The influence of eTrust on intention to purchase from hotel websites in China

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The influence of eTrust on intention to purchase from hotel websites in China


Author: Wang, Liang
Title: The influence of eTrust on intention to purchase from hotel websites in China
Degree: Ph.D.
Year: 2015
Subject: Hotel management -- China
Hotels -- Computer network resources.
Consumers -- Attitudes.
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: School of Hotel and Tourism Management
Pages: xv, 294 pages : illustrations ; 30 cm
Language: English
InnoPac Record:
Abstract: Since the 1980s, the Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) in general, the Internet in particular, have served as a competitive marketing and communication tool for hoteliers and consumers in facilitating information sharing and online transactions (Doolin, Burges, & Cooper, 2002; O’Connor & Frew, 2002). Given the relationship-based nature of service firms and the idea that “the Web is actually a very sticky space in both the business-to consumer and the business-to-business spheres (Reichheld & Schefter, 2000. p.106), O’Connor and Frew (2004) suggested that hotel managers should develop closer and sustainable relationships with customers. In a bid to establish customer relationships, hotels need to generate consumer trust with which an increasing array of products and services could be purchased (Bart et al., 2005; Johnson & Grayson, 2005). The concept of consumer trust has attracted substantial attention from tourism and hospitality researchers (e.g. Kim et al., 2009; Kim et al., 2012; Lee & Turban, 2001. For a detailed review, please refer to Wang et al. (2014), while few research efforts have been devoted to online consumer trust (hereafter as eTrust), despite two exceptions (i.e. Fam et al., 2004; Sparks & Browing, 2011).
In considering the context-based nature of consumer trust (e.g. Fam et al., 2004; Hardy & Magrath, 1989; Lewicki & Bunker, 1995), it is essential to reconceptualise eTrust when it is introduced in a novel context. In addition, the majority of extant eTrust studies were conducted in the Western settings while little is known about it in the oriental hotel context, where business networks are relationship-based (Herbig & Martin, 1998; Pan, 2003). The present study attempts to fill in this research gap by examining eTrust in terms of its formation mechanism like the underlying dimensions, antecedents, and consequent in the background of Chinese hotel industry. After consulting with the extant literature, scholars, and Chinese Internet consumers, this study selected hotel website attributes, hotel profiles in terms of hotel star rating and hotel ownership as antecedents of eTrust while online booking intentions as its consequence in China’s hotel industry. Since the target samples in this study were Chinese Internet users, these variables were measured with importance scale. In other words, hotel website attributes was operationalized as perceived importance of website attributes and hotel profiles were operationalized as perceived performance across difference profile categories (i.e. private ownership, public ownership, high star rated and low star rated). The proposed measuring scales of variables of interest showed acceptable construct reliability and validity. Results proved the proposed positive impacts of hotel website attributes, perceived performance of high star rated hotels, perceived performance of privately and publicly owned hotels upon eTrust while the causal relationship between eTrust and the impacts of the perceived performance of low star rated hotels was not statistically supported. Furthermore, eTrust was proved to be a significant predictor of consumer online booking intentions. Based on the research findings, the academic and practical implications were offered. Limitations of the present study as well as future research work which could address these limitations were suggested at the end of this research.

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