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To queue or not to queue A study on minimizing balking in movie theatres

Pérez Nijhuis, J. (2016) To queue or not to queue A study on minimizing balking in movie theatres.

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Abstract:This study is focused on influencing people’s queuing behaviour at the point that they have seen a queue but have not yet decided to join it. The main focus lays on influencing people who would, upon seeing a long queue, opt to balk. The setting that was chosen for this study was the movie theatre where balking occurs regularly. Two ways of influencing are tested, namely by presenting waiting time information (via a clearly visible television screen) and by presenting distractions (showing trailers via a projector on a big white wall). These two approaches were chosen where earlier research has addressed their positive influence on the waiting experience. Next to queuing behaviour other variables were tested such as the estimated waiting time, expected waiting experience and emotional state. Customer profile and frequency of movie visits served as covariates. The experimental setting consisted of a 2 (information vs. no information) x 2 (distraction vs. no distraction) x 4 (customer profile: social, apathetic, cinema buff, frequency of movie visits) between-subjects factorial design and data were collected via an online questionnaire. Results show that distractions have an effect on emotional state (pleasure and arousal), but does not have an effect on queuing behaviour. Waiting time information did show to have an effect on queuing behaviour and can lessen balking behaviour through influencing the estimated waiting time of participants. This study delivers a focus shift in literature from waiting experience to waiting perception. Results provide service organizations with new insights on how to attract people to a waiting situation, even if the waiting experience is not optimal. The basis for social psychological research on balking behaviour is set in this study, however to gain a better understanding of this phenomenon, observational and experimental research designs are recommended
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:05 communication studies
Programme:Communication Studies MSc (60713)
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