Keeping up appearances: service environments as symbolic communication

Joost Wilhelmus Martinus Verhoeven

    Research output: ThesisPhD Thesis - Research UT, graduation UT

    1 Citation (Scopus)
    222 Downloads (Pure)


    “All the world's a stage, And all the men and women merely players” (Shakespeare, 1599) Like actors in a play, service providers play their parts in front of an audience. Spectators base their perceptions and evaluations on a wide variety of cues that include the performance of the actors, costumes and the décor. In this dissertation, the décor of service encounters is considered a means of symbolic communication. In service settings such as hospitals, an advertising agency, and a restaurant, we show how consumers infer beliefs about service providers, service attributes, and service firms from environmental cues. The results stress the importance of the environment as a tool to express and reaffirm ones (desired) identity.
    Original languageEnglish
    Awarding Institution
    • University of Twente
    • Pruijn, Adriaan Theodorus Hendrikus, Supervisor
    • van Rompay, Thomas J.L., Co-Supervisor
    Award date28 Jan 2010
    Place of PublicationEnschede
    Print ISBNs978-90-365-2972-3
    Publication statusPublished - 28 Jan 2010


    • IR-69672


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