Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to put forth an expanded servicescape framework that shows that a perceived servicescape comprises physical, social, socially symbolic, and natural environmental dimensions. Design/methodology/approach – This conceptual paper offers an in‐depth literature review on servicescape topics from a variety of disciplines, both inside and outside marketing, to advance a logical framework built on Bitner's seminal article (1992). Findings – A servicescape comprises not only objective, measureable, and managerially controllable stimuli but also subjective, immeasurable, and often managerially uncontrollable social, symbolic, and natural stimuli, which all influence customer approach/avoidance decisions and social interaction behaviors. Furthermore, customer responses to social, symbolic, and natural stimuli are often the drivers of profound person‐place attachments. Research limitations/implications – The framework supports a servicescape paradigm that links marketing, environmental/natural psychology, humanistic geography, and sociology. Practical implications – Although managers can easily control a service firm's physical stimuli, they need to understand how other critical environmental stimuli influence consumer behavior and which stimuli might overweigh a customer's response to a firm's physical dimensions. Social implications – The paper shows how a servicescape's naturally restorative dimension can promote relief from mental fatigue and improve customer health and well‐being. Thus, government institutions (e.g. schools, hospitals) can improve people's lives by creating natural servicescapes that have restorative potential. Originality/value – The framework organizes more than 25 years of servicescape research in a cogent framework that has cross‐disciplinary implications.
Journal of Service Management – Emerald Publishing
Published: Aug 9, 2011
Keywords: Servicescape; Attention restoration theory; Service design; Environmental psychology; Atmospherics; Marketing; Consumer behaviour; Decision making
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