Title: Customer orientation and e-WOM in the hotel sector

Authors: José L. González-Porras; José L. Ruiz-Alba; Javier Morales-Mediano

Addresses: Faculty of Economics and Business Science, University of Málaga, Spain ' School of Management and Marketing, University of Westminster, London, UK ' Faculty of Economics and Business Science, Universidad Pontificia Comillas, Madrid, Spain

Abstract: Customers frequently engage in electronic word of mouth (e-WOM) to share their service experience. This is particularly important in hospitality where the role of front-line employees and their level of customer orientation are critical. However, it has not yet been studied how the customer orientation of service employees (COSE) influences e-WOM. This study addresses this gap. Qualitative data were collected from family-run hotels through three independent studies with 25 different participants: focus group, in-depth interviews and an online focus group. This research provides novel findings that contribute to a deeper understanding of how the COSE dimensions play different roles in the three types of customers' e-WOM (positive, neutral and negative). This investigation also contributes to the literature by identifying new factors that could be incorporated in the COSE model, such as attitude, customisation and extra role performance. Some managerial contributions regarding COSE and a future research agenda are proposed.

Keywords: customer orientation; service employees; front-line employees; electronic word of mouth; e-WOM; hotel sector; highly relational services; HRS; attitude; extra-role performance; customisation; family business.

DOI: 10.1504/IJIMA.2021.115428

International Journal of Internet Marketing and Advertising, 2021 Vol.15 No.3, pp.302 - 326

Received: 29 Apr 2020
Accepted: 13 Jul 2020

Published online: 25 May 2021 *

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