Expectations and satisfaction in tourism : an exploratory study into measuring satisfaction
The subject of this dissertation is an exploratory research effort into expectations and levels of satisfaction. The object of a longitudinal study were campervan tourists. A repeat measurement survey was conducted. The literature on motives, motivation-formation and attitudes is covered. Motivations are defined as the combination of motives and situations. Motives are general, while values are more specific and are aroused in defineable situations. Motivations form the organizing precursors to expectations. Expectations are tentative assumptions which take the form of attitudes. Attitudes are different from expectations because attitudes are latent dispositions, whereas expectations are temporally forward-directed and awaiting confirmation. The literature on satisfaction research is reviewed and discussed and includes quality of life, leisure and recreation, tourism and consumer behaviour research. The two-factor model of satisfaction is scrutinized and used for measuring levels of satisfaction. It states that satisfaction is monopolar and distinct from dissatisfaction. Both form two independent scales: from not dissatisfied to totally dissatisfied and not satisfied to totally satisfied. Satisfaction research is criticised for not adequately, 1. addressing the role of values and their different dimensions, 2. considering the control a person has over outcomes, 3. including all parameters that impact on satisfaction formation (during expectation formation, experience and satisfaction formation), 4. differentiating between the impacts of tangible and intangible product attributes on satisfaction outcomes, 5. considering the effects of experiences on expectations when measuring expectations post hoc. The focus of the study are human values as they relate to life's major roles and Lynn Kahle's List of Values (LOV) have been used. Values have been defined as learnt strategies to adapt ones’ environment according to ones' needs and wants and/or to adapt oneself to the environment in order to achieve satisfaction. Three types of values are distinguished, instrumental, outer-directed expressive and inner-directed expressive values. Instrumental values are those which can form a premise for logical arguments. Outer-directed expressive values form arguments as if their premises were logical: an object is imbued with subjectively symbolic attributes. Such values are outer-directed because they target objects outside of the person. The relationship between the person and the object has a strongly cognitive structure, by way of which the person 'knows' that tangible attributes bring about certain inner states. It is hypothesised that (1) expectations are structurally related to satisfaction (2), outer-directed expressive expectations and experiences correlate stronger with cognitively measurable satisfaction evaluations than do inner-directed expectations and experiences. Inner-directed expressive values are emotional, come from the self and refer back to the self. Instead of using defined objects that satisfy these values, the person is merely aware of the fact that a class of objects generates this satisfaction. Inner-directed values are hypothesised to, (3) satisfy a person by reducing (emotional) drives and (4), correlate stronger with overall satisfaction, and less strongly with cognizeable satisfaction measures. All hypotheses are satisfactorily confirmed with the exception of (3). While strong indications for the validity of this hypothesis could be obtained, further research is needed. The Consumer Satisfaction/Dissatisfaction Paradigm is criticised.
Advisor: Lawson, Rob
Degree Name: Doctor of Philosophy
Degree Discipline: Marketing
Publisher: University of Otago
Research Type: Thesis
xi, 277 leaves :ill. ; 30 cm. Includes bibliographical references. University of Otago department: Marketing.