Every day seems to bring a new story about vacation, tourism and travel. As travelers share every leg of their journeys on social media, one thing has become abundantly clear – consumers shape their own experiences. Working at a five star hotel in Beijing led Dr. Sandy Chen to her life’s work – researching, writing and teaching about the hospitality industry with a focus on how guests affected their own service experience.
“Historically, researchers and practitioners have focused on the role of a service provider when addressing the issue of service quality but ignore the guest’s impact on service quality,” said Chen. “My work helps people look at the ‘other side of the coin’ by emphasizing the role of guests in service value co-creation. Service providers and researchers must not forget the fact that customers themselves have influence on their own service experience.”
Chen’s research offers an innovative way for service providers to improve service quality. “My work benefits not only the hospitality industry, but also all other service sectors,” she said.
In addition to her experience at the five star hotel in Beijing, Chen gained hospitality experience at Walt Disney World in Orlando before deciding to continue her education. While pursuing her graduate studies in hospitality administration and management at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, Chen had an opportunity to conduct her internship with the Luxury Collection, a prestigious hotel brand of Starwood Hotels and Resorts Corporation in Chicago.
Besides teaching, Chen is an active researcher and writer whose work has appeared in many top-tier academic publications, including Annals of Tourism Research, International Journal of Hospitality Management, Small Business Economics, Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Research, and Information Technology and Management. Some of her publication findings have received enormous attention from different media, such as Casino City News, Las Vegas Sun, Atlantic Professionals, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, and some regional radio channels. The report regarding her study on American slot machine players once topped the “ Most Read Story ” chart of Las Vegas Sun. In her spare time, she enjoys acting as a faculty advisor to student groups at Ohio University.
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