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Moving beyond the Western versus Asian culture distinction: An investigation of acculturation effects

Karin Weber (School of Hotel and Tourism Management, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong)
Beverley Sparks (Department of THS Management, Griffith University, Gold Coast, Australia)
Cathy H.C. Hsu (School of Hotel and Tourism Management, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong)

International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management

ISSN: 0959-6119

Article publication date: 12 June 2017

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to analyze the joint effects of where a service failure occurs and who witnesses it, with a specific focus on Chinese consumers who have varying levels of acculturation.

Design/methodology/approach

A 4 × 2 × 2 between-subject factorial design was used, where social presence and the location of the service failure were manipulated and acculturation was measured. Data were collected in Australia and China to contrast perceptions and behavioral responses of Chinese – Australians and Mainland Chinese by drawing on samples of 224 and 264 respondents, respectively.

Findings

Results showed significant differences in face, satisfaction and repeat purchase intention ratings following a service failure between Chinese – Australians and Mainland Chinese, as well as among Chinese – Australians with different acculturation strategies. Contrary to expectations, results established that where and with whom a service failure is experienced prominently affect consumer behavior regardless of the acculturation level.

Practical implications

An understanding of the effect of acculturation on a service failure situation is crucial for businesses to successfully compete in a continuously globalized world where migration produces multicultural societies and short-term travel tends to significantly change demands on service provision.

Originality/value

This research presents one of the first studies that go beyond the traditional East/West consumer distinction in studying service failure. This study analyzes the effect of acculturation by itself and together with other variables of interest.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This study was supported by a research grant of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University (Grant Number G-YK55).

Citation

Weber, K., Sparks, B. and Hsu, C.H.C. (2017), "Moving beyond the Western versus Asian culture distinction: An investigation of acculturation effects", International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, Vol. 29 No. 6, pp. 1703-1723. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJCHM-12-2015-0679

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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