Grey Relation Analysis for Leisure Service Industry Reputation Measurement

Article excerpt

Abstract

In the present competitive environment, corporate reputation is acknowledged as having the potential to impact customer loyalty and behavior toward the firm (Barich & Kotler, 1991; Nha & Gaston, 2001). Additionally, the influence of corporate reputation can be expected to become more important when there are higher levels of service (Cretu & Brodie, 2007). In Taiwan, there is now an increasing amount of research that relates to measuring corporate reputation. The indices that have been used vary from one study to the next. Although there is an increasing amount of reputation measuring research being done in Taiwan, there is still a scarcity of research that focuses on Taiwan's leisure service industry. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to utilize the indices proposed by Hung (2002) to identify the benchmark among the top five representative Taiwanese leisure service industry members. The main finding of this paper is that, among the top five representative leisure service industries in this study, the Uni-President Health Resort, in the experts' opinions, sets the benchmark for corporate reputation (1.00). Following the Uni-President Health resort in the rankings are the Pacific Life Resort (0.546), the Ta Shee Resort (0.451), the Sunrise Golf & Country Club (0.427), and the Kentington Resort (0.408). Further discussion of the key research findings and some suggested directions for future research are also provided.

Introduction

There is a body of literature indicating that building a reputation is critical for businesses and industries where customers do not know what they are buying or where customer choices are likely to be driven by fads and fashions (Charles & Siah, 2002). Recently, based on several different theoretical approaches, corporate reputation has become a strategic factor for various kinds of organizations; thus, it is highly specific for each firm (Gregorio et al., 2006). Hall (1992) argued that the role of reputation as a strategic asset has the potential to greatly impact a business' overall success. In addition to this, managing and building a corporate reputation can yield three major strategic benefits for a firm, including attracting more business than would similar competitors, sustaining the company in times of crisis, and further increasing financial return (Greyser, 1999). Based on the literature mentioned above, we know that not only is the importance of reputation for businesses rising, but also that reputation currently plays a critical role in determining corporate survival.

In Taiwan, an increasing number of people have begun to emphasize health and privacy. Thus, when a vacation period arrives, it is easy to notice many advertisements from the numerous leisure service companies. At the same time, however, it is often noticed that some of these leisure service companies close down suddenly or appear on the television as the result of some sort of negative news. Therefore, for a leisure service business in Taiwan today, finding a benchmark to learn from, as well as developing its own reputation, is the most crucial issue.

Literature Review

Corporate Reputation

The term "reputation" has been defined by numerous researchers (Nha & Gaston, 2001). "Reputation" is organizational standing, including prestige, image and goodwill in other disciplines (Shenkar & Yuchtman-Yaar, 1997). In Herbig and Milewicz's view, corporate reputation is an estimation of the consistency overtime of an attribute of an entity (Herbig and Milewicz, 1993). Reputation is an organization of consumers, employees, inverters, stakeholders, and the general public (Jackson, 2004). Shapiro (1982) defined reputation as the expectation of a high level of quality as perceived by a customer. Reputation can be seen as a socially constructed outcome of some kind of legitimization process (Rao, 1994). It is a socially complex factor (Barney, 1999), which can be described as the output of management leadership and concerted efforts by everyone in the corporation (Cravens & Oliver, 2006). …

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