EconPapers    
Economics at your fingertips  
 

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

Daniel Belanche (), Luis V. Casaló () and Carlos Flavián ()
Additional contact information
Daniel Belanche: University of Zaragoza
Luis V. Casaló: University of Zaragoza

Electronic Markets, 2021, vol. 31, issue 3, No 3, 477-492

Abstract: Abstract 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.

Keywords: Service robots; Human-likeness; Affinity; Customer attributions; Customer behavioral intentions; Hospitality industry (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: L83 M31 O32 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (1) Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link)
http://link.springer.com/10.1007/s12525-020-00432-5 Abstract (text/html)
Access to the full text of the articles in this series is restricted.

Related works:
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:spr:elmark:v:31:y:2021:i:3:d:10.1007_s12525-020-00432-5

Ordering information: This journal article can be ordered from
http://www.springer. ... ystems/journal/12525

DOI: 10.1007/s12525-020-00432-5

Access Statistics for this article

Electronic Markets is currently edited by Rainer Alt and Hans-Dieter Zimmermann

More articles in Electronic Markets from Springer, IIM University of St. Gallen
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Sonal Shukla () and Springer Nature Abstracting and Indexing ().

 
Page updated 2022-05-12
Handle: RePEc:spr:elmark:v:31:y:2021:i:3:d:10.1007_s12525-020-00432-5