Co-creating engaging experiences in the Chinese restaurant sector: a cross-regional study

Ma, T., 2018. Co-creating engaging experiences in the Chinese restaurant sector: a cross-regional study. PhD, Nottingham Trent University.

Thesis June 18 -Tengfei Ma.pdf - Published version

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With the rise of the service-dominant logic paradigm, the notion of co-creation and its associated term customer engagement have attracted a great deal of attention. Although they are explored extensively in the Western context and being suggested as strategic tools that can bring higher value for both firm and its customers, only a few studies have examined them in a Chinese context. Existing studies on customer experience are mainly concerned with large companies and their customers, but not on restaurants and their customers. The notion that 'food is the first thing for people' is the most critical and essential idea in Chinese life. Restaurants play a significant role in Chinese social life. To help close the gap between what currently know about Chinese consumer behaviour and what don’t know, especially in the specific context of co-creation behaviour in China full-service restaurant, five objectives along with six general hypotheses are set.

This research is from a post-positivist stance, utilising two kinds of methods in research. A qualitative strand is used to develop a set of scales/questionnaire, which represents relevant latent variables in respect of co-creation and customer engagement in the specific research context. In the quantitative strand, the questionnaire/scale is used for conducting a major consumer survey in China's economic regions and city tiers, with the intention of measuring the nature, direction and strength of relevant relationships between a range of latent variables. The objective here is to test the overall position that because of inherent regional and socio-economic variety in the strength of Chinese culture, customer disposition to co-create the restaurant experience will similarly vary. For the analysis, descriptive analysis was used initially (frequencies, percentages) to for primary data. Cronbach’s alpha, confirmatory factor analysis (CFA), and structural equation modelling are used to test a conceptual model. Hypothesis testing is employed in the analysis and the presentation of the findings of this study. This research confirms there is a positive relationship between Chinese culture and co-creation behaviour (participation behaviour and citizenship behaviour), irrespective of which city tier or geographical region they live in.

This research contributes to understandings of Chinese restaurant consumer behaviour in two main respects. For the theory, three additional variables have been added to expand the initial set of variables in order tocapture all pertinent co-creational content in China full-restaurant context fully; Drawing on consumer behaviour theory generally and consumer culture theory in particular, this research assesses their manifestations and fills the gap of the notions co-creation, customer engagement in less-developed country; this research is the first study to adopt the variables city tier and economic regions as moderator to explore co-creation/engagement behaviour under Chinese culture. For the practice, this research offers reviews and guidance for restaurant and service practitioners, suggests Chinese restaurant consumers are more willing to participate in the co-creation of their dining experiences than might have been expected and that neither expected variations in strength of Chinese culture across regions or city tiers, nor an associated variation in disposition to co-create in a restaurant context, are in evidence.

Item Type: Thesis
Creators: Ma, T.
Date: June 2018
Divisions: Schools > Nottingham Business School
Record created by: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 20 Jul 2018 13:42
Last Modified: 20 Jul 2018 13:42

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