Non-verbal communication in hospitality: At the intersection of religion and gender

Mohammad Shahidul Islam, Ksenia Kirillova

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Given the criticality of successful bilateral (guest–employee) interactions in the increasingly internationalised hospitality business environment, the overarching aim of this study is to determine whether religion (Buddhism, Islam, Hinduism, and Christianity) plays a role in how hotel employees’ non-verbal communication is perceived by guests. In addition, we are interested in understanding perceptions of hotel employees’ non-verbal behaviour from the perspective of the intersection of religion and gender. This exploratory research is based on cross-sectional data collected from 384 hotel guests in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Results showed that Christian guests perceived proxemics, physical appearance and paralanguage of hotel employees less favourably than Muslim guests did. Effects of religion on kinesics and proxemics also depended on gender. Implications are discussed theoretically in terms of cross-religious discourse and practically in terms of workforce training.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102326
JournalInternational Journal of Hospitality Management
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2020


  • Gender
  • Hospitality
  • Lodging management
  • Non-verbal communication
  • Religion
  • Service quality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management
  • Strategy and Management

Cite this