Keywords

Gender, arab, middle eastern, culture, intercultural service encounter, gender interaction, comfort, employee soliciting feedback, service encounter satisfaction, feedback willingness, experimental design

Abstract

Arab countries strive toward the modernization and feminization of the Arab culture; however, some of these countries (i.e., Saudi Arabia) are culturally and legally governed by “sharia law”, and have maintained cultural norms regarding segregation of the sexes. In order to have a better understanding of the Arab travelers to the U.S., this research focuses on the gender dynamics between the service providers and Arab customers during a service encounter. Specifically, this research examines how the same and opposite genders of service-provider and customer influence Arab customers’ emotional response (comfort), consequently their service encounter evaluation (satisfaction), and behavioral intentions (feedback willingness). This research also examines how the employees’ efforts to solicit feedback from Arab customers may intensify the effect of gender dynamics on Arab customers’ responses. Scenario-based online surveys are created and distributed to respondents of Arab descent in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and United Arab Emirates by using snowball sampling. The results based on 326 respondents show potential differences determined by gender interaction. Arab customers were more comfortable, more satisfied with the service encounter, and more willing to provide feedback, if the employee was the same gender as the customer, as opposed to the employee being the opposite gender from the customer. However, results showed that employee efforts to solicit feedback did not intensify the gender interaction effect. Additionally, through the service encounter, the Arab customers’ comfort influenced their service encounter satisfaction and their willingness to provide feedback. The findings of this research provide valuable implications for hospitality managers to better cater to the needs of Arab customers by examining the dimensions of gender boundaries in an intercultural service encounter.

Notes

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Graduation Date

2013

Semester

Fall

Advisor

Ro, Hee Jung

Degree

Master of Science (M.S.)

College

Rosen College of Hospitality Management

Department

Hospitality Services

Degree Program

Hospitality and Tourism Management

Format

application/pdf

Identifier

CFE0005013

URL

http://purl.fcla.edu/fcla/etd/CFE0005013

Language

English

Release Date

December 2014

Length of Campus-only Access

1 year

Access Status

Masters Thesis (Open Access)

Location

Rosen College of Hospitality Management

Subjects

Dissertations, Academic -- Hospitality Management, Hospitality Management -- Dissertations, Academic

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