Event Management, Vol. 7, pp. 143–150 Printed in the USA. All rights reserved.
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MUSIC QUALITY, SATISFACTION, AND BEHAVIORAL INTENTIONS WITHIN A JAZZ FESTIVAL CONTEXT
CHRISTER THRANE Lillehammer College, Norway
With a basis in the marketing literature on the possible links between service quality and its outcomes (e.g., greater revenue, increased market share, etc.), this research focused on the relationships between music quality assessment, satisfaction, and two behavioral intentions within a jazz festival context. A causal analysis revealed that the festival attendees’ evaluation of the music quality affected the overall satisfaction with the festival positively, and that overall satisfaction exerted a positive and direct influence on a) intention to revisit the festival and b) intention to recommend it to others. By contrast, the festival attendees’ evaluation of the music quality only had a direct effect on the intention to recommend to others. Finally, the study’s managerial and research implications are briefly discussed. Jazz festival
As a means of differentiating themselves from their competitors and getting a competitive advantage, producers have during the 1980s and 1990s focused on delivering service products with superior quality (Buzzel & Gale, 1987; Clow & Vorhies, 1993). During the latter part of this period, however, marketing scholars have moved away from the previously takenfor-granted assumption that delivering high service quality to customers was good for business, towards actually examining this idea empirically (Andersen & Sullivan, 1993; Boulding, Staelin, & Zeithaml, 1993; Cronin, Brady, & Hult, 2000; Cronin & Taylor, 1992; Taylor & Baker, 1994; Zeithaml, Berry, & Parasuraman, 1996). The results from this research have documented that the effects of service quality
on customers’ future behavioral intentions (intention to return, intention to recommend to others, etc.) and, ultimately, on market shares and revenue is not as simple as previously believed (Cronin et al., 2000; Zeithaml et al., 1996). More recently, this focus on the possible outcomes of service quality has trickled down to the tourism and recreation research literature (Baker & Crompton, 2000; Heung & Qu, 2000; Kozak & Rimmington, 2000; Petrick, Morais, & Norman, 2000; Richard & Sundaram, 1994; Qu & Ping, 1999; Tam, 2000). So far, however, only one study focusing on the effects of service quality in a festival context has been carried out (Baker & Crompton, 2000). Therefore, this study seeks to add to the festival literature by considering how music quality assessment
Address correspondence to Christer Thrane, Associate Professor, Sociology, Faculty of Tourism and Applied Social Science, Gudbrandsdalsv. 350, PO Box 1004, 2601 Lillehammer, Norway. Tel: +47 61 28 82 47; Fax: +47 61 28 81 70; E-mail: [email protected]
and overall satisfaction affect two behavioral intentions within the context of a jazz festival. Conceptual Framework The present study builds upon the general insights from the above-mentioned research. However, this study also extends previous research by specifically considering the possible ways in which service quality brings about or “causes” behavioral intentions. In doing so the study marks a break with much of the literature (notable exceptions being Baker & Crompton, 2000; Cronin et al., 2000; Cronin & Taylor, 1992; Tam, 2000) by introducing customer’s overall satisfaction as an intermediate variable that might link service quality and behavioral intentions. The theoretical rationale for considering overall satisfaction as a predictor of behavioral intentions in addition to service quality is threefold. First, a number of studies have shown that service quality is an important, if not the most important, predictor of customers’ overall satisfaction (Anderson, Fornell, & Lehmann, 1994; Cronin et al., 2000; Cronin & Taylor, 1992; Gotlieb, Grewal, & Brown, 1994; Heung & Qu, 2000; Kozak & Rimmington, 2000). Second, studies have shown that overall satisfaction affects behavioral intentions (Andersen & Sullivan, 1993; Baker & Crompton, 2000; Barsky, 1992; Cronin et al., 2000; Cronin & Taylor, 1992; Gotlieb et al., 1994; Kozak & Rimmington, 2000; Tam, 2000). Third, some studies have also shown that service quality in itself affects behavioral intentions (Boulding et al., 1993; Cronin et al., 2000; Richard & Sundaram, 1994; Zeithaml et al., 1996). Taken together, and adopting the logic described by Davis (1985), these findings suggest three ways in which service quality can affect behavioral intentions. These are depicted in Figure 1. In light of Figure 1, service quality appears to affect behavioral intentions in one of three ways: directly, indirectly as mediated by customer satisfaction, or both. As of this date, however, only a few studies (Baker & Crompton, 2000; Cronin et al., 2000; Cronin & Taylor 1992; Tam, 2000) have tried to disentangle the ways in which service quality appears to affect behavioral intentions. Moreover, relatively few studies have simultaneously examined the effects of both service quality and satisfaction on behavioral intentions (Baker & Crompton, 2000; Cronin et al., 2000; Cronin & Taylor, 1992; Kozak & Rimmington, 2000; Tam, 2000). The results of these studies differ. For example, Cronin and
Figure 1. How service quality can affect behavioral intentions. Adapted from Baker and Crompton (2000, p. 791).
Taylor’s (1992) and Tam’s (2000) findings indicated that service quality did not affect behavioral intentions directly, but only indirectly through satisfaction. By contrast, Baker and Crompton’s (2000) and Cronin et al.’s (2000) results suggested that service quality had a significant direct effect on behavioral intentions as well as an indirect effect mediated by satisfaction. Purpose of Study As mentioned, the literature on the outcomes of service quality in the festival context is scarce. For this reason, festival managers could benefit from knowing if, and possibly how, festival attendees’ evaluation of a festival’s core product has an effect upon their future behavioral intentions towards the festival. The festival in question for this research is the Kongsberg Jazz Festival, an annual, medium-sized festival held in Norway. Because this festival’s core product is jazz music, this study focuses on music quality as a potential determinant of both the attendees’ overall satisfaction with the festival and their future behavioral intentions. Also worth noting here is that prior research on jazz festivals suggests that the quality of the music program is the most important service factor in attracting people to festivals (Saleh & Ryan, 1993). Furthermore, following the suggestions of Baker and Crompton (2000), Crompton and Love (1995), and Cronin and Taylor (1992), this study adopts the performance-only strategy for measuring service quality (i.e., music quality). That is, the attendees’ perceptions of music quality is used as the possible influence on overall satisfaction and behavioral intentions rather than, for example, the gap between expected and perceived service quality (see Parasuraman, Zeithaml, & Berry, 1985, for the latter procedure). A causal model is utilized in this study to examine the effects of music quality and overall satisfaction, as evaluated by attendees at a jazz festival, on their inten-
MUSIC QUALITY, SATISFACTION, AND BEHAVIORAL INTENTIONS tions to a) revisit the festival (i.e., repeat intention) and to b) recommend the festival to others (i.e., word of mouth). Prior research has not distinguished between these two aspects of behavioral intentions. Still, because these intentions are arguably different phenomena (one active, one passive), this study addresses them separately. The study’s main focus of interest is the influence of music quality assessment and overall satisfaction, separately and simultaneously, on the two behavioral intentions. Following the logic of Figure 1, however, the possible ways in which satisfaction might mediate the effect of music quality assessment on behavioral intentions will also be highlighted. Finally, the analysis will examine the above relationships controlling for possible confounding variables (i.e., whether an attendee is a local resident or a tourist, and whether he or she is attending the festival for the first time). The former variable captures a potential difference in “obligation to appreciate” the festival between the locals and the tourists; the latter variable is expected to confound the relationship between overall satisfaction and future behavioral intentions, in particular the intention to revisit the festival. The logic behind this is that those revisiting the festival, perhaps due to previous positive experiences (i.e., satisfaction) with the festival, will have a higher repeat intention than first-time visitors (Petrick et al., 2000). Methods Sample Kongsberg Jazz Festival is one of the largest festivals in Norway, and has taken place annually at the beginning of July for nearly 35 years. In 1997 about 10,000 tickets were sold for the various concerts during the 4-day period of the festival (Wednesday to Saturday). A visitor survey covering a broad range of topics was conducted the same year. This survey consisted of a personal face-to-face interview and a self-administered questionnaire. Twenty-five trained undergraduate students from Lillehammer College carried out the personal interviews according to an intercept approach, distributing the questionnaires at the end of the personal interviews. A typical interview lasted from 30 to 40 minutes. The interviews took place at several locations throughout the city of Kongsberg, from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Most interviews, however, were conducted in the concert areas and on a street closed for traffic, “The Festival Street,” where festival visitors gathered
between the various concerts and other arrangements. To collect the data, the students were first instructed to approach each fourth adult (every other male/female) as they entered or departed from these areas and, when encountering refusals, simply ask the next available person. This approach, however, proved early on to be inefficient in producing a large enough overall sample. The students were therefore also instructed to approach, at irregular intervals, visitors as they were sitting down relaxing in The Festival Street. To ensure that the resulting convenience sample (N = 1061) was representative enough, the sample’s gender and age profile was compared with the gender and age profile of three “typical” concerts. This comparison revealed that the sample was fairly representative, although it probably contains more young people than there are young people in the population. This could probably be explained by the fact that it is easier for young students to talk to people of the same age. The screening question, “Do you have a ticket to at least one concert during the festival?” also ensured that only “real” festival visitors were included in the sample. Due to a time-consuming interview, however, many people did not want to go through the section in the questionnaire containing the service quality questions. The analyses conducted in this study are therefore based on only 411 completed interviews. Yet the respondents in this reduced sample have the same age and gender profile as the total sample. Furthermore, the mean values of the remaining variables in the analyses are very similar in the two samples. Measures On the basis of prior research and interviews with the festival management, five questions regarding the evaluation of the festival’s music quality were developed (answering categories ranging from 1 = very dissatisfactory to 7 = very satisfactory). These questions formed the index measuring music quality. (For the exact wording of the questions, see Table 1.) Higher values on this index indicated a more positive assessment of the festival’s music quality. Overall satisfaction with the festival was measured on the commonly used 7-point scale (1 = very dissatisfied, 7 = very satisfied). The two behavioral intentions, “How likely is it that you will attend Kongsberg Jazz Festival next year?” and “How likely is it that you will recommend your friends to attend the festival?” were also measured on a 7-point scale (1 = very unlikely,
Table 1 Questions for Measuring Music Quality
Table 3 Correlations Among Study Variables (N = 411)
Below we want you to evaluate some different aspects of this year’s festival. How satisfied or dissatisfied are you with the following features?
1 2 3 Highly dissatisfied
6 7 Extremely satisfied
1. The concerts’ sound quality 2. The adaptation of the size of the concert halls 3. This year’s selection of artists 4. The concert program following announced time and venue 5. The possibility of attending desired concerts/avoiding overlap
Local resident First-time visit Music quality Festival satisfaction Repeat intention Word of mouth
Multivariate Procedure Because the multivariate models in question have so few degrees of freedom, a SEM modeling approach was not considered appropriate for this study. Instead, OLS regression and a traditional path-analytic framework was preferred. Results In Table 4, repeat intention is first regressed on the control variables and music quality assessment (left column). Next, repeat intention is regressed on the control variables, music quality assessment, and overall satisfaction with the festival (right column).
Table 2 Descriptive Statistics for Study Variables (N = 411)
–0.065* –0.126 0.498 –0.471 0.239 –0.229 0.339
The left column in Table 4 reveals that music quality assessment had a positive and significant influence on repeat intention. However, when overall satisfaction with the festival was entered in the regression equation (right column), the direct effect of music quality assessment on repeat intention was reduced by 68% [1 – (0.019:0.060) = 0.683] and became insignificant. As expected, overall satisfaction with the festival had a clear, positive effect on repeat intention (beta = 0.289; p < 0.0001). Thus, overall festival satisfaction essentially mediated the relationship between music quality assessment and repeat intention. Specifically, the effect of music quality assessment on repeat intention appeared to be only indirect. This finding is also in accordance with Cronin and Taylor’s (1992) and Tam’s (2000) results. Note also that being a local resident was significantly and positively related to the likelihood of
Table 4 Effects of Music Quality, Satisfaction, and Controls on Repeat Intention (N = 411) Independent Variable
0.458*** [0.180] (0.111) –1.20*** [–0.400] (0.132) 0.060*** [0.208] (0.012) —
0.436*** [0.171] (0.106) –1.12*** [–0.375] (0.126) 0.019 [0.065] (0.013) 0.406*** [0.289] (0.064) 3.40*** (0.368) 0.357
First-time visit Music quality
Local resident (yes = 1) First-time visit (yes = 1) Music qualitya Festival satisfaction Repeat intention Word of mouth
0.476 0.233 24.58 5.83 6.18 6.20
0.500 0.423 4.39 0.904 1.27 1.09
0–1 0–1 7–35 1–7 1–7 1–7
Alpha = 0.65.
–0.319 0.026* 0.069* 0.313 0.106
*Not significant at p < 0.05.
7 = very likely). Regarding the control variables, local residents were coded 1 and others (i.e., tourists) were coded 0. Likewise, respondents who attended the festival for the first time were coded 1 and repeaters were coded 0. Descriptive statistics for the study variables as well as their zero-order correlations are shown in Table 2 and Table 3.
Constant R2 a
4.76*** (0.310) 0.295
Unstandardized regression coefficients. Standardized regression coefficients in brackets. Standard errors in parentheses. ***p < 0.001.
MUSIC QUALITY, SATISFACTION, AND BEHAVIORAL INTENTIONS Table 5 Effects of Music Quality, Satisfaction, and Controls on Word of Mouth (N = 411) Independent Variable Local resident First-time visit Music quality Satisfaction Constant R
Word of Moutha
Word of Moutha
0.076 [0.034] (0.102) –0.498*** [–0.193] (0.120) 0.096*** [0.385] (0.011) —
0.045 [0.020] (0.090) –0.393*** [–0.152] (0.107) 0.037*** [0.149] (0.011) 0.579*** [0.478] (0.055) 1.97*** (0.313) 0.373
3.92*** (0.284) 0.202
Unstandardized regression coefficients. Standardized regression coefficients in brackets. Standard errors in parentheses. ***p < 0.001.
revisiting the festival, and that first-time visitors were significantly less likely to revisit the festival. Table 5 reveals the same information as Table 4, except for the fact that the dependent variable in Table 5 is word of mouth. In much the same manner as for repeat intention, music quality assessment had a positive and significant influence on word of mouth (Table 5, left column).
Furthermore, when overall satisfaction with the festival was entered into the regression equation (right column), the direct effect of music quality assessment on word of mouth was also reduced, this time by a percentage of 61% [1 – (0.037:0.096) = 0.614]. In contrast to the case of repeat intention where overall festival satisfaction entirely mediated the relationship between music quality assessment and repeat intention, music quality assessment also had a significant direct effect on word of mouth. Furthermore, overall satisfaction with the festival had a clear, positive effect on word of mouth (beta = 0.478; p < 0.0001). In sum, these findings support the results of Baker and Crompton (2000) and Cronin et al. (2000). Note also that first-time visitors were significantly less likely than repeaters to recommend the festival to others. In Table 6, overall satisfaction with the festival is regressed on the control variables and music quality assessment. Also, Table 6 decomposes the results from Tables 4 and 5 into the direct and indirect effects of music quality assessment on the two behavioral dimensions. In sum, this procedure mirrors the strategies suggested by Davis (1985) and Baron and Kenny (1986) in the tracing of indirect effects. The upper part of Table 6 displays the positive relationship between music quality assessment and overall satisfaction with the festival. Consequently, given the
Table 6 Decomposition of Effects for Satisfaction, Repeat Intention, and Word of Mouth (N = 411) Dependent Variables/ Independent Variables
Total Association (r)
Direct Effect (B)
Satisfaction Local resident First-time visit Music quality
0.069 –0.126** 0.498***
0.029 –0.084 0.492***
Repeat intention Local resident First-time visit Music quality Satisfaction
0.313*** –0.471*** 0.239*** 0.381***
0.171*** –0.375*** 0.065 0.289***
0.009 –0.025 0.143**
Word of mouth Local resident First-time visit Music quality Satisfaction
0.106* –0.229*** 0.399*** 0.574***
0.021 –0.152*** 0.149*** 0.478***
0.001 0.041 0.236**
*p < 0.05. **p < 0.01. ***p < 0.001.
Indirect Effect via Satisfaction
magnitude of the standardized coefficient for music quality assessment (beta = 0.492; p < 0.0001), this study supported the notion that (music) quality may be thought of as an important predictor of overall (festival) satisfaction (Anderson et al., 1994; Cronin et al., 2000; Cronin & Taylor, 1992; Gotlieb et al., 1994; Heung & Qu, 2000; Kozak & Rimmington, 2000). It should also be noted that the control variables did not appear to have a direct effect on overall festival satisfaction. The magnitude of the indirect effects of music quality on behavioral intentions is given by the reduction in the standardized regression coefficients across the two multivariate models (see Davis, 1985). Thus, the indirect effect of music quality on repeat intention was 0.143, whereas the analogous effect on word of mouth was 0.236 (Table 6). Both of these indirect effects were significant at p < 0.01 (see Baron & Kenny, 1986, on how to calculate the statistical significance of indirect effects). Two methodological concerns should finally be addressed. First, because all the variables used in the analyses were ordinal, the use of OLS regression might be questionable. To examine the “robustness” of the results, the models in Tables 3 through 5 were also estimated using an ordinal regression approach (Greene, 2000). This procedure yielded the same basic results as the OLS approach. To avoid complicating the interpretation of the findings, however, the results from the latter procedure are presented. Second, the issue of multicollinearity is always a concern when performing multivariate regression/path analysis. In the present study, no VIF (variance inflation factors) scores exceeded 1.35, suggesting that collinearity among the independent variables was not a problem (Chatterjee & Price, 1991). Discussion Marketing scholars have recently turned their attention towards the consequences of delivering high-quality products in a competitive environment. One of the questions that has originated in this research is, “How does service quality affect future behavioral intentions?” In broad terms, the findings in the literature so far suggest three somewhat different, and perhaps competing, answers to this question. First, some have argued that service quality has a direct effect on future behavioral intentions such as, for example, the intention to pur-
chase the “same” product next time (Zeithaml et al., 1996). Second, some have argued that service quality only affects overall satisfaction with a product and that satisfaction, in turn, is the “real” predictor of subsequent behavioral intentions (Cronin & Taylor, 1992). In other words, according to this notion, service quality only affects behavioral intentions indirectly, as mediated by overall satisfaction. Third, still others have documented that service quality affects overall satisfaction and behavioral intentions both directly and indirectly (see Baker & Crompton, 2000; Cronin et al., 2000). In general, the research reported here supported the two latter and more complex explanatory patterns. In the case of revisiting the festival (i.e., repeat intention), the results were in accordance with the service quality→overall satisfaction→behavioral intentions relationship. That is, music quality only affected repeat intention indirectly as mediated by satisfaction. By contrast, as regards the intention to recommend the festival to others (i.e., word of mouth), the results supported the process described in Figure 1. In this case, music quality had both an indirect effect on word of mouth mediated by satisfaction and a direct effect. In substantive terms, high music quality was important for achieving festival customer satisfaction, and customer satisfaction was a key factor for repeat business and positive word of mouth. Conclusions and Managerial Implications With an increasingly competitive market for attracting visitors, it is becoming more and more important for managers in the tourism and recreation industry to examine the variables that affect their present visitor’s future behavioral intentions. In this respect, the overall findings from this study offer clear support for the intuitive notion that improving music quality will increase favorable behavioral intentions and decrease unfavorable intentions. Yet the findings indicate that the “causal” process is not so straightforward as this, because the effect of music quality for the most part works through overall satisfaction. Thus, from a practical point of view, festival managers should continue to invest, and perhaps even increase the investment, in music quality. Still, because overall satisfaction with the festival in itself appears to be a more salient influence on future behavioral intentions than does music quality, the festival
MUSIC QUALITY, SATISFACTION, AND BEHAVIORAL INTENTIONS managers also need to place an emphasis on other strategies that will enhance customers’ overall satisfaction. For example, this study also showed that first-time visitors were less likely than repeaters both to revisit and recommend the festival to others. This might suggest that first-timers are disappointed with the festival for some reason other than music quality. In the future, the festival management should be concerned about the question of why the first-timers have so negative future behavioral intentions. Implications for Future Research As regards the two different aspects of behavioral intentions that were addressed in this study, the results suggested two somewhat different “explanatory models.” Future research should take these differing results into account by not necessarily treating the various aspects of behavioral intentions as belonging to the same underlying construct. On a more speculative note, the study’s results suggested that, to a certain extent, attendees who experienced the festival music as “good” may recommend it to other people although they do not intend to revisit the festival themselves. As to why this occurs, one conjecture may be that people may appreciate the quality of the music and, at the same time, experience it as “not their cup of tea.” Another conjecture may be that some types of festivals are typically one-time experiences. In any event, visitors may recommend the festival to others (who they think will like the music or appreciate the event) without planning to revisit themselves. Limitations It should be noted that there were four major limitations in this study. First, the study focused on only one aspect of service quality, namely music quality. And although it could be argued that the music quality is of vital importance for a jazz music festival, several other aspects of quality—for example, those highlighted in the SERVQUAL instrument (Parasuraman et al., 1985)—may contribute to overall satisfaction and subsequent behavioral intentions within a jazz festival context. Future research should address this more thoroughly by examining several indicators of service quality simultaneously. Second, because the study setting was one particular festival, the generalizability to other festivals, tourism products, and/or service prod-
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