Auburn hospitality study named most cited in sports emotion and management research

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A study conducted by Auburn University is the most cited research in the field of emotions and sports management, according to a bibliometric study in Frontiers in Psychology.

“The Role of Emotion in Explaining Consumer Satisfaction and Future Behavioral Intention”, authored by Associate Professor David Martin; Martin O’Neill, Head of Nutrition, Dietetics and Hospitality Management; Susan Hubbard, Dean of the College of Humanities; and Adrian Palmer of the University of Gloucestershire, has been cited more than 350 times since its publication in the Journal of Services Marketing in 2008.

“We’ve always known that the work that’s done here in the humanities is designed with positive change in mind, with a focus on improving the lives around us,” Hubbard said. “Hearing that this research continues to pave the way to understanding human behavior and defining business models confirms that we live by the College of Humanities’ mission statement to improve the quality of life and change the world.”

At the time of publication, the study sought to explore how emotions toward a service encounter relate to perceived service quality and future behavioral intention. Previous research regarding sports management and service has primarily focused on cognitive indicators of service quality and future behavior.

The study was conducted in a football stadium where participants were asked about their satisfaction with the site’s cleanliness, ease of access and catering facilities, and employee efficiency. Their responses were compared to pleasure-unpleasure and stress scales to determine participants’ emotional state during the service experience. Study results indicated that this emotion-based satisfaction metric is a more accurate predictor of future behavior than cognitive measures of satisfaction.

“By understanding more fully how the experience of attending a game impacts a fan’s satisfaction and purchase intentions, sports teams can develop a more effective overall customer experience, regardless of the outcome on the field.” , said Martin. “This study has shown that, despite the cyclical nature of wins and losses, sports organizations can still boost customer satisfaction and repurchase intentions by also focusing on the overall experience when attending a sporting event. “

The study was the product of the thesis Martin completed at Auburn, and he said its success is a testament to the quality of education and research preparation that students in the graduate hospitality program receive. at the College of Humanities.

The study has since been cited in research focusing on consumer behavior, the impact of sauce color on purchase intent, the role of customer emotion in telecommunications, the evaluation of theme park experiences, etc.

Among the most “influential and productive” institutions in emotion and sport management research, the bibliometric study ranks Auburn fourth, citing total number of citations, papers in the field, and average number of citations per paper from each university.

“The paper highlights both the theoretical and practical application of faculty work here at Auburn,” O’Neill said. “Dr. Martin is best described as a sports enthusiast and has combined his passion well with this academic research. His paper continues to serve as a seminal article in the field of sports management, fan involvement and fan level of satisfaction during their presence.

More information about the hotel management program at Auburn is available online.

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