“Where are the chopsticks!?”
Abstract: Abstract Title: “Where are the chopsticks!?” Seminar date: 25th of May 2016 Course: FEKN90: Degree project for Master of Science in Business and Economics, Business management, Master level, 30 ECTS. Authors: Nils Hjalmarsson, Niklas Sjölund, Jonatan Sölve Advisor: Annette Cerne Keywords: Authenticity, adaptation, service marketing, value creation, Chinese culture, consumer insight Purpose: The purpose of this thesis is to explore how authenticity is perceived and valued by consumers in a decontextualized exotic restaurant setting. Theoretical Perspectives: This thesis is built upon a theoretical framework created from previous research within the fields of service marketing, value creation, and authenticity. Methodology: The thesis takes an interpretive approach to studying a socially constructed reality. Empirical foundation: The conclusion of the thesis is built upon findings from three separate studies, focusing on Chinese restaurants in Sweden, a netnographic study, semi-structured interviews with professionals and an opinion leader, and ethnographic interviews with consumers. Conclusion: The authors found that authenticity in an exotic restaurant experience is viewed differently depending on if the consumer has a reference point with the original culture or not. Consumers who do not have such a reference point tend to perceive authenticity primarily through physical evidence and the product of the exotic restaurant experience. If these consumers assume that their non-original reference point is authentic, and then perceive an experience to be authentic, they tend to primarily experience functional value. Consumers with a reference point in the original tend to focus on comparing the product to the one experienced in the original setting. They also tend to put emphasis on processes directly relating to the product. When they perceive an experience as authentic they tend to experience emotional value. After they have deemed an experience to be authentic they also tend to search for epistemic value in the experience.
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