Leadership in Spaces and Places

Leadership in Spaces and Places

Edited by Arja Ropo, Perttu Salovaara, Erika Sauer and Donatella De Paoli

By combining new research on leadership and workspaces, Leadership in Spaces and Places argues for a radical reconceptualization of leadership. They argue leadership is not only about leaders themselves, but is also affected by the built environment. With contributions from both scholars and practitioners alike, the authors discuss leadership in six different contexts: • workspaces in change • open-office spaces • virtual workspaces • service spaces • cultural spaces • institutional spaces.

Chapter 8: Front stage with no front-stage employees: customer perceptions of self-service hotels

Ritva Höykinpuro

Subjects: business and management, business leadership, organisation studies, social policy and sociology, sociology and sociological theory


This chapter looks at customers’ perceptions of space in a case when the space is the service. Self-service hotels provide an illustration of this phenomenon. A classical theatre metaphor is used to describe a self-service hotel as a service performance where customers are replacing the actors on a stage. A few customers shared their experiences on overnighting in a self-service hotel. Six themes emerged from these customers’ narratives: the need for front stage employees in service encounters, virtual back stage employees, perceptions of hospitality, sensuous experiences, the meaning of co-customers, and a target group of a self-service hotel. This study contributes to designing services in a case when the space is the service. The study is explorative in nature. Hence, it gives a number of ideas for future research.

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