Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Hotel Administration

First Committee Member

James Busser

Second Committee Member

Seyhmus Baloglu

Third Committee Member

Carola Raab

Fourth Committee Member

Anjala Krishen

Number of Pages



Facebook, particularly its brand page, is becoming one of the most powerful tool for relationship building and customer engagement for hospitality companies. As the social media marketing practices evolve in the hospitality industry, the industry starts to realize the importance of customer participation behaviors based on relationship quality rather than quantity of interactions and the rising significance of the Millennials generation.

To respond to this trend, this study pursues an empirical investigation of the antecedents for consumer-hotel brand relationship on Facebook, and the potential differences between Millennials and non-Millennials, particularly the GenXers. It also examines the potential varying relational consequences on consumers' online participation behaviors and brand loyalty between these two groups. More specifically, this study positions Facebook as an innovative communication medium, and applies the “parasocial relationship” framework in mediated communication literature as an overarching theoretical guide. Five social-media related factors are included to explain the psychological mechanisms of consumer’s parasocial relationship with brands: utilitarian benefits, hedonic benefits, perceived self-disclosure, perceived interactivity, and perceived information overload. This study also investigates the effects of parasocial relationship on Facebook users’ online participation behaviors with brands and their offline brand loyalty. The hypothesized model is tested with multi-group SEM modelling. Practical and theoretical implications are also discussed in the study.


active participation; brand loyalty; customer engagement; generational differences; parasocial relationship



File Format


Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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