A cup of coffee with a dash of love: An investigation of commercial social support and third-place attachment

Mark S. Rosenbaum, James Ward, Beth A. Walker, Amy Ostrom

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

126 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study introduces theory about how deficits in social support motivate consumers to replace lost social resources by forming relationships with customers and employees in commercial third places. The authors demonstrate support for a multiple-indicator, multiple-cause model that illustrates how six common events that destroy or erode a person's social support can cause the person to obtain emotional support and companionship in a third place. The model supports the linkage between commercial social support and a consumer's sense of attachment to a third place that harbors his or her social support network. The authors also propose and test hypotheses that reveal that consumers obtain social support in a third place to the extent to which they lost it outside the place. In essence, third-place patrons match their lost support to their commercial support, thus remedying negative symptoms associated with isolation. The article concludes with a discussion of managerial implications and limitations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)43-58
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Service Research
Volume10
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2007

Keywords

  • Commercial friendships
  • Loneliness
  • Place attachment
  • Social support
  • Third places

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management

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