A critical investigation of employee loyalty via expectation, perception, met expectation and satisfaction : spa therapists in Thailand

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A critical investigation of employee loyalty via expectation, perception, met expectation and satisfaction : spa therapists in Thailand

 

Author: Khun-on, Siyathorn
Title: A critical investigation of employee loyalty via expectation, perception, met expectation and satisfaction : spa therapists in Thailand
Degree: DHTM
Year: 2013
Subject: Employee loyalty.
Job satisfaction.
Physical therapists -- Thailand.

Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: School of Hotel and Tourism Management
Pages: xiii, 228 p., 11 leaves : ill. ; 30 cm.
Language: English
InnoPac Record: http://library.polyu.edu.hk/record=b2673113
URI: http://theses.lib.polyu.edu.hk/handle/200/7344
Abstract: Due to severe employee turnover in spas in the health services sector, employee loyalty has become a central human resources concern for both the industry and academics. The high employee turnover rate can impact service quality, customer satisfaction, customer loyalty as well as firm competitiveness in the long term. Customer loyalty has been closely related to employees, especially in the hospitality industry. Employee loyalty is a process that is crystallized from all attitudes of employees consisting of expectation, perception and satisfaction; it is a complicated human psychological process. Therefore, studying only one attitude may not provide enough information to initiate sufficient strategies to retain precious employees. Ever since spas in Thailand have been actively promoted by the government, the shortage of spa therapists has become dire. Consequently, acquiring professional spa therapists from other spas has become a common practice which negatively affects the service quality and competitiveness of spas. Loss of spa therapists can cause spa customers to change their preference and patronize other spas. Unfortunately, little work has been devoted to the study of spa therapist loyalty. Apart from that, career is a main cause of different attitudes among employees. Therefore, this study has been conducted in order to investigate spa therapist attitudes from the original causes to outcome attitudes. The relationships between them have been analyzed intensively. The findings were expected to help enhance spa therapist loyalty and increase spa firm competitiveness. Additionally, a theoretical framework has been proposed to deal with employee loyalty as well as to bridge the gap between human resource management and academics. The research was systematically designed. A self-rated questionnaire was initially derived from previous studies. After that, it was further developed through interviewing 5 spa therapists, conducting a pilot test, as well as using Exploratory Factor Analysis (EFA). In the final questionnaire, 461 spa therapists from 9 representative provinces of Thailand were purposively selected for data collection. There were 445 eligible cases after intensive data screening. Cross validation in this study was of concern, therefore, a half of the total cases (223) were chosen to test the five measurement models consisting of expectation, perception, met expectation, satisfaction and loyalty by conducting Confirmatory Factor Analysis (CFA), AMOS 20.0. Additionally, the same construct was simultaneously employed with nine latent factors consisting of work itself, welfare benefits, monetary benefits, supervisors, co-workers, training, evaluation and advancement, sexual harassment, and job security to measure expectation, perception and met expectation. Meanwhile, employee satisfaction and loyalty were tested via 3 items and 6 items, respectively. The validity and reliability of all measurements were significantly supported when applied in the hypothesized model. Finally, the conceptual framework was precisely verified via the Structural Equation Model (SEM) with a total of 445 cases.
The results of this study indicate that expectation, perception and met expectation were significantly related to employee satisfaction. Also, there were explicitly strong correlations between employee satisfaction and loyalty. Impact of perception on satisfaction was four times greater than that of expectation. Evaluation and advancement (EA) was a critical concern in employees' expectation, perception and met expectation, which spa employers should bear in mind. The degree of expectation, perception, satisfaction and loyalty were high among Thai spa therapists. While, the expectation was just met, in other words, the score of perception and expectation was almost the same six items consisting of willingness to remain working, even if employees received better offers from other spas, positive word of mouth, recommendations by others as a good workplace, pride to work for the spa and career pride derived from the CFA process were verified to sufficiently predict employee loyalty in the spa industry that is dealing with the problem of poaching spa therapists from other spas of good reputation. Hence, spa employers were recommended to apply the verified measurements to evaluate employee attitudes. Furthermore, they should pay more attention to perception, which was a crucial indicator of employee satisfaction. Fairness and transparency are particularly important in EA. It is suggested that registering spa therapists, leading to certification of different level of spa profession skills, should be issued at the national government level.

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