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Recipes for customer loyalty: a cross-country study of the hotel industry

Khawaja Fawad Latif (Department of Management Sciences, COMSATS University Islamabad, Attock Campus, Attock, Pakistan)

International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management

ISSN: 0959-6119

Article publication date: 16 June 2021

Issue publication date: 6 July 2021




Based on the tenets of complexity theory, the purpose of the study is to identify the causal recipes that can lead to improved customer loyalty.


A cross-country sample was drawn from Pakistan, China and Italy to explore customers’ hotel experiences. The study used asymmetrical fuzzy set qualitative comparative analysis (fsQCA) to unearth the recipes of antecedent conditions that can predict high scores in customer loyalty.


The study results complementing the major tenets of complexity theory found several recipes in each of the countries that can lead to improved customer loyalty.

Practical implications

Instead of focusing on individual factors, and how they impact loyalty, the study will help hotel management to understand the complexity of loyalty and it may not be improved through individual focus on antecedent conditions, instead, different pathways/recipes can help improve the loyalty. The study will help managers uncover alternative ways to attain increasing customer loyalty. The results reveal that customers in different countries have varied paths leading to loyalty, showing that hotel administration should not consider all customers as equal, with changing culture there is a change in how high loyalty may be achieved.


Customer loyalty is a complex construct, and the latest research reveals that symmetric methods have significant limitations, as they view loyalty as an outcome of isolated antecedents. Symmetric methods are less informative and have limited theoretical implications. Drawing on the tenets of complexity theory the study contributes to the loyalty literature in the hotel industry by highlighting the causal configurations leading to improved customer loyalty.



Latif, K.F. (2021), "Recipes for customer loyalty: a cross-country study of the hotel industry", International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, Vol. 33 No. 5, pp. 1892-1916.



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