Spotless? Perceived Cleanliness in Service Environments

Martijn Vos

Research output: Ph.D. ThesisPhD Research internal, graduation external

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This dissertation presents research on customers’ perceptions of cleanliness in service environments. The research contributes to the gap in the literature on cleanliness examined from a customer perspective, and adds to the understanding of environmental cues that influence perceived cleanliness.

Part one of the dissertation includes the operationalisation of the concept of perceived cleanliness and the development of an instrument to measure perceived cleanliness. Results showed that perceived cleanliness consists of three dimensions: cleaned, fresh, and uncluttered. Next, the Cleanliness Perceptions Scale (CP-scale) was developed and validated in different service environments, resulting in a 12 item questionnaire that can be used to measure perceived cleanliness in service environments.

Part two includes the experimental research on the effects of different environmental cues on perceived cleanliness. It furthermore explores to what extent the effects of these environmental cues on perceived cleanliness can be explained by the concept of priming. The experiments demonstrated that particular environmental cues influence perceived cleanliness: the visible presence of cleaning staff, light colour, light scent, and uncluttered architecture positively influence customers’ perceptions of cleanliness in service environments. Also, empirical support was found for priming as one of the mechanisms involved in the effects.

Part three reflects on the implications of the dissertation for theory and practice. The research provides knowledge that is relevant for the fields of facility management, service marketing, social psychology, and environmental psychology. The dissertation improves the understanding of the concept of perceived cleanliness by enabling scholars and practitioners to measure the concept and the effects of particular environmental cues in service environments.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Universiteit Twente
  • Pruyn, Ad, Supervisor, External person
  • Mobach, Mark P., Supervisor
  • Galetzka, Mirjam, Supervisor, External person
  • van Hagen, Mark, Supervisor, External person
Thesis sponsors
Award date24 Jun 2022
Place of PublicationEnschede
Print ISBNs978-90-365-5370-4
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • waargenomen properheid
  • serviceomgevingen
  • ruimteontwerp
  • serviceontwerp
  • facilitair beheer


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