SMHM graduate students contribute to UNT research agenda
November 11, 2009

Graduate students in the School of Merchandising & Hospitality Management are solving complex problems and generating new knowledge as they contribute to the aggressive research agenda at UNT.  There are currently over 70 students enrolled in the merchandising and hospitality management graduate programs, and they are gaining national and international recognition for their scholarly efforts. Students have the opportunity to work with faculty on cutting edge research on topics ranging from blogging behavior to destination travel marketing. Read below to learn about their research.

Impact of blogging on e-shopping behavior


With the development of free and easy-to-use software programs, blogging has helped turn online consumers into online content providers. Under the supervision of  Dr. Haejung Kim, Boram Park (M.S. 2009) recently investigated the impact of blogging motivation and flow on e-shopping behavior.  Her innovative research received honorable mention recognition at the2009 International Textiles and Apparel Association annual meeting in Seattle, Washington in October for best paper in the master's student division.

The lure of Thailand among Indian tourists


Over the past several decades, Thailand has become one of the 'hottest' travel destinations in the world, particularly for Indian tourists.  Raktida Siri (M.S. 2009), a native of Thailand, wanted to understand why this phenomenon was occurring and how it could be replicated across the globe.  After collecting data from 300 travelers in the Suvarnabhumi International Airport in Bangkok, Siri found that Indian tourists were motivated to visit Thailand by both push (the psychological needs that motivate tourists)  and pull factors (the unique attributes of the travel destination).   Guided by major professor, Dr. Lisa Kennon, Siri presented her findings at the 2009 International Society of Travel and Tourism Educators Annual Conference (ISTEE) held in San Antonio, Texas in October of 2009.

Consumers' intention to use reusable shopping bags


The fact that Americans use over 380 billion plastic shopping bags each year and recycle less than one percent of those consumed, prompted one merchandising graduate student to find a solution to this growing problem. Josh Taylor investigated the impact of environmental attitudes on consumers' intention to use reusable shopping bags.  Through an online survey, Josh collected data from college students who were enrolled in a 100% web-based course over a 15 week period.  Findings from his study revealed managerial implications for retailers as they attempt to reduce their environmental footprint in the crowded US marketplace.  His research, under the direction of Dr. Christy Crutsinger, was presented at the International Consumer Sciences Research Conference in Edinburgh in June 2009. 

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