An exploration of employees' role in technlogized participatory experience through socio-cultural logics: the rise of e-guides in the attraction industry
Jouan de Kervenoael, Ronan and Schwob, Alexandre and Yan San, Sim (2016) An exploration of employees' role in technlogized participatory experience through socio-cultural logics: the rise of e-guides in the attraction industry. In: 23rd International Conference on Recent Advances In Retailing And Services Science, Edinburgh, Scotland
Human experiences are increasingly mediated through technology. In accelerated culture, digital transformation of services especially in tourism related activities aim at facilitating communication and access with the masses (Makarem, Mudambi, & Podoshen, 2009). Recent literature on the consumption of edutainment is found to be mediated, enhanced and transformed by the use of interactive E-guides (Kinney, 1995, Addis, 2005, Lepouras and Vassilakis, 2005). This reflects a more global trend whereby customers are increasingly interacting with technology to create personal and unique service experiences without direct assistance from human service providers (Meuter et al., 2000). E-guides can now deliver a personalised tour (Van Hage et al., 2010, Best, 2012) based on ‘location aware’ content or personally selected content (Ghiani et al., 2009) delivered to the user personal selected platform (e.g. tablet, smartphone). As such, tourism attractions are increasingly integrating technology beyond human touch to enhance service experience. Situated at the boundaries between TAM, self-Service Technologies (SSTs) and servicescape models (Meuter, Ostrom, Oundtree, & Bitner, 2000), this study aims to explore how and to what extent attraction guides are participating (or not) with E-guides integration into the servicescape. Data are collected from twenty five in depth semi-structured interviews (Yin, 1994) with attraction guides and managers in Singapore (Museums, Zoo, edutainment parks). First, respondents identifie the opportunities and challenges related to the emerging environment from a firm (guides and managers) perspective. They show a range of reactions and impacts of digital transformation while underlying the unstoppable underlying trend. Key cognitive factors are identified including: performance expectancy, effort expectancy, and a set of incongruences in practice. Current participatory experience mechanisms are then explored. Theoretical implications of self service technology communication are discussed together with the emerging managerial implications for the tourism industry of digital transformation in an era of accelerated culture.
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