Satisfaction, Timesharing (Real estate), Willingness to pay


The ongoing pursuit of understanding how consumers’ expectations can be achieved or exceeded has long been an area of interest for academics and practitioners alike. A multitude of measures of satisfaction have been developed, applied, and adopted with the end goal of understanding how satisfied individuals, or groups of individuals, are with a given product, service, or specific attribute of a product. And, while both academic and practical research has identified and focused on explicit attributes relevant to particular products or services, the general consensus appears to support the thinking that higher satisfaction is better. But this may not hold true when one considers that not all attributes are equal in terms of their effect on overall customer satisfaction or that different customer segments may value product attributes differently. From this premise, the current research proposes a model that may be used to classify product and process attributes within the services industry, and augments the traditional method of data analysis in an effort to improve the efficacy of the information gathered. The theoretical foundation of the study is based on a modified Kano Model, a research model that has been widely applied across a variety of industries and products. Responses from 3,231 consumers were collected in a nationwide survey conducted in the United States. A random sampling method was used with the intention of achieving sufficient heterogeneity among the study participants. This study provides a comprehensive review of literature related to the Kano Model that has also been summarized in a tabular form (Table 3), providing the readers with a robust synthesis of literature (1984-2010) to include authors, publication dates, sources, titles, research contexts, etc. Further, since the Kano Model was initially developed more than 20 years ago in iii 1984 with a focus on manufacturing and durable goods, this study introduces a Modified Kano Model that may be better suited for evaluation of attributes related to services. In the Modified Kano Model, the attributes of the original Kano Model (Attractive Quality, One-Dimensional Quality, Must-be Quality, Reverse Quality, and Indifferent Quality) have been modified to better reflect the intangibility and other distinctive characteristics of services. The revised attribute categories have been titled as Desirable Attributes, Positive Attributes, Critical Attributes, Negative Attributes, and Zone of Indifference. The study also provides an extensive discussion of conjoint analysis techniques, historical evolution, and a review of application of conjoint analysis across various industries; including research within and beyond the hospitality industry. Essentially this study delivers a primer on conjoint methodology. Related to the conjoint analysis components for this research, this study employs Sawtooth Software as the platform for the web-based questionnaire, as well as the data analysis. Sawtooth Software’s products are the most widely used conjoint analysis systems in the world providing a variety of solutions from traditional full profile conjoint analysis to more advanced adaptive choice conjoint analysis techniques. This study employs the Choice-Based Conjoint technique; one of the most commonly used techniques in academic research. Choicebased conjoint provides respondents a series of set choices from which they express preferences for specific attribute combinations. Choice-based conjoint analysis is widely used due to its ability to simulate consumer behavior in the marketplace more precisely. Through the use of the Modified Kano Model and choice-based conjoint analysis, this study assessed the role of process and product attributes in consumers’ willingness to pay for and utilize products in the vacation ownership industry. The current study has identified product and process attributes that are preferred by the customer, categorized the attributes according to their iv anticipated effect on customer satisfaction, and quantified customer preferences of each in order to establish customer attribute preferences within the vacation ownership industry. In a twopronged approach, this study explored two distinct aspects of the consumer’s vacation ownership experience: the purchase process and the use of the lodging product. Since it has been shown that the Kano Model is effective in categorizing attributes according to the anticipated effect on customer satisfaction in a manufacturing environment, a modified version of this model was extended to a service sector, the vacation ownership industry. This Modified Kano Model was used to determine consumers’ preferences for the vacation ownership product during its use, as well as throughout the purchase process. In addition, the Kano methodology was augmented through the use of Fong’s test of statistical significance and Conjoint Analysis in an effort to improve the quality of the information gathered, and advance the efficiency and applicability of the instrument. This study identified attributes of the vacation ownership product that are positively related to customer satisfaction. Specifically, the following attributes were categorized by the respondents as being positively related to their product satisfaction: 1) a sales executive to guide the prospective purchaser through the sales process, 2) a purchase incentive, 3) resort-like hotel services, i.e., concierge, 4) affiliation with an exchange company, 5) resort amenities, i.e., fitness center, 6) ability to trade for hotel program benefits, and 7) a vacation counselor to assist with vacation planning. In the Modified Kano Model they are described as Positive Attributes based on the relationship to product satisfaction. Perhaps equally as important as understanding the positive effect of attributes is understanding which attributes have no incremental effect on product satisfaction. In this study, the majority of the respondents categorized the availability of a finance package and the presence v of onsite activities as attributes that neither added to their satisfaction or dissatisfaction with the product. These attributes are termed as Zone of Indifference in the Modified Kano Model since they neither add to nor detract from overall product satisfaction. In an effort to quantify consumer preference for particular attributes, this study employed conjoint analysis to test the presence/absence of the study attributes in a series of simulations. Two fixed choice sets and a “none option” were also employed to improve the reliability of the results. The result of the conjoint simulation revealed that willingness to pay for the vacation ownership product varied based on product features, and it also varied across respondents. Possibly the most imperative outcome of this research is that this study uncovered attribute preferences that have a significant influence on satisfaction or price paid for the vacation ownership product. The findings of the research were consistent with previous literature in that it was found that attributes of the product could be classified using the Modified Kano Model, and that consumers are satisfied with the product purchased. However, this research goes beyond previous studies in that it specifies the anticipated effect on satisfaction and consumer willingness to pay at the attribute level for both the purchase and use of the vacation ownership product. Further, while this research identified that consumers’ basic needs are being met and the industry is delivering on expectations related to attributes that contribute to overall satisfaction, it also uncovered opportunities for product development and pricing strategies that may assist in attracting new customers and expanding the vacation ownership segment of the lodging industry. In addition to an explicit discussion of the results, this dissertation provides specific practical implications based on the findings. This research could be considered unique as it is a comprehensive view into customer satisfaction and willingness to pay related to both the vi purchase and the consumption of a vacation product. As a result, an additional contribution could be the establishment of a benchmark for future studies.


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Parsa, H. G.


Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


College of Education








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Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)


Dissertations, Academic -- Education, Education -- Dissertations, Academic

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