Research in Hospitality Management

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Pining for home: Studying crew homesickness aboard a cruise liner

Carolina Bardelle, Conrad Lashley


Most people can experience homesickness at some time, when they move away from their home base. The experience of working onboard a cruise liner can intensify these feelings, because of the enclosed and controlled nature of work and living space. This study reports on the incidence of homesickness where the crewmembers originate from very different cultural contexts than the one in which they work. Findings in this research suggest that whereas a large number of crew experienced homesickness sometimes, a substantial minority feel homesick very often, frequently or always. Crew homesickness should be seen as important by both shipboard and liner company management because it can ultimately impact on customer service experiences, and can be ameliorated by sensitive management policies and practices.

Keywords: homesickness, cruise-liner, crewmembers, shipboard hotel services
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