Marketing Seminar: Associate Professor Jörg Finsterwalder
Place attachment post-earthquake: The role of permanent and transitional servicescapes
Previous research has extended scholars’ focus on place attachment (for example, Chen et al., 2014; Prayag and Ryan, 2012) and the servicescape as the physical and social service setting (Tombs and McColl-Kennedy, 2003; 2010). Place attachment is defined as “a positive connection or bond between a person and a particular place” (Williams and Vaske, 2003, p. 831). Introduced by Booms and Bitner (1981, p. 38; cf. Hall, 2008), servicescape has been conceptualised as “the environment in which the service is assembled and in which the seller and customer interact”. Servicescapes influence cognitive, emotional, and physiological responses in both customers and employees and their desire to approach or to avoid a particular service setting.
However, very little attention has been paid to exploring the temporal dimension in connection with servicescapes (see Finsterwalder and Hall, 2016; Finsterwalder et al., 2015) and attachment (see Tombs et al., 2017). In particular, how place attachment is maintained during the transition phase between the removal of, or disruption to, one permanent servicescape and the reestablishment of its replacement. The city of Christchurch, New Zealand suffered two major earthquakes in September 2010 and February 2011 causing significant damage to and the subsequent removal of large parts of the city’s retail, commercial and residential precincts. Now seven years on Christchurch is still undergoing an extensive rebuilding process. Because of the magnitude of destruction, especially in the CBD, and the logistics of clearing damaged buildings, designing, planning and funding new works have meant that only now a new permanent city is emerging. Besides surviving structures, this rebuilding process also created numerous blocks of vacant land on which entrepreneurs set up businesses either as individual temporary servicescapes or part of larger precinct based transitional servicescapes that contained a collection of individual businesses, events and/or installations (Finsterwalder and Hall, 2016). This post-earthquake scenario provides a suitable study environment in regard to the time perspective of servicescapes and how residents maintain, build or rebuild their attachment to place during this temporary or transitional period.
This project is a collaboration between the University of Canterbury and the University of Queensland.
Jörg Finsterwalder is Associate Professor of Marketing in the Department of Management, Marketing and Entrepreneurship, School of Business, University of Canterbury, New Zealand. His interests in service research include: co-creation of services, customer-to-customer interaction, group services and consumer tribes, value networks and service ecosystems, service consumer behaviour, customer experience, wellbeing, disasters and services. He is also interested in the creative, airline and automotive industries. His work has been published in international journals, such as the Journal of Business Research, Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, Journal of Services Marketing, Journal of Service Theory and Practice, Service Industries Journal, Journal of Marketing Management and Journal of Strategic Marketing.