Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Human Ecology

Major Professor

Mary Jo Hitchcock

Committee Members

Grayce E. Goertz, Betty L. Beach, Richard L. Townsend


Agreement between families and motel operators in continuous innovations for desired lodging accommodations was examined with populations within the East South Central United States. Levels of agreement were calculated for the sample population by income levels of families. Additional characteristics of families utilizing lodging acconmodations were presented.

The procedure to obtain agreement levels was the first phase of a theoretically developed decision model consisted of five phases. Data for the first phase were obtained through questionnaires mailed to residential addresses obtained by interval numbers from telephone directories in one randomly determined Standard Statistical Metropolitan Area in each of the four states of Tennessee, Kentucky, Alabama, and Mississippi. Data also were obtained from motel operators selected from the Hotel and Motel Associations membership lists of the four states.

Chi square values P ≥ 0.05 were interpreted as significant disagreement between families and motel operators on desired accommodations. Chi square values P ≥ 0.70 were interpreted as clear evidence of the lack of disagreement and some level of agreement. Significant disagreement existed between families and motel operators on the desirability within the next five years of 11 out of 31 accommodations. The disagreement existed in features in the bathroom area, vibrating apparatus, vending and cooking appliances, recreational areas, valet service, safes for valuables, and the availability of a doctor.

Families and motel operators indicated that the accommodations of a vanity and telephone in the bathroom, a carpeted bathroom, an indoor swimming pool, and a health club were not needed within the next five years. There was additional evidence of agreement that individual room controls for heat and air conditioning and vended items near the room should and would be provided by motels within the next five years.

Comparison of family responses between income levels indicated a trend that families with higher annual income levels utilized more accommodations than families with lower annual incomes. Families with lower incomes tended to desire more accommodations within the next five years. Conversely, families with higher income levels indicated less desire for additional accommodations within the next five years.

Write-in comments from some families concerned room rates, honesty in advertising, pet care, and other special services such as security guards. Additional information from families indicated that vacations accounted for the greatest number of family trips, and approximately one-third of all families were in the annual income range of below $13,000, one-third in the range between $13,001 and $23,000, and one-third in the range above $23,001. One to three family members stayed in the same motel room as indicated by more than one-half of all family respondents. In addition, 66 percent of families stayed one to three nights in the motel. These data have implications for the design and operation of motels.

The responses from families and motel operators provided data for the first phase of the decision model. Theoretical application of the data to the decision model was sufficient to suggest potential future research in the decision processes within the lodging industry.

Files over 3MB may be slow to open. For best results, right-click and select "save as..."