International Journal of Services, Economics and Management
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International Journal of Services, Economics and Management (7 papers in press)
UNDERSTANDING THE INTENTION TO USE SELF SERVICE TECHNOLOGIES IN THE AIRLINE INDUSTRY by Thamarai Selvan, Thanigai Arul, Dharun Kasilingam Abstract: Self Service Technologies (SST) in the airline industry is becoming more common nowadays in the developing countries. This research seeks to understand the factors that affect the travelers intention to use such technologies. Literature reveals that Tech Readiness, Perceived ease of use and Perceived reliability towards technologies play a role in the intention to use them. In order to test the hypotheses, data was collected from 552 travelers at Chennai airport. Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) was used to test the hypotheses. Results indicate that perceived reliability and tech readiness are significant predictors of the intention to use SSTs. Managerial and theoretical implications are discussed Keywords: Tech readiness; Perceived ease of use; Perceived reliability,SST; Airlines.
Financial development-income inequality nexus in South Eastern European countries: Does the relationship vary with the level of inflation? by Kunofiwa Tsaurai Abstract: The study investigated two aspects using panel data analysis methods: (1) the impact of financial development on income inequality and (2) the role of inflation in the financial development-income inequality nexus in the case of South Eastern European countries (Bulgaria, Greece, Croatia, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia). The relevancy of the financial development led income inequality reduction hypothesis is no longer a disputable issue judging from the findings emanating from previous empirical studies on the subject matter. However, the impact of inflation on financial developments ability to boost income inequality reduction is fairly a virgin area after so far been only extensively done by Florence (2012) according to the authors best knowledge. Without interaction term, fixed effects approach shows that financial development increased income inequality whereas pooled ordinary least squares (OLS) indicates that income inequality was narrowed down by financial development in South Eastern European nations. Using fixed effects, the interaction term between inflation and financial development reduced income inequality mainly because inflation triggered reduction in income inequality outweighed the increase in income inequality associated with financial development. Employing pooled OLS approach, the interaction term between inflation and financial development increased income inequality mainly because inflation triggered income inequality increase outweighed the income inequality reduction associated with financial development. The study therefore urges South Eastern European countries to implement policies targeted at reducing inflation in order to enhance financial developments ability to reduce income inequality. South Eastern European countries should also implement policies aimed at deepening their financial markets in order to reduce income inequality. Keywords: Income Inequality; Inflation; Financial Development; South East Europe.
Assessing and Improving Performance for a Small Contact Center by Lifang Wu Abstract: Contact centers are an increasingly important part of todays economy and most of the contact centers in the U.S. are small ones employing less than 100 agents. This paper provides a case study of applying quantitative techniques to improve operations performance for a small contact center affiliated with a water plant in the U.S. By establishing a regression-adjusted queueing model based virtual benchmarking contact center, the research focuses on investigating efficiency losses the small contact center was facing. The study suggests that the overwhelming majority of the efficiency loss at the small contact center was related to agent shrinkage (unavailable while logged-in or did not log in). Surprisingly, forecasting and scheduling errors only resulted in a fairly small portion of the overall efficiency loss, which contradicts the traditional belief of scheduling dominating call center performance. The article offers managerial insights catering to these small contact centers which can help them eliminate waste, reduce operating costs, and improve service quality. Keywords: Small contact center; service; quality; efficiency; performance; modeling; benchmarking.
An Exploratory Study on the Morphology and Measurement of Teleshopping Trust: A Scale Development by Olfa Bouhlel Abstract: Trust in teleshopping requires more attention from researchers,rnespecially as there is no instrument measuring it. The purpose of this study is the development of a quantitative instrument, the TTS. After a literature review about trust and teleshopping, the stages of Churchills paradigm have been applied. The research design included three stages: a set of items generated on the basis of a qualitative exploratory study, a scale development, and an assessment of TTS psychometric properties.rnTTS was developed using a convenience national sample of 380 TV shoppers.rnData has been collected via face-to-face interviews. Factor analysis has been used to uncover the underlying dimensions of TTS. The 19-item scale, scored by seven-point Likert-type response options, is a multidimensional construct.rnTTS shows robust psychometric properties and is expected to be useful forrnacademics and practitioners alike. It can be beneficial to identify trustrncharacteristics that can be used in teleshopping activity. Keywords: In-home shopping; TV home shopping; Television shopping programs; Trust; Scale development.
How product quality, brand image, and customer satisfaction affect the purchase decisions of Indonesian automotive customers by Aris Insan Waluya, M.Ali Iqbal, Rhian Indradewa Abstract: This research aims to examine product quality and brand image mediated by customer satisfaction that affect the purchase decisions of Indonesian automotive customers. The method of data collection is using primary data from 200 respondents, who are automotive customers, through questionnaires, direct observation of the object under study and literature review. The method of analysis is using quantitative data with the path analysis method using SPSS 23 to test the level of significance of product quality and brand image to the purchase decisions, mediated by customer satisfaction, of Indonesian automotive customers. Overall, the results showed that product quality and brand image have an effect on customer satisfaction. Product quality and brand image have a direct influence on the purchase decision process. Additionally, product quality and brand image have an effect on the purchase decisions, mediated by customer satisfaction, of Indonesian automotive customers. The practical implications are that the automotive industry should manage its brand image as the most important factor influencing purchasing decisions. Mediated by customer satisfaction, brand image also is the greatest factor influencing the purchase decision. The other managerial implication is that the automotive industry should manage product quality and communicate that aspect to customers. Keywords: product quality; brand image; customer satisfaction; buying decision.
Could Financial Trouble be Avoided by Cooking at Home? An Analysis of Checking Account Records by Franziska Willenbuecher, Marc Fusaro Abstract: While the pricing of fast food and the social implications of the payday loan industry have been investigated individually, this study answers the question whether a cycle of debt could be avoided by cooking at home. While no statistical correlation between food spending and loan amounts was found, the results show that households could have saved on average 36.14% of the average loan amount, had they omitted fast food and restaurant meals for 30 days. Specifically, more than 23% of households could have saved 30% or more while almost 9% could have saved 70% or more of their loan amount if they had cooked at home. The findings of this research demonstrate that fast food, and food spending in general, are part of a larger spending pattern that could best be addressed through financial literacy curricula and public policy in the area of payday loans.
Keywords: financial trouble; cooking at home; payday loan industry; payday loans; fast food; cycle of debt; statistical correlation; loan amounts; food spending; food cost; households; restaurant meals; spending patterns; financial literacy; public policy; borrowers; paycheck; income; line of credit; inderscience.
Examining Strategic Group Membership and Firm Performance in the Global Hotel Industry
by Wei He, Tantatape Brahmasrene Abstract: The increasing complexity of global competitive environment requires a comprehensive approach that integrate business practices and strategic management theory to investigate firms performance. Following strategic group and competitive advantage theory, content analysis is adopted as a fundamental tool to investigate and categorize the competitive methods employed by multinational hotel firms in the new millennium era. The resulted differentiation-based strategic groups are further examined to explore the strategic sources of intra-industry performance differences in the global hotel industry. The results suggest that strategic group membership is an important predictor of hotel firms performance. The pattern of commitment to strategic group membership have significant impacts on multinational hotel firms business performance. These findings advance the current research on strategic groups performance relationship through discovering the important role played by strategic group commitment in the context of a globalized service industry. Keywords: Competitive Advantage; Strategic Planning; Competitive Method; Strategic Group; Strategic Group Membership; Strategic Group Commitment; Firm Performance.