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Washington State University


Research highlights

Do Consumers Avoid Genetically Modified Wines?

The consumption of genetically modified (GM) products is one of the most debatable and significant issues that influence consumers’ purchase behaviors and dining trends. As a critical component of hospitality business, alcoholic beverages (e.g., wines) are highly influential on guests’ dining experience and business revenues. However, existing research provides little insight concerning consumers’ experience with GM wines and their purchase decisions.
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New study to examine role of hotel employees in co-creating customer satisfaction

International researchers from Washington State University (Robert Harrington), Hong Kong, and the United Arab Emirates suggest that a win-win dynamic may occur between hospitality and tourism firms and customers when they work together to create exceptional guest experiences. A new grant from the Hong Kong Polytechnical University will support the researchers in a two-year study focusing specifically on the role hotel employees have in co-creating positive experiences with guests.

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Hotel “GreenWashing” Dirties Eco-Friendly Reputation

Hotels across the globe are increasingly encouraging guests to embrace green practices. Yet while guests think they are supporting the environment by shutting off lights and reusing towels, they may in fact be victims of “greenwashing,” a corporation’s deceitful practice of promoting environmentally friendly programs while hiding ulterior motives.

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Clash of generations drives high turnover in hospitality

A clash of generational cultures in the workplace—particularly between the values and perceptions of those born before 1964 and those born after 1981—is an underlying cause of the high turnover rates experienced in recent years within the hospitality industry. Such turnover leads to low morale and productivity, said Taco Bell Distinguished Professor Dogan Gursoy.

Why choose organic wines?

Do consumers select organic wines because of their personal attitudes toward sustainability and environmental issues? Or do they just prefer the taste?

Job burnout and engagement

Professor Hyun Jeong (Jenny) Kim sent surveys to Subway restaurant employees throughout the Northwest. The survey included the “Big Five” personality test, as well as questions to measure burnout and engagement. Results linked certain personality characteristics to one or the other condition. The primary trait related to job engagement was conscientiousness.

Employee satisfaction, customer satisfaction, and financial performance

Professors Christina Chi and Dogan Gursoy examined the relationship between employee satisfaction and customer satisfaction. Then they investigated the impact of both on a hospitality company’s financial performance.


  • Customer satisfaction and loyalty
  • Destination image and marketing
  • Hospitality curriculum
  • Hospitality workforce generational issues
  • Information search behavior
  • Managerial efficacy
  • Mega events
  • Productivity assessment and enhancement
  • Risk environment in hospitality operations
  • Service management and marketing
  • Temperament and profitability
  • Tourism development
  • Visible body modification
  • Wine business management