Theses and Dissertations, Hospitality and Tourism Management (HTM)

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  • The Booking Window Evolution and its Impact on Hotel Revenue Management Forecasting
    Webb, Timothy Dayton (Virginia Tech, 2018-01-05)
    Travel booking behavior has changed substantially over the past two decades. The emergence of new technology and online intermediaries has provided travelers with the flexibility to book up until the date of stay. This has created a fast-paced, dynamic booking environment that disrupts traditional revenue management strategies focused on pricing and allocating rooms based on the time of purchase. The study explores the joint effects of technology and the economy on booking window lead times. It also evaluates a range of forecasting techniques and the importance of utilizing the booking curve for forecasting in dynamic booking environments.
  • Chefs' perceptions of convenience food products in university food service operations
    Dallinger, Ioana (Virginia Tech, 2013-12-03)
    The decision regarding when and to what extent to use convenience food products is a perennial issue in the hospitality industry. Despite the pertinence of this issue in the industry, it has never been explicitly examined in the hospitality literature. Potential advantages of adopting convenience food products in food-service operations include: savings in time and costs, better portion and cost control, ease of training and evaluation, superior customer relationships through product consistency, increased safety, ease of storage, and added eye appeal. On the other hand, noticeable disadvantages may include: staff motivation problems, facilitated labor mobility, increased emotional labor for supervisor, health and nutrition down-sides, and more waste. Therefore, to further explore this issue, a paper and pencil survey was administered to culinary managers in a large university dining setting. Respondents included 132 chefs representing ten dining facilities. The results indicate that even though the time and labor cost savings brought about by the use of convenience food products are perceived as advantageous, the implied consistency of the final product and superior portion control are not as important. Furthermore, customer relationships, catering to special groups, and final products' eye appeal appear to be better facilitated by non-convenience foods. Even though it is easier to train chefs/ cooks/ employees to use convenience food products rather than non-convenience ones and these employees appear to be under less psychological pressure in their jobs, they will conversely be less motivated and worse paid. The theoretical and practical implications of these findings are discussed herein.
  • The hotel industry cycle: developing an economic indicator system for the hotel industry
    Choi, Jeong-Gil (Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, 1996)
    The principal objective of this study was to develop an economic indicator system for the hotel industry in order to project the industry's growth and turning points. This study developed for the U.S. hotel industry a business cycle that would cover hotel activity as broadly as possible and one that would represent the magnitude of growth of the industry. This study also identified and selected seventy economic indicators for the hotel industry by reviewing literature and testing the characteristics of each time series which are available in public. By classifying the indicators into leading, coincident, and lagging indicators, this study formed composite indices for the groups of indicators and defined the relationships in terms of time lags between the hotel industry growth cycle and the series of composite indices. For a twenty-eight year period ( 1966-1993 ), the hotel industry experienced three cycles (peak to peak or trough to trough). The hotel industry peaked in 1967, 1973, 1980, and 1989. The industry troughed in 1969, 1974, 1982, and 1991. The mean duration of the hotel industry cycles is 7.3 years, calculated either by peak to peak or trough to trough. An interesting finding is that the hotel industry declines sharply once it reached the peaks. In general, the mean duration for the contraction is about two years. The hotel industry growth cycle representing the rate of growth changes was also identified by standardizing the changes, and by measuring and dating the cycles. The results showed that the hotel industry experienced high growth (a boom) every four or five years. The average expansion (L-H) period is about three years and the average contraction (H-L) period is about two years. The performances of the composite indices for the leading, coincident, and lagging indicators were measured based on their timing differences of turning points compared with those of the industry cycles. The usefulness and effectiveness of the indicator system composed of composite indices of leading, coincident, and lagging indicators were empirically supported in this study. The results of this study imply the indicator system can be used as a forecasting tool for the hotel industry.
  • Identification of Organization-Centric Intangible Capital in the Hospitality Industry
    Lee, Gyumin (Virginia Tech, 2011-06-16)
    The pertinent investment in intangible assets is expected to lead to a firm's higher productivity and competitiveness. This study suggests that a restaurant firm should identify core intangible assets for its business, manage them systematically, and measure their value contribution. The essential thrust is to identify key intangible value resources and establish their measurement, which then helps measure the financial contribution of each intangible asset and make an investment decision on it. Thus, this study was purported to identify key organization-centric intangible value assets in the context of the casual dining restaurant industry, develop their measurement, and examine their contribution on a firm's market value. Findings will help improve understanding of what intangible assets are critical and apply the concept to a strategic and operational management. Based on an in-depth literature review covering a wide range of areas, the following six of the most widely agreed upon domains of organizational capital were identified: innovation capital, organizational process capital, organizational culture capital, organizational learning capital, information system capital, and intellectual property capital. This structure of the six most important domains of organizational capital was verified through subsequent interviews with five experts, the pilot test with ten experts, and three rounds of the Delphi survey. Seventeen sub-dimensions were identified through the literature review, interviews, the pilot test, and the Delphi study with professionals. This industry-specific categorical system helps a firm identify and manage various types of intangible resources more precisely and efficiently. Furthermore, it can enable restaurant management to clearly understand how to cope with different types of intangible resources and how to gather, create, use, share, and develop them more appropriately. The findings can be grouped into the following conclusions. Seventy measurement indicators were developed to measure a firm's organizational capitals. Unlike using subjective perceptual measurement scales, the measured values using the objective measurement scales are consistent regardless of time or people. Therefore, the financial value (or contribution) of each of the six organizational capitals can be estimated more precisely along with the data of firms' market value.
  • A validation study of service complexity measures for employees in the hotel/motel front office
    Barrington, Melvin Norman (Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, 1987)
    In spite of the increasing importance of the service industry, it has failed to receive much attention from researchers. This lack of attention is especially true of the hospitality segment of the service industry, and consequently, almost no attention has been paid specifically to hotels and motels. This study explores the possible reasons for poor or inadequate service by attempting to first identify the important complexity variables of service, and second to evaluate how those variables relate to employee attitudinal reactions to their job. A total of sixteen job characteristics, theorized to have a positive effect on service complexity, were empirically tested against attitudinal reactions measures. The data was collected from 212 front office employees in 25 different hotels and motels. This study modified and evaluated an instrument (The Job Diagnostic Survey) that may be used to measure both complexity and attitudinal reaction variables. The modifications included the addition of nine new complexity variables. The results concluded that the modified instrument was internally reliable at an acceptable level for new research, and that there was strong evidence to support content validity and nomological validity measures which tended to favor the original variables over the newly proposed complexity variables. Implications of this study highlight the fact that there is considerable uncertainty in the measurement of hotel/motel service operations. Therefore, additional research is necessary to more completely define the characteristics of service complexity and then to measure its effects on employee attitudes.
  • Using Event Attendees' Perceived Importance of Event Design to Evaluate Overall Satisfaction
    Beardsley, Meghan Teresa (Virginia Tech, 2015-06-29)
    The purpose of this study is to develop a model that tests the impact of attendees' perceived importance of event design on their overall satisfaction of the event. By understanding what attendees' perceive as important and valuable to their overall experience, and thus enhancing their overall experience, researchers, planners, and managers alike will potentially have a tool for assessment and forecasting. Responses were collected from 373 participants who have attended a particular large music and gaming festival. The study found that the perceived value and importance of event design has a significant and positive effect on an event attendee's overall experience. This study has established a scale for planners and designers to implement in other event evaluation circumstances to allow for them to identify their weak links according to their customer base, and then enhance them in order to improve future event growth.
  • The investigation of the effect of corporate governance on firm's credit ratings in the hospitality industry
    Guo, Keni (Virginia Tech, 2015-06-19)
    Investment in hospitality firms is perceived to be riskier than investments in other types of industries. Based on literature linking good corporate governance to lower default risks and higher credit ratings, this quantitative study is designed to identify the effects of corporate governance on credit ratings in the hospitality industry. After exploring the various factors influencing the characteristics of corporate governance, as well as the specific risks for capital financing in hospitality firms, this research provides empirical evidence to show that hospitality firms with stronger shareholder influence tend to have higher credit ratings. In a related finding, this investigation confirms that hospitality stakeholders are able to evaluate their potential risks by determining a firm's credit ratings and can protect their long-term interest by increasing their power versus management in the corporate governance of the firm.
  • An Examination of Salient Dimensions of Senior Tourist Behavior: Relationships among Personal Values, Travel Constraints, Travel Motivation, and Quality of Life (QoL)
    Kim, Hye Lin (Virginia Tech, 2015-04-20)
    Retiring from work is a major personal and professional transition and has a major influence on one's life. It is imperative that these retired individuals endeavor to adjust to this life and change and learn to effectively manage their time. Tourism and gerontology researchers have been aware of the importance of seniors tourism and leisure activities to enhance their well-being. However, limited attention has been recently devoted to senior consumers, who are still often not included in a range of marketing practices in tourism studies. Therefore, this dissertation focuses on senior tourists who are over the age of 65 and retired, and mainly focuses on a senior's travel motivation, and examines the antecedents of travel motivation; personal values and travel constraints and their consequences; satisfaction with salient life domains of QoL, and overall QoL. The sample population of seniors residing in Jeju, South Korea was surveyed. A final sample of 328 were subjected to data analysis. Structural equation modeling (SEM), Chi-square difference test, independent t-tests, and multi-group analysis were performed to test the hypotheses. The findings of this dissertation revealed that a positive relationship between personal values and travel motivation of seniors. This means that if the senior tourists with strong personal values, then they are more motivated to go travel. On the other hand, travel constraints did have negative significant influence on travel motivation. Another finding of the study showed that travel motivation affect their satisfaction with different life domains; if they are highly motivated, they are more satisfied with their life domains including family, social, emotional, leisure and health life, which in turn contribute to their overall quality of life. Findings also indicated that statistical significance of the moderating effect in the model, thus suggesting that there were some meaningful moderating effects of the type of leisure activity patterns on the relationship between satisfaction with life domains and overall quality of life. The study also provided managerial implications for tourism marketers and destination managers.
  • An Examination of the Link between RM Implementation Strategies and Performance
    Altin, Mehmet (Virginia Tech, 2015-03-19)
    Since its foundation, revenue management techniques on aggregate have added billions of dollars to many firms' bottom lines, while using existing products or services and existing sets of consumers (Cross, Higbie, and Cross, 2010). The recent rapid changes in the business environment have forced firms to adopt strategies that will fit their overall strategies to aid in their survival and success (Pechlaner and Sauerwein, 2002). As a result of the modern reality of business, academic literature has not yet been able to address many important considerations. An example is RM implementation strategies and the performance outcomes as a result of these decisions. This study investigated the advantages and disadvantages of implementation of RM strategies; in-house, centralized, and outsourced. This was followed by the make or buy decision, specifically focusing on Transaction Cost Economics and the Resource Based View to investigate antecedents of outsourcing intention, and if and how these different strategies affect hotel properties' performance. Data were collected using an online survey of lodging properties located in the U.S. in October 2014. A total of 374 usable responses for outsourcing intention study and 591 usable responses for the performance study were collected. Factor analysis, hierarchical multiple regression, repeated measures ANOVA, regression analysis, and pairwise comparison analysis were the statistical analyses used in the study. The results found that specificity is significant and negatively associated with outsourcing intention. In addition, uncertainty is significant and positively associated with outsourcing intention as proposed. The moderating effect of organizational capability is significant and changes from base model to final model with the moderator being statistically significant. The findings of regression and a pairwise comparison test confirmed the difference in strategy choice on performance for US hotels, giving us insights into the importance of selecting the strategy that is optimal for a given property.
  • A productivity analysis of the clinical dietitian as a health care team member in the service sector
    Meyer, Mary Kay (Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, 1986)
    The major purpose of this study was to analyze the productivity of the clinical dietitian in order to develop appropriate models for measurement of productivity of the clinical dietitian. Due to the lack of research on productivity in the service sector, a modified Delphi Technique was used to identify appropriate measures of input and output for the clinical dietitian. The information gathered from the Delphi Technique was used to develop a survey designed to measure the productivity of the clinical dietitian. Two hundred eighty-three participants responded to the survey. Five measures of productivity were developed. They were: (1) hours in direct patient care/total hours worked (2) hours in indirect patient care/ total hours worked (3) hours in nonpatient care/ total hours worked (4) hours spent in direct plus indiiect patient care/total hours worked and (5) the activity level in nonproductive activities. The independent variables used in this study were: (1) patient load of the clinical dietitian (2) years of experience of the clinical dietitian (3) the allocation of time to tasks performed by the clinical dietitian (4) consultation methods used by the clinical dietitian (5) size of the hospital (6) employment status of the clinical dietitian (7) mission of the hospital (8) percent occupancy of the hospital and <9> percent of the budget generated by Medicare patients. Results of the analyses showed that dietitians were spending a variety of time in the thirty-three identified activities. They had a high activity level in performing diet histories, individual diet instructions, performing nutritional assessments, and reviewing and recording in medical records. Tasks involving low levels of activity were taking anthopometric measurements, reading professional literature and attending professional conferences. To fully investigate the relationship between the measures of productivity (dependent variables) and the independent variables stepwise multiple linear regression in the SAS statistical program was used. Analyses revealed two models appropriate for measuring the productivity. These models involved nonpatient care and nonproductive activities. The development of these models overcame the difficulty discussed in the service literature of developing direct measures of productivity of employees in the service sector.
  • Exploring Tourism Advocates' Relationship with Tourism Industry Members through a Political Model of Leadership
    Knollenberg, Whitney G. (Virginia Tech, 2015-11-05)
    Political environments shape the tourism industry. Political support for the industry can result in the creation of competitive and sustainable destinations through which tourism may contribute positive social, environmental, and economic impacts to residents and business owners alike. However, policymakers do not always recognize the potential for these positive impacts. Some tourism representatives argue that policymakers only see their businesses as an engine for tax generation and that the industry as a whole does not receive the respect it deserves from policymakers. The fragmented nature of tourism poses a challenge for advocates desiring to develop a collective voice and legislative agenda for the industry. Such initiatives would appear to demand strong leaders from within the tourism industry itself who can organize a unified approach to gaining political influence. However, few scholars have explored these individuals, who serve as a conduit between the tourism industry and policymakers. Even less attention has been given to their relationship with members of the tourism industry. Therefore, this study utilized a partnership with the Virginia Hospitality and Travel Association to examine how political leaders within the tourism industry, or tourism advocates, establish relationships with members of the tourism industry in order to facilitate political influence. A political model of leadership was employed to conceptualize the contextual elements, antecedents, and behaviors that result in outcomes that influence the relationship between the advocates and tourism industry members. Data was collected through interviews with 26 tourism advocates which were conducted to gain an understanding of the contextual elements and antecedents that influence tourism advocates' political behavior, in regards to building a relationship with members of the tourism industry. Their followers, members of VHTA who represent the lodging, restaurant, and attractions segments of the Virginia tourism industry, were surveyed to evaluate their perceived outcomes of tourism advocates' leadership efforts. This study determined that contextual elements such as organizational culture and advocates' prior episodes play an important role in determining advocates' participation in political leadership. In turn, advocates' antecedents, particularly their sector-specific knowledge, social capital, and interpersonal style influence the behaviors they use to create relationships with tourism industry members. It was determined that overall, advocates' are far more critical of the outcomes of their behaviors than tourism industry members. The findings of this study can help prepare future tourism advocates to pursue political influence for the tourism industry by suggesting strategies that result in a productive relationship between political leaders and members of the tourism industry.
  • The Effects of Descriptive Food Names on Impressions, Anticipated Satisfaction, and Willingness to Pay More
    Kim, Seontaik (Virginia Tech, 2015-07-22)
    Descriptive menu labels are omnipresent elements in restaurant menus. Food service operations often use sensory, nostalgic, and brand descriptions to signal a customer's food-specific perceptions. Extant research has shown links between descriptive menu labels and food taste/enjoyment perceptions. To extend and expand the extant literature, this dissertation proposes that descriptive menu labels can be viewed as an anthropomorphizing factor, leading to different magnitudes of consumption-related attitudes and behavioral intentions in a restaurant. Drawing from metaphoric transfer theory and social impression models, the present research study suggests that descriptive labels in a restaurant transmit metaphors that influence consumers' impending warmth and competence perceptions of a restaurant. This dissertation also investigates the potential inversed magnitudes of anticipated satisfaction and willingness-to-pay-more driven by warmth/competence. In this empirical study, descriptive menu labels were experimentally manipulated. Consumers' warmth-related and competence-related service impressions, anticipated satisfaction, and willingness-to-pay-more more were measured. The empirical investigation comprised two pretests and one main study. The hypotheses were tested in two menu contexts (an entrée menu vs. a dessert menu). Overall, the results suggest that customers view a restaurant with sensory- and nostalgia-triggering descriptions as offering warmer impending services (i.e., with kindness, generosity, and understanding) compared to a restaurant with general descriptions. On the other hand, customers view a restaurant that utilizes brand-related descriptions as providing more competent and skilled impending services than a restaurant that utilizes general descriptions. In addition, the findings suggest that consumers' warmth impressions serve a more important role in their anticipated satisfaction than do their competence impressions; however, regarding willingness-to-pay-more, competence impressions factor more significantly than do warmth impressions. The replications of the results across the two menu contexts showed the robustness of the findings; however, there was a different pattern observed for the effects of sensory labels on consumers' warmth-related impressions in the dessert menu selection context. This dissertation contributes to emerging streams of menu labeling and service management literature. The findings presented in this dissertation have both theoretical and managerial implications for the food service industry.
  • Strategy, environmental scanning, and their effect upon performance: an exploratory study of the food service industry
    West, Joseph John (Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, 1988)
    The major purpose of this study was to examine the relationship of strategy and environmental scanning to performance. Porter’s (1980) strategic typology was utilized to classify foodservice firms by strategic orientation; and, an analysis of variance was performed to determine the differences in their performance. Environmental scanning engaged in by the firms was measured utilizing a modified multimethod - multitrait scale developed by Hambrick (1979). A final analysis conducted in this study was the comparison of environmental sectors scanned by high and low performing firms of each strategic group to determine their relationship with the performance variables. The three performance variables used in this study were: (a) Return on Sales, (b) Return on Assets, and (c) Growth in Unit Sales. All foodservice firms surveyed were either independent corporations or strategic business units of larger corporations whose major source of revenue was the foodservice industry. The study was nationwide with 18 national, 32 regional, and 15 local foodservice companies participating. The data was collected from fiscal year 1982 through fiscal year 1986 from both private and public sources. Strategy and environmental scanning were found to have substantial influence on both Return on Sales and Return on Assets. High performing firms in both differentiation and low cost strategies were found to engage in significantly greater amounts of environmental scanning than low performing firms in those two strategic groups. Focus strategy underperformed all other strategic groups in all performance measures.
  • Environmental uncertainty, business strategy and financial performance: a study of the lodging industry
    Dev, Chekitan S. (Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, 1988)
    The primary objective of this study was to investigate the relationship between perceived environmental uncertainty, business strategy, and financial performance in the lodging Industry. Using a contingency framework, this study investigated the match between strategy content and environmental uncertainty which, from previous research, appear to distinguish between high and low performing organizations (Miles 8 Snow, 1978; Bourgeois, 1978; Schaffer, 1986). The key question that forms the basis of this research is whether the empirical evidence supports previous theory relating to the environment, strategy, and performance relationship. The findings of this study indicate that a "match" between the state of the environment facing an organization and its business strategy is required for high performance. Hotels employing a defender strategy In a stable environment tend to perform better than hotels that employing other strategies. Similarly, hotels employing an analyzer strategy in a volatile environment tend to perform better than hotels that employing other strategies. Furthermore, irrespective of the environment faced, smaller hotels do better than larger hotels in terms of profit, while larger properties tend to fare better in terms of revenue. From an Industry application perspective, this study provides the strategy planner in the lodging industry with empirical information relating to: 1. A means to assess the state of the business environment perceived by individual unit general managers, 2. A repertoire of business strategies that emphasize different competitive postures, and 3. A "decision rule" to apply in appropriately matching their strategy to an environmental state for maximal performance outcome reflected in revenues and earnings. The results obtained provide an invaluable planning and analysis tool for all levels of management involved in charting a firm’s future.
  • Links Between Cultural Heritage Tourism and Overall Sense of Tourist Well-Being
    Jew, Jeongyong (Virginia Tech, 2015-06-24)
    Cultural heritage tourism is still the growing segment of tourism industry. Moreover, many tourists prefer exploring something new, cultural heritage tourism (CHT) has become one of the major "new" segments of tourism demand. Therefore, it is true that cultural heritage tourism has been one of the major sources of both quantitative and qualitative growth of tourism industry in many countries. In regard to the context of cultural heritage tourism industry, by identifying the relationship and impacts between tourist motivations, tourist satisfaction, and overall sense of tourist well-being, tourism marketers and administrators who are engaged in cultural heritage tourism can improve strategies for creating tourist's distinctive experiences, allowing tourists to become more physically and emotionally engaged in cultural heritage tourism destinations. However, there is, if any, very limited work that explores the link between cultural heritage tourism experiences and overall sense of tourist well-being induced by these experiences. Therefore, this study examines what attributes on tourist motivation contribute to the overall sense of well-being of tourists who visit cultural heritage tourism destinations. Therefore, this study examines what attributes on tourist motivations contribute to the satisfaction and the overall sense of well-being of tourists who visit cultural heritage tourism sites. An online survey using panel data from a marketing research company was used to collect 350 completed questionnaires. Tourist motivations (HONs and LONs), tourist satisfaction, and overall sense of tourist well-being were measured using different scales from previous researches discussed in the literature review. This study conducted various analyses including a profile of 350 respondents based on descriptive statistics, exploratory factor analysis of tourist motivations, correlation analysis of all constructs, and path analysis for the conceptual study model to understand the relationships between tourist motivations and tourist satisfaction, tourist motivations and overall sense of tourist well-being, and tourist satisfaction and overall sense of tourist well-being and identify impacts of each construct on the study model. This study contributes to the growing body of knowledge in understanding the link between cultural heritage tourism and overall sense of tourist well-being and identifying the perceived value and critical role of tourist motivations and tourist satisfaction connecting to overall sense of tourist well-being by establishing a theory based on empirical link between tourist motivations and overall sense of tourist well-being via tourist satisfaction in the context of cultural heritage tourism business.
  • Sustainability, Empowerment, and Resident Attitudes toward Tourism: Developing and Testing the Resident Empowerment through Tourism Scale (RETS)
    Boley, Bertram Bynum (Virginia Tech, 2013-09-17)
    Research on resident attitudes towards tourism and sustainability are two of the most ubiquitous and important topics within tourism research. This study sought to contribute to these fields of research in four specific ways. First, this study suggested Weber's theory of formal and substantive rationality as a theory capable of explaining the complexity inherent in resident attitudes toward tourism because of its incorporation of the economic and non-economic factors influencing rationality. The inclusion of Weber as a theoretical framework is also presented as a theory useful for bringing Social Exchange Theory (SET) back to its original focus on 'all' the costs and benefits associated within the host/guest relationship. The second and third contributions of the study stem from taking the previously conceptual constructs of psychological, social, and political empowerment and developing them into reliable and valid measurement scales. After validation, the three sub-scales were tested in a Confirmatory Factor Analysis (CFA), which demonstrated them to be construct valid based upon tests of convergent, discriminant, and nomological validity. These scales were subsequently included as antecedents to residents' perceptions of tourism's impacts, as well as their overall support for tourism in a Structural Equation Model (SEM) analysis. The SEM analysis found all three dimensions of empowerment to have significant relationships with perceptions of tourism's positive and negative impacts with the construct of psychological empowerment being the only empowerment dimension to have a direct and significant relationship with 'support for tourism'. Lastly, the study expanded these areas of research through conducting the study across three counties with varying emphasis placed on sustainable tourism. Floyd, Botetourt, and Franklin County, Virginia were selected for sampling based upon their homogeneity in regards to tourism product, per capita tourism expenditures and economic condition and their heterogeneity in regards to emphasis on sustainable tourism. Nine hundred surveys were distributed across the three counties with 703 ultimately used in the analysis. The results partially confirmed the hypothesis that resident attitudes toward tourism differ by a county's emphasis on sustainable tourism. Future research needs to further investigate sustainable tourism's influence on residents' attitudes toward tourism.
  • Justly so? Employee justice perceptions of legitimate and opportunistic complaints
    Baker, Melissa Anne (Virginia Tech, 2013-06-17)
    Unjust customer complaints are increasing, liberal redress policies are becoming more commonplace, and front line employees are expected to smile and just deal with fictitious complaints with redress and a sincere smile.  Is this justly so? This research helps to fill the current gaps in complaint, justice, and emotional labor research by empirically examining employee perceptions of perceived opportunistic versus perceived legitimate complaints.       This research completed one hotel and one restaurant study using  a 2 x 2 between-subjects experimental design to examine complaint type (opportunistic/ legitimate) and perceived organizational support (high/low).   Data was collected from a large reputable market research firm. Results find that employees from both studies experience statistically significantly lower perceptions of procedural, interactional, and distributive justice when dealing with opportunistic as opposed to legitimate complaints.  Perceptions of distributive justice statistically significantly increased employee\'s emotive effort and emotional dissonance.  Additionally, for all of the relationships in the hotel study and with distributive justice in the restaurant study, perceived organizational support had no significant effect on employee perceptions of justice or emotional dissonance or effort.   Managerial implications of employee justice perceptions and customer complaint policies are discussed.
  • Understanding Customers\' Healthy Eating Behavior in Restaurants using the Health Belief Model and Theory of Planned Behavior
    Lee, Sangtak (Virginia Tech, 2013-04-27)
    A large portion of the American public is overweight and many are classified as being obese.  Obesity and unhealthy eating behavior are partially related to the increase in our society""s consumption of foods away from home. Accordingly, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has suggested new menu labeling regulations to help educate customers on healthy items among menu selections. Few studies have tried to understand customers"" healthy eating behavior in restaurants. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to understand and to predict customers' healthy eating behavior in casual dining restaurants, using the theory of planned behavior and the health belief model. The results showed that attitude toward healthy eating behavior and subjective norm positively influenced intention to engage in healthy eating behavior in casual dining restaurants while perceived behavioral control did not. For healthy eating behavior in casual dining restaurants, perceived threat, self-efficacy, response to provision of nutrition information (cue to action) were significant predictors. However, perceived benefits and barriers were not statistically significant. Also, the study found that subjective nutrition knowledge influenced customers' response to provision of nutrition information whereas objective nutrition knowledge did not. Customers' healthy eating behavior positively influenced their willingness to patronize a restaurant that offers healthy menu items, which means that those who try to eat healthy menu items in casual dining restaurants are willing to revisit restaurants where healthy menu choices are available and to recommend the restaurants to others. Finally, this study generated socio-demographic profiles related to healthy eating behavior in casual dining restaurants and willingness to patronize a restaurant that provides healthy menu choices. The results revealed that education levels and BMI (Body Mass Index) status influenced customers' healthy eating behavior. Also, customers' willingness to patronize a restaurant that provides healthy menu items differed based on gender, marital status, and education levels.
  • Intangible Assets Valuation in the Hospitality Industry
    Du, Ruixue (Virginia Tech, 2013-04-25)
    Market value of firms and book value of firms are rarely the same. The difference, which is attributed to unrecorded or unrecognized intangible assets, has increased significantly since the 1970s. The issue of appropriately valuing these intangible assets, however, still remains unresolved. The purpose of this study is to address this lack of understanding of valuing intangible assets in the hospitality industry. Five intangible asset investments: Research and Development, Training, Advertising, Labor, Pension, and one business model, Franchising, are chosen as the valuation constructs in this study based on previous research in the hospitality industry. The valuation models for the casual dining restaurant industry and the quick service restaurant industry are compared. The sample of this study includes 13 casual dining restaurant firms and 12 quick service restaurant firms. Compustat North America is the primary data source for this study. The annual data for casual dining restaurant firms from 1980 to 2011 is collected from this database. There are 238 firm-years in total. Two firm-years are excluded due to systematic missing values, and 15 firm-years are excluded due to missing share price information. Thus, the final count of data points for casual dining restaurant firms usable for analysis purposes is 221. The annual data for quick service restaurant firms from 1980 to 2011 is also collected from the Compustat North America database. There are 251 firm-years in total. Eight firm-years are excluded due to systematic missing values, and 47 firm-years are excluded due to missing share price information. Thus, the final count of data points for quick service restaurant firms usable for analysis purposes is 196. Pearson correlation and multivariate analyses are performed to answer the four research questions in this study. Two hypotheses are supported while one hypothesis is not supported and one hypothesis remains unanswered due to Multicollinearity issues identified in multiple regression models. The results of this study show that 1) R&D, training, advertising, labor and pension are all important valuation constructs in the hospitality industry, and 2) there are some differences, however, between casual dining restaurant firms and quick service restaurant firms. This study fills the gap in the current literature by providing a quantitative method to value intangible assets in the hospitality industry that uses the valuation constructs identified in previous hospitality research. The practical implications of this study will provide managers in the hospitality industry with helpful insights for strategic decision making, specifically in regards to research and development, advertising and employee compensation.
  • Consumer Evaluation of a Vertical Brand Extension in the Lodging Industry: Relationships among Brand Trust, Band Loyalty, Brand Distance, and Brand Extension
    Lim, Yu Mi (Virginia Tech, 2013-04-24)
    Vertical brand extensions have been used as popular strategies in the lodging industry. Research on brand extension that is related with brand trust and brand loyalty has been useful in making brand extensions successful. However, previous research focused on aggregated relationships among brand trust, brand loyalty, and brand extension. In addition, it has been found that quality and price distance from a core brand of the brand extension has an impact on the success of the brand extension. Therefore, this dissertation proposes a theoretical model with six hypotheses investigating relationships among brand trust, brand loyalty and brand extension simultaneously. Further, the impact of distance from a core brand (brand distance) on the brand extension was examined. Data was collected using an online panel. A final sample of 396 was used for the data analysis. Structural equation modeling (SEM), a Chi-square difference test, and independent t-tests were utilized to test the hypotheses. The data was randomly split in two. One half of the dataset was used to test a measurement model and the other half of the dataset was used to test a structural equation model. The findings suggested there were positive relationships between brand trust and brand loyalty, brand trust and brand extension, and brand loyalty and brand extension. Furthermore, it was found that brand distance plays a significant role not only on brand extension, but also on the relationship between brand trust and brand extension and the relationship between brand loyalty and brand extension. This study contributes to vertical brand extension literature by providing a theoretical model by which simultaneous relationships among brand trust, brand loyalty and brand extension were investigated with a moderating factor: brand distance. The findings of this dissertation have important managerial implications for lodging industry brand managers.