Explaining the embodied hospitality experience with ZMET

Mingjie Ji, Brian King

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Scholars have rarely applied an embodied perspective when studying hospitality experiences. They have given even less attention to methodological considerations. This paper aims to introduce Zaltman’s Metaphor elicitation Technique (ZMET) to explore various domains of the embodied experience. Design/methodology/approach: In demonstrating the applicability of the ZMET procedure to understanding embodied hospitality experiences, the researchers present a study of emotional encounters that involve the dining experiences of Chinese tourists with Western cuisine. The focus of the paper is on data collection, i.e. detailing the step-wise procedures of ZMET that have received minimal scholarly attention. Findings: Through the medium of this empirical study, the ZMET example uncovers deep metaphors and answers previously unanswered questions about embodied experiences. The detailed information and nuanced insights that are generated through this ZMET application offer the prospect of enhanced understanding of the hospitality experience. Originality/value: This investigation contributes an innovative research method to the embodied experience in the hospitality and tourism context.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3442-3461
Number of pages20
JournalInternational Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 12 Nov 2018


  • Embodied experience
  • ZMET

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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