Evaluating an extended relationship marketing model for Arab guests of five-star hotels

Shammout, Ahmad Bahjat (2007) Evaluating an extended relationship marketing model for Arab guests of five-star hotels. PhD thesis, Victoria University.


Increasingly, relationship marketing has been viewed to be critical to the success of business firms, with the growing understanding that acquiring new customers is far more expensive than maintaining existing ones. While keeping customers loyal, however, is a key objective of relationship marketing, there is little agreement on which antecedents could be used to achieve this aim. In response, this thesis develops a model of relationship marketing based on a review of the literature to empirically investigate in one single model: (1) the affect of relational bonds (financial, social and structural) on relationship quality and customer emotions; (2) emotions on relationship quality; and (3) the ultimate affect of both relationship quality and emotions on customer loyalty. In particular, this thesis seeks to investigate the role of the emotions variable as a consequence of relational bonds (financial, social and structural), and antecedent of relationship quality. Furthermore, it presents and discusses empirical findings from a survey of 271 loyal Arab guests at five-star hotels examined from their perspectives as end users using structural equation modelling (AMOS 6.0). The findings of this thesis largely support the hypothesised relationships proposed in the theoretical model. Specifically, the results revealed that social and structural bonds, but not financial bonds, are crucial in affecting relationship quality and customer emotions. The results also provide strong evidence of the relationship between emotions and relationship quality, which in turn are necessary determinants of customer loyalty. This thesis contributes to theoretical and practical knowledge by providing for the first time, evidence about relationships between social and structural bonds and emotions, and further between emotion and relationship quality. The inclusion of an emotions construct is suggested to contribute additionally to the body of relationship marketing literature and provide a more complete model within a hospitality context. Findings imply the need for service firms in general, and hotels in particular, to strategically lever on the key antecedents of a relationship quality and customer loyalty including relational bonds and emotions, in pursuit of a more competitive advantage, and long-term profit.

Item type Thesis (PhD thesis)
URI https://vuir.vu.edu.au/id/eprint/1511
Subjects Historical > RFCD Classification > 350000 Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services
Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > School of Hospitality Tourism and Marketing
Keywords relationship marketing, Arab guests, hotels, hospitality
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