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Title: Exploring exhibition stakeholder dynamics : stakeholder interrelationship and exhibition service quality
Authors: Lee, Hwabong
Degree: Ph.D.
Issue Date: 2019
Abstract: Exhibitions have transformed from simple marketplaces for buyers and sellers to essential marketing platforms for all business players. They have become core marketing platforms used to enhance sales volume, brand image, cooperative networks, and product sustainability. The positive aspects of exhibitions are more appealing to business players in achieving their objectives. However, the exhibition industry is facing three new challenges that could change its entire topology, namely globalization, competitive Internet marketing media, and macro-economic impacts. As a result, today's exhibition industry players must learn how to manage smarter consumers and establish effective multi-functional marketing platforms. For exhibition organizers to transform these challenges into opportunities, solid collaboration and cooperation with other stakeholders in the exhibition industry are key factors. Exhibition organizers should look for solutions to their businesses with appropriate partners with shared goals and mutual trust. Achieving this would involve all exhibition stakeholders. In tourism and hospitality academia, the meetings, incentive travel, conventions, and exhibitions (MICE) industry has gained increasing attention as an economic stimulator of destinations and as a business catalyst for various local enterprises. However, the exhibition industry in particular has received relatively less attention and value. It has been somewhat underestimated compared to the other three types of events from the perspective of hospitality academics. This may be the result of its business-friendly nature rather than the result of meetings, incentive travel, and conventions being more hospitality-friendly in nature. Most exhibition studies have focused on exhibitors and visitors, who are thought to be the end users of the exhibition industry. Few studies have examined topics with regards to organizers, convention centers, or destinations. In addition, only a limited number of exhibition studies have been conducted with a holistic view of exhibition stakeholders. Exhibitions are always the product of cooperation and the cooperators in the exhibition industry should be the center of attention. No studies have been conducted to examine the roles and importance of exhibition industry stakeholders (i.e., the hidden service producers), indicating the value of exhibition stakeholder studies.
This study aims to explore the interrelationships between exhibition stakeholders, which have yet to be investigated. The actual service providers among stakeholders are identified based on the quality attributes of the exhibition industry. Doing so provides exhibition organizers a holistic picture of stakeholders and their intricate relationships, so that they can establish effective stakeholder management plans to transform current challenges into future business opportunities. This study adopts a qualitative approach, as it may be very difficult to quantify an exploratory topic. Most business decisions are made on the basis of messy and incomplete data; therefore, statistical and quantitative research methods are generally unsuitable. Qualitative business and management studies are of much greater value in a real business situation characterized by complex, unquantifiable issues. Consequently, this study adopts an exploratory approach to the postulated issues. This study makes two crucial findings. First, the stakeholder dynamics of the exhibition industry can be interpreted by four main factors: 1) symbiosis, 2) money, 3) hierarchy, and 4) information. These four factors are the catalysts of stakeholder interrelationships and illustrate their dynamics. Throughout this study, new stakeholders are identified. Some existing stakeholders are losing their influence and qualifications as a result of the Internet and changes in the current business environment. Second, different stakeholders deliver exhibition service quality (ESQ) attributes according to the exhibition sequence. Most ESQ attributes are produced and delivered by the sequential cooperation of stakeholders. This finding confirms that exhibitions are the products of cooperation. It also initiates effective and realistic stakeholder management in terms of delivering the appropriate services to exhibition consumers based on the exhibition sequence. Due to the authentic nature of qualitative research, generalizing the findings of this study may lead to oversimplification. However, the findings of this study may be the cornerstone of exhibition stakeholder studies. Furthermore, the application of the research framework may allow for practical and theoretical contributions to the interpretation of exhibition environments in similar contexts and relationships.
Subjects: Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Exhibitions -- Management
Pages: xiii, 276 pages : color illustrations
Appears in Collections:Thesis

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