Academic journal article Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal

Multidimensional Approach for Assessing Satisfaction of Users of Martial Arts Centers

Academic journal article Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal

Multidimensional Approach for Assessing Satisfaction of Users of Martial Arts Centers

Article excerpt

Rapid development and market expansion of the sports industry have attracted diverse consumers and service providers in Korea. According to the Current State of Sports Facilities Registered and Reported Nationwide published by the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism (2015), in Korea the number of sports facilities is 56,134. The number of sports facilities reported as corresponding to classification as a martial arts center (MAC) was 14,076, which had increased by 1.2% compared to the previous year. This figure represented 25.4% of all the nation's sports facilities, and was the second highest total, next to billiard halls (22,456; 40%). This figure alone cannot prove the popularization of MACs, but it clearly shows the demand for MACs. However, oversupply in the MAC market is intensifying competition among them (Choi, Kim, & Kim 2016), and excessive marketing costs to secure competitive advantage can be a barrier to MAC management. In this sense, the excessive costs of securing a competitive advantage does not result in an improvement of service quality. Many MAC users are experiencing various inconveniences, including the lack of expertise of trainers, monotonous programs, and poor service quality. According to the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism (2015), in 2012 the martial art of taekwondo, for example, was ranked sixth in terms of participation nationally in physical activity, followed by yoga. In terms of age, children (aged from 6 to 12 years old; 23.5%) have the highest participation rate in taekwondo. However, the participation rate in taekwondo for those in their twenties or older dramatically declines. The higher rate of participation in taekwondo shown by younger age groups has led to a widespread preconception and prejudice that this type of physical activity is only for children, and it is therefore losing its popularity. In addition, the reason for the high participation rate of children in taekwondo can be inferred as being because of lack of prior knowledge-due to their age-to evaluate service quality or satisfaction in this service category. Moreover, the martial arts industry has been dealing with the reducing number of participants with the appearance of diverse new sports such as E-sports, which is a sport that utilizes small muscles. For instance, the number of taekwondo centers in Korea increased from 9,291 in 2011 to 9,362 in 2012 and 9,534 in 2013, and then decreased to 9,390 in 2014 and 8,900 in 2015. The number in 2015 is 391 fewer centers compared to 2011 (World Taekwondo Headquarters, 2016). Such intense competition among MAC service providers is shortening the lifespan of MACs, further increasing the burden of marketing expenses, which can be a barrier to MAC management.

The Role of Satisfaction Evaluation in Management of Martial Arts Centers

Consumer satisfaction in marketing literature has been considered as an essential predictor to understand the dynamics of consumer behavior (Tan, Chen, & Yang, 2017). Research involving consumer satisfaction evaluation might need to be conducted in a dynamic way using a multidimensional approach rather than a single-item approach. For example, Ko and Pastore (2004) argued that the evaluation of sport customer satisfaction needs to include measurement of its various aspects. The measurement method depends on whether the evaluation is based on a single-factor structure or a multiple-factor structure (Tsuji, Bennett, & Zhang, 2007). When a single-factor structure is used, satisfaction and dissatisfaction are placed in the same dimension. When satisfaction is high, dis satisfaction is low. On the contrary, when a multidimensional factor structure is used, satisfaction and dissatisfaction are placed in different dimensions. Thus, the service user can be extremely satisfied about a specific aspect of the service and extremely dissatisfied about another aspect of the service.

However, in most related studies, satisfaction has been measured as a single construct and is used as an outcome variable (Heere & Dickson, 2008; Iwasaki & Havitz, 2004). …

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