Frontline robots in tourism and hospitality: service enhancement or cost reduction?

Published on Jul 29, 2020in Electronic Markets
· DOI :10.1007/S12525-020-00432-5
Daniel Belanche16
Estimated H-index: 16
(University of Zaragoza),
Luis V. Casaló30
Estimated H-index: 30
(University of Zaragoza),
Carlos Flavián51
Estimated H-index: 51
(University of Zaragoza)
Robots are being implemented in many frontline services, from waiter robots in restaurants to robotic concierges in hotels. A growing number of firms in hospitality and tourism industries introduce service robots to reduce their operational costs and to provide customers with enhanced services (e.g. greater convenience). In turn, customers may consider that such a disruptive innovation is altering the established conditions of the service-provider relationship. Based on attribution theory, this research explores how customers’ attributions about the firm motivations to implement service robots (i.e. cost reduction and service enhancement) are affecting customers’ intentions to use and recommend this innovation. Following previous research on robot’s acceptance, our research framework analyzes how these attributions may be shaped by customers’ perceptions of robot’s human-likeness and their affinity with the robot. Structural equation modelling is used to analyze data collected from 517 customers evaluating service robots in the hospitality industry; results show that attributions mediate the relationships between affinity toward the robot and customer behavioral intentions to use and recommend service robots. Specifically, customer’s affinity toward the service robot positively affects service improvement attribution, which in turn has a positive influence on customer behavioral intentions. In contrast, affinity negatively affects cost reduction attribution, which in turn has a negative effect on behavioral intentions. Finally, human-likeness has a positive influence on affinity. This research provides practitioners with empirical evidence and guidance about the introduction of service robots and its relational implications in hospitality and tourism industries. Theoretical advances and future research avenues are also discussed.
Figures & Tables
📖 Papers frequently viewed together
1 Author (Eric Laws)
24 Citations
1 Author (M. C. Metti)
#1Jason L. Stienmetz (MODUL University Vienna)H-Index: 9
#2Jeongmi (Jamie) Kim (TU: Temple University)H-Index: 7
Last. Daniel R. Fesenmaier (University of Surrey)H-Index: 72
view all 4 authors...
Abstract Understanding the nature of tourism experiences holds the key to effectively managing tourism destinations. Research in psychology, economics, geography, marketing and, more recently, services management, offers new insight into consumer experiences which are defined by moment-to-moment and as discreet (and summarized) events. This paper synthesizes this literature and then identifies emerging tools such as blueprinting and journey mapping which enable design solutions to better manage ...
8 CitationsSource
#1Daniel Belanche (University of Zaragoza)H-Index: 16
#2Carlos FlaviánH-Index: 51
Last. Jeroen J. L. SchepersH-Index: 14
view all 4 authors...
Service robots are taking over the organizational frontline. Despite a recent surge in studies on this topic, extant works are predominantly conceptual in nature. The purpose of this paper is to provide valuable empirical insights by building on the attribution theory.,Two vignette-based experimental studies were employed. Data were collected from US respondents who were randomly assigned to scenarios focusing on a hotel’s reception service and restaurant’s waiter service.,Results indicate that ...
6 CitationsSource
#1Hailian Qiu (ZUEL: Zhongnan University of Economics and Law)H-Index: 2
#2Minglong Li (ZUEL: Zhongnan University of Economics and Law)H-Index: 7
Last. Billy Bai (UNLV: University of Nevada, Las Vegas)H-Index: 23
view all 4 authors...
ABSTRACTThis study investigated the influence of service robot attributes on customers’ hospitality experience from the perspective of relationship building. Through literature review and a prelimi...
32 CitationsSource
#1Alei Fan (Purdue University)H-Index: 6
#2Luorong (Laurie) Wu (TU: Temple University)H-Index: 6
Last. Anna S. Mattila (PSU: Pennsylvania State University)H-Index: 81
view all 4 authors...
ABSTRACTGiven the increasing presence of humanoid service robots at airports, hotels and restaurants, the current study investigates how consumers’ interdependent self-construal and technology self...
15 CitationsSource
#1Daniel Belanche (University of Zaragoza)H-Index: 16
#2Luis V. Casaló (University of Zaragoza)H-Index: 30
Last. Jeroen J. L. Schepers (TU/e: Eindhoven University of Technology)H-Index: 14
view all 4 authors...
ABSTRACTService robots and artificial intelligence promise to increase productivity and reduce costs, prompting substantial growth in sales of service robots and research dedicated to understanding...
46 CitationsSource
#1Sangwon Park (PolyU: Hong Kong Polytechnic University)H-Index: 22
Abstract In recognizing the increase in the use of service robots by service industries, identifying the structure of trust in intelligent robots is crucial for tourism studies. This paper first proposes a model of multifaceted trust in service robots comprised of three constructs – performance, process, and purpose – and, second, tests the trust model that considers institution-based trust, trusting belief, and intention. As a result, this paper identified a higher-order formative construct of ...
13 CitationsSource
#1Peter HofmannH-Index: 9
#1Peter HofmannH-Index: 25
Last. Nils Urbach (University of Bayreuth)H-Index: 20
view all 3 authors...
Within digital transformation, which is continuously progressing, robotic process automation (RPA) is drawing much corporate attention. While RPA is a popular topic in the corporate world, the academic research lacks a theoretical and synoptic analysis of RPA. Conducting a literature review and tool analysis, we propose – in a holistic and structured way – four traits that characterize RPA, providing orientation as well as a focus for further research. Software robots automate processes original...
15 CitationsSource
#1Masahiro MoriH-Index: 2
196 CitationsSource
#2Craig WebsterH-Index: 17
Last. Craig WebsterH-Index: 3
view all 2 authors...
Originality/value: This is one of the few publications that discuss the economic aspects of the incorporation of RAISA technologies into travel, tourism and hospitality industries.
13 CitationsSource
#1Dandison C. UkpabiH-Index: 7
#2Bilal AslamH-Index: 2
Last. Heikki KarjaluotoH-Index: 39
view all 3 authors...
Originality/value: This study is one of the earliest studies that advances firm-level adoption of chatbots by integrating two key organizational theories.
3 CitationsSource
Cited By8
#1Ingrid Y. Lin (U.H.: University of Hawaii at Manoa)H-Index: 10
#2Anna S. Mattila (PSU: Pennsylvania State University)H-Index: 81
Abstract Service robots (SR) are increasingly valued and embraced; they are here to stay. Research on collaborative intelligence to better understand robotic-human partnerships is scarce. To bridge that gap this study aimed to examine the value of SR from the guest’s perspective, thus gain a deeper understanding of the co-value creation process in the context of full-service hotels. A mixed-method design was used to capture the depth and breadth of perceived value of SR. Study 1 is a qualitative...
#1Yookyung Park (College of Business Administration)H-Index: 2
#2Youjae Yi (College of Business Administration)H-Index: 40
Abstract The main purpose of this research is to investigate whether, why, and when givers and recipients perceive the value of a discounted gift differently. The studies provide convergent evidence that givers perceive discounted gifts as less valuable than regular-priced gifts whereas recipients do not perceive them as different. Givers' devaluation of the discounted gift is driven by their concern about the thoughtfulness of a gift. Moreover, the giver-recipient asymmetry is mitigated when th...
#1Katarzyna Barbara Minor (Cardiff Metropolitan University)
#2Emmet McLoughlin (Cardiff Metropolitan University)H-Index: 5
Last. Vicky Richards (Cardiff Metropolitan University)
view all 3 authors...
AI and Robots represent a major innovation opportunity for the tourism sector, and their potential impact and application offer several new opportunities to enhance and develop the visitor experience. Nevertheless, there has been limited academic research on the use of robots, together with a limited number of destinations embracing this technology. Focusing on the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path, this research paper outlines how a multi methodological approach could be utilised to examine the use of...
#1Mohit Manchanda (Indian Institute of Management Kashipur)H-Index: 2
#2Madhurima Deb (Indian Institute of Management Kashipur)H-Index: 8
The present study examines the impact of anthropomorphism and augmented reality (AR) on consumers’ attitudes and intention to adopt m-commerce. A questionnaire-based survey was conducted amongst 54...
#2Tazim JamalH-Index: 35
Research on the relationship between automation services and tourism has been rapidly growing in recent years and has led to a new service landscape where the role of robots is gaining both practical and research attention. This paper builds on previous reviews and undertakes a comprehensive analysis of the research literature to discuss opportunities and challenges presented by the use of service robots in hospitality and tourism. Management and ethical issues are identified and it is noted tha...
2 CitationsSource
Abstract The use of robots in hospitality and tourism is rapidly evolving. Restaurants progressively include robots as part of their staff, not only as waiters but also as chefs. The robotization of tourism and gastronomic experiences is a vital challenge that both service providers and customers need to cope with. Within this context, the paper investigates the perceptions of tourists towards the use of robots in restaurants. Drawing from a qualitative research design and built on a grounded th...
1 CitationsSource