The trend of the world markets has been changed from agricultural more into service markets (Asian Development Outlook, 2007). There are more and most of the service businesses are trying their best to improve their service quality in order to make their customers satisfied and fulfill with their services provide, especially the hotel industry. Hotel operators are now focus more on the quality standards in order to meet the basic needs and expectations of the customers. Once customers & requirements are clearly identified and understood, hotel operators are more likely to anticipate and fulfill their customers& needs and wants (Juwaheer & Ross, 2003).
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Hospitality and Tourism sector is the biggest sector that contributes a lot of income to the world economy. The tourism sector and related services in particular have been keen to explore different ways of managing front-line staff specifically, because of their significance to the service encounter and impact on customer satisfaction (Conrad Lashley, 2009). The hospitality and tourism sector is often described as a ‘people industry’ (Wood, 1992). Customer expectations and moods will form a vital basis for judging the success or failure of the service encounter (Bitner, Booms and Tetreault, 1990). As Choi & Chu (2001) the more satisfied the customers, the more likely they will return or either extends their hotel stay.
Service quality has been recognized as a key factor in differentiating service products. Customer satisfaction can be secured through high-quality products and services (Getty & Getty, 2003; Gupta & Chen, 1995; Tsang & Qu, 2000). Edvardsson (1996) highlighted that the concept of service should be approached from the customer’s point of view, since it was his/her perception of the outcome that constituted the service. Customers may have different values and different grounds for assessment and, most of the time; they may perceive the same service in different ways.
The concept of service quality has been the subject of many research studies in variety of service industries; even the research attention towards hospitality industry has been growing. However, these research studies were mostly focused on Australia, Korea, the United States (US), and Europe (Atilgan, Akinci, & Aksoy, 2003; Davidson, 2003; Gabbie & O’Neill, 1996; Min & Min, 1997; Wong, Dean, & White, 1999; Worsfold, 1999). Only a minimal number of research studies related to service quality in the hospitality industry in the Malaysian context can be found throughout the review of literature.
Furthermore, today’s tourism business environment and the multicultural diversity of international tourists points to the importance of developing a better understanding of the culturally different tourist (Reisinger & Turner, 1999). Previous studies reported that people from different cultures have different preferences, expectations and so travel consumption patterns (Wong & Kwong, 2003). Cultural differences in value orientations and social behaviour have direct impacts on tourist holiday experiences. The hosts’ ability to respond effectively to a culturally different tourist was an important element determining positive tourist holiday experiences and satisfaction (Reisinger & Turner, 1999).
As mentioned by Camison (1996), poorness or non-existence of customer satisfaction measuring systems could cause the hotel companies to be lacking in market orientation. Attributes of the service and product that add value for the customer and increase his or her satisfaction might be unknown and that gives no guide to the hotel operators for improvement projects. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to assess the expectations and the perceptions of service quality dimensions towards the hospitality industry in Malaysia from the hotel guests’ perspective by applying a modified version of the SERVQUAL model (Parasuraman, Zeithaml, & Berry, 1988).
In the hotel industry, most researchers are interested in maximizing customer satisfaction; satisfied customers tend to return and make the profit to hotel. Hernon & Whitwan (2001) defined customer satisfaction as a measure of how the customer perceives service delivery. Liu (2000) stated, for example, that customer satisfaction is a function of service performance relative to the customer expectation. For this reason, it is important to understand how customer expectation is formed in order to identify the factors of service satisfaction. As Reisig & Chandek (2001) discussed the fact that different customers have different expectations, based on their knowledge of a product or service. This can be implied that a customer may estimate what the service performance will be or may think what the performance ought to be. If the service performance meets or exceeds customers& expectation, the customers will be satisfied. On the other hand, customers are more likely to be dissatisfied if the service performance is less than what they have expected. As mentioned earlier, a greater number of satisfied customers will make the hotel business more successful and more profitable.
1.2 Problem Statement
Tourism is a fast growing industry in Malaysia, and there are different types of hotels serving guests and tourists. Many studies have been conducted in tourism organization related fields, but a few studies have been conducted in hotel service quality. Despite the importance and richness of the topic, few efforts have been made to investigate customers’ responses to service failure and service revitalization and the impacts of those important variables on service organizations. This study is focusing on service failure and their revitalization based on the assumption that there is no single service system that is hundred percent perfect. Furthermore, it is impossible for an organization to provide a superlative and most excellent service and at the same time evade service failures.The fact is service delivery is performed by humans and can always carry errors and some weaknesses.
Service recovery which follows service failures provides possibilities for customers to evaluate the overall performance of a firm’s recovery efforts. Excellent service recovery is a critical issue in today’s service businesses. According to Fornell and Wernerfelt (1987), defensive marketing strategies such as customer retention through excellent service recovery will be an effective means to triumph in today’s competitive market mainly because attracting new customers is getting difficult and more expensive than retaining existing customers. Rakstis (1992) argues its costs the average business $118.15 to attract a new customer, whereas the figure is only $19.96 to keep a current customer happy. Therefore, excellent service recovery is required to improve customer retention by the effective handling of the service failure situations (Berry & Parasuraman,1992).
1.4 Research Objectives
The purpose of this study was to analyses factors that to examine and to compare the relation of importance by the hotel guests in terms of their expectations and perceptions towards to the service quality of the hotels in Malaysia and it will be group according to the hotel guests’ geographical regions. To judge whether demographic and work life influenced scores on the employee engagement scale, these two variables were be examined. Next, the exploratory research questions and hypotheses were built. After that, the literature review and the completion of a pilot experiment will be discussed. As will be expound later in Chapter Two, work life variables are thought to influence the level of employee engagement. Yet, there are not much of real lives experiences’ studies on employee engagement and the literature never specify which variables contain the strongest influences. There is no specified studies have examined employees specifically in the hospitality industry such as hotel, resort, or restaurant. Consequently, variables for this study were decided to be used as reviewing the limited data that are available about employee engagement. Following, the factors related to employee burnout will be discussed. The assumption of this study is that if a cause generates burnout, this cause may have a contrary connection to employee engagement. The factors that were probed for this study include company location, employee’s year of working in the company, gender, and whether the employee’s job task consists of controlling other employee or not.
* to examine and to compare the levels of customer satisfaction towards their hotel stay in Malaysia according to the hotel guests’ countries of residence (grouped according to geographical regions).
1.5 Research Questions
The research questions regarded as the most important for this study were stated at the following four:
1. What is the requirement on customer towards the service quality of the hotel?
2. What is the level of customers& expectation and perception towards service quality of the hotel?
3. What is the discrepancy gap between customers & expectation and perception towards service quality of the hotel?
4. How hotel can improve their service to fulfill customer needs and wants?
1.6 Hypothesis Statement
This study tested four hypotheses that stated at below:
1. Engagement scores of respondents who works in urban area’ company locations will
report higher than respondents who works in rural area’s company locations.
2. Respondents who work longer years in the company will report lower engagement
3. Female respondents will report lower levels of engagement than male respondents.
4. Respondents who work without supervisory job tasks will report lower engagement
The Dependent variable in this study was the employee’s total score on the eight item employee management scale at the questionnaire survey. The Independent variables were the location of the employee’s company, the employee’s number of working year in the company, the employee’s gender, and supervisory job tasks. The type of cutoff by me was set to .03.
1.7 Theoretical and Conceptual Framework
W. D. Kahn (1990) is credited with conceptualising the major components of
employee engagement. According to him, “employee engagement” is different with employee involve him or herself into the job. Employee engagement not focuses on employees skills, but focuses on how the employee commits him or herself when performing the job. Engagement requires the active use of emotions as well as the simple use of cognition while performing job tasks (May, Gilson, & Harter, 2004). The main propositions of his concept are that people express themselves cognitively, physically, and emotionally while performing their work roles. The idea suggests that, to make individuals fully engage with their job, three psychological conditions must be required in the working environment: meaningfulness (employees feel that the job tasks performed by them are worthwhile), safety (employees feel able to show and employ themselves without worry that they will make negative consequences to self-image, status, or career), and availability (at any given moment, employee believes that he or she has the physical, emotional or cognitive resources to engage him or herself in his or her job tasks) (Kahn, 1990).
Another main proposition of the concept of employee engagement is that these three important psychological conditions are, to certain extent, within the control of company management. Coffman & Gonzalez-Molina (2004) mentioned that employee engagement is also something that is changeable, and can be totally different from one workplace to another. Researches show that employees are, to some degree, a reflection of the managerial staffs of a company. The company’s leadership, from top to bottom, can be evaluated by the engagement score (Townsend & Gebhardt, 2007). Therefore, the results of employee engagement studies should be considered as applicable in the hospitality industry. One of the examples is, the managers in hospitality industry’s companies could analyse data from engagement studies to set up and utilise strategies that would enhance employee engagement, in the same time reduce the risk of burnout and maximise benefits for the company as well as for the guests they serve.
1.8 Significance of the Study
Through out the study, it will be given a practical guideline for the hotel management and hotel staff too. The outcome of the study will help hotel employee to develop and gaining knowledge and understanding in order to meet with the customer and customer needs and satisfaction. There will be two results show in the research, is either positive or negative result. If the result show in a positives way, the hotel owner and management with the employee would be happy what they have provided and they are in a correct way to do that. In contrast, if the result shows in negative way, it was challenge for the hotel owner, management and employee to understand what have they did wrong, they have to ready to learn and to capture and to study the customer needs and satisfaction, and it a good way to help themselves to improve their service. Hotel management should conduct and arrange some training program and also find out the mistake they have been make for all departments.
The outcome of the study will provide a lot of useful information to the hotel owner, management and employee about to justify and understanding on customer satisfaction and service quality for the hotel and hospitality industry. The survey feedback may give a clear idea to the hotel the current understanding on their service towards their customer and it could be generate and carry out some of the new strategies to the hotel to fulfill customer needs and wants and also a benefit for the customer to let the hospitality industry know the requirement of them.
The hospitality industry, hotel owner, hotel management and employee can understand how important the customer satisfaction and service quality. They can always refer to the survey feedback from the participants and measure on it. They could get a clear outcome and analyses on customer satisfaction and service quality; they can fully utilize and practice the changed strategies that would actually suit the hotel as well as the customer requirement. As time goes on, the overall effectiveness of the company will be increased widely, and in the same time, they will can get a positive result show on their feedback from their customer in term of repeated stay or extend their stay in the hotel and will make the hotel business more successful and more profitable.
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1.9 Scopes and Limitations
This research proposal consists of three chapters. The first chapter presents the introduction and background of the study, need for the study, problem statements, research objectives, research questions, hypothesis statement, theoretical and conceptual framework, significance of study, and limitations. The second chapter presents the literature reviews on evidence on burnout, previous researches of employee engagement, factors of employee burnout and employee engagement, as well as the summary of the literature reviews.
There are few limitations in this study. Biases may be happen when respondents answering the survey questionnaire (Spiker, 2009). Not only that, the perceptions of the respondents who participate in this survey are specific to the rejuvenation sphere and may not alike with the ideas of employee working in other field of studies; so, caution is urged regarding validity outside. In addition, there is evidence showing that the survey questionnaires are less likely to be answered fully and honestly. This might be due to that the survey was conducted face-to-face, which leads to the loss of anonymity. In addition, most of the surveys are conducted at respondents’ workplaces and they might worry that their superiors misunderstood that they will provide private and confidential information to outsiders (Doyle, 2005). Office of the Auditor General of Canada (2007) also mentioned that another limitation of face-to face survey is costly due to the amount of time required to conduct surveys and to the cost of travel.
1.10 Definition of Terms
For better understanding on this study, the following words and phrases are defined as follows:
Customer expectation means uncontrollable factors including past experience, personal needs, word of mouth, and external communication about hotel service
Customer perception means customer’s feelings of pleasure / displeasure or the
reaction of the customers in relation to the performance of the hotel staff in satisfying / dissatisfying the services
Service means relative intangibility, most important, service in the extreme are deeds, processes, and performaces (Ziethaml & Bitner 2000)
Service quality means the difference between the customer’s expectation of service and their perceived service.
In order to enhance clarity, this chapter begins by explaining the meaning of OCB and the
dimensionality of OCB. Next, antecedents and consequences of OCB are discussed. As the
focus of this study is the relationship between OCB and job performance, the discussions
on this relationship is presented in greater detail followed by the mediating effect of work
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