Do hotels enhance and challenge rapport with customers with the same degree of commitment?

Victor Ho

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


This study is part of an on-going 3-year research project which seeks to develop a thorough understanding of the review response genre – hotel management's responses to negative online reviews. As managing (which could be enhancing or damaging) rapport with dissatisfied customers who made the negative comments is regarded as a key component of managerial responses, the present paper specifically investigates the manager's degree of commitment to the act of enhancing and damaging rapport in the responses. The investigation is based on the premise that appealing to pathos is a meta strategy for managing rapport, making it logical and possible to evaluate the degree of commitment to managing rapport from a metadiscourse perspective. A total of 200 managerial responses given by 200 hotels of different star-ratings based in different parts of the world were analyzed by drawing upon genre theory and the metadiscourse construct. Results show that managers had a higher degree of commitment to enhancing rapport than challenging rapport with reviewers, suggesting that they valued a harmonious relationship with customers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)70-83
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Pragmatics
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2020


  • Metadiscourse
  • Online reviews
  • Rapport management
  • Review response genre
  • TripAdvisor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Artificial Intelligence


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