Best Thesis Award

für Studenten mit herausragenden Leistungen

Seit dem WS 2008/2009 wird der Best Thesis Award an Absolventen verliehen, die im Rahmen Ihrer Abschlussarbeit eine herausragende Leistung erbracht haben.

Der Preis ist mit einem Buchgutschein dotiert und wird vom Verein der Förderer der IUBH School of Business and Management verliehen.

Guillaume Bourgain

Best Thesis Award Oktober 2014
Guillaume Bourgain (Hospitality Management, B.A.)

Theme of the thesis:
The Impact of Differential Pricing on the Perception of Fairness

Supervisor: Dr. Rose Delgado-Krebs

Zusammenfassung in Englisch:

This descriptive research analyzed the impact of differential pricing on the perception of fairness. To provide a comprehensive understanding of the problem revenue management, approaches of differential pricing, as well as theories discussing the perception of fairness and the classification of hotels in Germany are discussed, by presenting previous researches and theories related to these topics. In total, 106 participants were asked to respond an online questionnaire regarding differential pricing. As revenue managers use rate fences to determine different prices, it was the core of the research to analyze perception of fairness of differential pricing and rate fences. The results have shown that differential pricing tends to be generally perceived as unfair by German customers. On the other hands, the rate fences used to determine different prices tend to be perceived as neutral or fair. While the results suggest that most demographic and travelling factors do not influence customers' perceptions of fairness of differential pricing, this research found that gender does. The findings show that women perceived differential pricing as more unfair than men. The reasons for such results are reviewed in accordance with the literature review. Finally, recommendations and further possible research on the topic are provided.

 


Jochen Müller

Best Thesis Award Oktober 2014
Jochen Müller (International Management, B.A.)

Theme of the thesis:
Earnings Management of the Current DAX30 Companies: An Empirical Analysis of Impairment Losses between 2005 and 2013

Supervisor: Dipl.-Kfm. Michael Sulzbach

Zusammenfassung in Englisch:

Understanding the importance of goodwill and goodwill impairment is essential for investors, analysts and stakeholders of corporations. Therefore, the following study examines the development of goodwill and goodwill impairment for DAX30 corporations between 2005 and 2013. In order to provide a sufficient sample, 261 observations were collected within the timeframe. Besides the descriptive statistics about the development of goodwill and goodwill impairment, current DAX30 corporations are clustered into industries and significant differences between groups are elaborated. Afterwards, the thesis conducts a research adopted from Jordan and Clark (2004) in order to test whether DAX30 companies practice Earnings Management to increase the value of the company. In addition, a regression analysis is performed to test whether impairment losses can be explained through different independent variables. A predictive power of the model would increase the validity of forecasts concerning goodwill impairments. During the literature review two hypotheses are created, which are tested within the research approach: H1: There are significant differences between industries concerning goodwill and goodwill impairment. H2: Goodwill and impairment losses are used for Earnings Management and Big Bath Behavior. The thesis confirms other research papers dealing with the development of goodwill and goodwill impairment. Furthermore, significant differences between industries are presented and implications for the market are identified. The study also illustrates that different industries convey different impairment patterns. Further research confirms that DAX30 companies practice Earnings Management. Especially Big Bath Behavior can be shown by the research findings. Moreover, the regression equation presents two significant variables, which influence the amount and frequency of impairment losses. Finally, recommendations for the market are made and both hypotheses are accepted.

 


Lucia Privitera-Waibel

Best Thesis Award April 2014
Lucia Privitera (Eventmanagement, B.A.)

Theme of the thesis:
Internationalisation Strategies for Trade Fairs - An Analysis on the South African market: Specific Approach with Recommendation for the "Johannesburg Welding & Cutting 2015"

Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Astrid Mühlböck

Zusammenfassung in Englisch:

This study provides insights into the internationalisation strategy of a German trade fair organiser, on the example of the WELDNIG & CUTTING, the world leading fair for the metal processing industry. The paper examines, further, the South African market with special focus on its trade fair market structure, in order to identify potential risks that harm the implementation of the fair in 2015. An exploratory research was conducted through reviewing the literature and interviewing two experts of the German and South African trade fair industry. Next, a descriptive research was applied to develop accurate knowledge on the welding and cutting industry. 66 companies of the industry were interrogated, to research on their interest for a WELDING & CUTTING trade fair in South Africa. 77.2% of the respondent tended to agree that South Africa is an emerging market for the metal processing industry, whereas 44% of the respondents are likely to exhibit at such an event. In addition, the paper gives a recommendation how to best approach the South African market and implement the trade fair.

 


Sandrine Psycha-Waibel

Best Thesis Award April 2014
Sandrine Psycha-Waibel (Hospitality Management, B.A.)

Theme of the thesis:
Employee Retention in Seasonal Hotels Exemplified by a Small Privately Owned Hotel in Greece?

Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Maren Weber

Zusammenfassung in Englisch:

The aim of this present work is to establish a human resources toolbox aiming at retaining skilled employees, improving their motivation and loyalty at the seasonal hotel Perivolas, located on Santorini Island, in Greece. First of all, the terms "employee retention", "seasonality", "motivation" and "labour turnover rate" in the hospitality sector are defined, in order to create an overall understanding of the topic. As the terms job satisfaction and motivation go hand in hand in influencing whether employees want to stay with a business, or in this case study, whether to return to a working place the next season, motivation theories are reviewed in detail. After examining the term job satisfaction and what it means, a closer look at Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs is outlined, explaining the different stages of human needs and how these needs interact internally to motivate individuals to act upon their needs. Specifically, Herzberg's Two-Factor Theory illustrates that motivation contains two different sets of needs: one, motivators and two, hygiene factors. Moreover, in order to understand how motivation of human behaviour is generated, the Expectancy Theory is examined. In addition, the Goal-Setting Theory is illustrated, to confirm the assumption that motivation and performance is influenced by setting goals and by giving out feedback of achievement. To understand further the theory in practice, to figure out what motivates and what increases the loyalty of seasonal workers in Greece, a primary research study will be conducted, to independently question seasonal workers. This study finalises the material by creating a human resources toolbox aiming at developing a workplace with human resources processes that will increase motivation and satisfaction amongst staff. Additional recommendations include a corporation between the hotel Perivolas and a winter resort, to ensure continuous employment of staff. Continuous employment will bring increased staff motivation and as a consequence leading to higher employee retention.

 


Isa Witte

Best Thesis Award Oktober 2013
Isa Witte (Hospitality Management, B.A.)

Theme of the thesis:
Mystery Shoppers in Luxury - Hotels - An efficient tool of quality assurance in the luxury hospitality industry?

Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Thomas Schuster

Zusammenfassung in Englisch:

Mystery shopping as a tool of quality assurance increased drastically over the last decades. After introducing it in different service sectors it became a frequently used practice in the luxury hospitality industry. However, it is difficult for hoteliers to determine the importance of such instrument with regards to service quality and customer satisfaction since the knowledge about its validity and efficiency is still insufficient. This study made an attempt to resolve the problem by analysing the measurement validity of mystery auditing. For that purpose the mystery shopping and guest satisfaction survey scores for various Kempinski properties have been compared based on different assumptions as high correlation and similar means. Furthermore, a case study has been conducted to examine the quasi-longitudinal development of mystery shopping in a particular hotel. Analysing the data revealed no significant correlation between the two variables but simultaneously similar means of the two scores in general, whereby certain regions differ in their results. Moreover, it has been proven that stronger focus is put on mystery shopping with the consequence to neglect guest satisfaction slightly. Therefore, mystery shopping showed being a valid but still imperfect tool for quality assurance.

 


Nicola Wissmann

Best Thesis Award Oktober 2013
Nicola Wissmann (International Management, B.A.)

Theme of the thesis:
An Event Study on Stock Price Behavior around Dividend Announcements for the German Stock Index DAX

Supervisor: Dipl.-Kaufmann Michael Sulzbach

Zusammenfassung in Englisch:

Knowing the effect of dividend announcements on share prices is beneficial for many participants of a market. Therefore, this study provides empirical evidence about the power of dividend announcements to influence share prices of German, DAX listed corporations. In this study, a total of 150 dividend announcements were examined. The events were categorized in groups of dividend increases, decreases, and stable dividends. Due to the calculation of expected returns with the market model, this study found out if dividend announcements can promote significant abnormal returns, if dividends are relevant for DAX investors, and if the German DAX index is efficient.

The results suggest that share prices significantly drop around the announcement of dividend increases. DAX investors show negative reactions to dividend increases, while they seem irrelevant of dividend decreases, and stable dividends. Further, information leakage and insider trading, as well as long-term abnormal returns following the announcement of dividend decreases, indicate that the market has characteristics of an inefficient market.

 


Jennifer Oettl

Best Thesis Award April 2013
Jennifer Oettel (Diplom Tourismusmanagement)

Theme of the thesis:
The Failure and Success Factors of the German Tour Operator Business Model – is it still contemporary?

Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Claudia Möller

Zusammenfassung in Englisch:

Business Models are widely discussed within all industries. This dissertation investigates the tour operator business model on the basis of the current model, general business models and trends within the industry that may force a change within the current business model. Based on intensively reviewing relevant literature, the need of adapting a tour operator’s business model according to trends and the constantly changing environment is identified.

This adaption becomes increasingly difficult given the frequently changing consumer behaviour. Due to various different attempts to define and construct business models along with contestability of the market, a given complexity can be inferred. To establish a contemporary tour operator business model, failure and success factors of the current tour operator business model are detected by analysing the Reiseanalyse 2008 as well as conducting two focus group interviews and an expert interview. As a result of these investigations a new tour operator business model is constructed that combines findings from the literature review and qualitative as well as quantitative research. This model describes how tourism companies compete in the market and how they choose to earn money. Furthermore, it especially focuses on the value propositions provided by the tour operator.


Anne Sophie Weiland

Best Thesis Award Oktober 2012
Sophie Weiland (International Management, B.A.)

Theme of the thesis:
The Importance of Brand Image on International and Market Entry Strategies of German Retail Companies

Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Susanne Böhlich

Zusammenfassung in Englisch:

This thesis aims at describing the importance of brand image on international strategies and market entry strategies of German retail companies. This target is reached by two kinds of research. The first is a literature review that is divided into three parts: branding and brand development, international strategies in relation to brand image and the German retail industry including recent trends. Following the literature, qualitative research in form of expert interviews is conducted whose methodology is explained, including limitations of the research.

The findings of this research are then presented, interpreted and hypotheses are derived. The findings show a close relationship between brand image and international and market entry strategies. They also reveal the close connection between an internationally successful brand and a consistent and unique selling proposition. Additionally, assumptions concerning the market entry marketing in relation to the type of retailer are presented. In the end, recommendations for further research are given.


Mareike Maiwald

Best Thesis Award Oktober 2012
Mareike Maiwald (Hospitality Management, B.A.)

Theme of the thesis:
An Analysis of Room Rate Across Direct and Indirect Channels in Germany

Supervisor: Dr. Rose Delgado-Krebs

Zusammenfassung in Englisch:

This is a descriptive research paper looking at the rate parity of hotel room rates and hotel room availability across direct and indirect distribution channels in Germany. The existence of best price channels was also investigated. The study examined 100 hotels in German cities, covering the three- and four-star egments over two dates.

The results were analyzed across channels, segments, locations and ownership types and it was found that rate parity did not exist in the aggregate across the hotels measured. In addition, the study found an intermediary to be the best price channel and directly calling the hotel delivering most expensive rates on average. Reasons for why the disparities occurred are reviewed with the help of literature and include technological incapability, problems with control of distribution channels and relationships between hotel operators and online intermediaries.


Yana Gottwald

Best Thesis Award April 2012
Yana Gottwald (Aviation Management, B.A.)

Theme of the thesis:
Assessment of Economic Benefits from Vertical Flight Path Optimiziationduring Mission

Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Christoph Brützel

Zusammenfassung in Englisch:

Efficient flight operations become more and more important for airlines due to the increasing fuel prices and growing environmental duties. Operation as close as possible to the optimal flight path is desirable for any airline in order to reduce fuel burn. Improving the inflight optimization possibilities is expected to hold a certain saving potentials which need to be quantified. Therefore, generally valid situations are elaborated in which the presently flown flight path deviates from the optimum one attributed to limited inflight optimization possibilities.

A detailed benefit assessment reveals that for Lufthansa’s long haul fleet fuel savings of approximately 4,400 tons per year are realizable with vertical path optimization during mission. If also accounting for CO2 savings, this equals a sum of € 3.4 million which can be saved per year. However, the worthiness of implementing vertical flight path optimization during mission is not only dependent on savings but on the overall profitability of the undertaking. An investment appraisal, incorporating estimated costs besides the assessed savings, indicates that the undertaking yields a relatively high rate of return and that it can be approved economic. It is, therefore, recommended to undertake the realization of vertical flight path optimization during mission.


Michael Boesch

Best Thesis Award April 2012
Michael Bösch (Hospitality Management, B.A.)

Theme of the thesis:
Learning from the automotive industry: The implementation of Toyota’s A3 report as a tool for
process improvement in the hotel industry

Supervisor:
Prof. Dr. Ralph-W. Doerner

Zusammenfassung in Englisch:

The A3 report is a tool for process improvement and problem solving developed and applied by the Japanese car manufacturer Toyota. This case study focuses on presenting details about the application of Toyota‟s A3 report in different departments of a hotel. The A3 has been applied as a tool for process improvement in the kitchen, the restaurant, the accounting, and the front office department of the “LAGO hotel & restaurant am See”.

The author presents the different process improvement projects and their outcomes. In addition, this research illustrates the practitioners‟ perceptions of the A3 report and its problem solving process by analyzing the perspectives of the employees who applied the tool, and their respective supervisors. Furthermore, the author provides possible benefits of the A3 report, as a tool for process improvement, in a hotel setting. Finally, the author evaluates the transferability of the A3 report to the hotel industry and provides recommendations on how to implement this tool successfully.


Sabine Allhoff

Best Thesis Award Oktober 2011
Sabine Allhoff (International Hospitality Management, B.A.)

Theme of the thesis:
Comparative analysis of self-administrative energy audit tools for hotels

Supervisor:
Prof. Dr. Claudia Simons-Kaufmann, Philipp Sloan (M.A.), Willy Legrand (M.Sc.) 

Zusammenfassung in Englisch:

The following thesis discusses the topics of sustainability, environmental management, energy management, environmental, energy and self auditing, software quality and functionality. From the literature the author derives functionality criteria for free of charge online selfadministrative energy audit (FOSEA) tools. The author furthermore introduces currently available tools and compares the functionality of those tools by performing a value benefit analysis (VBA). In order to scientifically support the VBA the author uses structures from the analytical hierarchy process (AHP) to weigh the importance of the different functionality criteria.

The VBA and the AHP were performed by representatives of the Hyatt Regency Cologne (HRC) and the President Hotel Bonn (PHB). The results from the AHP indicate that differences exist in the weighting of the functionality criteria, between representatives from chain and independent hotels. The results of the VBA points out that the FOSEA tool from the Energie-Sparprogramm developed by the DEHOGA fulfills the functionality criteria the most out of the seven assessed tools. However, the analysis also showed that no tool fulfills every criteria of functionality. Additionally, it was pointed out that the weightings derived from the AHP influence the results of the VBA to a great extent.

The author came to the final conclusion that this thesis gave valuable insights into the functionality of FOSEA tool and provided recommendations for the developers of such tools, however further research has to be conducted supporting these findings.


Nicolas Granzow

Best Thesis Award Oktober 2011
Nicolas Granzow (Aviation Management, B.A.)

Theme of the thesis:
The Potential of Continuous Descent Approaches at the Example of Night Flights at Cologne Bonn Airport

Supervisor:
Prof. Dr. Hansjochen Ehmer, Prof. Dr. Christoph Brützel 

Zusammenfassung in Englisch:

This thesis contains an outline about the potential of Continuous Descent Approaches (CDA) illustrated at the example of night flights at the airport Cologne Bonn. First of all, aviations dependence on night flights and the consequences of nighttime aircraft noise are analyzed. In the following, the benefits and problems of CDAs are discussed in general before the Approach is evaluated for Cologne Bonn in specific. The example of Cologne Bonn emphasizes the high potential of CDAs in particular for specialized airports with high numbers of night movements. By means of a radar track analysis the effect of CDAs on over flight altitude above populated areas around the airport Cologne Bonn is determined.

The investigation further concludes which areas benefit most in terms of noise. Moreover, the CDA's effects on fuel consumption, gas emissions and the monetary savings of airlines in Cologne Bonn are figured out. Apart from the advantages, also the disadvantages and problems of the CDA from the Air Traffic Control's and pilot's point of view are discussed.


Benjamin Stollreiter

Best Thesis Award Oktober 2011
Benjamin Stollreiter (Hospitality Management, Double Degree)

Theme of the thesis:
Work Engagement & Burnout Prevention

Supervisor:
Prof. Dr. Ralf Lanwehr, Prof. Dr. Daniel Assmus

Zusammenfassung in Englisch:

The aim of this study was to extend the job demands-resources (JD-R) model by ultiple job demands, job resources, and personal resources, to compare it with the effort-reward imbalance (ERI) model and validate the reliability of both constructs among clinical burnout inpatients. Moreover, we wanted to further validate the Oldenburg Burnout Inventory (OLBI) and to contribute to the creation of a Job Demands-Resources- Personal Resources Scale (JD-R-PR-S).
The study is based on data from 30 clinical burnout inpatients. Regression analysis revealed work-home conflict, workload, and role conflict as key burnout antecedents with positive effect on exhaustion and depersonalization. Mental load can also be considered a burnout antecedent with a positive effect on exhaustion.

Job resources (supervisor support, participation in decision making, interactional justice, and learning opportunities) and personal resources (self-efficacy, optimism, internal work locus of control, and organizational-based self-esteem) can be seen as engagement antecedents, as they buffer depersonalization. Furthermore, distributive justice, optimism, and internal work locus of control have a negative impact on the second core burnout component: exhaustion. We found many similarities between the ERI- and JD-R model and could identify overcommitment as the unique component of the ERI model, having a significant relationship with both core burnout dimensions.


Torben Sens

Best Thesis Award April 2011
Torben Sens (Aviation Management, B.A.)

Theme of the thesis:
Price Competition in Duopolies - A Game-Theoretic Analysis on the Example of the Domestic Air Transport Market from Berlin to Cologne

Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Karsten Leibold

Zusammenfassung in Englisch:

The main objective of this bachelor thesis is to evaluate the correlation between air fares set by individual airline companies and the profitability of their flight operations. Additionally, a validation of traditional competition models is performed, in order to assess their applicability to duopolistic airline markets. The primary research necessary for the achievement of these objectives is based on data provided by Deutsche Lufthansa AG reflecting the market environment of the route from Berlin to Cologne, which is defined as the object of this causal study. Prior to analysing the market data the hitherto existing literature is perused.

The major findings from this review are twofold. Whereas on the one hand, in 1883 Joseph Bertrand published his work constituting the impossibility to run profitable business operations in duopolistic markets, on the other hand modern game theory contradicts this hypothesis. With their conceptionalisation of the idea of coopetition in 1996, Adam Brandenburger and Barry Nalebuff most importantly contribute to this topic. They propose to perceive the other players in a market not only as rivals, but also as partner, in order to create win-win situations in otherwise devastatingly competitive environments. The subsequent concrete data evaluation substantiates the conclusions drawn from the literature review.

Furthermore, it reveals the independency of the price setting strategy applied by Lufthansa from the mechanisms used by Air Berlin and vice versa. As price campaigns do not directly impact on the fares charged by the competition, the model of trigger strategies is unsuitable for managerial decision making. Therefore, this thesis concludes with the recommendation of co-opetitive behaviour for airlines serving duopolistic domestic markets, because it proves to be the most adequate and effective tool to understand and predict the dynamics of price competition. Due to its comparably small sample size and limited scope, the author intents this work to be rather thought-provoking than universally valid. Thus, further ideas for future research are incorporated into this bachelor thesis.


Svenja Rafflenbeul

Best Thesis Award Oktober 2010
Svenja Rafflenbeul (Aviation Management, B.A.)

Theme of the thesis:
Regulation in Case of the Disturbance of the European Airspace - the European Ash Cloud of April 2010

Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Hansjochen Ehmer

Date of submission: 25. August 2010 

Zusammenfassung in Englisch:

This thesis contains an examination of the costs of governmental regulations in the European member states in the wake of the eruption of the Icelandic volcano Eyjafjallajökull in April 2010. The costs of the regulations, which resulted in a one-week Europe-wide airspace closure, are analyzed by the application of Williamson's transaction cost approach. By means of a modification of Williamson's attempt to determine the most efficient asset supply of a firm, the inefficiencies of the current air transport policy in the EU are pointed out.

The examination reveals that under the principle of subsidiarity, which is relevant to the relation of the EU to its member states, an integration of air transport policy to the European regulation level is overdue. To tackle the congestion of the European airspace and to develop preventive measures against potential future volcanic eruptions, the implementation of a single European sky is the only sustainable solution.


Stephanie Alexanda Passlack

Best Thesis Award April 2010
Stephanie Alexanda Passlack (Hospitality Management Double Degree)

Theme of the thesis:
Gender Differences in Perception of Business Ethics - A Case Study of Students at the International University of Bad Honnef · Bonn

Supervisor:
Prof. Dr. Stefan Zagelmeyer

Date of submission:
14. September 2009

Zusammenfassung in Englisch:

The purpose of this thesis is to find out whether there is a difference between female and male student's perception in ethical decision-making and attitudes. Special focus was given to the International University of Bad Honnef - Bonn, Germany. Secondary research revealed that there is no clear verification of gender related differences towards ethical decision-making. Numerous tools and measures have been developed in order to find significant differences, however not offering significant findings.

Primary research revealed some significant differences between male and female students, nevertheless not resulting in any clear results. Female students show slightly more ethical concern in the vignette situations (MEV), rating the ethical dilemma situations after a more deontological approach (rules and law-abiding) towards ethical judgment. Individual trait rating and the comparison between male and female students revealed the importance of traits such as honesty and trustworthiness. The most important recommendation that can be given to students is to begin with ethical education during the study program in order to prevent stressful ethical dilemma situations. Not only will individuals benefit from this on a personal level but also companies as this may prevent wrong economical situations in aspect to business ethics.


Kathleen Appelt

Best Thesis Award September 2009
Kathleen Appelt (Hospitality Management Double Degree)

Theme of the thesis:
A Factor-Cluster Analysis of Heritage Tourists' Travel - Motivations to Visit a Cultural Heritage Site in Germany

Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Claudia Möller

Date of submission: 26. June 2009

Zusammenfassung in Englisch:

The cultural and heritage tourism market has become an increasingly important area of interest due to its share of approximately 40 % of the worldwide tourism market. Many previous studies analyzed cultural heritage tourists, but no study has focused solely on the German market. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to investigate the travel motivations of German tourists to visit a cultural heritage attraction by adopting the theory of push and pull motivators as the theoretical framework. First, theories with respect to heritage tourism, market segmentation, and travel motivations are described. On the basis of these theories, a questionnaire was developed to gather primary data at the World Heritage Site Sanssouci. Afterwards, factor and cluster analyses were employed to segment the German heritage tourism market.

The results of factor analysis revealed three push and three pull factor dimensions. Among them, ‘rest and relaxation' and ‘heritage attractiveness' were viewed as the most important push and pull factors, respectively. Based on cluster analysis, the author identified three distinct segments within the German heritage tourism market. These segments were compared based on demographic and behavioral characteristics. The results of this thesis provide implications for managers of heritage attractions to develop effective marketing strategies for each segment.


Katharina Rybkowski

Best Thesis Award April 2009
Katharina Rybkowski (International Hospitality and Tourism Management, B.A.)

Theme of the thesis:
Linking employee satisfaction to casino restaurant performance: A pooled cross-sectional correlation and regression analysis

Supervisor:
Prof. Dr. Daniel Assmus

Date of submission:
27. Februar 2009

Zusammenfassung in Englisch:

This study uses pooled correlation and regression analysis to analyze the relationship between employee satisfaction and customer satisfaction in gaming centric casino restaurants over a period of 3 consecutive years for three different regions and three different restaurant types (buffet restaurant, coffee shop, and steakhouse). The nature and the strength of the relationship vary depending on front and back-of-the-house employee satisfaction, on different restaurant types, and on different regions and years.

The results of this study show that there is a positive correlation between employee satisfaction and customer satisfaction in gaming centric casino restaurants. Furthermore, the findings indicate that back-of-the-house employee satisfaction has a positive correlation to overall customer satisfaction. This relation is even stronger for back-of-the-house employees in the steakhouse and customer satisfaction in the steakhouse showing a medium correlation accounting for 75% of variance in customer satisfaction.

These numbers emphasize the importance of satisfied kitchen staff in restaurant concepts with a high level of service. Further research should also differentiate between front-of-the-house and back-of-the house employee satisfaction and different restaurant types. Management implications are provided in the last chapter of this study.


Tim Kaltenborn

Best Thesis Award September 2008
Tim Kaltenborn (International Hospitality and Tourism Management, B.A.)

Theme of the thesis:
Impacts of Personal Relationships on Brand Loyalty in B2B Markets (at the Example of the Catering Industry)

Supervisor:
Prof. Dr. Ralf Lanwehr

Date of submission:
29. September 2008

Zusammenfassung in Englisch:

In today's challenging economy, establishing and maintaining customer relationships as well as a successful branding strategy are major components in order to profitably run an organization. A lot of academic research thus is focusing on the development of customer's long-term orientation. Nevertheless, the impacts of emotional bonding and personal relationships between seller and buyer on this process are not well researched yet.

Based on literature review on current academic research, a theoretical framework is developed. Using primary data gathered from customers of a leading German event catering company, this framework is tested. Applying structural equation modeling and multiple regression analysis, underlying structures towards building long-term relationships are investigated.

It was found that the tested model shows no statistical significance for the chosen market segment. However, the analyses revealed some indicators that emotions and personal relations should not be underestimated by managers. Even though many limitations occurred for this study and not all results are favorable, managerial implications are named and suggestions for further researcher on this topic are offered.

 
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