1.1 Research Background
Assessing and quantifying satisfaction with daily life have recently both been topics of vibrant debate. An individual’s life satisfaction can be gauged on the basis of his or her job; self-esteem; relationships; basic physical needs such as food, shelter, clothes and belongings and other factors (Hofstede, 1984; Maslow,1987; Lotfi et al, 2009). Numerous studies have examined various aspects of satisfaction, including residential satisfaction, customer satisfaction, job satisfaction and environmental satisfaction. Only a limited number of studies, however, have examined residential satisfaction among university students. Few studies explore the physical and social factors that influence residential satisfaction with student housing, for example, Foubert et al. (1998) in the United States and Khozaei et al. (2010) in Malaysia. Kaya and Erkip (2001) also evaluate student satisfaction, focusing on perceptions of room size and crowding in Turkey. In Saudi Arabia, Hassanain (2008) studies the degree of satisfaction in terms of both technical performance (i.e., thermal comfort) and functional performance (i.e., room layout and furniture quality) in sustainable student housing facilities. He uses his findings to develop a model for so-called Post-Occupancy Evaluation (POE). Meanwhile, Amole (2009a) investigates the characteristics of residence halls in Nigeria that correspond with high levels of residential satisfaction among students. Although the studies by Kaya and Erkip (2001) and Hassanain (2008) were conducted in developing countries, the locations are distinct with respect to the culture and climate found in developing countries in Southeast Asia. The recognize published study based on Southeast Asia, Dahlan et al. (2009) investigate perceptions of thermal comfort in Malaysian on-campus housing rooms. However, as with other studies, Dahlan et al. (2009) adopt a narrow focus on specific aspects of student housing satisfaction, namely, thermal comfort. More recently, Khozaei et al. (2010) scrutinize the correlation between students satisfaction and sense of attachment to that particular student housing. Most previous studies do not address a broad spectrum of satisfaction with student housing and thus, they are unable to provide meaningful guidance for student housing managers and university administrators. For this reason, we devised another study that takes a holistic approach to examining student housing satisfaction in the developing world.
In today’s higher learning environment, the demand for modern on-campus housing has increase (Najib and Yusof, 2009; Khozaei et al., 2010). Modern For student housing facilities are considered essential to cater to student housing needs (Susilawati, 2001; Hassanain, 2008; Najib and Yusof, 2010). Previous studies have identified characteristics that influence resident satisfaction with student housing. Koch et al. (1999) and Olujimi and Bello (2009) specify that kitchens, private bathrooms, study lounges and social spaces are considered basic necessities in student housing. Schenke (2008) highlights the value placed on Internet access, either through a network connection or Wi-Fi, in each student’s room. Torres-Antonini and Park (2008) cite as essential features communal facilities such as laundry rooms, kitchens, study rooms and television rooms; they also specify the use of carpet and air-conditioning in these rooms. Moreover, Abramson (2009) finds that extra amenities such as ATM machines, parking lots, mini markets, bookstores and cafeterias should also be provided in student housing. The inclusion of these sophisticated student housing features results in a higher level of residential satisfaction (Torres-Antonini and Park, 2008; Abramson, 2009; Khozaei et al., 2010). However, in much of the developing world, equipping all student housings with these sophisticated facilities would be prohibitively expensive and illustrate those students as too demanding. This obstacle has prompted some researchers in the developing world to investigate the actual needs of students. Khozaei et al. (2010) postulate that feeling attach to the place can be originated from the overall residential satisfaction. While Dahlan et al. (2009) study thermal comfort in non-air-conditioned hostels in tropical climates and find that in a room of less than 50 m3, one ceiling fan cools the room sufficiently. They also find that a satisfactory indoor climate can be achieved by providing a projected balcony adjacent to the window wall in student housing, but the authors do not analyze student satisfaction with other features provided in student housing. A similar study by Hassanain (2008), which was conducted in the desert climate of Saudi Arabia, finds that students are more satisfied with the indoor temperature during the summer than in the winter. Because of the narrow focus of these studies, another study is needed to evaluate student satisfaction with aspects beyond thermal comfort.
With the rapid movement of globalization, international collaborative relationships among nations are highly valued. The internationalization and regionalization projects have been launched to meet the expected demand. The underlying strategies are to promote international educationprograms and encourage staff and student exchange programs with foreign institutions.
International Programs have been widely encouraged to promote International Education in Thailand. As a result, the number of international programs taught at Thai Higher Education Institutions has increased considerably.Six Characteristics of International Programs:
Higher Education Institutions in Thailand who wish to offer International Programs should ensure that their programs possess the following characteristics to reflect the true aspect of international education:
1) Quality and Efficiency of Program’s Administration.
2) International Standard of Curriculum Structure.
3) Qualifications and diversities of faculty members.
4) International and cultural diversities of student bodies.
5) International academic learning environment
6) International standard facilities and services.
International Programs offered by Thai Universities:
At present, both Thai public and private universities offer altogether 520 international programs using English as a medium of instruction both at undergraduate and graduate levels i.e.
• 176 undergraduate programs in 107 fields of study in 31 universities
• 217 master’s degree programs in 174 fields of study in 29 universities
• 127 doctoral degree programs in 108 fields of study in 18 universities
Numbers of Foreign Students in Thai Higher Education:
According to the survey conducted by the National Statistic Office in October 2002, there were 4,343 foreign students in Higher Education Institutions in Thailand. Almost 50% or 2,137 of these foreign students are from the neighboring countries in Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS) as follows:
• China 946
• Vietnam 619
• Burma 380
• Laos 131
• Cambodia 61
• Other: 2,206
( India, Japan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Taiwan, and U.S.A.)
Thailand is the perfect site for such as study, given the Thailand government’s goal of providing world- class facilities. For the year 2010 , Thailand hosted 20,155 international students at 103 higher education institutions. The overall totals of international student increased by 5.7 % from the year 2009. The top sending countries , China (9,329) , Laos (1311) and Myanmar ( 1,310 ) , comprised more than 59.29% of total international enrollments. Beyond these three countries , the international student enrollments were especially strong from Asia (17,193), as part of its strategy to become a new contender in global higher education. Providing high-quality living environments for these international students is thus an important inducement for them to live and study in Thailand. As Amole (2009a) points out, satisfaction with student housing is an important indicator in evaluating the quality of student living environments. Other studies that examine higher learning institutions in Malaysia, such as Sohail et al. (2003) and Sapri et al. (2009) focus instead on factors that influence student enrollment at higher learning institutions; Yeow et al. (2008) discover the preferences of online products and services among students; and Elias et al. (2010) examine the association between adjustment behaviour with students’ achievement motivation and self-efficacy.
Therefore, the aim of this study is to investigate resident satisfaction with on-campus student housing facilities in Thailand. This study contributes to the literature by expanding the post-occupancy evaluation model developed by Hassanain (2008) and later employed by Dahlan et al. (2009) to include additional variables beyond temperature that are relevant to the tropical climates in the developing world. As a practical contribution, the results provide insights for housing administrators and facility managers at higher learning institutions. This information will enable them to improve their services and to offer better on-campus housing facilities in the near future. The results will also help policy makers develop strategic policies to ensure that Thailand universities provide world-class on-campus student housing, in keeping with the afore mentioned higher education goals of the Thailand government.
1.2 Research Objectives
Dormitory should not only focus on attracting new customers but also on retaining the existing ones. As a result of critical importance of retaining customers, this research attempts:
- To determine the demographic of student (both domestic and international) who have loyalty toward student in Dormitory Rajamangala University of Technology Thanyabury.
- To determine the psychographic of student (both domestic and international) who have loyalty toward student in Dormitory Rajamangala University of Technology Thanyabury.
- To investigate the loyalty typology of student (high, latent, spurious and low loyalty) and its distinguishing factors as well as characteristics of each tourist group
- To explore the antecedents of student’ loyalty attitudinal as well as to compare the results between domestic and international.
1.3 Research Contribution
In terms of academic contribution, this research provides insights into the antecedents of student ’ loyalty both in terms of attitudinal and behavioral. Furthermore, those antecedents are delineated and differentiated between international and domestic student . , the analysis was conducted on one major destinations; Dormitory in RMUTT. These two provinces represent two of top five major destinations in Thailand. Also, this study provided insights into the characteristics (demographic and psychographic) of student who are loyal toward Dormitory in RMUTT as well as each student’ loyalty group and its distinguishing factors.
In terms of managerial contribution, customer loyalty and repeated buying have long been an important marketing goal upon which companies endeavor to build and sustain their competitive advantage (Bharadwaj et al. , 1993). Given more intense competition in rent place, Dormitory in RMUTT must know what factors are critical in building and retaining their customers. Moreover, as there are many types of customers (highly loyal (these 4 categories are not in the same order as in table below), spurious loyal, latent loyal and low loyal), Dormitory RMUTT staff and operators should maintain and nurture their highly loyal student, turn spurious loyal tourist into highly loyal, encourage latent loyal to behave in a more profitable way. Finally, Dormitory RMUTT must understand why their loyalty is low; whether they are dissatisfied with some aspects of tourism products and seek ways to correct or improve it.
1.4 Scope of Study
This research will study student who stay in Dormitory RMUTT and investigate their psychographics to determine the antecedents of loyalty. This study collected the data during January 2012. The data were collected in Dormitory Rajamangala University of Technology Tanyabury.
Figure 1.1: Conceptual Framework
• Objective I: To determine the demographic of student (both domestic and international) who have loyalty toward Student in Dormitory RMUTT.
There are no hypotheses testing for objective 1. The first objective focuses on describing the characteristics of student who are loyal as indicated by their still stay.
• Objective II: To determine the psychographic Student (both domestic and international) who have loyalty toward Student in Dormitory RMUTT.
The second objective emphasizes the psychographic Student. Additionally, difference in those characteristics is investigated between domestic and international tourists. The hypotheses are as follows;
Tests of Difference
HO: There are no differences between domestic and international Student in terms of satisfaction, , attachment, attitudinal loyalty And Quality , Facilities ,and Location in Dormintory.
H1: There are differences between domestic and international Student in terms of satisfaction, attachment, attitudinal loyalty And Quality , Facilities ,and Location in Dormintory.
• Objective III: To investigate the loyalty typology of tourists (true, latent, spurious and low loyalty) and its distinguishing factors as well as characteristics of each Student group.
The third objective focuses on investigating the distinguishing factors of loyalty typology of tourists. The hypotheses are as follows
H0: Student satisfaction, attitudinal loyalty , attachment, Quality , Facilities and Location in Dormintory, and demographic variables (e.g., gender, age, Education Level ,Country of Residence) can not differentiate the loyalty group of student.
H1: Student satisfaction, attitudinal loyalty, attachment, Quality , Facilities and Location in Dormintory, and demographic variables (e.g., gender, age, Education Level ,Country of Residence) can differentiate the loyalty group of tourists.
• Objective IV: To explore the antecedents of Student ’ loyalty both attitudinal and behavioral loyalty as well as intention to stay in Dormitory RMUTT.
The fourth objective investigates separately between domestic and international tourists. The hypotheses are as follows
H0: Student satisfaction, attitudinal loyalty, attachment, Quality , Facilities and Location in Dormintory, and demographic variables (e.g., gender, age, Education Level ,Country of Residence) will not exert a direct influence on attitudinal loyalty.
H1: Student satisfaction, attitudinal loyalty, attachment, Quality , Facilities and Location in Dormintory, and demographic variables (e.g., gender, age, Education Level ,Country of Residence) will exert a direct influence on attitudinal loyalty.
H0: Student satisfaction, attitudinal loyalty, attachment, Quality , Facilities and Location in Dormintory, and demographic variables (e.g., gender, age, Education Level ,Country of Residence) will not exert a direct influence on behavioral loyalty.
H1: Student satisfaction, attitudinal loyalty, attachment, Quality , Facilities and Location in Dormintory, and demographic variables (e.g., gender, age, Education Level ,Country of Residence) will exert a direct influence on behavioral loyalty.
1.6 Research Methodology
Research Design: This is a cross-sectionally descriptive research design because it collected data at a given point in time and aimed at describing certain characteristic Student who are loyal toward Dormitory RMUTT as well as investigating the relationships between independent variables (i.e. satisfaction, attitudinal loyalty, attachment, as well as Quality , Facilities and Location in Dormintory) and dependent variables (i.e. attitudinal loyalty).
Research Context: This study focuses on Dormitory RMUTT as Student destinations .
Population and Sampling Plan: Target populations in this study are international (foreign) and domestic (Thai) student who stay in Dormitory RMUTT. Total sample size for this study is 100 and equally allocated into 100 sample size for Student who stay in Dormitory RMUTT. The sampling method is purposive in a way that only student who stay in Dormitory RMUTT were qualified for the study. Also, quota sampling was employed by equally allocating for international and domestic student.
Data Collection: Area of data collection was selected from Dormitory RMUTT. The fieldworker asked for permission first and whether it was the first visit. Total duration for collecting data was one month .
Data Collection Instrument: The first draft of questionnaire was subjected to pretesting. Researchers suggested back translating questionnaire to ensure that both international and domestic tourists were asked the same things. The questionnaire used in this study contains the following sections;
1. Length of stay (ratio scale)
2. Information Source (nominal scale)
3. The most favorite in Dorm (open-ended question)
4. The most hateful in Dorm (open-ended question)
5. The Reason stay in Dorm (open-ended question)
1. Quality , Facilities and Location in Dormitory
Section 3: Attitude toward destination
1. Satisfaction with destination (interval and semantic differential scale)
2. Attitudinal loyalty (interval and Likert scale)
3. Attachment (interval and Likert scale)
Section 4: Demographic section
1. Gender (nominal scale)
2. Age (ordinal scale)
3. Education level (ordinal scale)
4. Country of Residence (nominal scale)
1.7 Summary of Constructs Definition Used and Its Measures
Attitudinal Loyalty: The degree of study’s loyalty toward destination is reflected in their intentions to stay and their recommendations to others (Oppermann, 2000; Yoon and Uysal, 2005). Attitudinal loyalty was assessed in this study using 5 items. A five-point rating scale with 1= strongly disagree and 5 = strongly agree (Pritchard, Havitz and Howard, 1999; Pritchard and Howard, 1997; Seline et al. , 1988; Day, 1969). This loyalty is represented by how they consider themselves as loyal user, give positive word of mouth and intend to stay. In this study, the Cronbach alpha value for these 5 items is .....
Typology of Tourist Loyalty: An index to measure loyalty by integrating behavioral and attitudinal measures of loyalty developed by Backman (1988). Based on behavioral consistency and psychological attachment, they were assigned to one of four cells which constitute loyalty paradigm. The four categories include: low loyalty, latent loyalty, spurious loyalty and high loyalty. Participants who were categorized as “low loyalty”, had low behavioral consistency and low psychological attachment. “Latently loyal” participants had high psychological attachment, but low behavioral consistency. Participants categorized as “spuriously loyal” had high behavioral consistency, but low psychological commitment, while “highly loyal” participants had both high behavioral consistency and high psychological attachment. Loyalty segments were created by using the variables of: number of visits and attitudinal loyalty. Both variables were transformed into simple bivariate categories of ‘high’ (above the median) and ‘low’ (below the median).
Satisfaction with Destination: In this study satisfaction was operationalized in four ways. Firstly, based on the expectation-disconfirmation model (Oliver, 1980), satisfaction is a function of expectation and actual performance. If the actual performance is better than their expectations, this leads to positive disconfirmation or satisfaction.. If Student receive benefits or value based on their time, effort, for stay, the destination is worthwhile. Thirdly, according to the norm theory (Latour and Peat, 1979), consumers use norm as comparison standard apart from their expectation. Finally, based on perceived performance model (Tse and Wilton, 1988), consumer dissatisfaction is only a function of the actual performance, regardless of consumers’ expectations. The scale for measuring “overall satisfaction with Student experience” . The respondents were asked to rate the destination compared to their expectation, whether the visit was worth their time and effort together with their overall satisfaction on a five-point rating scale.
Place Attachment: Place attachment refers to the emotional and symbolic relationships that individuals form with recreational resources (Williams and Vaske, 2003). It includes the cognitive and emotional linkage of an individual associated with a place (Low and Altman,
1992). Attachment construct was measured by a 3-item five-point rating scale (1 = strongly disagree and 5 = strongly agree). The scale asked respondents whether they have emotional attachment to the destination (Pritchard, Havitz and Howard, 1999). Kyle et al. (2004a, b) tested this scale in three different recreation groups (hikers, boaters and anglers), and they reported good psychometric properties. The Cronbach alpha of .... is achieved in this study.
This chapter has attempted to establish the background and research significance as well as outline research objectives. Chapter 2 provides a review of literature of main constructs and its corresponding hypothesis development. Chapter 3 discusses the research methodology used, and in particular examines the major analytical method used in this research. Chapter 4 and 5 provide research findings of Chiangmai and Phuket, respectively. Chapter 6, which is the last chapter, focuses on discussion, conclusion, managerial implications, and research limitations and provides some directions for future research.