Volume 18, Number 2 (October 2018-March 2019)

  Segmenting Consumers Of Professional Soccer: Identifying The Enthusiast
Charlotte Pick, Alex G. Gillett
 


Extant literature on the football association's (soccer) consumers tend to focus on supporters of top-tier teams, or on psychological or experiential factors. Contrastingly, this study was concerned with identifying customer segments based on consumer value and benefits sought, particularly to supporters of the lower-league clubs. Using survey data from the three tiers of English professional football, the English Premier League (the Championship, League 1, and League 2), we refine and update Tapp and Clowes (2002) framework of Premier League fans, exploring the behavior of supporters of lower-tier professional clubs.From our findings, we provide a segmentation framework that can be applied by marketers as part of the business and marketing planning process. We provide a detailed picture of the views and consumption habit of lowerleague soccer supporters, and identify an additional segment, the 'Enthusiast'. We believe that this is important because, much of the existing research has focused on the English Premier League (EPL) which we argue represents the a typical elite in comparison to the majority of other professional tiers of football in the UK or the rest of the European area. By focusing on lower-league football, we provide a more universal study.
 

  The Employee's Perspective Of Customer Relationships: A Typology
Vivek Dalela, Alexa M. Givan, Shiri D. Vivek, Kunal Banerji
 


Customer relationships have been examined in great depth over the last few decades and researchers have focused on various aspects such as their formation, evolution, customer benefits, positive outcomes of relationships, etc. However, a disproportionate number of these studies have captured the customer perspective of these relationships. Given the critical role of boundary spanning employees in the execution of a relational marketing strategy, the authors argue that it is equally important to examine relationships from the perspective of the employees as well. Taking a grounded theory perspective, 12 employees from a variety of occupations and employed in both B2B and B2C settings were interviewed and a total of 51 relationships were examined by the authors. The findings identified five categories of customer relationships as perceived by employees: Forced Relationships, Business Acquaintances, Business Friendships, True Friendships, and Family-like Relationships. Implications of the findings for customers, employees, and firms are discussed.

 

  Study Of Internationalization Of Indian Engineering, Project And Construction Firms In Africa And In The Gulf Countries
Som Sekhar Bhattacharyya
 


This is an exploratory qualitative study, focusing on internationalization of Indian Engineering, Project and Construction (EPC) firms in Africa and the Gulf countries. The author conducted 24 semi structured exploratory in-depth personal interviews with Indian EPC domain experts. The qualitative data was content analysed for thematic analysis. This was to uncover a comparative study of the nature of challenges Indian EPC firm managers comprehend, in foreign markets like Africa and the Gulf countries. The process of internationalization was also studied, and the strategic logic for the EPC firms' internationalization initiatives were examined. It was found, that the primary challenges faced in foreign markets include, cultural as well as project factor resource challenges. The preferred internationalized route is sought through strategic alliances. This study is one of the first comparative studies on internationalization, of an emerging economy firm in Africa and the Gulf countries.
 

  User Search Satisfaction In Search Engine Optimization: An Empirical Analysis
Ramaraj Palanisamy, Yifan Liu
 


Today, searching is one of the primary ways to navigate the web; and it is one of the most used mechanisms to find information a user is looking for. Search engine as a search tool, brings more convenience to the users in web searching to uncover information. Meanwhile, it also leads to several problems and confuses the users. Search engine optimization has become a popular technology for optimizing website contents , to enhance the user experience. The purpose of this study is, to identify the best practices and guidelines for designing an effective and meaningful e-commerce website; so that the given site appears at the top in a search engine's search results. A research model for user search satisfaction is evolved from literature. The model is empirically tested and validated by obtaining survey inputs from 101 students from a Canadian University. The factors affecting users search satisfaction are, user characteristics, search characteristics, search engine characteristics, and the clicking behavior of advertisements. The analysis validates the impact of website features, search engine contents and search problems on the user's search satisfaction. The users search behavior includes the frequency of different data inputs, navigational search and the usage of different devices, all having a positive effect on their search satisfaction. Although, thehe advertisement's clicking has a direct negative impact on the user's satisfaction. The implications for the theory and practice are given, especially the best practices for search engine optimization and guidelines for website design.
 

  Understanding Determinants Of User Acceptance Of Whatsapp: An Empirical Study
Pooja Chopra, Monica Bedi
 


Technological advancements have significantly changed the way we distribute, create and share information these days. Popularity of smartphones and advancement in technology has made Whatsapp one of the most admired chatting and instant messaging (IM) communication application in India. It has become a popular, real-time tool that enables people for interactive communication by sending and receiving chat messages while managing several conversations at the same time. This has created a vast dependency on Whatsapp, enabling us to communicate, share pictures and videos from nearly anywhere, as long as access to internet is available. Mobile instant messaging is showing an upward trajectory growth. The study highlights the respondents' dependence on Whatsapp and the effect of dependency on their usage,with the help of statistical tools like correlation and regression analysis. Eight constructs, namely, Functional Value (FV), Social Value (SV), Emotional Value (EV), Perceived Ease Of Use (PE), Self Expression (SE), Trust (T), Monetary Value (MV), Perceived Service Quality (PSQ) were examined to assess the respondents' dependence on Whatsapp. The questionnaire based survey method was used to gather data from 189 mobile instant message users from North India. The findings of the study showed, that the perceived service quality (PSQ) is the decisive factor affecting respondents' dependence on Whatsapp.
 

  Hospitality Management Institutes - The Skills Training Industry Perspective
Prashanti Jaykumar
 


Over the past few decades, tourism has steadily increased worldwide, India included, contributing to an increase in revenue, job opportunities and capital investment. Recognizing the need of the hour and realizing the importance and necessity of hospitality education, the Government of India initiated and supported the setting up of Hospitality Management institutes across the nation. Although hospitality education has a deep-seated position in the world of education and the students displaying passion and interest in pursuing the same is ever increasing; there has hardly been any significant change in the curriculum. The teaching methodologies or the pedagogies used therein; which would ensure the development of employability skills in keeping with the changing expectations of the industry concerned is lacking. This is indeed a cause for great concern! Ideally, the hospitality management programs must fulfill the expectations of the students, the teaching fraternity and the industry. Hence, the curriculum must not only deliver the skill sets required in the workplace but also the academic rigour, i.e. a balance of both theoretical and practical knowledge. But today, the skill set the industry expects the aspirants to possess has seen a sea of change. Where hard skills or core competencies were taught in institutes and demanded by the industry a decade or two back; today soft skills or non-technical skills are what an entry level hospitality management graduate is expected to excel in, even more than the hard skills. This shift in the paradigm of industry expectations needs to be incorporated in the curriculum of hospitality education. A planned approach towards inculcating these soft skills in hospitality management students should be undertaken at the earliest, and institutes should use various pedagogies to build in these soft skills within their students. This paper looks into ways and means of ensuring the same at the institute level.
 

  Holistic View Of Emotional Intelligence In The Workplace: View On Utilization & Benefits
Akshat Jain
 


This paper intends to explore an eagle eye's view of emotional intelligence and the relationship between emotional intelligence and impact on the social life of employees. Factors contributing to emotional intelligence and its utilization and benefits were examined. A study was concluded by 206 participants, using questionnaires on emotional intelligence and interviews. Emotional intelligence or EQ has become very vital to the success of humans in the increasingly digital future of work. But what exactly is EQ, and how could having it (or not) affect your career? It is important to discuss. Based on, this, we can identity its usability and benefits for working executives in different environments. This paper critically reviews conceptualisations and the empirical view in support of emotional intelligence (EQ); and its claimed role in the occupational environment. Consideration is given to the purported status of EQ in occupational and career assessment with particular emphasis on personnel selection and placement, job performance and satisfaction. Overall, this review demonstrates that recent research has made important strides towards understanding the usefulness of EI in the workplace. However, the ratio of hyperbole to hard evidence is high, with over-reliance on expert opinion, anecdote, case studies, and unpublished proprietary surveys.
 

   
   
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