||A Comparison of Factors that Influence Fluctuations in the Zone of Tolerance in an Inter-cultural Service Encounter Between Sojourners in Different Stages of Acculturation
||A Comparison of Factors that Influence Fluctuations in the Zone of Tolerance in an Inter-cultural Service Encounter Between Sojourners in Different Stages of Acculturation
||Institute of International Management (IIMBA--Master)
Inter-cultural service encounter
Zone of tolerance
Service provider’s behaviors
Critical incident technique
Globalization has made it much easier for individuals to live and work abroad. As a result, people from different cultures and backgrounds must engage in daily service encounters to survive. Individuals perceive and evaluate service encounters in different ways, resulting in a (dis) satisfying experience. The zone of tolerance framework can be used to illustrate a customer’s evaluation process by measuring pre-existing expectations against what actually occurs in the service encounter to result in an outcome. Adjusting to another culture can influence the evaluation process as individuals in different stages of adaptation have different expectations. This study set out to study Inter-cultural Service Encounters (ICSEs) based on the zone of tolerance and acculturation. It desired to identify what factors are critical influencers according to the stage of acculturation.
Data was collected as 388 critical incidents from individuals coming from Western cultures engaging in ICSEs in Taiwan. A measure of acculturation was also taken. The study identified individuals as fitting four distinct stages of acculturation, labeled: Newcomer, Learner, Adaptor, and Non-Adaptor. Ninety-seven critical categories were found based on 5680 references. Factors that influence the zone of tolerance are identified, revealing service qualities valued by Western customers according to their stage of acculturation.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
TABLE OF CONTENTS
LIST OF TABLES IV
LIST OF FIGURES V
CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION 1
1.1 Research Background. 1
1.2 Significance of ICSEs. 2
1.3 Motivation of the Study. 4
CHAPTER TWO INTERCULTURAL SERVICE ENCOUNTERS AND ACCULTURATION 8
2.1 The Service Encounter. 9
2.1.1 Definition. 9
2.1.2 The Service Encounter Constructs. 9
2.1.3 Satisfaction. 10
2.1.4 Evaluation of the Service Encounter: The Zone of Tolerance. 11
2.2 Culture. 12
2.2.1 Definitions of Culture. 12
2.2.2 Cultural Distance. 13
2.2.3 Cross Cultural Studies in Service. 14
2.3 Inter-Cultural Service Encounters. 17
2.4 Culture’s Influence on the Zone of Tolerance. 18
2.5 Intercultural Service Encounter (ICSE) Conceptual Framework. 20
2.6 Stages of Acculturation and the ICSE. 22
2.6.1 Bennet’s Stages of Acculturation. 22
2.6.2 U-Curve. 22
2.6.3 Perceived Cultural Distance and its Influence on Sojourners in ICSEs. 24
CHAPTER THREE RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODOLOGY 28
3.1 The Critical Incident Technique. 28
3.2 Advantages of CIT. 29
3.3 CIT Procedure. 31
3.4 Ascertaining the General Aims of the Activity being Studied. 31
3.5 Making Plans and Setting Specifications. 32
3.5.1 CIT Instrument Design. 32
3.5.2 Pilot Test. 35
3.6 Collecting the Data. 35
3.6.1 Sampling. 35
3.6.2 Collection Approach: Face-to-face. 36
3.6.3 Collection Approach: Online. 37
3.6.4 Demographic Profile Results. 38
3.7 Analysis. 38
3.7.1 Data Preparation. 39
3.7.2 Coding. 39
3.7.3 Quantitative Analysis. 41
3.7.4 Acculturation Analysis. 41
CHAPTER FOUR CATEGORY CODING RESULTS 42
4.1 Outcome. 42
4.1.1 Experiences and Expectations. 42
4.1.2 Prior Expectations. 44
4.1.3 Customer Evaluations. 46
4.2 Satisfaction. 48
4.2.1 Positive Customer Evaluations. 50
4.2.2 Positive Service Provider Behaviors. 51
4.2.3 Positive Customer Behaviors 53
4.2.4 Positive Customer Feelings. 54
4.3 Dissatisfaction. 55
4.3.1 Negative Customer Evaluations. 56
4.3.2 Negative Service Provider Behaviors. 58
4.3.3 Negative Customer Behaviors 60
4.3.4 Negative Customer Feelings. 60
CHAPTER 5 ACCULTURATION ANALYSIS AND RESULTS 62
5.1 Socio-cultural Adaption Scores. 62
5.2 Demographic Analysis 65
5.3 Identification of Critical Factors influencing ICSEs in Taiwan. 73
5.3.1 Newcomer Critical Categories. 76
5.3.2 Learner Critical Categories. 76
5.3.3 Adaptor Critical Categories. 78
5.3.4 Non-Adaptors Critical Categories. 79
CHAPTER SIX CONCLUSION 81
6.1 Key Factors Influencing Zone of Tolerance According to Acculturation Stage. 81
6.2 Newcomer. 81
6.3 Learner. 83
6.3 Adaptor. 86
6.4 Non-Adaptors. 88
6.5 Comparison of Factors Between Stages of Acculturation. 91
6.6 Discussion. 92
6.7 Limitations. 96
Appendix 1: CIT Questionnaire 106
Appendix 2: Demographic Profile Information 111
Appendix 3: Box Plots of Demographic Variables 112
Appendix 4: Nvivo 8 Coding Values and Percentages 117
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