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Article
Publication date: 6 May 2014

Jackie Tam, Piyush Sharma and Namwoon Kim

This study aims to develop a model based on attribution theory and intercultural literature to explain the underlying customer satisfaction process in intercultural service

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2802

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to develop a model based on attribution theory and intercultural literature to explain the underlying customer satisfaction process in intercultural service encounters.

Design/methodology/approach

In-depth interviews were used to develop an understanding of customer experience and evaluations in intercultural service encounters. A quasi-experiment with 236 customers was used to empirically examine the relationships between perceived culture distance, cultural attribution, intercultural competence and customer satisfaction.

Findings

Perceived culture distance is positively related to customer satisfaction, with cultural attribution mediating the relationship between perceived cultural distance and customer satisfaction, and partially mediating the moderating effect of intercultural competence on the relationship between perceived culture distance and customer satisfaction.

Research limitations/implications

This study focuses on cultural attribution in intercultural service encounters. It is acknowledged that there are other attribution dimensions such as stability and controllability which may interact with perceived culture distance and influence subsequent customer satisfaction evaluation. Future research should consider these various dimensions and examine their mediating role in customer satisfaction.

Practical implications

It is recommended that service firms educate their customers of diverse cultures about local norms and practices, and proactively manage their expectations throughout the service experience.

Originality/value

Despite the growing importance of intercultural service encounters, the findings of the relationship between perceived cultural distance and customer satisfaction are mixed. This study contributes to the literature by advancing our theoretical knowledge and empirical evidence of the role of cultural attribution and intercultural competence in intercultural service encounters.

Details

Journal of Services Marketing, vol. 28 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0887-6045

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Article
Publication date: 13 July 2010

Chen‐ya Wang and Anna S. Mattila

This study seeks to shed light on service providers' experiences and challenges during intercultural service encounters.

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2793

Abstract

Purpose

This study seeks to shed light on service providers' experiences and challenges during intercultural service encounters.

Design/methodology/approach

A grounded theory approach was used to explore a broad range of management issues regarding intercultural service encounters. A conceptual model was developed through interviews with current service providers.

Findings

The findings indicate that intercultural service encounters can serve as potential stressors for service providers and consequently induce negative emotions. While some service providers employ various coping techniques to address this situation, others tend to avoid international customers.

Originality/value

The intercultural service encounter has received little research attention despite its prevalence in daily life. The value of this paper contributes to the understanding of intercultural service encounters, particularly the challenges and stress employees could face.

Details

Managing Service Quality: An International Journal, vol. 20 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0960-4529

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Article
Publication date: 13 April 2015

Piyush Sharma and Zhan Wu

This paper aims to explore the moderating effects of consumer ethnocentrism and intercultural competence on the impact of service outcome and perceived cultural distance…

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1776

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to explore the moderating effects of consumer ethnocentrism and intercultural competence on the impact of service outcome and perceived cultural distance, respectively, on interaction comfort and perceived service quality in intercultural service encounters.

Design/methodology/approach

A 2 × 2 between-subjects experimental design with university students was used, using service encounter scenarios to manipulate service outcome (failure or success) and photos of service employees to manipulate perceived cultural distance (low vs high).

Findings

As hypothesized, the impact of service outcome on interaction comfort and perceived service quality is moderated negatively by consumer ethnocentrism, whereas the impact of perceived cultural distance is moderated positively by intercultural competence.

Research limitations/implications

An experimental design using imaginary service scenarios was used in a single service context (i.e. restaurant) with university students as participants, which may restrict the generalizability of our findings.

Practical implications

Managers in service firms with multicultural customers should try to recruit service employees with high intercultural competence and low consumer ethnocentrism. They should also develop employee training programs that help minimize the adverse impact of these variables on interaction comfort and service quality in intercultural service encounters.

Originality/value

This paper extends prior research by exploring the moderating effects of consumer ethnocentrism and intercultural competence on the direct and indirect effects of service outcome and perceived cultural distance on interaction comfort, service quality and satisfaction.

Details

Journal of Services Marketing, vol. 29 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0887-6045

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 2005

Steve Sizoo, Richard Plank, Wilfried Iskat and Hendrick Serrie

The significant increase in service offerings throughout the world has caused marketing scholars to focus their attention on the characteristics of the service encounter

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9366

Abstract

Purpose

The significant increase in service offerings throughout the world has caused marketing scholars to focus their attention on the characteristics of the service encounter. With the growth in global business, more attention is also being paid to cross‐culture service encounters. This study proposes adding to that trend by attempting to measure the effect of intercultural sensitivity on the cross‐cultural performance of service employees.

Design/methodology/approach

Questionnaires were carried out in four‐ and five‐diamond hotels located in the state of Florida with reputations for attracting foreign guests.

Findings

The results indicate that employees with high intercultural sensitivity scored significantly (p<0.05) higher than employees with low intercultural sensitivity in terms of service attentiveness, revenue contribution, interpersonal skills, job satisfaction, and social satisfaction as they relate to cross‐cultural encounters. There was no significant difference in scores for motivation‐to‐work and perceptions of primary rewards (compensation, recognition, etc.).

Research limitations/implications

The study was limited to upscale in Florida hotels.

Originality/value

Results suggest that service firms would benefit from testing for and providing training in intercultural sensitivity for employees involved in cross‐cultural service encounters.

Details

Journal of Services Marketing, vol. 19 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0887-6045

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Article
Publication date: 8 September 2021

Sarah Mady, John B. Ford and Tarek Mady

This paper aims to examine the effect of intercultural accommodation efforts on service quality perceptions among ethnic minority consumers. Specifically, the paper…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine the effect of intercultural accommodation efforts on service quality perceptions among ethnic minority consumers. Specifically, the paper postulates that during an intercultural service encounter, the impact of the service provider’s language and ethnicity on the consumer’s service quality perceptions is moderated by the level of service involvement, consumer acculturation and perceived discrimination, which, in turn, influence purchase intent.

Design/methodology/approach

A 2 × 2 between-subjects experimental design with an online nationwide consumer panel of Hispanic consumers was conducted where 377 participants were randomly assigned to a series of service encounter scenarios in the banking service context to manipulate accommodation efforts (yes vs no) and the level of involvement with the service (high vs low).

Findings

When such language and ethnicity accommodations were offered, highly acculturated minority consumers regarded the service encounter less favorably than low acculturated minority consumers. Moreover, during low-involvement service encounters, intercultural accommodations positively impacted consumer’s service quality perceptions compared to situations involving high-involvement services. Also, minority consumers with perceptions of past discrimination had less favorable evaluations of the service quality than when such perceptions were nonexistent when intercultural accommodation efforts were made by the service provider.

Research limitations/implications

The findings add to the sparse literature that examines the effectiveness of intercultural accommodation and focuses on the combined use of service provider’s language and ethnicity as a means to enhance service quality.

Practical implications

The study delivers cautions for service firms not to generalize the receptivity of intercultural accommodation efforts. Given the increasingly sizable segments of minority customers, this study offers insights for service providers to develop suitable recruitment strategies and training programs when devising effective ethnic targeting strategies.

Originality/value

This research is among the first to explain why the effect of target marketing is not homogenous by expanding the research on intercultural accommodations toward a new context considering service involvement levels among varied minority consumer groups.

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Article
Publication date: 5 October 2012

Piyush Sharma, Jackie L.M. Tam and Namwoon Kim

This paper aims to extend the intercultural service encounters (ICSE) framework using role theory and information asymmetry perspective, to hypothesize differences in the…

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1974

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to extend the intercultural service encounters (ICSE) framework using role theory and information asymmetry perspective, to hypothesize differences in the strength of many relationships based on service role (customers versus employees).

Design/methodology/approach

The paper presents the results of a field‐experiment with 204 restaurant employees and 241 customers in Hong Kong using a service failure scenario and photographs of Western versus Asian customers to manipulate perceived cultural distance.

Findings

Perceived cultural distance has a stronger negative effect on inter‐role congruence, interaction comfort has a stronger positive effect on perceived service level and inter‐role congruence on adequate service level, for customers versus employees. Intercultural competence has a stronger positive effect on inter‐role congruence for employees versus customers, and it moderates the influence of perceived cultural distance on interaction comfort and inter‐role congruence.

Research limitations/implications

This paper reports the findings from a field‐experiment study using an imaginary service failure scenario in a restaurant setting with ethnic Chinese customers and employees in Hong Kong, which may not be generalizable to other contexts.

Practical implications

The findings highlight the need to recognize and manage the differences in the expectations and perceptions of service customers and employees, and the importance of inter‐cultural competence in managing intercultural service encounters.

Originality/value

The study extends the original ICSE framework by highlighting important differences between customers and employees in the strength of various relationships.

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Article
Publication date: 29 July 2014

Defang Zhao and Ingrid Y. Lin

The purpose of this paper is to introduce a theoretical framework, the holistic mental model process, with major contextual factors (cultural, situation, cognitive and…

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5100

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to introduce a theoretical framework, the holistic mental model process, with major contextual factors (cultural, situation, cognitive and affective contexts) to help better understand tourists’ perception and evaluation of intercultural tourists–tour guide service encounters.

Design/methodology/approach

Summary tables of an extensive literature review of previous empirical studies relating to intercultural service encounters, service encounter and service quality to help derive the holistic mental model process framework are included.

Findings

Gaps from the previous literature were identified along with in-depth explanations as to how a holistic mental model process can be applied to tourists evaluating intercultural tourist–tour guide service encounters and the service quality of their overall travel experience.

Research limitations/implications

The current conceptual framework of the holistic mental model process targets specifically on the intercultural tourists–tour guide service encounters. More in-depth empirical studies can be conducted focusing on specific variables of the intercultural tourist–tour guide service encounters and on the factor differences between specific cultures.

Practical implications

This research has practical implications for travel agencies and tourism companies. Travel agencies and tour companies can apply the holistic mental model process framework to examine and analyze the influential variables between tourists and tour guide (i.e. cultural differences, etiquette, norms and behaviors), thus design better tour guide training programs accordingly.

Social implications

Service encounter is a social activity that is influenced by the social environment. To achieve the best service quality, all parties, including tourists, tour guide, tour companies, host community, must understand cultural differences; work together in coordination and cooperation.

Originality/value

This is the first study that provides an in-depth holistic mental model process by integrating major contextual factors to examine tourists’ evaluation of intercultural service encounters between themselves and tour guides.

Details

International Journal of Culture, Tourism and Hospitality Research, vol. 8 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-6182

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Article
Publication date: 1 October 2003

Clyde A. Warden, Tsung‐Chi Liu, Chi‐Tsun Huang and Chi‐Hsun Lee

Consumer travel and multinational service corporations have increased the opportunity for service failures where consumers from one culture experience service problems in…

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9996

Abstract

Consumer travel and multinational service corporations have increased the opportunity for service failures where consumers from one culture experience service problems in another cultural setting. This study extended the Stauss and Mang model, which proposed the possibility that intercultural service failures exhibit lower seriousness ratings due to the customer's attributing errors to cultural distance. Such a possible outcome has important implications for service providers whose customers are from different cultures, such as tourist or visiting businesspeople. A pretest, employing the critical incident technique, established descriptions of common service failures and recovery strategies for the sample frame. Domestic (in Taiwan) and foreign (outside Taiwan) service encounters were then compared in both failure and recovery stages, reported in an online survey employing a modified critical incident technique. Results showed that the apparent reduction in intercultural failure seriousness can be attributed not to the error itself, but to increased acceptance of the recovery strategy. These findings broaden the Stauss and Mang model by including the importance of recovery strategies, and the benefit gained by any recovery attempt within an intercultural service setting.

Details

International Journal of Service Industry Management, vol. 14 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0956-4233

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 3 November 2020

Demetris Vrontis, Erasmia Leonidou, Michael Christofi, Ruediger Kaufmann Hans and Philip J. Kitchen

A significant body of research has now been accumulated in the intercultural service encounter (ICSE) literature. However, no study to date has provided scholars and…

Abstract

Purpose

A significant body of research has now been accumulated in the intercultural service encounter (ICSE) literature. However, no study to date has provided scholars and practitioners with a systematic review to map and better understand the ICSE domain.

Design/methodology/approach

To fill this gap, the authors systematically review and critically examine the state of academic research on ICSE.

Findings

Based on a systematic review of 31 journal articles published over the last two decades, the results illustrate that ICSE research is a vibrant and rapidly growing stream of the broader international business domain, and it is topically and methodologically diverse. This review also identifies significant knowledge gaps related to the adoption of different theoretical orientations by researchers examining ICSE at different levels of analysis, a lack of contextual positioning, as well as poor methodological rigor.

Originality/value

Based on the findings, the authors introduce a multilevel and multidisciplinary conceptual framework that integrates the concepts of emotional intelligence (EI) and intercultural communication competence (ICC) as the key variables that explain trust development during the interaction between two key culturally different stakeholders: service providers (employees) and service receivers (customers). Finally, the authors discuss the contributions and implications for both academics and practitioners.

Details

EuroMed Journal of Business, vol. 16 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1450-2194

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Article
Publication date: 8 January 2018

Ali Ihtiyar

The purpose of this paper is to better understand the impact of intercultural communication and personality on customer satisfaction and loyalty in grocery retailing. In…

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1593

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to better understand the impact of intercultural communication and personality on customer satisfaction and loyalty in grocery retailing. In this endeavour, this study illustrates the unique context of intercultural communication to highlight several improvements in the literature and to encourage the advancement of the intercultural communication in the literature.

Design/methodology/approach

To initiate the research, a survey approach was taken. In total, 681 questionnaires were returned out of 1,100 that were distributed within selected grocery retailers in Klang Valley, Malaysia. The measurement of the constructs and their interrelationships is examined based on partial least square-structural equation modelling.

Findings

The findings validate the proposed framework with statistically significant relationships among all constructs. Furthermore, it exposes additional insights into some practical and conceptual solutions for addressing the intercultural communication of culturally diverse encounters in the Malaysian grocery retail industry. These contributions postulate an impetus for future research in various service settings.

Originality/value

Based on role, interdependence and cognitive consistency theory, this study assesses the role of the personality of grocery retail consumers on intercultural communication competence (ICC) and its impact on inter-role congruence (IRC) and interaction comfort (IAC). It is anticipated that by filling this knowledge gap, the research will assist in strengthening retail communication strategies, which require intercultural communication adjustments in a multicultural business environment. The ICC is expected to improve the retail industry competitiveness when it positively influences IRC and IAC among customers.

Details

Asia Pacific Journal of Marketing and Logistics, vol. 30 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-5855

Keywords

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