hospitality in a high-tech, hightouch context: an exploration of the guest-tech-host relationship

Harland, Kate Danielle (2022) hospitality in a high-tech, hightouch context: an exploration of the guest-tech-host relationship. Doctoral thesis, Northumbria University.

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Technology has changed the landscape of hospitality in terms of its operation and the guest-host experience. One of the most significant changes is hotel guest empowerment with the use of self-service technologies, blurring the line between guest and host. As technology constantly develops, the interactions and relationships between people also evolve. An area which is currently underexplored within literature is the role of technology within the guest-host relationship. This thesis explores the high-touch, high-tech approach to hospitality service from the perspective of hotel employees and guests. This exploration allows for an understanding of how the relationship between the guest and host is changing.

To understand the relational ties between both guests and hosts, actor network theory and role theory were adopted as a theoretical and methodological lens for the study. To fully explore the guest-host relationship, interviews with both hotel customers and hotel employees were conducted and analysed using thematic analysis. Actor network theory mapping following data collection provides a visualisation of the network that exists between guests, technology, and hosts.

The findings reveal how guests, hosts and technology co exist, collaborate, and navigate the hospitality servicescape. This discussion provides an understanding of guest and host perceptions and preferences of hotel service, and what role technology plays in the interactions. By understanding how the pre-determined roles of the guest and the host are being modified by technology, the researcher posits a guest-tech-host relationship that exists in a high-tech, high-touch hospitality landscape.

The researcher presents the concept of the guest-tech-host relationship as an original contribution to knowledge, adding to the current body of hospitality literature. A guest-tech-host service dynamic is also presented as a conceptual model. The managerial implications of this research will also allow hospitality organisations to further understand the human implications of implementing technologies within their service environments.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Uncontrolled Keywords: guest-host relationships, self-service technologies, SST, Actor Network Theory, Role Theory
Subjects: G500 Information Systems
N500 Marketing
Department: Faculties > Business and Law > Newcastle Business School
University Services > Graduate School > Doctor of Philosophy
Depositing User: John Coen
Date Deposited: 26 Jan 2023 09:29
Last Modified: 26 Jan 2023 10:26

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