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Members in Tourism Settings: their motivations, behaviours and roles
University West, Department of Economics and IT, Division of Business Administration.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1991-4588
2012 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Membership programs are widely-used marketing tools. Many customers belong to a number of different membership programs across a variety of organizations and contexts. Memberships are based on the idea of mutual benefits of a relationship. Memberships in general offer tangible and intangible benefits such as free admission, discounts, special offers or access to special services, and a sense of belonging and identity. General organizational benefits of memberships besides customers are funding, fee revenue, legitimacy, and various kinds of member support. Memberships are used as competitive relationship marketing tools to retain customers, build relationships and encourage member participation. Many memberships have developed from merely being reward programs into an attempt to create emotional bonds based on calculative and affective commitment. Research into memberships is an emergent multidisciplinary field of interest for practitioners and scholars representing different disciplines. This thesis is delimited to study members and memberships at nonprofit organizations within tourism settings from a relationship marketing perspective. The aim is to get insight into why individuals choose to become members, why they stay on as members, and how members interact and use their memberships. The overall objective is therefore to explore motivations related to memberships and how this is reflected in different member behaviours and member roles within tourism settings. Throughout this thesis a mixed-method research approach was applied combining qualitative and quantitative research to explore the membership phenomenon. This thesis is comprised of four studies based on data from an explorative pre-study (12 respondents), a questionnaire survey (755 respondents), and a Nordic cross-case study (37 respondents). Findings showed member motivations, behaviours and roles within the tourism system. Member motivations were identified as altruistic (doing good for others), self-interest (doing good for yourself) and social (doing good with others). Findings further showed member interactions with other members (M2M), customers/visitors (M2C) and supported organizations (M2B). Member behaviours found were: returning (retention); supporting, visiting, using member information (participation); marketing, spreading WOM and recruiting new members; and volunteering (co-creation). Furthermore, significant relations were found between motivational dimensions, behaviours and member demographics (age, gender, and distance). Members performed multiple overlapping roles from being supporters and visitors to front-line co-creators

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Göteborg: Göteborgs universitet, Handelshögskolan , 2012. , p. 152
Keywords [en]
relationship marketing, membership, nonprofit, tourism, co-creation
National Category
Business Administration
Research subject
SOCIAL SCIENCE, Business administration
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hv:diva-4703ISBN: 978-91-628-8517-5 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hv-4703DiVA, id: diva2:558083
Available from: 2012-10-01 Created: 2012-10-01 Last updated: 2014-10-06Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Spatial aspects of member retention, participation and co-creation in tourism settings
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Spatial aspects of member retention, participation and co-creation in tourism settings
2012 (English)In: International Journal of Nonprofit & Voluntary Sector Marketing, ISSN 1465-4520, E-ISSN 1479-103X, Vol. 17, no 3, p. 231-247Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Many customers today belong to a number of different membership programs. Memberships have been applied in different ways in tourism settings since the 1970s. Gradually memberships have developed from merely rewarding loyal or frequent customers into building long-term relationships generating mutual value. Membership programs are of increasing importance as competitive marketing tools. Membership bases are often geographically dispersed as membership organizations attract members living in various locations. This study focuses on member behaviours as interactions within a membership relationship. The influence of distance on member behaviours such as retention, participation, and co-creation is studied. A survey of 755 members was conducted at a major Swedish nonprofit tourist attraction. Findings indicate that member behaviours such as supporting, visiting, use of member information channels, recruiting new members, performing volunteer work, sense of doing something good, and to get appreciation of member work show significant differences depending on how far away members live. Further studies of members are needed to find ways of developing memberships as strategic resources and especially member interactions as important innovative elements in performance and competition in tourism settings.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
John Wiley & Sons, 2012
Keywords
Membership, interaction, relationship, retention, participation, co-creation, tourism
National Category
Business Administration
Research subject
SOCIAL SCIENCE, Business administration
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hv:diva-4539 (URN)10.1002/nvsm.1426 (DOI)
Available from: 2012-08-16 Created: 2012-08-16 Last updated: 2017-12-07Bibliographically approved
2. A tourist attraction's members: Their motivations, relations and roles
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A tourist attraction's members: Their motivations, relations and roles
2010 (English)In: Scandinavian Journal of Hospitality and Tourism, Vol. 10, no 4, p. 411-429Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Active participating consumers are present as members at tourist attractions. This explorative case study aims to deepen the understanding of the consumer's perspective of active membership by focusing on member motivations, relations, and roles at a tourist attraction. A marketing approach is applied that originated in the mutual relational benefits of memberships. Findings indicate that individual multiple member motivations and relations are reflected as different membership roles. Active committed members fill in the roles of supporters and advocates promoting the attraction as well as co-producers performing volunteer work in the interface between visitors, fellow members and paid staff. Active members are present as one vital element in the tourist attraction system. It is of importance to academics and managers in the competitive tourism industry to understand not only what motivates consumers to become active members/volunteers but also what keeps them volunteering. © 2010 Taylor & Francis.

Keywords
Marketing, Membership, Motivation, Sweden, Tourist attraction, Volunteer roles, Volunteer work
National Category
Business Administration
Research subject
SOCIAL SCIENCE, Business administration
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hv:diva-2984 (URN)10.1080/15022250.2010.520858 (DOI)15022250 (ISSN) (ISBN)
Available from: 2011-01-07 Created: 2011-01-07 Last updated: 2014-10-06Bibliographically approved
3. Doing Good: an Exploration of Members' Motivations and Behaviours in Tourism Settings
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Doing Good: an Exploration of Members' Motivations and Behaviours in Tourism Settings
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Keywords
Tourism settings
National Category
Business Administration
Research subject
SOCIAL SCIENCE, Business administration
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hv:diva-4700 (URN)
Available from: 2012-10-01 Created: 2012-10-01 Last updated: 2015-09-15Bibliographically approved
4. Making an Effort for Free: Volunteers’ Roles in Destination-based Storytelling
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Making an Effort for Free: Volunteers’ Roles in Destination-based Storytelling
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Keywords
Storytelling
National Category
Business Administration
Research subject
SOCIAL SCIENCE, Business administration
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hv:diva-4702 (URN)
Available from: 2012-10-01 Created: 2012-10-01 Last updated: 2014-10-06Bibliographically approved

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