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2016/2017  BA-BSEMV3000U  Servicescapes – Understanding the place where service meets consumers

English Title
Servicescapes – Understanding the place where service meets consumers

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Elective
Level Bachelor
Duration One Semester
Start time of the course Autumn
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Study board
Study Board for BSc in Service Management
Course coordinator
  • Hanne Pico Larsen - Department of Marketing (Marketing)
  • Sebastian Zenker - Department of Marketing (Marketing)
Main academic disciplines
  • Marketing
  • Experience economy
  • Service management
Last updated on 23-08-2016
Learning objectives
To achieve the grade 12, students should meet the following learning objectives with no or only minor mistakes or errors: The aim of the course is, on the one hand, to introduce students to the fundamental theoretical frameworks within the field of servicescapes; and, on the other, to have students apply these frameworks and critically reflect upon some of the most typical phenomena in consumer culture of today. More specifically, having completed the course students are expected to:
  • Describe and explain the fundamental theoretical concepts and frameworks within the field of servicescapes, conceptualizing the consumer, culture, consumption and marketing as well as the relationship between them.
  • Identify and analyze the various key servicescape issues, such as atmospheric, ambient conditions, and various other types of physical evidence (in addition to servicescapes).
  • Apply these different theoretical concepts and frameworks on some typical phenomena in servicescape literature of today in order to describe and analyze these phenomena.
  • Identify and explain potential differences in concepts and frameworks between different kinds of servicescapes, such as retailers, cultural or touristic attractions.
  • Critically reflect on theoretical and practical aspects the field of servicescapes and its relation to adjacent fields.
Servicescapes - Understanding the place where service meets consumers:
Exam ECTS 7,5
Examination form Home assignment - written product
Individual or group exam Individual exam
Size of written product Max. 10 pages
Assignment type Written assignment
Duration 2 weeks to prepare
Grading scale 7-step scale
Examiner(s) One internal examiner
Exam period Winter
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam.
If a student is ill during the regular exam, s/he will be able to write a make-up exam in the same examination form as the ordinary exam on a new deadline specified by the secretariat
Description of the exam procedure

The exam is an individual, home written assignment (written product; take-home exam) with a maximum of 10 pages. The student will receive a specific research-based case and detailed questions regarding the case. In a 2 weeks’ time the students should analyse the case and apply knowledge gained through the course to answer these questions as written in the learning objectives.

Course content and structure

Servicescapes are the physical surroundings as fashioned by service organizations to facilitate the provision of service offerings to customers. Those places range from retailer shops and malls, to museums, theme parks, or – for example – the city as such. They differ not only in size – but also in purpose and target groups. Different concepts, theories and frameworks are needed to conceptualize the consumer, culture, consumption and marketing as well as the relationship between them in regarding with services and the place.


Teaching methods
Through providing an overview of theories and research from the field, as well as some hands-on insights from practice the course is designed to be highly interactive and build upon principles of active learning. Students are expected to comment on readings, and are invited to do group exercises throughout the course.
Key theoretical frameworks, concepts and issues regarding servicescapes will be discussed in more traditional lecture based presentations from the course instructors. Part of the course fabric is also the inclusion of both various guest speakers from the Danish Industry, as well as fieldwork assignments done both together as a class, in groups and/or individually. We are going to discuss ideas and ways of doing research in class.
Student workload
Lectures 33 hours
Preparation for class and exam 173 hours
Expected literature

We will have no textbook, as no fitting textbook is available. Instead, we will read a number of seminal articles – new and old – from the vast body of relevant research. You are responsible for finding your own literature, but help will be provided. There is no excuse for not reading!


Required Readings (for in-class discussion):

  1. “The Semiotics of Consumer Spaces: The Growing Importance of Themed Environments” by Gottdiener, in Sherry’s servicesappe book (book chapter provided on LEARN)
  2. Kozinets, R.V., Sherry, J.F., DeBerry-Spence, B., Duhachek, A., Nuttavuthisit, K., and Storm, D. (2002), “Themed flagship brand stores in the new millennium: theory, practice, prospects”, Journal of Retailing, Vol. 78, pp. 17-29.
  3. Gilboa, S. and Vilnai-Yavetz, I. (2013), "Shop until you drop? An exploratory analysis of mall experiences", European Journal of Marketing, Vol. 47, No. 1/2, pp. 239-259.
  4. Borges A., Babin, B. J., and Spielmann, N. (2013), “Gender orientation and retail atmosphere: effects on value perception", International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, Vol. 41, No. 7, pp. 498-511.
  5. Surchi, M. (2011),"The temporary store: a new marketing tool for fashion brands", Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management: An International Journal, Vol. 15, No. 2, pp. 257–270.
  6. Kent, T. (2010), “The role of museum shop in extending the visitor experience”, International Journal of Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Marketing, Vol. 15, pp. 67-77.
  7. Milman, A. (2001), “The Future of the Theme Park and Attraction Industry: A Management Perspective”, Journal of Travel Research, Vol. 40, pp. 139-147.
  8. E. H. Saarijärvi (2012), “The mechanisms of value co-creation”, Journal of Strategic Marketing, Vol. 20, No. 5, pp. 381-391.
  9. Arnould, E. J., Price, l. L., and Tierney, P. (2006), “Communicative Staging of the Wilderness Servicescape”, The Service Industries Journal, Vol. 18, no. 3, pp. 90-115.


Recommended Readings (content that will be presented in the class):

  1. Bitner, M. J. (1992), “Servicescapes: The Impact of Physical Surroundings on Customers and Employees”, Journal of Marketing, Vol. 56, No. 2, pp. 55-71.
  2. Turley, L. W. and Milliman, R. E. (2000), “Atmospheric Effects on Shopping Behavior: A Review of the Experimental Evidence”, Journal of Business Research, Vol. 49, No. 2, pp. 193-211.
  3. Kent, T. (2007), “Creative space: design and the retail environment", International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, Vol. 35, No. 9, pp. 734-745.
  4. Münster, M. (in press), “Design variables and constraints in fashion store design processes”, International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management.
  5. Petermans, A., Kent, A., and Van Cleempoel, K. (2014), “Photo-elicitation: Using photographs to read retail interiors through consumers' eyes”, Journal of Business Research, Vol. 67, No. 11, pp. 2243-2249.
  6. Colomb, C. (2012), “Pushing the Urban Frontier: Temporary uses of space, city marketing, and the creative city discourse in 200s Berlin”, Journal or Urban Affairs, Vol. 34, No. 2, pp. 131–152.
  7. Goulding, C. (2000), "The museum environment and the visitor experience", European Journal of Marketing, Vol. 34, No. 3/4 pp. 261-278.
  8. Bigne, J.E., Andreu, L., and Gnoth, J. (2005), “The theme park experience: An analysis of pleasure, arousal and satisfaction”, Tourism Management, Vol. 26, pp. 833-844.
  9. Wanhill, S. (2002), “Creating Themed Entertainment Attractions: A Nordic Perspective”, Scandinavian Journal of Hospitality and Tourism, Vol. 2, No. 2, pp. 123-144.
  10. Suntikul, W. and Jachna, T. (2016), “The co-creation/place attachment nexus”, Tourism Management, Vol. 52, pp. 276-286.
  11. Braun, E., Kavaratzis, M., and Zenker, S. (2013), “My City – My Brand: The Different Roles of Residents in Place Branding”, Journal of Place Management and Development, Vol. 6, No. 1, pp. 18-28.
  12. Mossberg, L. (2008), “Extraordinary Experiences through Storytelling”, Scandinavian Journal of Hospitality and Tourism, Vol. 8, No. 3, pp. 195-210.
Last updated on 23-08-2016