Exploring cleanliness in the Dutch facilities management industry: a Delphi approach

Martijn Vos, Mirjam Galetzka, Mark P. Mobach, M. van Hagen, Ad Pruyn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Purpose This paper aims to identify antecedents that influence perceived cleanliness by consulting experts and end-users in the field of facilities management (facility service providers, clients of facility service providers and consultants). Business models were evaluated to understand why some antecedents are adopted by practitioners and others are not. Design/methodology/approach A qualitative study, with end-users (n = 7) and experts (n = 24) in the field of facilities management, was carried out to identify antecedents of perceived cleanliness. Following the Delphi approach, different research methods including interviews, group discussions and surveys were applied. Findings Actual cleanliness, cleaning staff behaviour and the appearance of the environment were identified as the three main antecedents of perceived cleanliness. Client organisations tend to have a stronger focus on antecedents that are not related to the cleaning process compared to facility service providers. Practical implications More (visible) cleaning, maintenance, toilets, scent, architecture and use of materials offer interesting starting points for practitioners to positively influence perceived cleanliness. These antecedents may also be used for the development of a standard for perceived cleanliness. Originality/value A basis was created for the development of an instrument that measures perceived cleanliness and includes antecedents that are typically not included in most of the current standards of actual cleanliness (e.g. NEN 2075, ISSA).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)510-524
Issue number9/10
Publication statusPublished - 21 Aug 2018


  • qualitative standards
  • facilities management
  • antecedents
  • cleanliness


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