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Impression Management and the Hospitality Service Encounter
Luz Manzur & Giri Jogaratnam
a b a b

Hotel and Restaurant Management, Eastern Michigan University, Ypsilanti, MI, 48197, USA

Hotel and Restaurant Management, Eastern Michigan University, 202 Roosevelt, Ypsilanti, MI, 48197, USA Available online: 21 Sep 2008

To cite this article: Luz Manzur & Giri Jogaratnam (2007): Impression Management and the Hospitality Service Encounter, Journal of Travel & Tourism Marketing, 20:3-4, 21-32 To link to this article:

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com © 2006 by The Haworth Press. The study was based on several impression management dimensions (ingratiation. doi:10. Eastern Michigan University. can be misinterpreted (Victor. eye contact. and non-verbal behaviors). E-mail address: <docdelivery@haworthpress. and a loss of business for the> Website: <http://www. intimidation. exemplification. In intercultural communication it is easy to misinterpret other people’s ideas. Inc.Impression Management and the Hospitality Service Encounter: Cross-Cultural Differences Luz Manzur Giri Jogaratnam Downloaded by [University of Jammu] at 02:03 25 January 2012 ABSTRACT. In addition. impressions. All rights reserved. Managers. marketers. among others. Inc. this may create an unhappy customer. Hotel and Restaurant Management.1300/J073v20n03_02 [Article copies available for a fee from The Haworth Document Delivery Service: 1-800-HAWORTH. Cultural variations in values. This study determined cross-cultural differences in customer perceptions of employee behavior. Such things as the dynamics of turn-taking. and employees in the hotel and restaurant industry that are aware of the needs of people from different cultures will be able to better direct their efforts at product development. The results suggest that behaviors associated with ingratiation and exemplification techniques were perceived as being more satisfying for American than Asian respondents. 20(3/4) 2006 Available online at http://jttm. Employee behavior. Eastern Michigan University. the use of space. 1992). MI 48197 USA (E-mail: giri. and tipping between Americans and Asians living in the United States. 2002). Giri Jogaratnam is Professor.] KEYWORDS. cultural differences INTRODUCTION With the increase in global breadth and scope of the hospitality and tourism industry. self-promotion. Vol. 202 Roosevelt.1300/J073v20n03_02 21 .jogaratnam@ emich. intentions to return.HaworthPress.haworthpress. provide better guest services. Since any interaction between customers and employees affects customers’ perception of the quality of service (Woods & King. During cross-cultural encounters employees in the hospitality industry Luz Manzur is a Graduate Student in Hotel and Restaurant Management. and thereby offer a means of developing competitive advantage. doi:10. it is important to know if there are variations in how people from different cultures perceive employee behavior. Journal of Travel & Tourism Marketing. customer satisfaction.> © 2006 by The Haworth Press. All rights reserved. MI 48197 USA (E-mail: gaby_manzur@yahoo. Mok. 2001). and smiling. Ypsilanti. and customs may lead to cultural misunderstandings and instances of communication breakdown that are stressful and unpleasant (Spencer-Rodgers & McGovern. a frustrated Behaviors demonstrative of intimidation and supplication techniques were perceived as very dissatisfying for Americans. it is important to understand the differences in multicultural market needs and the servicing of those needs (Kandampully. supplication. & Sparks. 2002).

managers can create awareness and appreciation of diversity. 2002). Therefore it is important to deliver superior levels of service. p. 1997). what are Americans’ and Asian nationals’ intentions to return and intentions to tip? What are the differences between these cultures? LITERATURE REVIEW Today’s hotel and restaurant customers have more options for spending their money. 1994). Those who believe they can succeed in communicating the impressions they want to convey will succeed more often than those who are less confident (DePaulo. helping them develop better communication and training techniques that ultimately deliver superior customer satisfaction and service quality.. studies have shown that customers’ impressions differ based on culture (Giacalone & Beard. previous studies related to service behaviors associated with the service encounter (e. there is little evidence of comparative research to understand how consumers from different countries evaluate service encounters (Winsted.. As it pertains to the hospitality industry. supplication. & Serrie. Moreover. & Riordan. p. Woods (2002.” To be more competitive. This study attempts to determine if there are cultural differences in customer perceptions of employee behavior. Iskat. exemplification. customers will be satisfied (Kandampully et al. because once the service is delivered. If the service experienced meets customer expectations. 1992).g. and non-verbal behaviors). 2001). this study examines behaviors commonly associated with the a priori defined dimensions of impression management (ingratiation. It is during Downloaded by [University of Jammu] at 02:03 25 January 2012 . 2002) have used other dimensions (e. 2002). “Knowledge of cultural differences and similarities enhances our ability to manage the impression others have of us” (Pacquiao.22 JOURNAL OF TRAVEL & TOURISM MARKETING with higher levels of intercultural sensitivity will provide higher levels of service (Sizoo. Liljander & Mattsson. Although service exporting has become an increasingly important component of the international trade package. Interactions between employees and customers create customer experiences with the service. Hospitality employees that are aware of their customers’ perceptions will be able to serve them better and meet or exceed their expectations (Woods & King). Plank. The objective of this research is to explore differences in the behaviors that consumers from different countries use to evaluate service encounters. Customers’ perceptions of the service provided are determined by their expectations. but far too often do not know how to deliver the services. have better defined expectations of quality. intimidation. 6). and while hotel and restaurant companies are at the forefront of this trend. To be more competitive. Moreover. 172) notes that “Employees may know how to perform the skills associated with their positions. 2002). organizations must communicate impressions that consistently meet or exceed customer expectations (Woods & King). These dimensions have been widely studied in many disciplines (Rosenfeld. 2003). Giacalone. and are less tolerant of poor service (Woods & King. organizations and their employees must communicate impressions that consistently meet or exceed customer expectations (Woods & King. By understanding how customers from different cultures perceive employee behavior during service encounters. but there is no evidence in the literature of any study that examines how customers from different cultures perceive employees that use impression management techniques as part of their behavioral repertoire in the hospitality service encounter.g. civility and congeniality). The research questions that guide this study are as follows: • How do Americans and Asian nationals living in the United States perceive employee behavior during service encounters in the hospitality industry? What are the differences between these cultures? • When employees demonstrate behavior that is associated with good customer service. The quality of service and the customer’s satisfaction with the service are determined during the service encounter. customer’s perceptions are difficult to change (Mattsson. self-promotion. In doing so. as well as related factors such as intention to return. concern.. and tipping between Americans and Asians living in the United States. 2000. 1994).

This is very important especially to hotel and restaurant companies operating internationally. and many companies that have not paid adequate attention to cultural differences have failed miserably. The following sections present a brief overview of the characteristics associated with each dimension. it is important to know if there are variations in how people from different cultures perceive employee behavior. 2002). 2002). self-promotion. Service exporters (i. These dimensions are founded in theory and have been consistently identified in previous research relating to impression management in different disciplines (Rosenfeld et al. and non-verbal behaviors.. The popular press is replete with examples of companies that have miscalculated in their attempts to address the needs of customers from different cultures. 1981). and attitudes toward them (Kandampully et al. intimidation. enthusiasm. employees are more likely to adopt ingratiation techniques than in low power distance cultures (Zaidman & Drory. and Gordon (as cited in Kandampully et al. the expression of positive emotions support and enhance the customer’s self-esteem. there are some cultures in which this occurrence is less or more prevalent (Rosenfeld et al. motivations.e. customers make their overall impressions of the property and the employees in the first ten minutes (Michael. reward and view them favorably (Rosenfeld et al. 1994). misperception. 2001). 2001).. misinterpretation and misevaluation during the service encounter. How do customers from different cultural backgrounds perceive employees that manifest competence.. In the hospitality industry.Luz Manzur and Giri Jogaratnam 23 these experiences that customers perceive and evaluate the employees’ skills. 2001). steadiness and happiness? Very little information is known about the dynamics of person to person encounters (Mattsson.) suggested that employees must know how to satisfy customers so that they may be able to develop positive perceptions of the service. 2001).. Hospitality firms almost never have a second chance to make a good first impression because a customer’s first experience with an organization is difficult to forget (Knutson. If different cultures’ perceptions of the behaviors associated with the hospitality service encounter are significantly different. First impressions are very important. when KFC first entered the Asian market in 1973 it failed because of the lack of understanding that market (Kandampully et al. the time employees have to make an impression on customers is also short (Kandampully et al. Everyone manages the impressions they want to convey to others (Tedeschi. in high power distance cultures such as those found in Asian countries (Hofstede.). 1987). there is no evidence of research having examined impression management techniques in the hospitality services context. exemplification. Because all interactions between customers and employees affect customers’ perception of the quality of service (Woods & King. and very little information has been reported on service perception of consumers from other countries (Kandampully et al. Ingratiation. integrity. supplication. the organizational service climate and the customer’s behavior may influence the tactics employed by service providers (Yagil. For example. hospitality companies) that better understand the perceptions of other cultures are therefore better positioned to reduce miscommunication. 2001). 2002). Usually. Ostrowski. they are managing their impressions (Rosenfeld et al. Other studies indicate that Asian tourists tend to travel in groups where everything is ar- Downloaded by [University of Jammu] at 02:03 25 January 2012 . Employees may use ingratiation techniques to get others to like. Because customer exposure in the hospitality industry is short. 1995). while the expression of negative emotions serve to decrease the customer’s status and self-esteem (Rafaeli & Sutton. In general.). Although everybody manages their impressions. this may provide a strong argument for improving and therefore managing the impressions that employees convey to consumers from different cultures. 2003)... However. 2001) such as the United States (Hofstede). In most service interactions the behavior of customers is influenced by their perception of the service provider (Folkes & Patrick.. The a priori dimensions of impression management (IM) on which this study is based are ingratiation. O’Brien. Moreover. The service provider’s emotions also may affect the customer’s status and self-esteem. When people influence the perceptions and behaviors of others by controlling the information others receive. 1988). 2002). concern.

not working to potential. 1992). 2003). ambition and competition (Hofstede. and subordinates are empowered to make decisions (Hofstede. 1992. search for more recognition than low masculinity cultures like Korea. it is interesting to note that Asian cultures are very concerned with “saving face” and intimidation techniques may cause loss of face. Supplication. Many Asian cultures place a premium on being a part of a group instead of standing out or being Downloaded by [University of Jammu] at 02:03 25 January 2012 . making them less likely to seek individual attention from hotel or restaurant employees (Kandampully et al. competent. p. and will volunteer for difficult assignments. China and Korea. When employees try to look bad in an organization they are displaying supplication techniques. 2001). competent service can contribute to positive feelings. such as Japan.. & Deibler. customers’ satisfaction with the quality of the service may be increased (Yagil. 2000). 2002). Arnould. In addition. According to Victor.e. studies have shown that when employees use ingratiation techniques. 1995). Alternatively. like Japan and the United States. The supplicator employee exploits his or her own weaknesses to influence others with the purpose of soliciting assistance from them (Rosenfeld et al. A masculine society focuses more on assertiveness. withdrawal. Employees that value recognition and want to be seen as smart. like the United States. Self-Promotion. 1995). Individuals who use exemplification techniques usually make positive impressions on others (Bolino & Turnley. intelligent. Exemplification. Moreover... displaying a bad attitude. studies have found that the Japanese are more conforming than Americans (Matsumoto. and moral worthiness. Supplication techniques are more likely to be seen less favorably by others (Bolino & Turnley. high masculinity cultures. and broadcasting limitations. 2001). small talk and building interpersonal relations in the workplace are not considered important as they are in polychronic cultures (i. are less likely to enter into communication with strangers or those they do not know well in contrast to members of low context cultures. and successful are more likely to adopt self promotion techniques (Rosenfeld et al. 159).24 JOURNAL OF TRAVEL & TOURISM MARKETING ranged for them. Exemplifiers try to appear dedicated and committed. In addition. and go beyond the call of duty (Rosenfeld. & Riordan. individuals who use self-promotion techniques make positive impressions on others (Bolino & Turnley. such as the United States (Victor). Hofstede (2001) suggests that in high uncertainty avoidance cultures (some Asian and Latin cultures) there is a tendency to avoid competition among employees and to prefer group decisions and consultative management. In general. Research studies indicate that when people respond to dominant individuals with submissive behaviors there is greater comfort and liking and when dominant individuals meet with dominant people there is less liking between them and the interaction is less comfortable (Tiedens & Fragale. they may be perceived as critical since it is very important for males to appear competent and serve as role models (Hofstede). suffer to help others. Moreover. In the service encounter. self-sacrifice. 2002). Some employees may use small talk to promote themselves. Exemplification techniques are more likely to be used in low power distance cultures.. Moreover. In monochromic cultures (those that dominate the conception of time such as in the United States). Giacalone. Service personnel that adopt intimidating behavior attempt to create and enhance an identity of being dangerous and tough. According to Jones and Pittman (1982) exemplification involves managing the impressions of integrity. but its absence can contribute to negative feelings about the service encounter (Price.. when exemplification techniques are used by male employees in masculine cultures. southern and western Asia) (Victor. 2001). Intimidation. and feel superior to others (Rosenfeld et al. Becker and Martin (1995) suggested that people may look bad at work by decreasing performance. 2002). In general. 2001). members of high context cultures. Americans tend to place less value on face-saving while the Japanese are the highest face-saving culture. 2003). individuals who use intimidation techniques are likely to be seen less favorably by others (Bolino & Turnley. like to be feared. effective. where organizations have more decentralized decision structures. 2003). 2003). “Face saving is the act of preserving one’s prestige or outward dignity” (Victor. 2003).

individual achievement. as opposed to. For example. 1994. Asian respondents were identified by country of origin and based on the number of responses received three countries were chosen for further analysis: China (n = 63). Moreover. Furthermore. Since customers from diverse cultures are likely to have different perceptions and expectations of the service provided.. 1996). p. and 250 Asians completed the questionnaire in the departure lounge area at a major international airport in the Great Lakes area of the USA (i. employees should be aware that not all cultures like to be touched. making them ideal to analyze their perceptions of employee behavior in the United States. quality and service differentiation (Shostack. and Korea (n = 85). The emphasis is on group. facilitates eye contact. Japan (n = 55). while smiles for Asians may mean many things like happiness. every 3rd Caucasian or Asian individual was approached and asked to complete the survey. & Sherwyn. their level of satisfaction may also differ. 26). anger or apology (Murray. “Doing this increases the congruence between the server’s and customers’ postures. METHODOLOGY Data were gathered for this study using a survey questionnaire. 77). and the number of respondents was not large enough for between group analysis. in the Unites States. direct eye contact is seen as insulting and they may avoid it as a sign of respect (Victor). a study conducted in three Hong Kong hotels demonstrated that customers from five countries had different expectations of the service (Kandampully et al. Downloaded by [University of Jammu] at 02:03 25 January 2012 Other studies show that employees who briefly touch the customers in the service encounter increase customer satisfaction and receive larger tips (Lynn. 2000). and body posture can be important components of the message or. Non-Verbal Behaviors. Companies should always aim to have their employees provide memorable services to their customers in order to increase their satisfaction (Walsh.e. 1992) and may affect our expectations about others (Hart & Morry. in several Asian cultures. However.). Customer Satisfaction and Repurchase Intention. For example.. A total of 47 surveys from other Asian respondents were discarded from this study because they were from seven other Asian nations. and repurchase intention (Kandampully et al. Organizations should take special note of service encounters because they are the customer’s main source of information for conclusions related to satisfaction. 2001). service providers use frequent eye contact to enhance customers’ perceptions of credibility (Sundaram & Webster. 1996). However. For example. Research has established a strong relationship between customer perceptions of service quality. Asian individuals were chosen over other cultures because of the great cultural contrast they present compared to Americans. Non-verbal messages that customers receive from service employees can have more potent effects than those employees’ verbal messages (Lynn.Luz Manzur and Giri Jogaratnam 25 identified as the leader (Victor. the use of hands or fingers. 2000). in Asian cultures. 1985). humiliation. customer satisfaction. 2000). It is also important to note that different countries have different gratuity systems. indeed constitute the message itself ” (Jafari & Way. 1997). 1997). smiles for Americans may mean friendship or agreement (Woods & King. fear. 2002). 1998). Some studies demonstrate a positive relationship between evaluations of service and tip size (Lynn & McCall. nodding of the head. For instance. good service is given without any expectation of a tip (Murray. Detroit). In this study. 1992). p. A total of 85 Americans. such as some Asian cultures (Victor. To increase the random nature of the sample. and brings the server’s face closer to the customers’ faces” (Lynn. not every person thus approached agreed to complete the survey. Intentions to Tip. However. Le. research suggests that one way servers can increase their tips is by kneeling down next to tables. Asians surveyed were those temporarily residing in the United States for purposes of . in many Asian countries. in some Asian countries tipping is not very common as in the United States. Further. Non-verbal behaviors have different meanings in different cultures (Victor. 1992). and tips are smaller. “facial expressions. 1996.

Japanese. sd 0. there is no evidence of questionnaire items having been developed with respect to the hospitality service encounter. The results reported pertain to behaviors associated with the a priori dimensions of IM. who suggest that Asian tourists are less likely to seek individual attention and caring than Americans do. and Koreans were 26-35 years of age. This finding supports Kandampully et al. nationality. (43. and for the Koreans between 1-2 years.09) were less satisfied though they were more similar to the Chinese than to the Americans. Previous literature on the dimensions of impression management was reviewed and an average of three to five behavioral items per dimension were developed. Their suggestions were used to refine and improve the clarity of items. Most Americans were between 18-35 years of age and most Chinese. FINDINGS AND DISCUSSION The data were analyzed to determine the differences between American and Asian respondents in their perceptions of employee behavior. A multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) followed by post hoc analysis (Tukey B) was used to compare the differences for each significant variable. Therefore it was necessary to develop items that dealt specifically with the hotel or restaurant service encounter.4%) of the respondents were male. reward and view others favorably as well as that pertaining to receiving compliments from employees. Respondents were asked to recall a recent visit to a hotel or restaurant and to report level of satisfaction with statements regarding 25 different behaviors associated with the service encounter. as opposed to adapting existing items.05). No changes were made in the content of the question. Temporarily was defined as being an expatriate or non-citizen. 756) = 4. Follow-up univariate tests revealed significant differences in 21 of 25 items examined. The results of the MANOVA procedure indicated that customer perceptions differed depending on nationality (F (72. years living in the United States. American respondents were the most satisfied (x = 4.001).91.953. for the Japanese between 1-2 years. Intimidation. As shown in Table 1. Ingratiation.10). The survey instrument was pretested among a group of 20 domestic/American students and 18 international students in order to determine if the questions were clear and unambiguous. The adoption of intimidating behavior was perceived as very dissatisfying for both American and Asian respondents. Significant differences were found with respect to one of the three items representing this dimension (see Table 2). Although impression management has been extensively researched in other disciplines. The Japanese (x = 3. and (63. (2001). The average time living in the United States for the Chinese was approximately 3-4 years. data pertaining to demographics (gender. Asian respondents were younger than American respondents. This was similar to Yagil’s (2001) findings which demonstrated that ingratiating behavior employed by service providers toward customers’ increases their satisfaction.09) followed by the Chinese (x = 4.5%) of Koreans. supporting Bolino and Turnley (2003) who Downloaded by [University of Jammu] at 02:03 25 January 2012 . On average. When employees presented a caring attitude. over half (52. Because demographic characteristics may influence the variables being considered.96. This was to ensure that they retained cultural values inherent to their home countries and were not completely assimilated into the American value system.4%) of Americans. Graduate education was the highest formal education attained by the respondents: (29.2%) of Chinese. sd 0. Results were considered significant at the five percent level (p < 0.11) and Korean respondents (x = 3. and level of education) was also collected. (49. sd 0. sd 0. There were no significant differences with respect to the item pertaining to the adoption of techniques to like.34. Asian respondents were citizens / nationals of other countries and temporarily resident in the United States. especially Human Resources.06. p < 0.26 JOURNAL OF TRAVEL & TOURISM MARKETING education or work. country. Data related to the study was collected using a 5-point Likert-type scale (1 = very dissatisfied. In general. 5 = very satisfied). ingratiation techniques adopted by employees were satisfying for American and Asian respondents. age.6%) of Japanese.

sd 0. such as the United States. These results are in support of Bolino and Turnley (2003) who suggested that self-promotion techniques make a positive impression on others.10) respondents.” This result may be supported by Victor’s (1992) research suggesting that in monochromic cultures. the Chinese were more similar to the Koreans.13) were the most dissatisfied.09). the respondents were satisfied with self-promoting techniques. sd 0. sd 0.08) were the least satisfied. Self-Promotion.09) were the most sat- isfied with employee efforts at “small talk. The Japanese (x = 4. being more similar to the Chinese than the Americans.S. the degree of dissatisfaction among respondents was different. Moreover.08) were less satisfied.06.38.10) were the most dissatisfied and the Japanese (x = 2. sd 0. sd 0. There was not a significant difference among cultures in relation to not presenting a flexible attitude. Exemplification techniques used by employees elicited positive impressions from customers backing up the Bolino and Turnley (2003) finding that those individuals who use exemplification techniques usually make positive impressions on others.11) were less satisfied.57. The least dissatisfied were the Korean (x = 1.42. However.89. sd 0.26. In relation to self-advertising behavior. sd 0.89. sd 0. sd 0. sd 0.28. This may confirm Matsumoto’s (2000) finding suggesting that the Japanese are more conforming than Americans and may be a possible explanation of why they were not as dissatisfied as the Americans.09) and Koreans (4. sd 0.42. Chinese (x = 2. Less than 1 year 1-2 years 3-4 years 5 years or more LEVEL OF EDUCATION High school 2 year degree 4 year degree Graduate school 37 48 35 24 26 Chinese (n = 63) 33 30 21 37 5 5 18 17 20 6 3 23 31 Japanese (n = 55) 31 24 9 42 4 12 23 8 8 0 7 24 24 Korean (n = 85) 50 35 17 66 2 17 31 11 19 10 3 18 54 Total (n = 288) 151 137 82 169 37 34 72 36 47 40 26 88 134 N.A.07) were the most satisfied followed by the Chinese (x = 4.09) and Chinese respondents (x = 2.” while the American (x = 2.12) and Koreans (x = 3.66. the American respondents (x = 1. Downloaded by [University of Jammu] at 02:03 25 January 2012 24 13 23 25 stated that intimidation was more likely to be seen less favorably by others.08) were the most satisfied with self-promoting behavior while there were no significant differences among American (x = 2.09) were a little more satisfied. On average. Demographic Profile of Respondents American (n = 85) GENDER Male Female AGE 18-25 26-35 36 and over TIME LIVING IN THE U. “small talk” and building interpersonal relations are not considered important. sd 0. The Korean respondents (x = 2. and the Koreans to the Japanese than Americans.47. Nonetheless.10) and American respondents (x = 2. sd 0. American respondents (x = 4. while the Korean (x = 2.41.71. sd 0.32. sd 0. sd 0. when employees presented a superior attitude. sd 0. making Americans the least satisfied with employee efforts at “small talk. the Americans (x = 1. sd 0.12) the least dissatisfied.58.08) and Chinese respondents (x = 2.09) and Japanese (x = 2. in terms of pressuring behavior used by employees. Specifically. the Japanese (x = 3.36. employees are em- . For instance.08). sd 0. Exemplification. This may be because in the United States (a low power distance culture).Luz Manzur and Giri Jogaratnam 27 TABLE the Japanese (x = 2. sd 0.11) and Japanese respondents (x = 2. with respect to taking extra time to help customers understand. sd 0. Moreover.78. sd 0.12.14).11) and Chinese (x = 1.

77b 3.38a 3.28 JOURNAL OF TRAVEL & TOURISM MARKETING TABLE 2. For instance. asking me if I had a nice stay)? • compliment me (i.36c 2. followed closely by the respondents from the three Asian countries. in changing me to a less noisy room)? (Self-promotion) • engage in behavior that is self-promoting? • make small talk focused on making themselves look good? • behave in order to make themselves look good? (Exemplification) • take extra time to help me understand? • volunteer to help me (i.77b 4.02b 4.58a 2. taking my bags to my room even if they are small)? • go beyond the call of duty (i. and as such.23 3.56b 2. Americans were the most satisfied.38a 2.12) and then by the Japanese (x = 3. In general. telling me my clothes look good)? (Intimidation) • look for ways to apply pressure on me? • have a superior attitude (i.35ab 2.32ab 2.43 3.06b 1.57b 2.97b 3. telling me about the best restaurants in town)? (Supplication) • look for ways to get my sympathy? • exhibit the impression of being over-worked? • are unable to complete the task at hand and are forced to seek help from others? (Non-verbal behavior) • use non-verbal means of communication (nodding of the head)? • maintain eye contact with me? • touch me on the hand/shoulder when asking me if I need something else? • kneel beside me to take my order in a restaurant? • smile frequently? Word-of-Mouth Intention to return Intention to tip Motivation to increase tip 3.52. sd 0. c) are significantly different at the 0.60a 1.32b 3.56b 3.06ab 3.72b 2. sd 0. and Tipping Multiple comparison post hoc test (Tukey B)* American (n = 85) How do I feel when employees: (Ingratiation) • use techniques to get others to like.94 2.58b 2. when employees look for ways to get the sympathy .21b 3.78b 2. not willing to explain a basic function)? • are not flexible (i.38 Chinese (n = 63) Japanese (n = 55) Korean (n = 85) Downloaded by [University of Jammu] at 02:03 25 January 2012 * Means with a different superscripted letter (a.57ab 1. Supplication.67a 2.e.10).47a 3.09b 3.46 4.06bc 1.e. reward and view them favorably? • show a caring attitude (i.84a 4..66b 3.37ab 2. This is similar to Bolino and Turnley’s (2003) research findings which suggest that supplication is more likely to be seen less favorably by others.19c 2.50bc 2.37a 3. 1 = very dissatisfied.10) followed by the Chinese (x = 4.e. their requests may not have been completely satisfied.40b 4. b.. When respondents were asked how they perceive employees who volunteer to help them.31ab 2. 0. 2001) and American customers may perceive this more favorably.97b 3. sd 0.58b 3. Americans were also the most satisfied with actions that went beyond the call of duty (x = 4.12b 4.82b 2.19 3.68b 2.28c 2..41a 4.26 3..92b 3.74b 2.81ab 2.52a 4.37a 3..10 4.66b 3.13.85b 4.92a 3.34a 3.51a 4.43a 4.62c 1.12bc 2.84b 3.62.24a 2.70.70c 4.92ab 1.51a 2.41a 2.e.96b 3. Another possible explanation is that it may be difficult for employees to understand the requests or concerns of individuals for whom English is not their first language.84b 3.05 level 5-point scale: 5 = very satisfied.45a 4.83b 2.89b 3. supplication techniques were viewed as dissatisfying by all respondents.91b 3.92 2. Perceptions of Employee Behavior.42ab 3.81b 3.89b 2.92 4.47 2.42a 1.28a 4.15b 3.25a 4..64 2.66a 3.01a 2.71ab 1.13) and Korean respondents (x = 3.26b 3. Intentions to Return. powered to make decisions (Hofstede.61 2.e.13a 2.e.66a 4.45 3.71 2.02 2.13b 4.

09).08) than Asian respondents (average mean sd 0. Chinese (x = 2.28). For all items there was a significant difference between American and Asian respondents (see Table 2). intentions to return and tipping were assessed using a 5-point Likert-type scale (1 = strongly disagree.11) followed by the Chinese (x = 3. sd 0.12).11).70). when compared to Asian respondents (average mean 4.50. sd 0.35.37) than the motivation of Asian respondents (average mean 3.10). among the four nationalities. sd 0. Americans’ motivation to increase the amount of their tip was greater (x = 4. Americans were the most satisfied (x = 3. in comparison to Asian respondents (average mean 3. but were more neutral in their response to this item. the American respondents were more satisfied when employees maintained eye contact (x = 4.92. Intention to Return. 1997). sd 0.00). followed by American (x = 2.85). Despite the cultural differences. the Chinese (x = 3. American respondents were more likely to be satisfied with employees’ physical contact (x = 2. Non-Verbal Behavior. while the Chinese (x = 2.62).10) and the Koreans (x = 3.24. sd 0.10) and Korean respondents (x = 2. there was no significant difference in the items relating to being unable to complete the task at hand and being forced to seek help from others. sd 0.11) were more likely to be dissatisfied. and tips are smaller (Murray. Specifically.01. The kneeling position used to take orders in certain restaurants was generally not very satisfying for American (x = 2.08).37.09) were more similar in their ratings of this item.38. Further. The Japanese respondents (x = 3. American respondents were the most dissatisfied (x = 2.11). sd 0.43) compared to Asian respondents (average mean 3. In addition. sd 0. and Japanese respondents (x = 2. sd 0. sd 0. Americans were also more likely to return to the same place when good service was delivered (x = 4.66. sd 0. This may be partially attributed to cultural differences because in some Asian countries tipping is not very common.45. sd 0. 5 = strongly agree). while a smile may mean many things for Asians (Murray. Asian respondents were also dissatisfied (x = 2. Moreover. The use of nonverbal means of communication was perceived to be generally satisfying. and Tipping Four questions relating to general satisfaction with the service. who were the least satisfied. This may be partially explained by the traditional Korean custom of adopting a kneeling position in service encounters such as that evident.40.07). American respondents were more likely to tip when good service was delivered (x = 4.51). When employees demonstrate behavior that is associated with good customer service. This confirms Victor’s (1995) position suggesting that those from Asian cultures do not like to be touched. followed by the Japanese (x = 3.11).10). Chinese (x = 2. Frequent smiles were perceived to be more satisfying by American respondents (x = 4.56.13. However. Finally. Satisfaction.09). 1997).32. sd 0.11).37. and Koreans were (x = 2. This reinforces Sundaram and Webster (2000) who noted that in the United States frequent eye contact enhances customers’ perceptions of credibility.09) than the Asian respondents. SUMMARY OF FINDINGS Statistically significant differences were found in 21 of 25 variables analyzed. sd 0. Moreover. sd 0.41. sd 0. Japanese (x = 2.Luz Manzur and Giri Jogaratnam 29 of customers.74).13) but was perceived as more satisfying for the Koreans (x = 3. in general.13). in relation to tipping. sd 0.12). efforts to convey an impression of being overworked were more likely to elicit a negative response from Japanese (x = 2. This supports DePaulo (1992) who suggested that smiles create positive impressions in Americans. in the behavior of flight attendants on Korean Airlines. behaviors associated Downloaded by [University of Jammu] at 02:03 25 January 2012 . One possible explanation of why Asians in general were less satisfied with non-verbal behavior may be that they are living outside their home country and may not understand all the non-verbal behaviors or cues of employees representing a different cultural background. sd 0. and finally by the Koreans (x = 2. sd 0. and somewhat less satisfied.09). for instance. Asians were satisfied when employees smiled frequently. the national carrier of Korea.08). sd sd 0. American respondents said they were more likely to spread positive word-of-mouth about that place (x = 4.

manage employee impressions in relation to guests. and increase their tips when compared to Asians. In addition. Hospitality companies. They should consider that Americans can be more dissatisfied than Asians with this type of behavior. introducing continuous improvement programs. such as exhibiting the impression of being overworked. Employees should also be taught that other non-verbal behaviors like maintaining eye contact may be very satisfying for Americans. or not being flexible. in comparison to Asian respondents. In conclusion. Also. managers should continually discuss the importance and impact of non-verbal behaviors with their employees. should also provide mandatory multicultural training programs for employees in order for them to learn more about the non-verbal behaviors of other cultures. Furthermore. this study demonstrated that not all customers appreciate employees’ making physical contact with them or kneeling to take their order in a restaurant. should be aware of cultural differences so they are better positioned to improve how they present the hospitality product. special attention should be placed on making physical contact and adopting the kneeling position during service encounters. This may consist of adopting behaviors that represent a caring attitude or handing out compliments. no matter their customers’ cultural background. in general. giving continuous feedback and making available training for those employees that lack the necessary skills and behavioral techniques. when planning training programs. Moreover. and self-promotion techniques were perceived as neither satisfying nor dissatisfying. Hospitality businesses must also avoid demonstrations of supplication techniques by their employees. However. or seeking help from others. Similarly. American respondents were more satisfied than Asian respondents with ingratiation and exemplification techniques used by employees. marketers. return to the same place. this study demonstrates that managers. In presenting the hospitality product and interacting with customers. Furthermore. and that compliments that are not perceived as sincere may not be credible to customers. employees should smile frequently because smiles create positive impressions. Being aware of this can help employees manage better the impressions they seek to project. when employees demonstrated behaviors that were associated with good customer service. employees should be aware that this may be due more to a cultural tendency rather than being related to . while intimidation and supplication techniques were perceived as dissatisfying. and be motivated to increase the amount of the tip. it is also important to understand that certain non-verbal behaviors can increase customer satisfaction and that some of these behaviors may differ based on culture. In general. and create better perceptions of service delivery efforts. American respondents were. Front line employees should be more analytical of and sensitive to their customer needs and tastes and be able to determine if certain behaviors are not well received. return. hospitality firms should consider that when employees demonstrate behavior that is associated with good customer service. Americans are more likely to create positive word-ofmouth. but a little less satisfying for some Asians. For example. more dissatisfied than Asian respondents with intimidation and supplication techniques used by employees. such as adopting high pressure sales techniques. especially those involved in service exporting. hospitality organizations should discourage their employees from demonstrating behavior associated with intimidation techniques.30 JOURNAL OF TRAVEL & TOURISM MARKETING Downloaded by [University of Jammu] at 02:03 25 January 2012 with ingratiation and exemplification techniques were perceived as satisfying. and employees alike. In general. adopting a superior attitude. It is also important for employees to be aware that too much ingratiation can be overwhelming for some customers. Managers can attend to this by carefully observing their employees. IMPLICATIONS The findings of this study suggest that managers of hotel and restaurant operations should continuously encourage their employees to adopt behaviors associated with ingratiation techniques. American respondents agreed that they would be more likely to tell a friend.

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