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Exploring the impact of hotel interior design through service dominant logic (SDL) and consumer culture theory (CCT) lenses

Alfakhri, Demah Hussain


Demah Hussain Alfakhri


David R. Harness

John D. Nicholson


This study examined the role of interior design in a hotel context. Although the role of interior design is clear in daily life and managerial activities, little consumer research has been conducted to identify the influential elements of interior design and capture their impacts, specifically within the hotel industry. Additionally, there is limited theoretical support for the integration of design and business disciplines, and the integration of consumer culture theory (CCT) and service dominant logic (SDL) theories. Addressing these gaps, this study sought to understand the underpinnings of hotel interior design, and explain its role from the distinct perspective of cosmopolitan consumers, through servicescape, CCT and SDL lenses. Drawing on the CCT and SDL theories in this research, the perspective of value creation in SDL is combined with the meaning creation in CCT, to explore what meanings hotel interior design can convey to hotel consumers, what it means to them, and how it influences them. An interpretivist research paradigm was employed using an inductive approach, and qualitative data was collected through thirty-seven semi- structured interviews.

The findings of the research have indicated that consumers perceive hotels’ interior design holistically as a first impression. However, over time and with usage experience certain design elements increase in importance relative to others (e.g. colour, lighting). Therefore the findings highlighted that the perception is formed by both the functionality and the aesthetic appearance of the interior design, and identified the most influential interior design elements. The findings also revealed that hotel interior design is very critical in forming customers’ perceptions, creating value, symbolizing meanings, and shaping their overall experience.

This study is of both theoretical and managerial importance. Theoretically, this study developed the “Hotelscape” framework as the core contribution and the final outcome of the study. This framework identifies the elements that form the overall interior design of a hotel servicescape, along with their impacts on customers and hoteliers in one comprehensive framework. It also unites separate concepts such as design and business, and integrates several theories including SDL and CCT. Managerially, this study will enhance the hotel managers’ awareness of the practical value of interior design. It will help hoteliers understand their consumers better, and enable them to manipulate their service environments to differentiate their offerings through interior design. As such, this study sends an overriding message to academics and managers that the coordination between design and business is necessary and beneficial, especially in a globalized and competitive industry such as hotels.


Alfakhri, D. H. (2015). Exploring the impact of hotel interior design through service dominant logic (SDL) and consumer culture theory (CCT) lenses. (Thesis). University of Hull. Retrieved from

Thesis Type Thesis
Deposit Date Aug 1, 2016
Publicly Available Date Feb 23, 2023
Keywords Business
Public URL
Additional Information Business School, The University of Hull
Award Date May 1, 2015


Thesis (7.7 Mb)

Copyright Statement
© 2015 Alfakhri, Demah Hussain. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the copyright holder.

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