The role of employees in encouraging customer adoption of new gaming machine payment technologies

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Publication details

Nisbet, S 2009, 'The role of employees in encouraging customer adoption of new gaming machine payment technologies', International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, vol. 21, no. 4, pp. 422-436.

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Purpose – This paper aims to explore the adoption of cashless, card-based gaming machine payment systems from the organisational perspective, with an emphasis on the role of employees as change agents. Design/methodology/approach – In a qualitative research approach, semi-structured interviews with 14 registered club employees or change agents form the basis of analysis. Findings – A typology of change agent involvement in the successful customer adoption of payment innovations is proposed. Agents’ capacity to recognise and respond to customer needs is the first theme identified and discussed. An ability to reflect on the effect of customer adoption of cashless mechanisms on their role and responsibilities constitutes the second skill, and their perception of the consequences of use for the organisation and its customers represents the highest order change agent skill in the adoption process. Research limitations/implications – The exploratory nature of this qualitative study limits the generalisability of the findings to gaming machine venues that share similar contextual features. Practical implications – The club employees interviewed are found to be potentially effective agents of change who readily observe and respond to the needs of gambling customers and can relate these to specific operational impacts. Opportunities for genuine employee participation in the diffusion process beyond the communication and adoption stages would, it is concluded, improve outcomes in the rate of adoption, range of customer use and the process of product development and enhancement. Originality/value – This paper applies a typology of change agent roles in a service industry context, acknowledging the unique relationship that club employees have with customers. It highlights how this can be leveraged to improve new product development and customer adoption.

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