evidence. The purpose of this research is to explore the e-cigarette phenomenon from the perspective of schema congruity in an effort to better understand how consumers react to the use of e-cigarettes in shared consumption spaces. To these ends, data were collected from 228 consumers in the United States. Results of both qualitative and quantitative analyses suggest that evaluations of e-cigarettes vary significantly based on the social distance from the referent user as well as on salient contextual norms. In addition, schema congruity was found to affect both attitudinal perceptions of e-cigarette use and perceptions of restaurant policy concerning e-cigarettes. The results suggest that, when it comes to e-cigarette policy, consideration must be given to both property-level characteristics (i.e., norm salience) and product-level perceptions (i.e., schema congruity).
The average weight of employees in the United States workforce is increasing. Importantly, relatively heavier employees are often subject to stereotypes, prejudice, and discrimination based solely on their weight. These biases may be further influenced by factors such as employee gender and the specific nature of the job. Thus, we employ the stereotype content model (SCM) to examine the multiplicative effects of weight and gender and argue that perceptions of employee warmth are more salient than perceptions of employee competence in customer service contexts. In support of our hypotheses, we found that weight and gender interacted to influence warmth, such that heavy women were perceived to be higher in warmth relative to less heavy women (with no effect for men). Furthermore, perceptions of warmth predicted service satisfaction, whereas perceptions of competence did not. Finally, perceptions of warmth (but not competence) explained the relations between weight and gender and service satisfaction for female (but not male) customer service agents. We end with a discussion of the theoretical implications related to the SCM along with practical implications for service industry organizations and employees.
Considering the strong influence of social media on internet users, it is important to understand its role for hotel businesses, particularly the online aspect of lodging operations. Although several social media studies have been done, very few studies have focused on travelers’ needs and the specific gratifications they seek when using embedded social media channels on hotel websites, and how those channels would influence their purchasing behavior. The main purpose of the current research is to examine the effectiveness of embedded social media channels on hotel websites and their influence on traveler behavior. Applying the uses and gratifications (U&G) approach, we examined relationships among traveler gratifications, satisfaction, and purchase intentions by comparing user experience with hotel websites that used embedded social media channels to those without embedded social media channels. The results indicated that travelers exposed to the hotel website with embedded social media channels had higher levels of perceived informativeness, perceived enjoyment, and perceived social interaction that directly influenced traveler satisfaction. In the context of embedded social media channels, the gratification factors, such as perceived enjoyment and perceived social interaction, directly influenced traveler satisfaction and purchase intentions, and indirectly influenced purchase intentions through traveler satisfaction. Meanwhile, perceived informativeness did not influence purchase intentions directly in either sample, but it did influence purchase intentions indirectly through travelers’ satisfaction. Furthermore, for the group who used the hotel website without embedded social media channels, perceived social interaction was found to have no significant effect on travelers’ satisfaction and purchase intentions.
Long-term customer retention in the upscale restaurant industry requires successful management of postconsumption service evaluations. The purpose of this research is to identify drivers of price fairness and postconsumption behavioral intentions within the context of upscale/fine dining restaurant patronage. Specifically, this study identifies the dual roles of consumer innovation and restaurant image as drivers of price fairness and behavioral intentions. Based on a review of the literature, a construct nomology was proposed. The model was then tested using data collected from a sample of upscale restaurant patrons residing in the United States. Results of a structural equation analysis suggest, for innovative consumers, the perception that a restaurant is likewise innovative results in increased perceptions of price fairness and positive postconsumption behavioral intention. Innovative customers, grateful to the restaurant for having their needs for novelty satisfied, were more likely to perceive prices as fair and were more likely to report positive behavioral intentions. The academic and managerial implications of these findings are considered.
This paper reports the findings of a study on the effects of corporate social responsibility–brand fit (CSR-brand fit) on service brand loyalty via brand identification in a brand coffee shop industry. The authors also examine how customer participation in a firm’s CSR activities strengthens the formation of service brand loyalty. Using structural equation analysis, the proposed model was tested with 237 actual customers of brand coffee shops. The results indicate that CSR-brand fit strengthens both personal and social brand identification, which in turn increase consumers’ service brand loyalty. The results also indicate that personal identification has a larger influence on service brand loyalty than social identification does. The greater effect for personal versus social identification occurs when customers participate in companies’ CSR activities. This study deepens our understanding of the link between CSR-brand fit and loyalty via personal and social identification. The research is also the first to examine how customers’ active participation in CSR activities influences the process of loyalty formation.
Online user-generated content in various social media websites, such as consumer experiences, user feedback, and product reviews, has increasingly become the primary information source for both consumers and businesses. In this study, we aim to look beyond the quantitative summary and unidimensional interpretation of online user reviews to provide a more comprehensive view of online user-generated content. Moreover, we would like to extend the current literature to the more customer-driven service industries, particularly the hotel industry. We obtain a unique and extensive dataset of online user reviews for hotels across various review sites and over long time periods. We use the sentiment analysis technique to decompose user reviews into different dimensions to measure hotel service quality and performance based on the SERVPERF model. Those dimensions are then incorporated into econometrics models to examine their effect in shaping users’ overall evaluation and content-generating behavior. The results suggest that different dimensions of user reviews have significantly different effects in forming user evaluation and driving content generation. This paper demonstrates the importance of using textual data to measure consumers’ relative preferences for service quality and evaluate service performance.
Substantial public subsidies, and even outright public ownership, of hotels have become common in the United States as communities target tourism as an integral economic development tool. A critical question that is increasingly being raised about the public sector entering the hotel business is, are these government-funded facilities unfair competition to properties developed by the private sector? The common reply to these concerns is that the publicly owned hotel is critical to growing demand for lodging accommodation and that once it opens, the new hotel will attract enough new business that all hotels will benefit. We use an event study to test this hypothesis across all of the 100% publicly developed hotels for which there are sufficient data to conduct the analysis. In looking at these 21 hotels, we found strong evidence that the performance of neighboring hotels worsens after the introduction of a publicly owned hotel.
Utility companies achieved an average reduction of 2.5 percent in home energy use through an energy conservation nudge that provides feedback on energy consumption as compared with neighbors. This study investigated whether hotels can replicate this effect with their guests. A 2 (valence of electricity consumption) x 2 (comparison subject) experimental design with a control group was used with 1,000 respondents reporting their behavioral intentions in response to the energy conservation nudge in a scenario-based experiment. The results of a one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) revealed that behavioral intentions toward electricity conservation were pronounced when the nudge was provided (regardless of the valence of electricity consumption and the comparison subject). The results of an analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) with an energy conscious level as a covariate confirmed the effectiveness of the nudge on electricity conservation. The results indicate that hotels can achieve guest-driven electricity efficiency when an appropriately designed nudge is supplied to guests. The implications of the study are also discussed.
Service innovation positions an organization to create and deliver anticipatory service that exceeds member expectations and ultimately strengthens relationships. However, service innovation remains one of the most under-researched topics in hospitality. This study begins to fill that gap by exploring the strategies and factors that drive service innovation in the private club industry. Drawing insights from approximately 700 critical incidents reported by private club general managers/chief operating officers, we examined the common strategies and factors that assist clubs in developing and launching new services and products. Moreover, we also categorize pressing issues in the industry that are ripe for future innovation. The findings may have implications not only for the club industry but also for the hospitality industry in general.
As an emerging distribution channel, online discount websites are gaining popularity among luxury hotels. However, little guidance on the effectiveness of such price promotions in luxury hotels is provided in the extant literature. Building on the status consumption theories, we examine the joint effects of price promotions and need for status (NFS) on consumers’ attitudes toward the hotel as well as their intentions to return. Our results indicate that consumers who are high in NFS exhibit less favorable attitudes toward the luxury hotel and a lower likelihood to return on having learned that the hotel plans to implement price promotions through discount websites. On the contrary, customers who are low in NFS are unaffected by the presence of price promotions via discount websites. Therefore, luxury hotels that traditionally attract consumers high in NFS need to be aware that using price promotions via discount websites might have a detrimental effect on consumers’ perceptions of the hotel.
In this paper, we examine how consumers’ reactions to the British Petrolium (BP) oil spill and their attitudes about the Gulf of Mexico as a tourism destination differ as a function of the respondents’ geographic location of residence and their past travel behavior. A survey conducted with 540 travelers and tourists, which began three weeks following the successful capping of the oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico, reveals that consumers’ reactions to the oil spill varied by geographic location and past travel behavior. In particular, consumers from the southeast region, when compared with the three other geographic regions we sampled, had more negative views regarding the oil spill on a number of dependent measures. We also found that individuals who traveled to Florida in the two years prior to the oil spill reported higher perceptions of environmental risk than those individuals who had not traveled to Florida during that same time frame.
Gender plays an important role in Arab customers’ evaluation of intercultural service encounters. Even though Middle Eastern tourists are a growing market segment in the travel industry, academic research on them from a service management perspective remains relatively sparse. To understand Arab customers’ evaluation of service experiences, this research focuses on the gender dynamics between service providers and Arab customers during a service encounter. Online surveys of a scenario-based experiment were created and distributed to respondents of Arab descent in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, and United Arab Emirates. The findings, based on 326 respondents, suggest that Arab customers are more comfortable—more satisfied with the service encounter and more willing to provide feedback—if the employee is the same gender. However, employee efforts to solicit feedback did not intensify the gender interaction effect on comfort. The findings of this research provide valuable implications for hospitality managers to better cater to the needs of Arab customers by understanding gender boundaries of them in an intercultural service encounter.
Hospitality studies often point to a need to investigate the linkage between service providers/firms, employees, and customers. Although there is a large body of literature showing that customer behaviors are shaped by the providers while employee performance and commitment are shaped by the organizations they are embedded within, most research exclusively uses data from a single level to infer social phenomena at multiple levels. This limitation creates fallacies that inhibit a complete understanding of research problems that traverse several social hierarchies. This article presents common research problems in the hospitality literature and examples of how multilevel methods could facilitate more rigorous research by controlling contextual and potentially confounding variables that exist at multiple levels. It also presents new research avenues that could advance the knowledge and theoretical development of the field. Based on examples of three scenarios delineating research problems in three major research streams, this article shows how multilevel methods could represent a leap forward to promote more rigorous and fruitful hospitality research. It further explains how multiple methods could bridge the divides between micro and macro research and between science and practice.
Due to the vigorous development of the tourism industry in Taiwan, the number of international tourist hotels has been on an upward trend. To survive in an increasingly competitive environment, it is important to seek out improvement in performance. This study measures the performance of fifty-four international tourist hotels in Taiwan from 2008 to 2011 by using the metafrontier Malmquist productivity index. This index satisfies the requirement of circularity, is immune to linear programming infeasibility, overcomes the problem of base period dependency, and considers the heterogeneity among hotels. To investigate sources of productivity change, this index can be further decomposed into within-group efficiency change, within-group technical change, and technical leadership change. The empirical results indicate that the use of different technologies by hotels affects the productivity change. Both within-group efficiency and technical changes are the main factors of productivity change. Chain hotels are technology leaders, and independent hotels are followers. By identifying each competitor’s productivity change, operators can refer to appropriate best-practice hotels to improve their operations.
Growing consumer interest in sustainable products and an increased emphasis on supply chain relationships within the organic wine industry necessitate a more in-depth understanding of the effects of consumer perceptions about the sustainable practices of organic wine producers and retailers (suppliers). This study focuses on consumer perceptions about sustainable practices used by organic wine suppliers along with consumer attitudes pertaining to organic wine attributes. Results suggest that consumer perceptions of sustainable practices by wine producers affect the outcomes of consumers’ decision making relative to organic wine. In addition, this study found that consumer attitudes about organic wine attributes related to the environment, health, and price had significant effects upon behavioral intentions. The moderating effects of trust on these perceptions are also considered. Findings indicate consumers that trust wine retailers are more likely to engage in positive outcomes. Numerous implications regarding organic wine supply chain management and future research are identified.
This research draws on acculturation theory to identify potential differences in Chinese Americans’ reaction to a service failure based on their acculturation level, in this case, among those who have lived in the United States for at least five years. Rather than compare consumer differences in Western cultures versus Asian cultures, this study examined the responses of 451 Chinese American participants to a service failure based on three acculturation modes, namely, integration, assimilation, and separation. The test included two different hotel brand types (Asian and Western) and service staff with two different ethnicities (Chinese and American). Respondents’ acculturation status influenced their reaction to the service failure, as measured by their ratings for face, satisfaction, and repeat purchase intentions at both property and chain levels, and the three acculturation groups’ ratings generally interacted with the employee’s ethnicity. Brand type, on the other hand, had no effect at all. Of particular note is the continued importance of face for Chinese Americans who follow a separation strategy, as compared with its diminished influence for those who are integrating or assimilating with the main culture. This article is based on a paper presented at the 2013 Quality in Service Conference (QUIS 13) in Karlstad, Sweden.
Travel agents continue to offer traditional services, but as customers migrate to online sales channels, many traditional agencies have added their own online distribution channels. This study of the attitudes of 114 university students finds that excellence in offline service is associated with a favorable view of an agent’s online presence. Moderating this relationship is the effect of social presence (SP) on the website. That is, the respondents’ view of the website was improved by the availability of live chat or video chat interactions. The effect of SP also interacted with some respondents’ need for human interaction (NHI), although that effect was not strong. The study used a novel comic-strip format to depict the process of purchasing airline tickets and hotel accommodations with three treatments: offline, online with weak SP, and online with strong SP. The study compared the attitudes toward an agency’s online channel based on its in-person service quality, as moderated by the website’s SP and the respondents’ NHI.
This study investigates the relationship between eco-certifications (second or third party certified with an audit requirement) and resource efficiency in the U.S. hotel industry. Hotel properties become eco-certified by voluntarily conforming to environmental practice guidelines established by a certifying body, which assesses and recognizes the properties that meet their criteria. Eco-certifications therefore are key environmental sustainability initiatives that address both the internal operations and external customers. Based on regression analysis of 2,893 U.S. hotel properties for the year 2011, this analysis shows that eco-certified hotels maintain higher operational efficiency, as well as greater customer-driven resource efficiency, in comparison with properties with lesser or no eco-certifications. These results suggest that eco-certifications influence the resource consumption behavior of both the operators and the customers, although these effects are not consistent for all properties. The improvement from the operational effect is most pronounced in lower-tier properties, while the customer efficiency effect is most noticeable in upper-tier properties.
Subtle energy saving changes in guest rooms did not diminish satisfaction, based on a study of 192 guests at an independent four-star hotel. Two changes were tested, a television with three energy settings and light-emitting diodes (LEDs) in place of the standard compact fluorescent lightings (CFLs). While overall satisfaction was not affected by these changes, some guests, notably those with high incomes, did react to the energy saving settings. Contrary to some studies, 45 percent of the guests agreed that they would pay a higher room rate to support sustainability programs. On balance, this study indicates that hotels can gain cost savings and improved sustainability by implementing judicious energy saving approaches without harming guest satisfaction. This article is based on a paper presented at the 2013 Quality in Service Conference (QUIS 13), in Karlstad, Sweden.
While it is generally accepted that hotel reviews and ratings posted on travel websites drive hotel sales and revenue, the effects of reviews can be parsed into volume (the number of reviews about a hotel) and valence (the ratings in those reviews). This study finds that the two chief aspects of reviews—volume and valence—have different effects on hotels in various chain scale segments. Industry reports and academic studies show that online reviews influence customers’ choice of hotel and thus drive hotels’ revenue per available room (RevPAR). However, the valence of those reviews has a greater effect on luxury hotels’ RevPAR, while the volume of reviews has a greater effect on lower-tier hotels. Based on a study of 319 hotels in the London metropolitan market, these effects apply equally to urban and suburban hotels, as well as chain and independent hotels. The results further indicate that the rating score effect on RevPAR has little impact on the economy and midscale segments, while an increasing number of reviews actually has negative effects on higher-end hotels.
Restaurant employees adjust their sales efforts and service speed as more tables are filled and the workload increases. A study of five casual-dining restaurants finds that when the overall workload is low, as guest traffic begins to pick up and the restaurant becomes busy, the servers step up their game by redoubling their sales efforts through suggestive selling and upselling. Once the workload hits a certain level, however, the servers dial back on selling, take steps to shorten meal duration, and focus primarily on service speed. This inverted-U relationship between employee workload and performance holds both in terms of the number of tables and diners that a server concurrently handles. One implication of this analysis is that restaurants may be overstaffed because the employees’ extra effort meant their workload threshold was not reached in the restaurants being studied. Because of the phenomenon of increased employee effort, this chain could reduce its staffing level on average of one worker per shift while still achieving higher sales. An estimated 3 percent increase in sales would result from servers’ increased sales efforts, which occur until the trigger point is reached and employees focus only on speedy service. This article is based on a paper presented at the 2013 Quality in Service Conference (QUIS).
Using attribution theory, this study examines 207 travel consumers’ views of five online travel communities (namely, Lonelyplanet, Travellerspoint, Tripadvisor, VirtualTourist, and Wayn) and their intentions to patronize one of the websites’ affiliates, Expedia. As a starting point, customers form an opinion of the community website itself based on communication quality and service quality. A high-quality experience, which includes interaction with other community members, engenders loyalty to the community website. With that base, the study tested three aspects of attributional responsiveness (evaluative satisfaction, cognitive loyalty, and affective belonging) and found that they could act as mediating factors to convey favorable attribution to the online communities’ affiliates, as represented by Expedia. Thus, a high standard of information and service will receive a favorable response from the online travel community, and that response can then be transferred to the community’s affiliates, in the form of purchases and return visits.
Energy costs in the lodging industry have been a focus for at least forty years, but the development of energy management programs and the employment of energy management systems have been uneven, at best. A 2011 study of ninety-nine managers of upscale and luxury hotels found that the operators were reticent to implement energy management programs that were excessively costly or might impair guest comfort. Thus, in-room sensors were suspect, and a substantial group of respondents were hesitant to install an electrical demand controller (or load shedder) for fear of interfering with guest satisfaction. These hotels also tended to use a short-term analysis that addressed raw cost and payback periods when considering an investment in energy saving equipment. A simple payback period of three years or less was favored over longer payback periods, even when a calculation of overall return on investment would have been favorable over the long term.
In this essay, we discuss brand revitalization in the context of a revitalization process undertaken by of one of India’s iconic hotel brands: The Park Hotels. The leadership team of The Park Hotels, in collaboration with well-known brand-consulting firm Landor, undertook a two-year process to revitalize an already well-established brand in the face of severe competitive threat and changing customer tastes. This article presents a seven-step process for The Park’s brand revitalization effort, which begins with strategy and ends with implementation. The seven steps are (1) conduct a comprehensive brand audit, (2) determine the brand position, (3) develop the brand platform, (4) establish the brand beliefs, (5) evoke the brand experience, (6) develop the brand voice, and (7) launch the new brand. This essay, the first ever to lift the veil on a proprietary hospitality branding project, depicts how The Park addressed its particular strategic approach of tying together a set of distinctive boutique hotels with a unifying and inspiring brand position.
This study examines how the release of multiple firms’ earnings announcements on the same day combines with human attention constraints to affect the trading of hospitality stocks. We document two opposing effects. We find that a rush of earnings announcements from nonhospitality firms leads to investor distraction and reduces the reaction of hospitality stocks to earnings news. Conversely, we find that multiple announcements by firms within the hospitality sector lead to increased investor focus and larger hospitality stock reactions to news. Our results show that multiple announcements can either diminish or enhance investors’ reactions to company news, which directly affects the incorporation of new information into hospitality stock prices.
A survey of 276 restaurant and food-service managers found that, when it comes to seating walk-in guests, just over half maintain a policy of seating the party that has waited the longest. About one-fifth of the respondents seated the largest waiting party and the remainder used some combination of the two approaches. With that in mind, this paper uses an extensive simulation to evaluate the relative revenue outcomes for nine rules for assigning walk-in parties to tables in restaurants, taking into account such variables as restaurant size and matching party size to the table size. I test three variants of each of the "largest party" and "longest wait" rules, along with two rules that blend largest and longest. I also include the outcome of allowing guests to seat themselves. I found that one of the blended rule using party size and waiting time performed the best across all levels of all of the experimental factors, but among the simple rules, the longest wait approach was effective in most cases. Except in the largest of restaurants, allowing guests to seat themselves is the least efficient approach.
The general manager (GM) is the key position in a hotel, but the changing structure of the industry has altered the scope of the GM’s decision-making autonomy. In many hotels, the GM is an employee of a hotel operating firm and is effectively an agent of the operator or owner (and sometimes both parties). These principals have authority over several aspects of hotel operation, although the GM also has responsibility. A study of the GM’s role and authority in 115 upscale European hotels finds a mixed picture in decision autonomy, depending on the individual’s experience and education, as well as whether the hotel is independent or chain managed. Overall, independent GMs have greater autonomy in their properties than chain GMs, and highly experienced managers are often given greater autonomy by independent owners, while operating companies give greater autonomy to GMs who offer a combination of education and experience. With regard to individual functional areas, chain GMs have relatively greater authority in human resources, marketing, and strategy but limited autonomy in finance and operations.
In the quest for better service design, hospitality and service firms have often been frustrated to find that service experiences that are based on what customers say they want are not always successful. A psychological analysis of this phenomenon suggests the following premises: (1) Customers’ memory of an experience fades quickly; (2) customers’ memory of an experience comprises many sub-experiences; (3) customers’ memories of experiences are multidimensional and unintuitive; and (4) consumers cannot accurately predict what they will learn or remember. The goal of an experience design is to create a series of sub-experiences that will "stick" with the customer. This "sticktion" analysis is applied to the practical challenge of redesigning the customer experience at Pizza Hut UK. This consumer research provides a test of the four premises and an application of the underlying sticktion principles. Surveys of Pizza Hut customers found that the existing experience had its bright spots but was generally forgettable. Not only could customers not predict what they would remember about the experience, but one week after visiting the restaurant, the customers also filled in memory gaps with details that did not appear on their initial description of the visit. Even more troublesome was the fact that the invented details tended to be negative. To fill these gaps, the researchers tested specific aspects of the experience that would "stick" and included those in the new restaurant concepts. Using this approach, the chain was able to roll out new concepts that met with initial favorable results.
Quick-service restaurants (QSRs) face a particular challenge in creating customer relationships, given low levels of consumer brand loyalty and a standardized product that makes it difficult to developing a distinctive identity. One way that quick-service firms attempt to set themselves apart is through genuine, long-term corporate social responsibility (CSR) efforts, in addition to the quality of their food, service, and overall restaurant environment. This article explores the extent to which customers’ perceptions of Chick-fil-A’s food, service, environment, and CSR affect the three dimensions of their relationship quality with that firm—namely, satisfaction, trust, and identification, based on convenience survey of 483 of the firm’s customers. With regard to the elements of a customer relationship, the analysis found that (1) awareness of CSR programs did not improve customer satisfaction but did boost identification and trust, (2) service quality supported trust and satisfaction but does not influence customers’ identification with the firm, and (3) food quality affects customer satisfaction but has no connection with trust or identification with the firm. Finally, customer satisfaction and trust were related to customer loyalty, but identification with the company was not connected with loyalty. These findings suggest that increasing customer satisfaction levels (or any short-term goal) should not be the primary objective of CSR programs in the QSR industry. Instead, it appears that CSR initiatives should involve a genuine long-term effort to build customers’ trust and identification.
When hotel employees feel stress from conflicts between work and family, some of the resulting exhaustion is inevitably reflected in their interactions with customers. This study paired two hundred hotel employees and customers in an analysis of customer satisfaction as it relates to employees’ service behavior, which is affected by the emotional, mental, and physical toll of work–family conflict. Employees’ exhaustion and emotional displays contain a mixed set of effects on customer satisfaction. The findings reveal that employees’ family interfering with work is linked to physical, emotional, and mental exhaustion, while work interfering with family does not have the same effect. Higher levels of physical exhaustion increased the likelihood that employees would display faked positive emotions and simultaneously suppress negative emotions. Customers could spot the fakery, but they judged that the fake positive emotions enhanced the employees’ role performance. At the same time, however, customer satisfaction was diminished when employees’ emotional displays were obviously not genuine. Thus, hotel managers may be interested in determining whether family issues are impinging on employees’ work responsibilities, given that the outcome may be reduced customer satisfaction.
Based on two phases of in-depth interviews with entrepreneurs who own China’s economy hotel chains, this research explored these entrepreneurs’ strategies for acquiring intangible resources through network ties and summarized the mix of strong and weak network ties that they used to acquire those resources at different development stages of their new firms. In the early start-up stage, the interviewed entrepreneurs used a mixture of strong and weak ties; in the establishment stage, they relied on strong ties; and in the final growth stage, they did not value network ties and only used weak business ties. Moreover, the network mixes used by these entrepreneurs to acquire different types of intangible resources are not identical. Sourcing human capital was a particularly valuable use of the network ties, both strong and weak, and many of the respondents used their ties to gain essential information and skills for running their hotels. The two-stage data collection revealed the dynamics of entrepreneurs’ network mixes as firms progressed to new development stages.
A study of 271 employees in four full-service hotels in China found that work–family conflict directly influences hospitality employees’ social and relaxation intentions. Moreover, these relationships are not mediated by job tension. In practical application, hospitality organizations can maximize return from these results by encouraging employees to take (or by providing) appropriate leisure activities that will help them to effectively cope with work and family role conflicts.
Using data envelopment analysis, this paper investigates operational efficiency drivers for 166 Spanish hotels divided into medium and upper chain scale groups from 2000 through 2009. For the sample as a whole, the analysis indicated a strong relationship between quality levels and efficiency; resort hotels were more efficient than other types of properties, and large hotels were more efficient than smaller properties. The effects of star rating were shown in diverse findings regarding intangible investment and group membership. Midscale hotels belonging to a hotel group were more efficient, but that was not true of upscale properties. Quality represented a boost for midscale hotels but not for upscale properties. However, upscale properties had gained efficiency from investments in intangibles (such as information systems), while the midlevel hotels had not made those investments.
This study examines circumstances under which observers might consider an organization to have responsibility for its employees’ actions, based on their reading of a scenario of sexual harassment. By changing the details of the scenario, we examine the influence of (a) the harasser’s organizational role (i.e., a supervisor or coworker), (b) the existence of corporate sexual harassment policies, and (c) the company’s past responses to sexual harassment complaints. The results suggested that the harasser’s organizational role is the most important factor for predicting whether an individual would consider pressing a sexual harassment claim. Respondents’ assessment that the victim should make a claim is higher when the harasser is an immediate supervisor rather than a nonsupervisory coworker. Perceived organizational responsibility is also a direct predictor of intent to make a claim. The results provide a clearer understanding of when an individual is more likely to favor making a claim in response to perceived sexual harassment. The practical implications include the following: (a) Sexual harassment training for supervisors is important because their sexual harassment is most likely to lead to a legal claim, (b) antisexual harassment policies have the effect of reducing the likelihood that a victim will perceive the organization as responsible for failing to prevent a supervisor’s action, and (c) organizations should make clear their opposition to sexual harassment both to discourage harassers and to divert a victim’s attribution for responsibility away from the organization if an incident takes place.
A study of 302 front-line employees in three 5-star Hong Kong hotels found that high job demand variability diminished their job satisfaction. However, adding discretion to the job content and improving rewards and training as part of the job context resources and support were found to moderate the negative effects of high job demand variability on the employees’ job satisfaction. The importance of service discretion is particularly intriguing for these employees, since their hotels’ current cultural approach is to require supervisory approval for deviations from standard practice. This study draws on the job demands–control (JD-C) model to incorporate socio-psychological characteristics of customer service positions in the analysis of employees’ job satisfaction.
In the first study of its kind, a conjoint analysis of 530 Chinese leisure travelers visiting Hong Kong analyzed the relative value that these travelers assigned to a variety of hotel rate fences or rate restrictions. Not surprisingly, the attributes with the highest utility scores were also the least restrictive. That is, the respondents preferred the lowest price (947 Hong Kong dollars [HKD]), the least restrictive advance reservation or purchase requirement (seven days in advance), and an advance reservation requirement that included a full refund and unlimited changes without any restrictions. Of all the rate fences presented, price and refundability were consistently the most valuable to these travelers. The implication for hotel operators is that Chinese travelers will accept hotel rate restrictions, but they must be carefully constructed and avoid stringent restrictions, particularly advance purchase and refundability, unless those restrictions are offset by favorable price.
Contrary to conventional wisdom, loyalty may be a driver of hotel guests’ favorable behavior when they are satisfied with a hotel’s service recovery effort. Instead of having satisfaction with service recovery directly influencing guests’ supportive actions, loyalty acts as a precondition to consumers’ positive citizenship behavior. Moreover, the factors that drive such favorable behavior may be independent of those that cause guests to offer favorable word of mouth after a hotel stay. Based on a study of 288 guests in seven high-end hotels in Spain’s Canary Islands, satisfaction with service recovery has a direct effect on loyalty, which in turn has a strong effect on customer citizenship behaviors. However, loyalty plays its mediating role only on the effects of satisfaction with service recovery on favorable citizenship behavior. That is, the fact that a guest is loyal helps to explain why a guest decides to help the hotel after satisfactory service recovery. On the other hand, loyalty does not enter into the equation when a guest is not happy with the service recovery and elects to behave dysfunctionally, including trashing the room.
Supervisors’ support of employees promotes job embeddedness, which in turn encourages such essential job outcomes as effective employee performance and reduced employee turnover. The empirical research model tested in this study found that job embeddedness mediates the relationship between supervisor support and such organizationally valued job outcomes as service recovery performance, job performance, and turnover intentions. Data were obtained from 212 full-time frontline hotel employees and their immediate supervisors in four upscale hotels in Cameroon. By taking two surveys a month apart, the study could begin to assess the effects of job embeddedness on voluntary turnover. The chief implication for the hotel industry is that supervisors need to be given the tools to encourage and assist their employees. In addition, the hotel can establish human resource policies that give employees a chance to work as teams and become even more embedded in the organization.
The fundamental booking decision for a cruise line involves how many reservations to accept to avoid two outcomes—either sailing with empty cabins or denying some customers’ bookings. Cruise lines accept reservations that overbook a cruise because they anticipate a number of cancellations and no-shows. The question is how many overbooked reservations to accept such that no one is denied boarding. This article applies a real options approach to formulate a risk decision model for cruise line dynamic overbooking. The analysis includes multiple cabin types and allows upgrading to reduce and avoid the two reservation risks. This article illustrates the way to find the best overbooking level vector. The analysis models a series of real options contained in the joint overbooking decision. Furthermore, the dynamic joint overbooking decision is analyzed and discussed from the view of various types of real options. Finally, numerical examples are used to demonstrate how to solve the joint overbooking problem with two given decision schemes using the real options analysis (ROA) in real-time.
A study of 124 consumers found distinct differences in the consumers’ responses to a policy once used by Orbitz, in which prices were determined according to the computer platform used to search for bookings. The policy arose when Orbitz noticed that Macintosh users were generally willing to accept higher prices than PC users. This observation was converted into a price discrimination mechanism. The study found that Mac users took a dim ethical view of this rate fence and, moreover, indicated that they were less willing to use Orbitz as a result. Men and women in the study reacted differently from each other, however. Men expressed more outrage when they were Mac users, while women were more likely to consistently view this form of price discrimination as unreasonable and of questionable ethics. Since the hospitality industry uses many price discrimination rules, two implications of this study are choose rate fences carefully and consider explaining the rationale for any price discrimination policies.
Using an event study methodology and data from 3,494 new entrants in the U.S. lodging industry, this paper examines how quickly new hotels ramp up their performance after opening. For the years 2006 through 2009, new entrants entered with average daily rates (ADRs) above incumbents, and took seven quarters (1.75 years) to ramp up occupancies to the levels of comparable incumbent hotels. These averages include performance behavior of brand-managed, franchisee-managed, and unaffiliated independent hotel new ventures compared with incumbent hotels in similar geographic markets, locations, and price segments. Overall, new hotels reached comparable revenue per available room (RevPAR) performance by the second quarter of the second year of operation. RevPAR ramp-up was earlier for brand-managed hotels (first quarter of the second year), an outcome primarily attributable to higher occupancies and lower initial ADRs. Independent hotels took substantially longer than other new entrants to reach the RevPAR performance of existing hotels. Based on the faster ramp-up of new branded properties, the chief implication is that hotel developers should consider affiliating with a brand for quicker stabilization and short-term gain. The speed of hotels’ ramp-up also calls into question the conventional view that new hotels represent a relatively risky investment.
Through a review of sustainability research, this paper offers a framework for studying the customer’s role in managing sustainability throughout a hospitality or tourism firm’s supply chain. With advances in social media that have empowered customers and their social communities to actively participate in sustainable practices, the role of the customers in achieving sustainability in all supply chain operations within the tourism industry has grown. Social media also constitute a force that encourages customers to support sustainability practices. This paper proposes an overall framework that identifies and synthesizes the various roles and impact of the customers’ involvement in implementing sustainable supply chain management in tourism. This involves the following four dimensions: factors motivating customer involvement in sustainability, the degree of customer involvement, management strategies for customer involvement, and outcomes of customer involvement. The paper offers examples in support of the framework that demonstrate various ways in which customers are contributing to sustainability at various points in the supply chain.
While sustainability initiatives by firms are increasingly encouraged by customers, investors, and the government, the economics of sustainable decisions remains in question. The study described in this paper examines the link between sustainability and economic performance for the hospitality industry, as compared with other businesses. Using data spanning 1991 through 2011 from MSCI’s Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) Indices and credit ratings from Standard and Poor’s representing 16,325 firm-years, the analysis finds that hospitality firms on average invest more in environmental programs than do businesses in other industries; that hospitality firms have significantly fewer environmental concerns; that strong financial performance leads to increased investments; and that going green, in turn, pays off in future periods, creating a virtuous cycle. One implication is that hospitality firms should go forward confidently in establishing their sustainability programs, as it appears that customers support the effort financially.
In this article, we analyze the impact on hotels of the ISO 14001 environmental certification system from the customers’ perspective. Based on a comparison of customer ratings of 6,850 hotels in Spain with and without ISO 14001 certification, overall guests rate the hotels with ISO 14001 certification higher than those without the certification. These results are stronger for hotel comfort and hotel services compared with other hotel attributes. Moreover, the most significant differences were found in the upscale four-star hotels. While the study does not reveal causes for these findings, the implication is that the highest end five-star luxury hotels do not gain distinctive differentiation by having the ISO 14001 certification, while for three-star hotels, guests’ price sensitivity overrides environmental concerns. At the four-star level, however, hotels seem to be able to gain a distinct market advantage from environmental certification. For all hotels, the management discipline provided by ISO 14001 can provide a competitive advantage.
This study used an experimental approach to examine the influence of message framing and source credibility on potential hotel customers’ attitudes, behavioral intentions, attention, and environmentally friendly activities (EFAs) toward messages about protecting the environment. With 386 participants, this study employed a 2 x 2 between-subject design comparing a positive message frame, a negative message frame, a credible source, and a noncredible source. The results reveal that messages from a credible source that are positively framed led to the most positive attitudes toward the messages themselves, visit intention, and EFAs. Even without regard to source credibility, positively framed messages were more effective than those with a negative frame. The implication for hospitality practitioners is to maintain a positive frame for messages that encourage guests to participate in a hotel’s sustainability programs, and to add a credible source for additional message strength.
Green marketing in hotel rooms relies particularly on the hotel’s communication to the guest, with a goal of gaining the guest’s voluntary participation in sustainable programs. Developing a persuasive message, therefore, is critical to the effectiveness of the hotel’s green efforts. To explore effective in-room green communication strategies of the hotel industry, we propose application of several widely adopted information processing theories. We review relevant theories, develop key propositions for the hotel industry, and offer a theoretical framework and propositions for future research. Our content analysis of the contents of thirty-six guestroom message cards finds that many hotels are using some of these information theories, but a more scientific approach is indicated.
Hedonic pricing theory states that the price of a room is determined by a set of characteristics (e.g., structural, location, and environmental) of the establishment. Set within the framework of this methodology, and using raw data from the Quality, Productivity, and Competitiveness in the Hospitality Industry for Andalusia project, this article discusses the impact on room pricing of hotels implementing environmental sustainability measures based on a sample of 232 hotels (3-, 4-, and 5-stars) in Andalusia (Southern Spain). This sample is statistically representative of hotel accommodations in the region. A distinguishing feature of this study is the creation of a variable derived from the replies given by hotel managers to a questionnaire designed by the authors. The questionnaire presented questions about the measures the managers implemented in their establishments to improve environmental sustainability. The use of this variable in the semilogarithmic hedonic model suggests that the prices of hotel rooms are 5.15-percent higher for each environmentally sustainable measure implemented in the hotel; in some cases, the price increase could be as much as 36.05 percent. Other variables that were also introduced in the model yielded estimates consistent with those obtained in previous studies.
This paper develops and tests a model of the impact of employees’ awareness of corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives on perceived task significance and important attitudinal and behavioral work outcomes of service employees in the hospitality industry. Data from 211 employees of a United Kingdom–based hotel chain provide support for the concept that employees should be made aware of CSR actions. Results suggest that employees’ awareness of CSR activities is positively related to job satisfaction, engagement in helping and voice behavior, and personal initiative, and CSR awareness is negatively related to emotional exhaustion. These relationships are partly or fully mediated by perceived task significance. We discuss implications of this research for theory and practice, and provide several recommendations for how managers in the hospitality industry can increase employees’ awareness for corporate engagement in CSR initiatives.
Sustainability studies suggest that travelers’ decisions to support sustainable production and to consume sustainable hospitality and tourism services are functions of those travelers’ values. This study examined the efficacy of the sustainability value (SV) scale in predicting potential travelers’ choices for sustainable hospitality businesses using a partially mediated structural equation model. Data from a panel of 1,202 recent travelers in North America suggest that SVs predict an individual’s choice for sustainable hospitality businesses. The effect of those values, however, is partially mediated by the travelers’ environmental behaviors. Based on the respondents’ attitudes and behavior, they were grouped into an environment-supporting group called "strong-sustainers" and an environment-neutral group termed "centrists-sustainers." Extending these findings to the market, hoteliers could offer targeted sustainability messages for the proposed "strong-sustainer" traveler, who would be more likely to purchase a "green" room, and likewise customize communications to the "centrist-sustainer" travelers, for whom an environmental message carries no weight.
Despite considerable theoretical support for the proposition that wine consumers’ purchase decisions would be influenced by whether a wine was organic, this study found that taste overwhelmed all other considerations in respondents’ selection of wine. This experimental study used sensory evaluation in conjunction with a survey of participants’ attitudes toward sustainability and other environmental issues. The study’s methodology was supported theoretically by a means–end approach, evaluative conditioning, and consumer involvement. Despite the strong theoretical underpinnings that suggested personal attitudes would drive purchase decisions, the results indicate that taste alone consistently influenced participants’ preference for wines. Once the respondents tasted the wine, the fact that the wine was organic had no further influence on the wine purchase decision.
The characteristic of mindfulness is ascribed to people who have a relatively greater awareness of their surroundings and of other people. This study finds that assessing guests’ mindfulness helps hoteliers make those guests aware of and responsive to hotels’ sustainability practices. This process invokes specific elements of mindfulness, including guests’ concern for society and others, their preferences for mindful information services, the benefits they seek from a hotel experience, and their demographic characteristics. This study indicated that highly mindful individuals were more concerned for others and society as a whole and search for products and services that have high emotional and environmental benefits. By understanding guests’ mindfulness, hotel managers may help guests to respond to hotels’ careful stewardship of the environment by engaging in sustainable consumerism.
The lodging industry is known to be closely linked to the general economy. Lodging executives and managers have a unique position in current and future economic events. This study examines whether lodging executives’ sentiment can be regarded as a leading indicator for the aggregate economy. It uses a new index (Lodging Executives’ Sentiment Index [LESI]) that has captured on a monthly basis lodging executives’ sentiment for over ten years. The LESI can be regarded as an additional tool in the toolbox of decision makers, researchers, and analysts to validate and potentially extend existing economic indicators’ forecasts. This study finds that lodging executives’ expectations can be regarded as leading indicators for retail sales, employment, interest rates, and stock prices. When used in conjunction with the LESI, the predictive power and the forecast horizon of well-established indicators, such as the Conference Board’s Index of Leading Economic Indicators, can be significantly improved. Given its respectable forecasting performance, its longer forecast horizon (twelve months ahead), its timeliness, the limited resources needed to produce its monthly outlook, and the lack of a generally recognized high-performing leading economic indicator, the LESI may be used as an additional indicator that may provide further insight into the future direction of the economy and increase decision makers’ confidence in their business-planning, decision-making, and risk-assessment processes. In addition, the LESI can give lodging managers an early glimpse of the direction of the overall lodging industry beyond their own properties and markets, thus helping them in operational and planning decisions.
Based on a study that compared photographs of models, hotel guests ascribe greater assurance ability to clean-shaven men, and to men and women who smile and are attractive. For unknown reasons, the facial hair effect holds for Caucasian men, but not for African-American men. This study presented photographs of Caucasian men in one set of treatment conditions, and African-American men in another set to compare the two sets of men regarding facial attractiveness, genuine smiling, and effects of facial hair. The theoretical contribution of this research is the identification of the effects of these facial attributes on assurance perceptions. The practical implications of these findings are as follows: (1) Except under special circumstances, hotel firms should not permit their employees to wear beards; (2) hotel firms should incorporate genuine smiling training in their customer service training and should evaluate frontline provider smiling with programs such as mystery shopping; and (3) within appropriate legal and ethical boundaries, hotel firms should put in place, manage, and enforce grooming policies that could influence the facial attractiveness ratings of their employees.
Given that the stated purpose of mergers and acquisitions (M&A) is to create value for the newly merged firm, the M&A offer premium ought to be positively related to the realized benefits or realized synergies that result from combining the target and the acquirer. Not all empirical evidence supports this notion, however. Because some M&A activities have not been found to be consistently value enhancing, other M&A motives have been proposed, most notably empire building and personal rewards. In contrast to those notions, this paper’s analysis of lodging M&A results suggests that lodging M&A is in fact motivated by value creation. Furthermore, our evidence supports the supposition that the premium reflects the value of synergy, as postulated conceptually. Using a property-level dataset, this paper infers lodging managers’ intentions by investigating the relationship between the final offer premium paid to the target shareholders and the change in the pre- and postacquisition operating performance of the target’s and the acquirer’s properties. Refuting the argument of the market for corporate control as well as the non-value-related motives, this analysis finds that the premium is related to the performance changes of the acquirer’s properties but is not related to that of the target’s properties. Interestingly, this suggests that the target’s properties serve as a crucial resource to improve the performance of the acquirer’s properties, and consequently, the premium may be viewed as the payment to gain control over the targets’ resources.
Given the growth of Macao’s casino industry and its popularity with Chinese visitors from various locations, an understanding of subcultural differences is critical. This study reports on the observations of a convenience sample of 302 long-time Macao casino staff members regarding casino customers from Mainland China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. While these customers have much in common, the employees reported differences in the three subcultures’ gambling behavior, in the areas of untidy or disruptive behavior, generous (tipping) behavior, complaining and active behavior, passive behavior, game-focused behavior, and chip-exchange behavior. By understanding and addressing these differences, many of which are relatively subtle, the managers of Macao’s casinos can improve the quality of service offered to these guests.
The casino industry’s trade literature is replete with claims that live poker rooms drive other casino business volumes, but the only evidence supporting those claims is anecdotal. Claims of this kind arise because poker’s revenue contributions are often lower than those of other games, despite poker’s current popularity. Still, many operators offer poker rooms because they accept this contribution concept as a basic truth. Using an established theoretical model, this study estimates the effects of poker rooms on slot and table game performance at three different Las Vegas resorts. Although the results were mixed, they raise a serious question about whether the idea of poker as a demand generator is accurate. In only one of the three resorts did the analysis find a significant and positive relationship between poker room business volume and slot and table game play. While these overall results cannot be directly generalized, and casinos may have their own reasons for offering poker rooms, casino managers should reexamine whether their poker rooms represent the highest and best use of casino floor space.
This study examined the link between servant leadership and hotel employees’ customer-oriented organizational citizenship behavior (OCB) by focusing on the mediating role of leader–member exchange (LMX) and the moderating role of followers’ sensitivity to others’ favorable treatment. Using time-lagged data from 304 supervisor–follower pairs in nineteen hotels in China, we found that servant leadership positively influenced customer-oriented OCB, and this influence was mediated by LMX. In addition, moderated path analysis indicated that employees’ sensitivity to others’ favorable treatment strengthened the direct effect of servant leadership on LMX and its indirect effect on customer-oriented OCB. This study extends the scope of servant leadership research and provides evidence for arguments that servant leadership matters in the hospitality industry. The study also demonstrates the importance of LMX to the relationship between managers and employees, through findings that are strengthened by a longitudinal design.
A well-established loyalty matrix classifies customers into four quadrants based on their frequency of purchase and attitude toward a hospitality business. These quadrants represent four distinct types of loyalty, according to combinations of patronage frequency and attitude favorability: true, latent, spurious, and low. Using a sample of casino reward club members, we applied cluster analysis to classify customers based on behavioral loyalty, defined as player gaming worth and visitation frequency; and on attitudinal loyalty, defined as emotional commitment and trust. We obtained empirical support for the existence of all four quadrants, and validated these quadrants on additional loyalty-related attributes. Truly loyal customers have high attitudinal and behavioral loyalty on all indicators, whereas customers with latent loyalty have favorable attitudes but low levels of visitation and gaming behavior, possibly due to income limitations. Spuriously loyal customers have high behavioral loyalty but very low attitudinal loyalty. These customers place a high value on reward program benefits, suggesting that such benefits are driving their behavior. Customers with low loyalty are low in both attitudes and behaviors.