A Cross-cultural Study of Airline Passengers

Kim, Samuel Seongseop, and Prideaux, Bruce (2003) A Cross-cultural Study of Airline Passengers. Annals of Tourism Research, 30 (2). pp. 489-492.

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A number of studies have identified the influence of values on consumers’ expectations of service standards (Donthu and Yoo, 1998; Furrer et al., 2000; Imrie et al., 2002 and Mattila, A., 1999. The Role of Culture in the Service Evaluation Process. Journal of Service Research 1, pp. 250–261. Full Text via CrossRefMattila, 1999). However, the views of service providers have mostly been ignored. Their role is important as they often have to respond to customers who have conflicting expectations, reflecting their professional status, income, generational grouping, or culture. Particularly, in an airline cabin one of the most apparent delineators of expectations is nationality. Expectations of service standards ( Wirtz and Shamdasani 1997) and personal behavior patterns often exhibit a cultural element that may result in varying or conflicting sets of expectations among passengers. As a consequence, flight attendants are required to demonstrate a high level of cultural awareness, while simultaneously refraining from imposing personal cultural interpretations on the actions of others. This study, while adopting nationality as a method of identifying cross-cultural differences in expectations, recognizes that nationality is not the only cause of culture differences ( Ohmae 1995) and accepts this factor as a limitation. To identify potential strategies for enhancing satisfaction on international flights this study examines cross-cultural differences among airline passengers from a flight attendants’ perspective.

Korean Air international flight attendants were asked about their experience working with passengers from Japan, Korea, China, and the United States. Twelve items reflecting the behavior patterns of passengers belonging to these four groups were developed from a series of structured interviews with seven female and two male Korean Air flight attendants. Members of this group had three or more years of service, giving them considerable experience in observing cultural differences among passengers. A pilot study using 20 international flight attendants was conducted to validate the test items, after which some modifications were made. Three attendants were used to distribute the questionnaires to co-workers with at least two years experience. A response rate of 84.8% was achieved from 250 questionnaires distributed. A further 12 questionnaires were excluded because of missing data.

Item ID: 10476
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1873-7722
Date Deposited: 22 Apr 2010 22:56
FoR Codes: 15 COMMERCE, MANAGEMENT, TOURISM AND SERVICES > 1506 Tourism > 150606 Tourist Behaviour and Visitor Experience @ 100%
SEO Codes: 90 COMMERCIAL SERVICES AND TOURISM > 9003 Tourism > 900302 Socio-Cultural Issues in Tourism @ 100%
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