Ithaca, NY, November 11, 2015 – The trade-off between hotel room rates and search engine results; the importance of top-down innovation in European hotels; the parallel learning curves of guests and employees during organizational change; technological innovations in restaurants; and the use of analytics in energy management and in understanding customer comments in social media: these and many other topics are explored in a set of four far-reaching reports issued by the Center for Hospitality Research (CHR). The reports summarize selected presentations from the four tracks of the Cornell Hospitality Research Summit (CHRS). The reports, now available at no charge from CHR, address specific topics relating to data, technology, organizations, and people, in the new science of service innovation. CHR was a Title Sponsor of CHRS.
"We organized this series of reports to explore some of the research findings presented at CHRS, many of which are driven by the data and technology explosion," explained summit co-chair Cathy Enz, who is the Lewis G. Schaeneman Jr. Professor of Innovation and Dynamic Management at the School of Hotel Administration. "CHRS represented a balanced interface between the industry and academics. As you'll see in these summaries, we have a remarkable portfolio of studies that offer implications both for immediate practice and future research."
The series begins with the data track report, which presents seven analyses of the immense tide of customer and employee data. The summarized insights include a method for optimizing group rates for hotel rooms, an analysis for how to account for contradictory information in hotel reviews and ratings, and a method to transform energy efficiency data into a tool for management effectiveness.
The organization report, second in the series, addresses issues relating to organizations, including an analysis of consumers' (noticeably low) levels of brand engagement, presents methods for improving responses to marketing promotions, and outlines the customer information available through the revolutionary eye tracking methodology.
The technology summaries in the third report highlight restaurant guests' reactions to tabletop payment devices (mostly favorable), ways to use technology-based innovations to engage Generation Y customers, and the unexpected effects of certain social media on brand value (e.g., YouTube has a strong effect, but twitter not so much).
Topics relating to people complete the series. The final report begins with an intriguing comparison of the effects on guest satisfaction of tangible gifts versus intangible premiums. Also in this report are summaries detailing the distinctly different attitudes of women entrepreneurs in the hospitality industry as against those in other industries (in general, women running hospitality businesses are far more optimistic and positive), and an analysis of the effects of variations in national culture on service innovations, in particular, cultures with high power differences versus those with low power differences.
"Many of the findings are not what you might expect," added CHRS co-chair Rohit Verma, professor of services operations management, Singapore Tourism Board Distinguished Professor in Asian Hospitality Management at the School of Hotel Administration, and executive director, Cornell Institute for Healthy Futures. "Take a look at the study on the effects of social media on brand value in the technology summaries, for instance. Not all social media have a favorable effect on brand value—or any effect at all. Another fascinating finding is the way innovations can be driven by management in European hotels (Implementing Innovation in European Hotels; organization studies), and there's a particularly interesting discussion of how to determine whether website visitors are planning to purchase or just looking (How Recognizing Visitor Intent Fuels Customer-Focused Experiences; data studies)."
About CHRS14 With a focus on creating new knowledge, the Cornell Hospitality Research Summit was held in October 2014 at the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration. Co-chairs Cathy Enz and Rohit Verma took an entirely fresh approach to the summit by structuring the sessions for interaction among all participants and ensuring interaction between industry and academe. The conference theme was, "The Future of Service Innovation: The New Science of People, Organizations, Data, and Technology." Sessions were specifically structured for discussion, cross-commentary, and a focus on creating knowledge in new and different ways. Thus, the CHRS was an environment that promoted a crossfire of ideas with a goal of encouraging further research.