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Place Attachment: An Investigation Of Environments And Outcomes In A Service Context
Brocato, Elisabeth Deanne
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Place attachment refers to the process of human-place bonding; the bonding process includes both physical and social ties formed within an environment. This dissertation engages in a detailed investigation of the dimensions of place attachment within a service environment by drawing on literature from human ecology, environmental psychology, sociology, services research and various other disciplines. The research seeks to establish place attachment as a multidimensional construct consisting of affective attachment, place identity, place dependence, and social bonds. These dimensions are first investigated through a place attachment scale development process. The construct of place attachment is further investigated in a services context by examining the direct and indirect effects of physical service environment factors (design, ambient and social) on service quality, customer satisfaction and place attachment and the subsequent effects on patronage intentions. Mediating and moderating variables are explored. The dissertation research consists of two phases, first a scale to measure place attachment is created utilizing both qualitative and quantitative methods followed by a field survey assessing physical service environment, service evaluations place attachment and behavioral intentions.