Literature Review of Service Quality Improvement in the Hotel Industry, and Six Sigma and Its Fundamentals

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First of all, I would like to thank both my panel supervisors from the University of South Australia, Dr. Porpan Vachajitpan and Dr. Frank Hutson Gregory, for their valuable time, excellent advice and informative guidance in my three research studies. In spite of their tight schedules, they were able to provide me with advice and support whenever my queries arose. Without them, these studies would not have been completed.

I am indeed grateful to my beloved husband, Mr. Boonchon Tuntirattanasoontorn, and my sweetest daughter, Sherita, for their understanding. My DBA sent us apart during times that should have been fun, family occasions. However, you are both my inspiration!

In addition, my family members made these studies possible. A special thank you to
my sister, Ms. Napatorn, and her husband, Mr. Napasool Ramaboot, for their excellent support. You both always help me whenever I need your help during the whole program. Moreover, I would like to thank my other sister, Ms. Nisara, and my brother, Mr. Don Panichnok, for their encouragement.

I also would like to extend my
sincere thanks to my friends from DBA 6 who always cheer me up when I feel down. Furthermore, many greatest thanks to all respondents who kindly spent their valuable
time and shared their useful experience and excellent ideas to help my research. And I wish to extend my special thanks to all of the staff and faculty members at the University of South Australia, the Excel Learning Centre's staff for their educational

support, and Mr. William Jones for his proofreading and editing assistance. Finally, especially for you Dad and Mom, wherever you sleep beautifully in heaven, I want you to know that I am proud to be your daughter. I love you both and I have hope that in some way you can somehow perceive my success.Portfolio Overview In a competitive business environment, hotels need to search for a long-term competitive advantage. Even though today hotels offer similar kinds of services, they can provide differences in terms of service quality. Thus, improved service quality should be adopted to increase customer satisfaction as an ultimate corporate goal and, thus, to maintain their core competence. This service quality strategy must be continuously developed as competitors will strenuously try to imitate any perceived successes.

Paper I: Literature Review of Service Quality Improvement in the Hotel Industry
This research paper analyses past studies regarding service quality improvement in the hotel industry. The areas of study include: service quality and its determinants, quality improvement models, the hotel industry characteristics, the need for service quality, and the concepts of service quality and the subsequent impact. Previous empirical studies are examined regarding hotels' actions in improving service quality in various aspects, e.g., the reasons for and aims of quality initiatives, approaches for service quality improvement, and the successes and difficulties that are found. These objectives will lead to a better understanding of the various aspects of service quality improvement in the hotel industry. This is one of three research papers on the topic and can be used as a knowledge base for Research Paper II and Research Paper III. Paper II: Service Quality Improvement in the Thai Hotel Industry At present, hotels in Thailand have been experiencing dramatic changes, leading hotel practitioners to pay attention to service quality improvement. Empirical research using in-depth, face-to-face interviews has been conducted to examine service quality improvement in the Thai hotel industry. Thirty hoteliers were recruited from five-star hotels in Bangkok, Thailand (Thai hotel chains and international hotel chains), to find out their problems in customer service, their interest in it, what they were doing aboutit, their critical success factors, barriers to success, what should be done to overcome those problems, and what more...
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