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英国酒店管理学essay:What factors influence customer’s percepti

论文价格: 免费 时间:2019-09-02 10:45:24 来源:www.ukassignment.org 作者:留学作业网
1. Introduction介绍
本章是本论文的一个重要章节,重点阐述了本研究的研究方法,并解释了本研究中提出的问题来源。在本章中,介绍了本研究的所有方法,并重点介绍了在实证调查中收集和使用信息和数据的一些伦理问题。
This chapter is a key chapter of the dissertation, which focuses on research methodology of this study and explains sources of problems raised in our study. In this chapter, it introduces all the methods of this research; it also highlights some ethical issues of collecting and using the information and data in the empirical survey. 
本研究主要调查顾客对酒店在线品牌形象的认知,探讨酒店在线品牌形象塑造对酒店发展的挑战,探讨影响酒店在线品牌形象的因素。为了使本研究具有更实际的意义,本文没有将酒店作为研究对象,而是通过广泛的问卷调查和深入的访谈,试图得出一个具有普遍价值的结论。众所周知,实证研究是一项费时、费钱、费劲的工作,为了最大限度地减少支出和保护环境,本研究通过互联网平台进行问卷调查,进行问卷分发和收集。本研究采用文献研究、定性研究与定量研究相结合的多种研究方法。
This study mainly surveys customers’ perceptions of hotels online brand image; it studies the challenges of hotel online brand image shaping to the hotel development, and discusses the influencing factors of hotel online brand image. In order to make this study have more practical meaning, this dissertation does not specify a hotel as a research object; instead, through a wide range of questionnaire survey and in-depth interview, it tries to reach a common value conclusion. As we all know, empirical study is a time consuming work and it takes money and energy; for the purpose of minimum spending and protecting environment, this study chooses questionnaire survey through an Internet platform to distribute and collect questionnaires. In this study, this dissertation adopts a variety of research methods, including literature research, a combination of qualitative research and quantitative research. 
 
2. Purpose of the study (Objective) 研究目的(目标)
本研究旨在探讨影响顾客对酒店品牌形象认知的因素。为了达到这一目的,需要确定影响因素,并具体说明这些因素与酒店品牌形象的关系。因此,研究顾客的购买行为和对酒店服务的忠诚度具有重要意义。
The purpose of the study is to assess the factors which impact customers’ perception of hotel brand image. To achieve this purpose, it needs to identify the influencing factors, and specify how these factors relate to the hotel brand image. Therefore it means a lot to study customers’ purchase behavior and loyalty for hotel service. 
根据目前的研究,影响顾客对酒店形象认知的因素有很多。一般认为,服务质量、酒店特色是客户选择酒店时最重要的两个因素。根据调查,10个顾客中有7个选择从一家酒店转到另一家酒店,因为服务问题,而不是产品质量或价格。酒店顾客不仅追求物质需求,更喜欢精神需求。只有顾客满意,他们才会变得忠诚。顾客满意是指顾客的感受,是通过对顾客期望的产品服务绩效与顾客期望的比较而得到的。如果预期的性能比预期差,客户将不满意;如果预期的性能符合预期,客户将满意;如果预期的性能超过预期,客户将非常满意。然后再回来消费,甚至向其他客户推荐酒店,即成为酒店的忠实客户,提升酒店的业绩,宣传酒店的“品牌形象”。
According to current studies, there are multiple factors which influence the perceptions of customers to hotel image. Generally believed, quality of service, the hotel features, are the most important two factors that customer will consider when choosing a hotel. According to survey, 7 customers out of 10 choose to transfer to another hotel from one hotel owing to service problem instead of product quality or price. The hotel customers pursue not just material demands but prefer spiritual demands. Only when the customers are satisfied will they become loyal. Customer satisfaction refers to the feelings of customers, which are based on comparison between expected product - service performance and customers’ expectation. If the expected performance is worse than expectation, the customers will be unsatisfied; if the expected performance conforms to expectation, the customers will be satisfied; and if the expected performance surpasses expectation, the customers will be very satisfied. And then they will come again for consumption and even recommend the hotel to other customers, namely, they will become loyal customers of the hotel, which will enhance hotel performance and publicize the “brand image” of the hotel.         
 
The hotel characteristics such as architectural appearance, decoration design and hotel products are also important factors for customers to select hotels. Under the fierce competition situation of international hotel industry, the hotel owners and managers are striving to form comfortable and characteristic hotels. For example, in view of guest room design, Hilton has launched “guest room for sleeping soundly”, “guest room for fitness” and “guest room for mental relaxation”. Accor has launched conceptual guest room featured with “hospitality relying on high-tech”; while Starwood has formed dreamlike guest room of “Heavenly Bed”. All the above mentioned all satisfy the demands of customers on comfort and changing. The appearance personality and characteristic is also an important factor to attract customers.         
 
3. Hypothesis Formulation
H1: The electronic word-of-mouth will have an important and positive effect on customers’ perception of hotel online brand image.
 
The aim of the hotel marketing is to make customer want to come to the hotel again through high-quality customer service. For the satisfied customers, if they are enjoying the hotel service experience and are willing to tell others, the hotel would benefit a lot from customers’ sharing. In the internet era, electronic word-of-mouth sharing are the most effective way to share personal emotions and feelings, therefore it will have an important and effective effect on customers’ perception of hotel online brand image. 
 
H2: Service quality will have an important and positive effect on customers’ perception of hotel online brand image.
 
Service quality of hotel includes quality of tangible facilities equipment, service, environment quality, it also includes intangible service quality and other factors. Each factor consists of specific contents which affect customers’ perceptions all the time. Service quality also has an important and positive effect on customers’ perception of hotel online brand image.
 
H3: Webpage design will have an important and positive effect on customers’ perception of hotel online brand image.
 
Hotel website is the image of hotel on the Internet, which can highlight the hotel’s differentiation. A splendid website contains wonderful contents, creative ideas such as picture preview etc., can attract a lot of customers. Current days, the hotel service is with serious homogeneity, therefore characteristics of the hotel is very important. Hotel should establish a website according to the specific situation, highlight the fashion or classical of the hotel as far as possible. It would be great if the hotel website can make customers remember the image at the first glance. 
 
H4: Price will have an important and positive effect on customers’ perception of hotel online brand image. 
 
Price is always one of the most important factors to affect customers’ perceptions when they are choosing a hotel. It is important for a hotel to have its own price advantage. However, it is worth noting that, service quality is always the most important factor for hotel image. Price image can be meaningful only when there is a solid foundation of service quality.
 
4. Research Methods
 
Quantitative research is scientific research on determining quantity of one certain aspect, which refers to the research method and process of representing problem and phenomenon with quantity thus to conduct analysis, test and explanation in order to know meaning. Quantification bases on digital symbols for measuring. Because its purpose is to answer the attribute of quantity of matters and motions, therefore, it is named as quantitative research. Wherein, the main methods for quantitative research include survey method, correlation method and experimental method. Qualitative research is an opposite concept to quantitative research, which is the channel to define or handle problems through exploring problems, understanding phenomenon of matters, analyzing human behaviors and ideas as well as answering questions. (Taylor, 1985) Its purpose is to deeply research the opinions of researched objects, further discuss the reasons for researched objects in doing things. If quantitative research aims at researching the problem “what it is” and then qualitative research aims at researching the reasons.   
 
Quantitative research mainly adopts methods of observation, experiment, survey and statistics to research social phenomenon, which has strict requirement on research preciseness, objectivity and value neutrality thus to obtain objective reality. It usually adopts form of data to explain various phenomena, relies on deduction method to predict theory, and collects information and evidence to evaluate or verify the predicted model, assumption or theory. Besides, it starts from transcendental idea of researchers and is a process from top to bottom. By comparison, qualitative research mostly adopts methods of observation and deep interview to obtain the first-hand materials, mainly involving methods of observation, action research and historical research method. Based on obtained materials, it adopts inductive method to transform from concreteness to abstraction thus to form theory. In addition, qualitative research is formed based on mutual connection of different materials, which is a process from bottom to top. Quantitative research and qualitative research have advantages and disadvantages respectively, combining these two kinds of modes can better avoid weaknesses, make research more accurate and scientific.     #p#分页标题#e#
 
Qualitative research is a set of cross-disciplinary, cross-major, cross-domain, and cross-topic research methods, consisting of a complex set of interrelated terms, concepts, assumptions, etc.( Denzin andLincoln, 1994). By displaying the specific methods of qualitative research and the applicable research fields, we can better understand what qualitative research is.
 
In short, qualitative research is made up of interviews, observations, case studies, etc., with raw materials including site notes, interview notes, conversations, photographs, audio recordings, memos and so on. The aim is to describe, explain things, events, phenomena, and figures, as well as to better understand the research methods of the problems studied. Qualitative research usually means specific techniques that do not involve numbers, such as access method (Gabrielian, 1999)
 
The biggest difference between qualitative analysis and quantitative analysis is that the former does not need statistical model or regression analysis. Qualitative analysis is regarded as a study based on differences in type or quality rather than in degree. Qualitative research can also be empirical research. Firstly, the theoretical hypothesis is put forward, and the rationality of the hypothesis is verified by analyzing the collected data. For example, in case studies, a case study may disprove a dominant theory, (King et a l,1994). For the case study, it is more targeted (Ga brielian, 1999). If the internal and external validity can be tested, it may also generalize the conclusion of the case as a general conclusion.
 
The qualitative research applies a variety of data collection and analysis techniques: Punch ( 1994: 84) thought that the main three techniques are: observation, visit and file analysis . Mar shall and Rossman (1995) listed 15 methods and techniques. Morse(1994: 224) proposed four main research strategies in qualitative research: phenomenology, ethnography, grounded theory, action research, and compared their research problems, main methods and sources of data. In the process of data collection and processing, data management of great importance. Huberman and Miles defined data management as: "the operations required for systematic, consistent data collection, storage and retrieval" (Huberman and Miles: 1994: 428). Today, the application of computer software will greatly improve the efficiency of data collection, storage, retrieval and analysis in qualitative research. 
 
A major breakthrough in qualitative research is the establishment and development of “Grounded Theory”. Although there have been plenty of articles on this theory, the authoritative one is the original inventor's four books: "The Discovery of Grounded Theory"( Glaser & Strauss, 1967) ; "Theoretical Sensitivity" ( Glaser,1978) ; "Qualitative Analysis for Social Scientists " ( Strauss, 1987); Basics of Qualitative Research: Grounded Theory Procedures and Techniques( Strauss and Corbin; 1990, 1998).Generally speaking, scholars usually put forward theoretical hypotheses based on their experience, wisdom, knowledge and existing materials, and then collect data to verify their theoretical hypotheses with statistical models or other methods. But the procedure of grounded theory is quite the opposite, that is, scholars do not have a theoretical hypothesis for a problem in advance, but build theoretical models by collecting and analyzing data.
 
There are various methods for data analysis, and content analysis is one of the important techniques. Data analysis can be divided into three sub-steps: (1) data recovery: selection of conceptual models, research questions, case studies, and further compression of data by coding, summarizing, classifying and writing;(2) Information presentation: reorganization of compressed information for action and conclusion; (3) conclusion/confirmation: interpretation of information(Misles and Huberman, 1984, 1994)   
 
There is lack of common consensus in academic circles on the quality and reliability testing of qualitative research. However, most studies follow four criteria: internal validity; external validity; reliability; and objectivity. Huberman and Miles (1994) proposed the following criteria to determine the advantages and disadvantages of qualitative research procedures: (1) sampling decisions within or between cases; (2) data collection operations; (3) size and summary of the database, methods of generating data; (4) the application of software; (5) the overall analysis strategy; (6) the presentation of key data to support the main conclusions.
 
Strauss and Corbin put forward four criteria for judging qualitative research: first, the validity, reliability and credibility of the data; second, the judgment of the theory itself; third, whether the research process of producing, explaining and testing the theory is perfect; fourth, whether the conclusion is grounded in empirical data( Strauss and Corbin, 1998). Marshall and Rossman(1995) set out 20 questions to determine the quality of qualitative research, for the limited space, here do not list all in detail.
 
As far as we concerned, qualitative research and quantitative research, although each has its own methods, research steps and so on, they are not contradictory, but are mutually related and complementary. Some research projects will combine both qualitative and quantitative methods. Some qualitative methods are also supported by data. Moreover, in most quantitative researches, the rational thinking of qualitative research is indispensable in the process of putting forward theoretical hypotheses, explaining the causality between things and revealing the regularity of phenomena.
 
This paper mainly adopts the method of combining quantitative research and qualitative research, the advantages include: firstly, deep research on topic. For example, in view of online brand image of hotel, questionnaire can be adopted to know the recognition of customers on online brand image of hotel, and deep interview can be conducted to know the impact and influence of online brand building on traditional brand image building of hotel; secondly, data source channel is diversified to realize high reliability and creditability of research conclusion. In summary, the research method is flexible, new ideas and problems will also appear with the implementation of survey.   
 
 
5. Data Collection Methods
Questionnaire to collect primary data and literature to collect second hand data. Specifically, literature review is aimed to obtain a deep understanding of the current situation of hotel online image. Academic researches and papers of relevant scholars help my better understanding of hotel online image, as well as its possible impacts to customers’ perception in the context of Internet era. Reading as many as academic materials is also beneficial to a clear understanding of the influencing factors of hotel development. 
 
Based on literature review, the interview outline is designed. In-depth interviews are made attempting to discuss whether hotel online brand image affects customers’ perception when choosing hotels, and their specific effects, if there is any. Compared with the traditional image, the hotel’s online image has its own characteristics and means a lot for hotel brand management. As for how the hotel online image works, and whether it can thoroughly shake the status of the traditional hotel brand management, a quantitative test is done via the questionnaire. 
 
6. Questionnaire Design
300 questionnaires will be give out for two to three weeks both online and offline. There are two questionnaire versions (English and Chinese). For online channel, questionnaires will be given out via social media, such as Facebook, Twitter, Wechat and Weibo.
 
Normally, questionnaires can be divided into three types. The first is structured questionnaires, which can also be called closed questionnaires. It means to set limits on the answers beforehand, and testees are only allowed to make choices within the limits. The second is unstructured questionnaires, which are also called open questionnaires. The questionnaires are composed of open questions without fixed answers. This kind of questionnaires list questions without possible answers, and testees are required to answer freely. In terms of question types, there are blank filling and essay questions. The third is integrated questionnaires. This kind of questionnaire is composed mainly of closed questions and several open questions added when necessary. That is to say, the researcher list what he/she is clear about as closed questions, and what he/she is not clear about yet as open questions. 
 
This study employs integrated questionnaire to conduct the quantitative study. According to the research purpose and assumed range, this study designs questions. This procedure includes the following steps: First, make clear the research purpose, collect materials needed according to the research purpose and assumed range, and choose research objects. Second, list the framework of the problem to be studied, and make clear the information to be searched and choose the questionnaire type. Third, draw up the questions according to the subject, and list the title and specific items in different parts.
 
At the same time, although questionnaires are required to be concise, convenient and economic, they also have demand on testees and are subjective. Therefore, in the researching process, this study combined interviews with questionnaires. Interviews can be divided into individual interviews and group interviews, general interviews and depth interviews, interviews as the major means of collecting materials and interviews as supplementary means of collecting materials. Bailey (1986), an American scholar, argues that interviews are not only flexible, but also have a high response rate, with all questions brought up answered.#p#分页标题#e#
 
 Questionnaires can help outline the general factors of hotel online brand image, while interviews can go deep and make clear the implicit problems on hotel online brand image management. These two methods complement each other, and bring out the best in each other, which is more favorable for studying customers’ perception of hotel online brand image and make the research results more practical.
 
7. Sampling Design 
The questionnaire will be given out randomly but focusing on the age group from 18 to 65. The target groups of this study are ordinary hotel customers, who make direct contact with hotels and whose feelings have an important reference value for this study. 
 
Methods of data collection, in addition to literature review, mainly include the questionnaire and the interview. The questionnaire is, to some extent, scientific and effective with such advantages as simplicity, convenience, and economy, but it is rather subjective. (Yin 2003) Therefore, in the specific study process, I integrate the interview with the questionnaire: the questionnaire is helpful to get a sketchy outline and the overall situation of customers’ perception on hotel online image; the interview is useful to go down to the essential and implicit part of influence of hotel online image. These two methods are complementary to each other, which eventually makes the study results more scientific. 
 
As for the participants, I tend to select those with a certain educational background and able to accurately understand the questions in the questionnaire and in the interview; meanwhile, the selected participants shall has some understanding of hotel online brand image. Such selection criteria are instrumental in facilitating the study and excluding irrelevant factors, which eventually makes the study results more persuasive. 
 
As far as the sample size is concerned, 300 questionnaires are averagely sent out in specific and different age groups. The subjects of the interview are also randomly chose. Interviews collect materials through face to face questions and answers between the researcher and the testees. It gets well prepared before the interview, the author develops research design and draws up the outline. The research design of the interview includes: purpose and steps of the interview, questions to be asked, the choice of interviewees. Interview is a kind of qualitative research method. It helps the author go further in knowing the real thoughts of the interviewee, and serves as a good way in collecting first hand materials for this research.
 
8. Data Analysis
Comparing three kinds of methodology (quantitative,qualitative and mixed) and choose quantitative to analyse data. Furthermore, data analysis will use the Importance-Performance Analysis (IPA) and KANO model that mentioned in the literature review. Data statistic analysis will use the SPSS application. 
 
SPSS is a widely used program for statistical analysis in social science. It is also used by market researchers, health researchers, survey companies, government, education researchers, marketing organizations, data miners, and others. The original SPSS manual has been described as one of "sociology's most influential books" for allowing ordinary researchers to do their own statistical analysis. (Wellman, 1998) In addition to statistical analysis, data management and data documentation are features of the base software. In this study, SPSS17.0 is adopted as the tool of data arrangement and data analysis.
 
 
9. Limitation
 
The hotel online brand image exerts great on customers’ perceptions to the hotel. Because of an immense population base and a large number of Internet users all over the world, there is a huge room waiting for hotels to enhance their online brand images. This paper will make a detailed study of hotel online brand image development in recent years, draw a complete outline of the current situation of hotel online brand image management and development, and further discuss the challenges and effects on the traditional brand images made by the hotel. On this basis, this paper also will tentatively put forward proposals for the future development of hotel online brand image establishment and management, which is of the greatest significance of this study. 
 
The limitation of this research lies in the insufficient samples interviewed to investigate the hotel online brand images. Due to this, the result reached by this research may not be complete enough. However, I will compensate this by using objective materials obtained from documentary study and the prediction of the operational strategies based on the description and analysis of the available data. 
 
Personal information of participants is involved in social scientific research, so information should be collected and used cautiously and corresponding measures should be taken to guarantee the right of participants and raise the reliability of the research. In the collection, duplicating and using of information, relevant ethical topics should be taken into consideration, including: getting the permission of informants and surveyed organizations to carry out the research, ensuring the willingness and informed consent and the secrecy of information, etc.
 
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