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Exploring the on-site behavior of attendees at community festivals: a social constructivist grounded theory approach

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Empirical and theoretical gaps exist on the subject matter of attendee experiential behavior at community festivals as this action occurs in real time. To acquire knowledge and begin to build

Empirical and theoretical gaps exist on the subject matter of attendee experiential behavior at community festivals as this action occurs in real time. To acquire knowledge and begin to build theory, attendee behavior was investigated through an interpretive lens to give rise to a socially constructed understanding of this phenomenon in contrast to typical positivist inquiry designs found in the field of event studies used to test theory and determine universal explanations. This ontology was deemed appropriate as human experience at community festivals is multifaceted, relative to social interactions, highly variable with complex meanings, and has a wide variety of consequential implications; all views representative of social constructivism. A grounded theory approach was used in conjunction with a participant observation method to collect data on attendee behavior during fieldwork undertaken at community festivals. Prior to fieldwork, literature was not reviewed nor specific theory pre-selected to serve as a basis for research, with the researcher's only intent to record attendee's on-site actions with an open mind. Fieldwork notes were systematically expanded into descriptive narratives that were broken down into initial codes to establish robust analytic directions, which were synthesized into categories and subcategories through focused coding. Relationships between categories and subcategories were reassembled with axial coding bringing into view a strong emergent theme on social capital bonding and bridging at community festivals and a second theme that considers the aspirations of event management to program festive experiences. To strengthen the second theme event manager interviews and content analysis of event association newsletters were conducted as theoretical sampling to move data towards saturation. From emergent themes it was theorized, while social capital bonding is profusely exhibited at community festivals, social capital bridging is minimally displayed unless augmented with programmed festivity to increase physical, emotional, and social engagement of attendees. Literature reviewed in relation to this theory revealed that spirituality, dance, music, the arts, and wild abandonment were important elements of festivity. An implication arising from this study indicates that if community festivals consciously enhance programmed festivity then correspondingly increased social capital impacts within community development might also be achieved.

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  • 2013

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Examining the impact of media content, emotions, and mental imagery visualization on pre-trip place attachment

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Numerous studies have examined the attachments individuals have to the places they visit, and that those attachments are formed through experiencing a place in person. This study is unique in

Numerous studies have examined the attachments individuals have to the places they visit, and that those attachments are formed through experiencing a place in person. This study is unique in that it examines pre-trip place attachment formation via the use of mobile technology and social media. It proposes that media experienced through the use of a participant's smartphone can foster the development of positive emotions, which in turn, facilitates greater mental imagery processing that ultimately influences pre-trip place attachment formation. An experimental design was constructed to examine how text and video on a destination's Facebook page influences an individual's emotions, mental imagery, and subsequently attachment to that destination. Specifically, a 2 (narrative text vs. descriptive text) x 2 (short, fast-paced video vs. long, slow-paced video) between-subjects design was used. A total of 343 usable participant responses were included in the analysis. The data was then analyzed through a two-step process using structural equation modeling. Results revealed no significant influence of textual or video media on emotions although the choice in text has a greater influence on emotions than choice in video. Additionally, emotions had a significant impact on mental imagery. Finally, mental imagery processing had a significant impact on only the social bonding dimension of place attachment. In conclusion, while media had no significant impact on emotions, the effect of previous traveler's retelling of personal accounts on the emotions of potential travelers researching a destination should be examined more closely. Further, the study participants had no prior experience with the destination, yet emotions influenced mental imagery, which also influenced social bonding. Thus further research should be conducted to better understand how potential traveler's image of a destination can be affected by the stories or others.

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  • 2013

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Measuring the sustainability of protected area-based tourism systems: a multimethod approach

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This research assessed the sustainability of protected area-based tourism systems in Nepal. The research was composed of three interrelated studies. The first study evaluated different approaches to protected area governance.

This research assessed the sustainability of protected area-based tourism systems in Nepal. The research was composed of three interrelated studies. The first study evaluated different approaches to protected area governance. This was a multiple-case study research involving three protected areas in Nepal: the Annapurna Conservation Area, Chitwan National Park, and the Kanchenjunga Conservation Area. Data were collected from various published and unpublished sources and supplemented with 55 face-to-face interviews. Results revealed that outcomes pertaining to biodiversity conservation, community livelihoods, and sustainable tourism vary across these protected areas. The study concluded that there is no institutional panacea for managing protected areas. The second study diagnosed the sustainability of tourism in two destination communities: Ghandruk and Sauraha, which are located within the Annapurna Conservation Area and Chitwan National Park, respectively. A systemic, holistic approach--the social-ecological system framework--was used to analyze the structures, processes, and outcomes of tourism development. Data collection involved 45 face-to-face semi-structured interviews and a review of published and unpublished documents. Results revealed that tourism has several positive and a few negative sociocultural, economic, and ecological outcomes in both communities. Overall, tourism has progressed towards sustainability in these destinations. The third study examined tourism stakeholders' perspectives regarding sustainable tourism outcomes in protected areas. The study compared the responses of residents with residents, as well as tourists with tourists, across the Annapurna Conservation Area and Chitwan National Park. Tourism sustainability was evaluated with six tourism impact subscales measuring negative and positive ecological, economic, and social impacts. Data were collected using the survey method. Respondents included 230 residents and 205 tourists in Annapurna, and 220 residents and 210 tourists in Chitwan. The findings revealed that the residents across these protected areas perceived positive and negative impacts differently, as did the tourists, suggesting that the form of tourism development affects the sustainability outcomes in protected areas. Overall, this research concluded that protected areas and tourism are intricately related, and sustainable management of a protected area-based tourism system requires a polycentric adaptive approach that warrants a broad participation of relevant stakeholders.

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  • 2014

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Exploring the influence of survey item order and personality traits on perceived-crowding and recreational-satisfaction in an urban park environment

Description

Crowding and satisfaction remain widely studied concepts among those seeking to understand quality visitor experiences. One area of interest in this study is how the order of crowding and satisfaction

Crowding and satisfaction remain widely studied concepts among those seeking to understand quality visitor experiences. One area of interest in this study is how the order of crowding and satisfaction items on a survey affects their measurement levels. An additional area of interest is the influence of personality traits on experience-use-history, crowding, and satisfaction. This study used two versions of a survey: A) crowding measured prior to satisfaction and B) satisfaction measured prior to crowding, to explore the influence of item order on crowding and satisfaction levels. Additionally, the study explored the influence of personality traits (extraversion and neuroticism) and experience use history (EUH) on crowding and satisfaction. EUH was included as a variable of interest given previous empirical evidence of its influence on crowding and satisfaction. Data were obtained from an onsite self-administered questionnaire distributed to day use visitors at a 16,000 acre desert landscape municipal park in Arizona. A total of 619 completed questionnaires (equally distributed between the two survey versions) were obtained. The resulting response rate was 80%. One-way ANOVA's indicated significant differences in crowding and satisfaction levels with both crowding and satisfaction levels being higher for survey version B. Path analysis was used to test the influence of personality traits and EUH on crowding and satisfaction. Two models, one for each version of the survey were developed using AMOS 5. The first model was tested using data in which crowding was measured prior to satisfaction. The second model relied on data in which satisfaction was measured prior to crowding. Results indicated that personality traits influenced crowding and satisfaction. Specifically, in the first model, significant relationships were observed between neuroticism and crowding, neuroticism and EUH, EUH and crowding, and between crowding and satisfaction. In the second model, significant relationships were observed between extraversion and crowding, extraversion and satisfaction, and between EUH and satisfaction. Findings suggest crowding and satisfaction item order have a potential to influence their measurement. Additionally, results indicate that personality traits potentially influence visitor experience evaluation. Implications of these findings are discussed.

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Date Created
  • 2011

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Stresses and distresses of professional Taiwanese tennis players and resources they use to cope

Description

Playing tennis professionally is a stressful profession. However, it has the potential to be even more stressful for players who must move from their home country in order to train.

Playing tennis professionally is a stressful profession. However, it has the potential to be even more stressful for players who must move from their home country in order to train. If not dealt with, these stresses have the potential of causing many negative outcomes, including increasing levels of distress, in these professional tennis players. It is known that resources play a role in reducing or buffering levels of stress and distress among individuals, but there are competing theories as to how this occurs. Using Ensel and Lin's models of stress processes, this is an exploratory study that identifies the stresses and distresses professional Taiwanese tennis players face and the resources they use to cope. Participants included in this study are professional Taiwanese tennis players (2 males and 2 females) who continuously attend national and international tennis competitions and have both domestic and world ranks. Results from the semi-structured interviews revealed that challenges, frustration, resources, and toughness were four general themes to describe stresses and distresses professional Taiwanese tennis players face and the resources they use to cope. Future research for professional tennis players is also discussed.

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Date Created
  • 2011

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Understanding housekeeper's perceived labor mobility and job satisfaction within the hospitality industry in metropolitan Phoenix, Arizona, U.S.A

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The objective of this study was to understand domestic and foreign-born housekeeper's individual perceptions of labor mobility and job satisfaction related to their jobs within the hospitality industry. Literature regarding

The objective of this study was to understand domestic and foreign-born housekeeper's individual perceptions of labor mobility and job satisfaction related to their jobs within the hospitality industry. Literature regarding the bridging of tourism, immigration, and labor supply was addressed to expose broad conceptual frameworks that lead to the development of this study. More specifically, literature regarding labor mobility within tourism industries, migrant decision making, and barriers to mobility and immigration helped to construct a narrowed conceptual framework specific to hospitality labor in Phoenix, Arizona. Similar and previous studies focused on perceived labor mobility during significant economic or industry shifts. This study included the addition of a policy factor to help determine to what degree state policy change effected hospitality workers' perceived labor mobility. Arizona's recently passed and implemented legislative act SB1070 regards immigrant identification and employment, and enforcement of the act in the state of Arizona; this serves as the implicated policy change. Data were collected via on-site survey administered February to May 2011. An overall score was created for the five motivational dimensions: 1 — Status; 2 — Economic; 3 — Refugee; 4 — Entrepreneurial; and, 5 — Political using principle component factor analysis using a varimax rotation with Kaiser normalization. Theory and literature suggest that the economic advancement, status advancement, and the refugee orientation are effective explanatory variables for motivating a career move into the tourism industry. A total of 82 questionnaires were delivered and completed (N = 82), and none were eliminated. The statistically-determined Economic Dimension was characterized by eleven statements explained 51% of the variation and was the overwhelming motivational force. The average coded response for change in job satisfaction was very positive at .75. Ten features of changes in job satisfaction were used as the basis of the second measure of change in job satisfaction. The first Principle Component of the ten features of job satisfaction change explained 45% of the variation in these features and loadings were positive near or above 0.60 for all items. The relationship between variations in each of the measurements of change in job satisfaction and motivating factors was explored using regression analysis. The two dependent variables were Overall Change and First Principle Component, and the independent variables for both regressions included the four motivating factors as measured by the rotated factors scores to represent dimensions of Economic, Status, Refugee and Entrepreneurial. In addition to the motivational factors, four demographic variables were included as independent variables to account for personal and situational differences. None of the regression coefficients were significant at even the 10% level. Although this result was expected, the positive sign of regression coefficients suggest that expectations of working as a housekeepers results in a positive outcome. Understanding this relationship further is necessary, and seeking larger sample sizes over a longer period of time would be most beneficial to this field of research.

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  • 2011