Fabio Gaspani

Web Reputation and High-End Hotels: Staff-guest Dynamics Behind Online Reviews

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Online reputation, online reviews, high-end hotels, frontline service workers, clients’ behaviour

This article focuses on the high-end hotel industry and explores how online reputations on review platforms are forged in service contexts through the interactive dynamics between front-line workers and guests. It combines data collected during a participant observation study in two hotels and interviews with the employees of three other organisations in Milan (Italy). After showing how companies monitor their reputations on the web, the results illustrate, on one hand, the ways in which front-line workers address the valence of guests’ online reviews through service operations and interactions and, on the other, how clients exploit their influence on the online reputations of hotels to obtain advantages during their stay. While research into online reputation and reviews has mainly focused on the behaviour of clients and hoteliers on the web, this article highlights the relevance of the online dimension for offline service dynamics, as well as the role of employees in building the image of hotel companies. In this frame, the monitoring of review portals allows hoteliers to manage their web reputations by regulating the performance of their employees

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