Award Date

12-1-2012

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Hotel Administration

First Committee Member

Carola Raab

Second Committee Member

Sarah Tanford

Third Committee Member

Curtis Love

Fourth Committee Member

Lori Olafson

Number of Pages

173

Abstract

Loyalty programs have become products in and of themselves. They need to maintain member loyalty in order to survive. It is proposed that communication has a larger impact on program loyalty than previously thought. This study utilizes structural equation modeling (SEM) to evaluate the influence of communication typologies and dimensions on hotel reward program loyalty via self-image congruence, service quality, satisfaction, and trust. Moreover, this dissertation presents a communication identity model, which focuses on promoting hotel reward program loyalty via self-congruence with communication channels.

Newly discovered significant paths were found between: communication style and self-congruence with communication channels; self-congruence with communication channels and information quality; and finally, information quality and satisfaction. The impact of different communication channels on antecedents of loyalty yielded some unexpected results, namely that social media was less relevant to participants than company websites and interpersonal communication. The results suggest that loyalty programs must consider the impact of communication style on satisfaction and ultimately program loyalty. In addition, it was found that fostering member self-congruence with communication channels through `communication identity management' may be crucial to attaining the sense of community that is vital to membership loyalty.

Keywords

Advertising – Hotels; Communication channel; Communication in marketing; Communication style; Consumers' preferences; Customer loyalty; Customer loyalty programs; Hotel reward program; Hotels; Member loyalty; Satisfaction; Self-image congruence; Social media; Web sites

Disciplines

Communication | Hospitality Administration and Management | Marketing

Language

English


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