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Author ORCID Identifier



Open Access Dissertation

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Program

Hospitality & Tourism Management

Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded


First Advisor

Albert G. Assaf

Second Advisor

Atul Sheel

Third Advisor

Rodney B. Warnick

Fourth Advisor

Lisa A. Keller

Subject Categories

Hospitality Administration and Management | Tourism and Travel


The relationship between internationalization and performance has been extensively examined in international business studies, but the findings remain mixed. Furthermore, recent studies have failed to reflect the complexity of internationalization and the unique nature of the hotel industry. The relationship between internationalization and hotel performance is not simple: there are many variables in the middle that affect this relationship, and a failure to account for these variables may result in poor hypothesis testing. This study aims to fill these literature gaps by providing a more robust analysis of internationalization-hotel performance relationship. To capture the complex patterns of internationalization, this study focuses on two distinct facets of internationalization (i.e., international intensity and international diversity) and analyzes the internationalization– hotel performance relationship within the context of several interesting moderating variables (i.e. the nature of the cluster and location of the cluster). When hotels expand internationally, selecting the appropriate location is their primary concern. Not only does location affect customer demand, but also hotel resources (e.g., new knowledge, human resources, and investment opportunity) and profitability. To test the model hypotheses, this study applies a two-step dynamic panel data analysis on a rich sample of 107 global hotel brands. The results support different patterns of relationships between internationalization and hotel performance. More specifically, the relationship between international intensity and performance follows an inverted U-shaped curve that is negatively moderated by the nature of clusters. However, the relationship between international diversity and performance is S-shaped and is positively moderated by the location of clusters. The findings of this study provide new theoretical insights on the nature of the internationalization-hotel performance relationship. By applying various theories and suggesting different moderators, this study proposes new mechanisms through which internationalization affects hotel performance. Depending on the type of internationalization, hotels might experience different outcomes on their overall performance. In addition, the selection of new locations needs to be carefully aligned with the types of internationalization strategy.